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  1. Dustin Abbott says:

    Same combination, here in monochrome

  2. marcel says:

    iso 5000.. wow, just a few years ago this would have been inpossible..

  3. Steve says:

    Thanks for your time to write this.

    Steve J

  4. Very thorough review. I have being researching this lens for weeks now. I will be buying thanks to you.

  5. Renjith J says:

    I have been researching over this a week for my newly brought 6D body. This review helped a lot to take a decision for taking outdoor portraits. Even now I am thinking about going for a Tamron 24-70 VC also instead of 24-105 IS. Already ordered and waiting for it.

  6. Guru says:

    Excellent review.. Definitely would prefer over sigma..

  7. Sjoerd Punter says:

    On your comment about 6D vs 5D MKIII today I have ordered a 6D body. It has taken a while before I was “over”, but your story convinced me that the 6D is the right camera for me.
    Thank you very much!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I am really glad to hear that. Enjoy this great camera!

  8. Mikka says:

    Thankful I came across this. Hello 6D, bye-bye MKII.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Really glad to have been of help. Enjoy!

  9. roger turner says:

    nice review and lovely pics, well done

  10. Igal says:

    I really enjoyed your article, Dustin.
    But there’s one small (some would say) thing that stands in the way from upgrading my 60D to 6D – it’s the flip-out screen. I use it A LOT in low (sometimes very) angle shooting and some weird positions.
    How is it possible to give up and to use the “static” screen instead?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That is certainly a genuine issue. I was really, really disappointed when Canon failed to put the flip-out screen in both the 5DIII and the 6D. I too really enjoyed using it on the 60D. I have adjusted, of course, but for shooting low/high angle shots and video I do sorely miss the vari-angle screen. I don’t know why it was not included, but thus far neither Canon nor Nikon have chosen to use a flip-out screen in a full frame body.

    2. David says:

      They probably left out the flip-out screen for proper weather sealing. You don’t see many built-in flashes as well for the same reason I suspect.
      I believe the 6D has the option to use your phone as an external screen through Wi-Fi, which is even more flexible than being restricted to a screen that stays attached to the camera!

      1. Dustin Abbott says:

        David, I don’t know that I buy that line of reasoning. Both the 60D and newer 70D have similar degrees of weathersealing and have flip-out screens + pop-up flashes. The Nikon D800 has a pop-up flash and I have heard no complaints about its degree of weathersealing.

        The 6D does have wi-fi functionality, which is useful (and in some cases extremely useful), but the refresh rate is rather poor, it is somewhat laborious to get into that mode, and it doesn’t help at all with video as the two can’t function at the same time. I don’t view that option as a replacement to the articulating screen at all, particularly for video work. Your point is well taken, but I don’t think that I agree.


  11. Mario says:

    Hi, is really nice review! I wanted to ask what is your opinion of the Rokinon mounted on a not full frame camera -I have the 600d-.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Hi Mario. I have only briefly used the the Rokinon on a crop sensor body (I only have the EOS M for a crop sensor), and it is a mixed bag. For the positive: that amazing sharpness is still there, and 14mm roughly = 24mm on a FF body, so it is still a very appealing focal length. The downside, of course, is that 14mm is not overly wide on a crop sensor, so you do lose the extremely wide angle of view.

  12. Immanuel says:

    Thanks for this article. I’m really confused between the 5DIII and 6D… especially with the option of getting a crop sensor body (which supposedly can have its benefits in terms of lens choices).

    Most reviews I’ve looked at so far lean towards the 6D because its benefits/cost factor when compared to the 5DIII… And now, your article almost sealed the deal for me on the 6D.
    That is until you didn’t have much to say in terms of video-related benefits.

    Background: this would be my first DSLR and I’m primarily interested in shooting video…and luckily I can afford a “premium” camera.
    So, please help me if you can: I’m wondering if there is any more info you could add based on your experience with video on your cameras. I’m more concerned about future needs, like lens options and compatibility. For example, if I get a crop sensor like 60D or 7D (because of the flexibility of lens for long shots), would at least some lens be transferable if I choose to upgrade to/add a full frame body?

    Yes, 5DIII seems to be the ultimate choice for prosumer videography, but I almost feel guilty getting it as my entry camera. I even feel a bit guilty getting a full frame, period, but I think I will feel more confident if I know a full frame is truly worth the investment after the add-on lens are considered.

    I’m sort of rambling now, so I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense. Any insight you can provide will be much appreciated!

    – Immanuel

    (PS: I read somewhere that both 5DIII and 6D have audio jacks)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:


      Making that choice is tough. First of all, you need to know that while I do shoot DSLR video, it is far from my primary focus. I am mostly a stills guy. I personally feel that the 6D produces great video, but others have reports issues with moire. It does have an audio jack, and I personally use an external RODE mic with it. The 5DIII is considered the better choice if your primary focus is shooting video.

      A secondary choice would be the 70D. It has a revolutionary new AF system that makes true autofocus in video a reality. It might be your best choice if you want to shoot video and don’t need the extreme shallow depth of field and high ISO performance of a full frame body.

      Hope this helps,


      1. Immanuel says:

        Thanks for your feedback Dustin.
        I looked into the 70D, and its autofocus and flip-out screen were very tempting. But I ended up getting the 6D. I decided ISO performance, and overall “premium” qualities of the 6D were more important to me for now.
        Yea.. it’s my first but I want something I can grow into, and then figure out what I really NEED in a camera after closer experience… AND for some reason, the 6D seems to call out to me lol.

        1. Dustin Abbott says:

          I think you will thoroughly enjoy the 6D. It produces stunning image quality, and that, above all, is the most important (at least to me).

  13. Mark Molker says:

    Thank you for your great Rokinon 14mm review!
    You convinced me to purchase that lens (currently in transit from Amazon)!
    All the Best

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Enjoy the lens, Mark. It is a fabulous value and I am sure you will enjoy it!

  14. Wonderful pic! This wouldn’t happen to be Bald Rock, near the South Carolina/North Carolina border, would it? I’ve been there a lot, and this has some of the characteristics of that place.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      No, this is actually a location in Ontario, Canada. Thanks for the nice feedback, Vince.

  15. Fraz says:

    I ordered a 6d which is not delivered yet but was still so confused and somewhat concerned as it gets so much beating as compared to Markiii. Now after reading your review I feel better and yes money saved from buying this is going to add a nice lens in my collection! Thanks for this wonderful review!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome! On paper the 6D doesn’t stack up all that well compared to the MKIII, but I have talked with dozens of people who have purchased the 6D and have found, like me, that in real life application that 6D is an exceptional camera; one that has done very, very well for Canon.

  16. Wilfred says:

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of yiur site is excellent, let alone the content!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Wilfred, thank you very much. This site has been live for about a year now. I have an excellent web designer who not only designed the site according to my specifications but has continued to work with me to more fully develop the site. I have had to learn a lot of things on the fly, but it is getting easier 🙂 I’ve had about 100K visits this first year, which is pretty exciting.

  17. william Dillard says:

    Really nice !

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, William!

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  19. Larry says:

    Thank you for every other great post. Where else may just anyone get that kind of
    info in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such info.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Larry. Glad to help out!

  20. Glenn Curley says:

    Hi Dustin,

    I have read your article with great interest and concur on almost everything you say.

    I started with a 40D, followed by a second-hand 5D MkI with additional wi-fi transmitter when I started shooting events. Last December I took the plunge and bought a 6D on two criteria; built-in wi-fi and cost.

    Was I disappointed? Absolutely not. The 6D has proved itself to be an excellent events work-horse. I did however, hanker after a 5D MkIII and in June this year, I bought one.

    I, like you will only buy gear that pays for itself and boy have these two pieces of kit had to work hard and bring me a return on investment.

    Having run both cameras side-by-side and sometimes simultaneously, I can honestly say that sometimes I don’t realise which one I’m using they are that well matched. Even though the 6D is slightly smaller and slightly lighter, sometimes I have to turn them over to see which one I’m holding!

    A colleague of mine bought a 5D MkIII and hated it after the MkII, which I thought a little strange. He sold the 5D MkIII within six months. He now thinks he might have had a potentially faulty one as he has used mine and feels it is far superior to his one. He is currently borrowing my 6D to test it out at an event tomorrow, including using wi-fi to get the images back to the print station as he shoots. He is already before properly testing it very impressed and close to buying one. I guess tomorrow’s event will tell.

    The 6D got panned pre-launch because of it’s apparently crippled specification. I personally feel that much of the criticism was unfairly levelled at what is turning out to be a superb camera with features that are actually quite useful. I for one have actually used the wi-fi facility to get images into publication direct from an event on numerous occasions. My clients on those occasions were blown away by the ability to beat the competition. I’ve even had news reporters begging me to send images to them virtually as they happened. Try that on a 1Dx or 5D MkIII without the stupidly expensive WFT-E7 transmitter.

    In conclusion; wow.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Glenn, what an awesome testimonial, and extra great because of your experience with both bodies. Thanks for sharing your own experiences, and I’m glad that you have been well served by what is an excellent camera!

  21. Elijah says:

    You can certainly see your skills within the work you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers such
    as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    Always go after your heart.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Elijah. I’ll do my best 🙂

  22. Sherman says:

    After looking at a few of the blog posts on your web site,
    I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog.
    I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking
    back in the near future. Please check out my website as well and tell me what you think.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Sherman. I’ll take a look at your website when I get a chance.


  23. David says:

    Hi :

    I enjoyed your review and I have a question ?

    I was wondering why nothing on flickr came up, no EXIF, haha…

    My question is how does this lens perform in say like a stadium lit condition at night on either f/4 or f/2.8 ?

    you say stopped down to f/5.6 and never worry about detail

    i am going to shoot some MLB ballparks this summer at night and was wanting to know if I should go with this lens or the nikon 16-35 f/4 VR=IS
    and yes i'm shooting Nikon, a D600 exactly.

    I'm currently using my Tokina 17-35 f/4 and really like it but i'm always looking for better quality with selling my house…hahahahaha


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      David, I do cover that in the review, but the Rokinon does not have any kind of electrical connection to the camera body, so no EXIF data is recorded. Since posting the review I have actually added a chip to my lens so that (after programing) it does add the focal length and a fixed aperture (f/5.6 is what mine is set at) to the camera to record for EXIF data. The shutter speed, ISO, etc… are already there because those things are camera specific, not from the lens.

      The lens is sharp from wide open. I would say that without question the Rokinon will outresolve the Tokina (although I had a Tokina while using crop [12-24mm f/4] that I was quite fond of). The resolving power of the Rokinon is excellent save the extreme corners. You will also find a very noticeable difference in field of view from 14 to 17mm. It doesn’t sound like much, but wait until you look at the field of view side by side!!

  24. Marc says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Fantastic report!
    Amazing your objectivity for what is called to be a low priced lens!
    I was thinking about an UWA from Canon (I own the 6D) or Sigma and Tokina, but reconsidering the whole after reading your article, now I tend toward the Samyang/Tokinon.

    But Dustin, before buying it, can you tell me what -in your point of view- is the best "hyper focal point". Is that aperture f5.6 or more?

    Thanks very much.

    Marc (Belgium)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:


      Thanks for the nice feedback. Yes, I really like the lens at f/5.6. Great sharpness and already a very, very deep depth of field from just a meter in front of the camera to infinity when focused to the right spot. I will also stop down to f/11 when I want a more defined sunburst when shooting into the sun. Enjoy!


  25. Excellent review! I am adding this lens to my kit for sure. Great images by the way.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jason – thanks for the great feedback! I know you will enjoy the lens. It has a bit of learning curve, but has great rewards!

  26. John Wright says:

    Have you ever come across a good filter solution? For the use I have in mind, I would like to be able to use a polarizer. Of course, I'd like to keep that as small as possible. I wonder if one could trim the larger petals, use an extra lens cap with the center cut out (or some other ring that fits), epoxy a filter adapter (86mm?) to that ring, and have enough width on 4" filters like Lee or Cokin Z-pro.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Samyang has just announced a filter holder for this lens at a better price than any other I have seen: http://samyang-europe.com/index.php/new-products/samyang-filter-holder-sfh-14

  27. Jim Babbage says:

    Thanks so much for this review! I just received this lens from Amazon and while I was confident in my choice, it's great to see others having such great results.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      It is an excellent lens at a truly exceptional value. Enjoy!

  28. Chris Fugle says:

    Hi Dustin,
    One-amazing review on the Tamron 90mm Macro. Really enjoyed the shots of it used as a more all-purpose lens opposed to other review locking it into a macro lens group only. I bought my Sony mount 90mm Tamron years ago, and keep turning back to it even with adapters on my 4/3 system. I proves itself over and over again.
    The last sunset shot melts my heart. So stunning!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Chris, thanks a lot for the great feedback. It is a little harder to do macro specific work in winter anyway, but I did want to focus on the fact that purchasing a macro lens has more value than just what “macro” suggests. You obviously get that. Thanks,


  29. Kevin says:

    Excellent review. Thank Dustin!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you very much, Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  30. mathew says:

    Great review, great pictures! Thanks for sharing your thoughts candidly about this lens.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome, Mathew, and thank you for taking the time to write!

  31. JV says:

    Excellent review. I've just bought this, and the review does mirror my feelings on sharpness, VC etc. Even wide open it is very sharp.

    However, I'm concerned about Tamron quality control. My first copy went back for severe internal dirt (the sort of white haze second hand eBay lenses would be sent back for). The second has a significant front focus issue which seems distance dependent at portrait distances it's reliably out by around 7cm at 2m – makes a sharp shot at f2.8 or f4 almost impossible. This improves as the subject gets closer (1-2cm at 1m, and bang on at 0.5m).

    You mentioned excellent AF, but did you experience any AF variability with distance? Pretty sure it's not my camera, as 3 other f2.8 lenses in the 50-100mm focal length range were all bang on.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:


      Wow, sounds like you have had a poor (and unusual) experience with this lens. I can’t say that I experienced either of your issues, nor have I read similar reports from either reviewers or other users. I’m afraid your experience is pretty unique. Do you have a camera body that can do micro-adjustment by lens? If you have AF issues, I also recommend that as a starting point. If that is not the problem, I would return your second copy as well for either service or replacement. I do not believe that this typical behavior for the lens. Hope things get better from here!


  32. Seth says:

    Wow! I didn't really think Tamron had it in them to make a lens like this. I had considered, for a brief moment, the original 90mm macro but was put off by the extending focus – sooner or later I'd ram the front element into something and regret it.

    Having recently purchased the 100L I had a tiny bit of buyer's remorse upon reading your review. You really know how to show off a macro/telephoto, even in the middle of winter!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Seth, Tamron has been on a roll with their most recent lens releases, starting about three years ago with the 70-300 VC. Since then, the 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, the 70-200 f/2.8 VC, and the 90mm f/2.8 VC have all been excellent lenses that have seriously challenged their first part equivalents. But if you just purchased the 100L, don’t feel bad. It is a terrific lens and one that I regularly reach for.

  33. Trent says:

    Howdy! I just woulԁ like to give you a huge thumbs
    up foг your excellеnt informatiοn you have got here on this pоst.
    I'll be returning to your site for more soon.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Trent, thanks for the nice feedback. I’ll try to keep posting something worth reading 😉

  34. Keith Meteer says:

    Thank you for the great review Dustin. Canadian like you, just checked CameraCanada site and they have it listed for $1189. (Great company to deal with)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks a lot, Keith!

  35. Nice and indeed very informative review Dustin.
    Have both owned and worked with many of the heavy long white ones, but is realy thinking about getting the Tamron now.
    /Janne Höglund

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Janne. That is a pretty huge endorsement. I think you would enjoy the lens.


  36. Bob says:

    Thank you for an excellent review of this new product.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome. Thanks for the taking the time to comment.

  37. Murthy says:

    Nice and a detailed review Dustin..Good work.. It is very informative.. Thank you..

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you. This is a pretty important lens, so I did my best to cover as many bases as possible.

  38. Joseph Andrews says:

    …would appreciate direct comparison of this new Tamron with the older 200-500 Tamron. Thanks.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I haven’t used the older lens personally, but Roger at LensRentals tested the resolution of four lenses, including the two Tamrons, over the past couple of days. You can read about it here: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/01/tamron-150-600-telezoom-shootout

  39. Dave Shores says:

    Thanks so much for the great review! I mostly like to do landscape work, but have long wanted a super tele for the occasional wildlife opportunities that come up. Of course the price was always prohibitive. There was no way to justify the expense, but I pretty sure I can rationalize this!! (give me a minute ……… Yep! 100% rationalized!) Thanks again!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Dave! Your thoughts are pretty much the same as mine. It is within rationalization 🙂

  40. ahad says:

    Hi Dustin thank you for review it was very helpful I was going get the canon 100-400mm but I think I will go for tamron ps 150-600 VC USM and I have canon 70D what do think you think I get the tamron thank you Ahad from UK

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Ahad, I personally think this new Tamron is a better choice. The image quality is just as good and it adds more reach. It would be my choice.

  41. Todd says:

    thanks for such a detailed,informative real world review! not sure youve seen this but its another detailed review!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for both the compliment and the link. I’ll be giving it a read!

  42. Agnes says:

    Great review. Thanks
    I am interesting in getting a copy. Could you please provide some info as to what type ot lens plate will fit the lens. Thanks

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Agnes, I don’t know the answer to that question. The tripod collar is pretty standard, however, so I think that most plates (Wimberley, etc…) should work fine.

  43. Peter says:

    great review. thanks.

    there is thought one problem… i think is see some blur in some images from NOT using a tripod.

    handholding a 600mm lens is difficult. even with good VC/IS.

    so while this gives a good "real life" overview i think the lens would have yieled better results on some images using a tripod.

    especaily birds and their feather structurs are easiy ruined by a littel bit of shake.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Peter, you are absolutely right, of course. I should have included a few more tripod based shots for that reason, and I know that a few of my early bird shots do show a bit of motion blur. I am supposed to get another time with the lens in February, and I will try to add a few new shots with a tripod. The series with the bear to show sharpness in the review is done from a tripod, so that should help you a bit.

  44. Dustin,

    Thanks for a great and detailed review. I had my eye on an eventual purchase of the Canon 100-400L IS, but now I am defintely reconsidering because of this lens. I was already impressed by my Tamron 70-300 SP VC Di, so I have no problem choosing Tamron over Canon if the price and quality are right. Thanks, again!

    Jeff Eppinette

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jeff – there’s a name I recognize 🙂 If I were making that choice, I would definitely go with the Tamron. Better price, much longer reach, and better image stabilization. I definitely prefer the traditional twist zoom over the push/pull design. Thanks for taking the time to write.


  45. Juan says:

    Great review. This lens looks like a real deal breaker for me as I have wanted to buy Canon's EF 400mm f5.6 lens for a while, due to its sharpness, for sports and birding. But Tamron's offering being even cheaper than Canon's providing greater flexibility and an almost on-par sharpness and color rendition, could perhaps be the best choice.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Juan, I think a lot of people are in the same boat with you. The biggest challenge now will be to actually GET a copy of the lens. It seems to be backordered pretty much everywhere.

  46. Excellent review! The camera industry needed something like this to happen. We've been hearing story after story about DLSR is dead, and all you have to do is look at the prices of "high end" lens to see why. Canon and Nikon got to be kidding themselves at the cost of their latest lens. $10,000 for a 500mm?!?!?
    If the DLSR are going to die, all they have to do is look at themselves why.
    Excellent review Dustin.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Ricky, you are absolutely right. Both Sigma and Tamron have been pushing the envelope that last 18 months, and I think that should be a great motivator for the first party manufacturers.

  47. Stefan Schneider says:

    Thanks so much for this great review! Must have cost you a lot of time… Did you also test it on a crop? I usually use a 6D, but for longer reach and faster focussing I like to use my 7D when going tele.
    But anyway, you just saved me a lot of money, probably. I was one of the guys thinking "wow sounds great – but it can't be true. 'cause it's a Tamron". So I was probably aiming at a higher price… or none at all.

    One other thing I learned here: Reikan FoCal. Is it worth getting it?

    Btw, I loved reading your little anecdote about blur from temperature differences: I was experiencing the same in Iceland (warm car, cold air) and Hawai'i (long distance shots over unexpected lava fields…) with my 70-300L. They should print a warning on the lenses or something! 😉

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Stefan, my only crop body right now is the EOS M, and that obviously isn’t a very practical combination (although image quality is fine). I think the lens would be pretty great on a 7D. The only potential issue I can see is that the need for light for this baby might push you into higher ISO territory at times – not really a strength for the 7D. The new 70D would be somewhat better in this regard.

      Interesting to hear of your experience with temperature variation. That was a new one for me!

  48. Frank says:

    Thx for the afford and time to share you're experience with us Dustin.
    Great review with some great pics to show quality. Great nature over there too .. ;<)

    Looks like Tamron is gonna rock with this one too.
    Hope to ad this lens to my gear myself within a few weeks, the moment it sells over here.

    Kind regards from The Netherlands

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Frank, glad to share. Here’s hoping you can land the lens sooner rather than later. Looks like the waiting list is adding up!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Todd, I did read that article. ePhotozine is excellent at getting early reviews up on new lenses. I also like that they do the chart testing that I do not – it adds another piece of the puzzle. Their conclusions are very similar to mine.

  49. Jero says:

    I am considering buying this lens when it comes out but I would like to know if the lens did auto focus on the entire focal length? At some sites you read that F5.6 is the F-value needed for Canon camera's to focus. Could you please confirm this for me?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jero, the lens focuses without issue throughout the entire focal length. You don’t need to worry about that. It will AF on all cameras that it has a mount for.

  50. George says:

    Great Review! I have to see the photos to believe that Tamron does indeed produce a fantastic lens at a fantastic price. I have Canon 400mm f5.6 , very fast and light weight, no stabilizer though and minimum focal lens is about 15ft.
    Any comparison with this Canon will be great.
    This Tamron has the benefit of zoom range, stabilizer and shorter max focal distance. Sounds like an idea "budget" superzoom.
    Again , thanks for the great review

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, George. It is indeed a high value budget option.

  51. Daniel De Granville says:

    Hello Dustin, thanks for dedicating time for this very useful review. It was the first place where I found the answer about what was this lens' maximum aperture at 400mm.

    There is one thing that would make me refrain from buying one: what about compatibility issues with future bodies (Canon, in my case)? Any thoughts?

    Maybe Tamron will acknowledge this issue and re-chip the lens within the 6-year warranty? But for sure not here in Brazil, though…

    All the best, Daniel

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Daniel, while no one can predict the future, thus far Canon and Nikon have never done anything to “break” compatibility with third party lenses. Should that happen, Tamron would essentially have to update lenses in order to stay in business. Making such a change for Canon would almost certainly impact some of their older lenses, too, so I just don’t see that happening.

  52. Jones says:

    I am thinking about getting the nikon version of the lens. Do you know if it will work with a teleconverter. I have the D7100. So that is 900mm x 1.4 or 1.7 for a total of 1260 mm or 1530mm.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I don’t know if it would work a Nikon branded tele converter, but I do know that it works with a Kenko 1.4x. It will still AF, but it hunts more. There is also some degradation of image quality, but it is certainly a usable combination.

  53. smaoui says:

    hello Dustin,
    thank you for this big test on the new tamron! it seems very good. i don't have the money for a big lens (500mm or 600 canon!) too much expensive! So this tamron is the good solution for me.
    friendly, Karim from France.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Karim, you are in the same boat that many of us are. We like the reach of the super-teles, but can’t afford them. This Tamron is best budget option to come along yet.

  54. What a great and long review of this outstanding lens. Indeed it might set new dimensions with its 600mm with a fair price. Thank you very much for this long and detaild check of the lens. Especially the details about several temperature ranges inside a car with -20 and +19 deg is helpfull.

    I will try this lens in a few weeks and can compare it to the new 600mm IS2 from Canon. But seen from the price point of view it shall be 10 times better 🙂

    Enjoy the 150 – 600mm Lens… Best regards Joe

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Joerg, I don’t doubt the Canon prime will soundly defeat the Tamron at 600mm (but the Tamron will be better from 150-550mm) :)! The question is indeed whether or not it will by 10x better

  55. Great Review! Thanks! I am convinced-now all I need is money.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      LOL. Join the crowd!!

  56. Brian Allan says:

    Excellent review of a very interesting zoom! Thanks.

    My only full frame camera is a Sony A7R. How do you think this lens would perform on it?

    I normally shoot a standard Canon 60D and full spectrum 60D. Any idea on IR and/or nightscape/astrophotography performance of this lens, i.e.: coma/star stretch on edge of FOV?

    I understand the lens also has a zoom lock. Does this lock at a particular zoom position or at any zoom position throughout the zoom range? I have a Tamron 28-300 zoom where the zoom lock only works at 28mm; it simply fall open or closed (with a clunk) at any other position, very annoying!!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Brian, that is a tough one. It will come in a Sony mount, but the Sony version doesn’t have VC as Sony’s stablization is USUALLY in camera, but not on the A7R from what I understand. That long a lens without stabilization is probably not a great idea. You could get the Canon version and the adapter, I guess.
      It would be fine on your 60D, though. I didn’t not test it for night performance other than to do a moonshot (which it did great for). It locks only in the 150mm position.

  57. Greg says:

    I use a Canon 1DX with a 100-400 Canon L lens. The Camera body I was using before was a Canon 1D MK3. The 1DX improved the 100-400 immensely. I rent any lens over $5000. I am looking forward to trying this lens on the 1DX. Unless Canon comes out with a 100-400 f4 for under $3000 I may have to own one of these. The only hit on it is that it is made in China. Will it hold up in my wildlife photography conditions from 100 above and humid to 25 below zero? The 100-400 has performed flawless for 10 years in these conditions. Sounds like its worth a try.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Greg, first of all, I think the lens should perform even better for you than it did in my applications because of the better balance on the 1DX, not to mention the infinitely better AF. I obviously can’t predict the future on build quality, but it is built very robustly. Furthermore, I think Tamron has given this lens their best shot, as they know there will a LOT of them out there. So far QC seems to be good. All of the copies at Lens Rentals have performed similarly. The six year warranty period (if you are in North America) should help with the peace of mind. That extra 200mm of reach is a big deal on FF

  58. Lupe says:

    Could you show us where you came up with this?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You will have to be more specific.

  59. Harley says:

    Hi, thank you for posting this 🙂

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome!

