A Nuts N Bolts Look at the Tamron 150-600 Nikon F mount.

Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
3,190
Location
Cornpatch
OK, so you've heard about it, and even seen some photos taken with it. But: How about a look 'under the hood' as it were? A close-up of what's on the lens..... The nitty gritty!

So let's take a look at it using a Nikkor Micro 105mm f/2.8D AF lens (as opposed to a magnifying glass or fine-toothed comb!)

First off, I'll state that this is the physically largest photographic lens I own. Here's a comparison to some common Nikkors:

01SizeComparisonpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Left to right is the 50/1.8G, then the 24-85 'kit' lens. In the middle is the tried-n-trusty 70-300VR G, and a much-recognized 70-200/2.8G VRII.

Let's start at the far end with the hood and work our way in.

02Hoodpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


My first thought was this was a flimsy hood. I could easily 'egg' it with very little pressure. Only when I compared it to the Nikon hoods did I realize my mistake. Some of the Nikon hoods were much flimsier. So I won't state that the hood is flimsy. It just seems this way, maybe because it's so big! It will mount in one of two positions, with a small alignment mark on both the lens and hood and click into place with a 90° turn.

For the filter crowd, the lens IS threaded. That's the good news.

03Filterspost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The bad new is.... you'll need 95mm filters. Bummer. For both you and your wallet. The supplied cap is very similar to Nikon's center-pinch caps, so popping it on and off will need to more effort.

Now here's a feature I haven't seen often (in fact, I never have!)

04Softrubberedgepost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The front edge of the lens barrel is circumnavigated with a soft, rubber-like material. This can help prevent deforming the filter threads if you're shooting sans hood and bonk the lens against something. Kudos to Tamron for this feature!

Further down the barrel is the zoom ring. It's about 2" wide and is marked for the focal lengths of 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 450, 500 and 600mms.

05Zoomringpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I estimate the rung turns about 150-160° to cover the entire zoom range.

Getting closer to the camera itself is several items, the first of which is a Zoom Lock function.

06Zoomlockpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This locks the zoom ring into place so the lens doesn't creep in or out when aimed straight up or down. While this is handy if you're carrying the lens over your shoulder, it would also be nice to be able to lock the zoom ring into any other position besides 150mm. I can imagine a birder or wildlife shooter aiming straight up, zooming out to 600mm, only to have the lens fall back to 200mm. Deduct one point for this mis-cue.

Tamron also proudly displays it's Ultrasonic Silent Drive auto-focus motor just below the focus ring. And yes, it IS quiet. I've felt sometimes that my camera isn't turned on it's so quiet. So +1 for this.

Below this is a beveled silver ring with a bit of nomenclature on it. Mine says, "USD Ø95 Di TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3" USD is the UltraSonic Drive focus motor, size is 95mm, Di is Tamrons' designation for full-frame glass, and the rest is obvious.

If you turn the lens 180° at this point, you'll find the following:

07SerialNumberpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Some manufacturing markings, the model number (A011) and MADE IN CHINA. But wait! There's more! If you order now, we'll throw in a 16-[pece Ginsu knife set. Just kidding. But yes, there is more. Between the model number and MADE IN CHINA is the lens' serial number. Yes, it's there. Very small and stamped lightly into the barrel. And very hard to read. But it IS there.

Butting up against the beveled silver ring is the focus ring. It's slightly less than 1" deep. It would be nice if it had a different texture than the zoom ring so you could more easily pick up on a tactile sensation.

Beneath for focus ring is the focus window.

08FocusWindowpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Inside this window, besides an infinity mark, is 100, 50, 30, 20, 15, 12 and 8.9ft as well as 30, 15, 10, 7, 5, 3.8 and 2.7m. I estimate the focus travel to be about 100-110°.

To the left side of the lens from the focus window are the Switches

09Switchespost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


On top is a focus limit switch. There's two options: Full and 15m-infinity. It would be nice if there was a third option, as I found shooting small birds in the 10-20m range so I was forced to use FULL. Maybe 5-20m? or 10-30m?

There's an SP logo here, which is Tamrons "Super Performance" class of lenses. Below that is the obligatory auto-focus ON/OFF switch. If you gotta ask, well.............

The lens is equipped with a rotating collar and foot.

11FootampRingremovedpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The entire assemble can be removed if desired, but the only time I think I would do this is if I had a hard cylindrical lens case that didn't accept the foot when attached.

In order to remove or attach the collar/foot assembly, you need to line up two very small, rather obscure trianges.

10FootampRingalignmentpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The mark on the lens is on the right side, and on the collar/foot it's right next to the tightening knob.

One missing item here: The lens has no quarter marks for turning the camera 90° when mounted on a tripod. For no more that it would cost to provide them Tamron really missed the boat here. -2 points.


Sadly, there's only one mounting option for the foot: A single 1/4x20 thread. No 3/8" option.

12Footmountingpost.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


So if you've got QR plates n such that use 3/8" threads, you're gonna have to start modifying them or buy plates with 1/4" threads.
 
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
3,190
Location
Cornpatch
And the last few things before we crash into your camera body is Tamrons VC logo, as well as a keystone-shaped mounting mark.

13MountmarkVCrubbersealpost.gif
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


And yes, this lens DOES have a rubber seal on the mounting end. Good touch, Tamron. Take two points out of petty cash.


OK, that's the lens from top to bottom. Or front to back. Or bumper to bumper.
 
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
28
Location
L.A.
I got to try this lens at the "Big Photo Show" here in L.A. a couple of weeks back---it was mounted on a Nikon D7000 body---felt good in the hands---pretty solid really---I could only take sample photos inside the large convention center and they looked pretty good---the VC seemed good also---I will probably pick one up as the price is good---if it doesn't work out, it will be sold...
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom