Review Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 in f-mount

Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,129
Location
Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
My first DSLR lens!
Background
Another trip into the "way back machine" and here we have my very first DSLR lens I ever purchased. The Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 Di. After having just purchased a Nikon D50, I needed something other than my old Nikon N90s kit lens, the 35-70/3.3-5.6.

Just starting out in the photography game, you don't always have the money to get a matching Nikon lens, so Tamron again to the rescue with a budget friendly super zoom.

Thankfully, at the time, I had no frame of reference to know what better was. Honestly, for years this lens kept me moving forward. Kept me learning and started me down the path. Even for all it's failings, I got to give it properly respect for being there.


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1.3 sec, f/22, ISO 200 @ 28mm (tripod)
Nikon D50
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0.4 sec, f/32, ISO 200 @ 85mm (tripod)
Nikon D50

Handling/Size/Weight

This lens was built for 135 film camera, and just so happened to also be Nikon digital SLR compatible. Even so, it is a relatively smaller lens considering the 28-200mm range.

You also need to consider that the camera I was using it on, the D50 is an APS-C (DX) sensor. SI your wife end is really a field of view of 42mm.

The zoom ring is smooth on this lens and it does telescope out, so you needed to be aware of that when using it near glass or people.

I don't remember it being particularly heavy either, so that is another plus.

I didn't really down lot with manual focus back then, but what I do remember is that the focus ring was a bit wobbly, but sufficient for adjusting as necessary.

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1/400, f/6.3, ISO 1600 @ 200mm
Nikon D50

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1/200, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 28mm
Nikon D50

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1/125, f/7.1, ISO 200 @ 200mm
Nikon D50

Image Quality
The old saying that lenses are at their best clicked down a step or 2 hold true for this lens. It is better side open on the wider end than the longer.

Plenty of distortion too, but nothing that post processing software could not fix. It is not the best resolving lens, but given the target cameras it was placed on being 6mp (D50) and 12mp (D300) respectively, it was more than enough.

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1/320, f/11, ISO 200 @ 28mm
Nikon D50

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1/125, f/16, ISO 200
Nikon D300

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1/200, f/8, ISO 200 @ 200mm
Nikon D50


Focusing

The focus was always very accurate, but the speed was lacking like most Tamron lenses of that generation. It would often hunt and rack focus, but when it locked in, it was plenty accurate.
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1/500, f/5.6, ISO 800 @ 122mm
Nikon D50

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1 sec, f/11, ISO 200 @ 28mm (tripod)
Nikon D50

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1/320, f/7.1, ISO 200 @ 75mm

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1/800, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 130mm
Nikon D50
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,129
Location
Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
Bottom Line
What a walk through memory lane. Not sure why I didn't this lens as a review, perhaps it was just to allow for some nostalgia, dig up some old pics and remember the simpler time of shooting without a bag full of lenses, a deadline of the stress of a paying client.

Given the quality choices that are available today, I do not see any compelling reason to use this lens but give us another 15 years and we just might be saying that about the lenses we have right now.

Anyway, just remember to sit back and review and remember how you used to do things. Sometimes we leave behind techniques and methods that could benefit us, or remind us of the mistakes we made and to not make those again! Learn from history.

Some additional images for your viewing pleasure!

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1/200, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 200mm
Nikon D50

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1/640, f/7.1, ISO 200 @ 62mm
Nikon D50

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1/320, f/7.1, ISO 200 @ 58mm
Nikon D50

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1/80, f/11, ISO 400 @ 28mm
Nikon D50

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1/125, f/5.6, ISO 400 @ 200mm
Nikon D50

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1/125, f/5.6, ISO 800 @ 200mm
Nikon D50

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1/160, f/6.3, ISO 200 @ 28mm
Nikon D50

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1/400, f/7.1, ISO 200 @ 28mm
Nikon D50

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1/80, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 60mm
Nikon D50

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1/500, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 40mm
Nikon D50

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1/80, f/6.3, ISO 200 @ 200mm (tripod)

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1/250, f/5.3, ISO 200 @ 100mm
Nikon D50

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1.6 sec, f/11, ISO 200 @ 80mm (tripod)
Nikon D50

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1/400, f/6.3, ISO 200 @ 200mm
Nikon D50
 

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