(Blog) My new everyday lens? Tamron 18-400mm f3.5-6.3 thoughts and impressions

Good evening!

For portraiture and cosplay, I have been using the Sigma 50mm f1.4 art lens which has been awesome. I also will be using a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens as well. These two lenses are generally considered to be superb for portraiture and most types of human photography. They will be my go-to lenses for any professional shoots that I do.

However, I’ve been wanting to get into landscape photography which would require me to have a wide angle lens. For that, I had been looking into a 14-24mm f2.8. But I also wanted to get into wildlife, sport, music, and other types of photography that requires me to use a super telephoto. For that I had been looking into a 150-600mm f2.8. I also wanted a good everyday lens, which I had my eyes on a 24-70mm f2.8. But obviously I don’t have the money to drop on three different $1,000+ lenses at the same time.

So I made a compromise and got the Tamron 18-400mm f3.5-6.3 as it should serve the purpose of all three lenses I was looking at, albeit at a lower quality. My order of the Tamron 18-400mm f3.5-6.3 just came in the other day and I wanted to let you know what I think about it!

This lens is heavy. Definitely heavier than my 50mm. It also telescopes pretty far, shown in the image above. It features auto-focus and manual-focus. There is also a switch to lock it at 18mm, which I do when I put the lens away. It was $600 but it came with a monopod which I was wanting, a bunch of filters, a nice small tripod for vlogging, a 64gb sd card, and other goodies.

I am currently using a Nikon D850 which is a full-frame camera. This lens is made for a cropped-frame camera unfortunately, so instead of getting the full 8k resolution images that the D850 can produce, it automatically crops the edges and the final image ends up having around a 5.5k resolution. I know I can disable this feature in the settings, but then I would have to deal with black around the edges. So I am okay with this. My previous camera, a Nikon D3400, is a cropped-frame camera though. I was looking to sell it, but I may actually keep it to use with this lens in certain situations. I don’t know.

I started by using this lens outside of the window of my parents’ house. I started at 18mm and got the result below. Can you see the silver pickup? No, you can’t. For these images, I didn’t really focus on anything in particular, so they did turn out a little blurrier than I wanted.

Then, I zoomed to 400mm and focused on the parking lot of the apartments. You can see the pickup now.

Finally, I zoomed in in Photoshop to see just how much detail I could make out. I blurred out part of it, but you can actually read the license plate, which is absolutely ridiculous! It’s still pretty blurry, but I think if I would have used a tripod, I could have gotten it pretty sharp.

400mm-zoom.png

This got me really excited to use this lens in a practical setting. I wanted to go to the zoo or go hiking the next day, but ended up feeling kinda sick so I just went to a trail nearby. I was able to get some of my first wildlife shots, as well as some running water shots at a rocky outcrop that I thought was cool. I also got a nice picture of a bridge which is acting as a frame for the mountains.

I really enjoyed how sharp most of these pictures turned out. The bald eagle gave me a bit of trouble since he kept flying behind branches, however I finally got him. Unfortunately, there were branches in front of him, and I think they are what my camera focused on. For the bald eagle, I really had to push the limits of this lens by zooming in to 400mm and then zooming in even further in Photoshop. So the quality isn’t quite as good as I would like. But the ducks, bridge, and rocks all turned out great.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t outside for too long because I wasn’t feeling to great. But I am really happy with the pictures I took during a quick test walk! I can tell I am going to really enjoy this lens as an everyday, wide angle, and super-zoom lens. If I start doing professional landscape, wildlife, sports, and other types of photography, I will definitely pick up other lenses. But until then, this has my bases covered and for $600, I am really happy.

Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow!