Super Zoom. Tamron 18-300mm.

Confession time. I have never used a Tamron lens before. When the good people at Tamron Singapore pass me the new 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di lll-A VC VXDlens, I was pretty excited, as it’s a X-mount. Since moving to Fujifilm X and GFX series; I have been a prime lens shooter.The 18-300mm has a pretty crazy focal range. About 17 times zoom ratio. I have neveruse something like this before. Is this lens any good? Who is this lens for? 

First stop, the Auto Focus. I have been testing this lens with a X-T4. The AF is fast and silent; thanks to its linear motor. The AF locks in to the subject effortlessly. When the light conditions is poor; this lens AF is not as effective. This lenshave Vibration Compensation (VC) system that helps stable photography even at the 300mm end. There is a slight vignetting at the far end which could be easily corrected.

161mm, F5.6, 1/1600, ISO 160
188mm, F5.6, 1/180, ISO 250
300mm, F6.3, 1/58, ISO 3200 ( Shot during late evening )
18mm, F3.5, 1/58, ISO 800
86mm, F5, 1/150, ISO 160
18mm, F3.5, 1 second ( Handheld ) ISO 250

Handling; the turning zooming circle of this lens is good. All you need is just a quarter of a turn and it brings you from 18mm all the way to 300mm. Do notethis lens pushes out addition 75% of its original length at 300mm. It’s also weather sealed to help anyone overcome the element. Which is a good feature.This lens feels good in the hands. Doesn’t feel cheap at all. On the contrary I like the feel of it and the weight of 620 grams is rather light. 

Left shot at 18mm and right at 300mm. Shot from the same spot
118mm, F3.5, 1/3500, ISO 160
X-T4 + Tamron 18-300mm
276mm, F6.3, 1/2400, ISO 160
137mm, F8, 1/950, ISO 160
263mm, F6.3, 1/480, ISO 400
Left shot at 18mm and right at 300mm. Shot from the same spot.

IQ. I didn’t expect much from a lens that have almost 17 times zoom ratio. So far; this lens actual surprises me. The IQ is a tad above average. ManyX-shooter have been asking how is this lens compare to XF70-300mm lens? Nothing to compare as they are created differently. XF70-300mm only have a 4 times zoom ratio. And thus the IQ is better and that is a fact. As for XF18-300mm, its greatest asset is it focal range. And that is another fact. The minimum focusing distant at 18mm is at an admirable 15cm. 300mm its about 1 meter. This lens is very commendable. This is a “all in one” lens for those who are looking for something like this. 

300mm, F6.3, 1/220, ISO 800
18mm, F3.5, 1/85, ISO 800
300mm, F6.3, 1/640, ISO 400
300mm, F6.3, 1/75, ISO 2000
Left shot at 18mm and right at 300mm. SuperZoom.
300mm, F6.3, 1/400, ISO 400
Left shot at 18mm and right at 300mm. Can you see the man from the 18mm shot?
18mm, F3.5, 1/38, ISO 1600
300mm, F6.3, 1/110, ISO 3200
300mm, F6.3, 1/340, ISO 400
300mm, F6.3, 1/350, ISO 1600
300mm, F6.3, 1/220, ISO 160

Finally, who is this lens for. Let’s be honest; no professional will ever think of getting this. And I don’t think this is Tamron objective too. This lens is target at those who wants an affordable lens to do it all. It has its flaws like all other lenses and its greatest asset; it’s focal range.  At 300mm the F stop is F6.3 and F3.5 at its widest. Which is ok; especially at USD$699. This lens commands value and I think the result makes me rethink about such lenses. 
When the world is open again. And one could travel the world; if you could only have a lens; the Tamron 18-300mm is a worthy consideration.

For more Fuji goodness do follow


  1. Reminds me of the “best of the bad” lenses from the 90’s. The vignetting is pretty distracting at the long end but you’re right that it can be edited out in post. I’m mostly concerned about the lack of sharpness, but the color rendition seems really good.

    I can see this being a great lens for a travel blogger or instagrammer who doesn’t care so much about sharpness since the photos will be seen at small resolution anyway, but needs the convenience of a light kit.

  2. If you already had an XF18-55 and were to choose between this Tamron 18-300 and the XF70-300, which would you choose?

Leave a Reply