  60. Gavin Phillips says:

    Hello Dustin

    Indeed this lens really has created quite a stir on various photography forums and elsewhere. I'm a Sony dSLR/dSLT user myself and do have some Tamron glass so when I first heard about the 150-600mm lens, I was immediately interested.

    Its a pretty steep price over here in the UK though, around £950 seems to be what they're asking, which is what I bought my non-HSM Sigma 50-500 for. The newer version with HSM is far more expensive and also a fair bit heavier too. So the Tamron would make a very suitable replacement.

    Just one question; regarding the lens and its hood. Is the lens hood reversible? I'm led to believe not all of the 500mm zooms have this capability, but it does save alot of room in a backpack!

    Thank you for your time and effort in this detailed review, I think you've just encouraged me to order myself a new Tamron lens…

    Best regards


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Gavin, from what I understand (at least with past history), prices tend to be high in the UK initially and then settle fairly quickly. To answer your question – yes, the lens hood can be reversed…and it does save a space in storage, to be sure.

  61. Shane says:

    , I might need dumbed down version of the post?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Good lens, good price. Big. How’s that? 🙂

  62. clive says:

    Thanks for the in depth and honest review, I have never owned a large tele lense and have been toying with the idea of buying one, you have sold me on this, my largest is a300mm Sony which has limitations. Am going to S Africa later this year so hopefuly will be able to get some good large game shots.

    Regards, Clive Wales UK.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Clive, thank you for the nice feedback. I would definitely love to have the big Tamron in hand if visiting South Africa. I do think it is a great way to enter the long telephoto arena because of the very reasonable price. Enjoy!

  63. Arie says:

    Thanks so much for the review and all the sample photographs. I'm really gaining more confidence in this lens as I see more sample images. I'm currently torn between keeping my 80-200mm f/2.8 lens (older nikon pro telephoto zoom) which I use with a Tamron teleconverter and getting this lens, but I think I can do without an f/2.8 telephoto lens as I'm not a wedding photographer.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      It can be a tough call. There are settings where one needs a wide aperture zoom (wedding or event photography being notable examples). If you are shooting wildlife, however, reach is key, and getting both reach and a wide aperture is prohibitively expensive. I think it boils down to your personal sets of priorities.

  64. vikta says:

    Tamron owes you big. I hope they pay up. Excellent well rounded review of this lens! Please keep up the solid work as your experience is helping others like my self.

    I also love my 70-300L on my 5D3, and did switch from a 70-200 f2.8 ii, because of range. Now I will complete that cycle with this lens. Thanks much for all your imput, very well done.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Had to laugh at your opening line. It might defeat the purpose if Tamron was paying me big for my review… Thanks for the kind feedback and for taking the time to write.

  65. Robert D. Brown says:

    I've got the Tamron 150-600 pre-ordered from B&H (review unseen) so I'm particularly glad to read Dustin Abbott's review. Thanks!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Bob, it is always comforting to read a positive review that reinforces our buying decision. I think you will be pretty happy once you get the lens.

  66. Erich Neidhart says:

    Thanks a lot for the review Dustin. Do you think that weaker autofocus systems (D600, D700) will aim similar good results? Erich with greetings vom Vienna.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Eric, is far as I know the D600 actually has a better autofocus than what my 6d. I think you will get good results with that type of camera

  67. Marco Di Virgilio says:

    Thanks su much for this really great review! I've searched on internet for months about this lens! I will buy it for sure, here in Italy i've to wait more time for the availability
    Congratulation again for your work!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Marco. It seems to be backordered everywhere, not just Italy! Thank you for the nice feedback.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Todd, that’s a great review, and one that I will gladly have a link to here in these comments. That is an amazing comparison!

  68. Ernie says:

    What a great in depth review, thank you for that. I have the Sigma 150-500 new version and am not very happy with it. Mine is on a Nikon D600, pics are very soft @ 500mm. Also very slow AF on birds in flight, I am considering getting the Tamron.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Ernie, I think that the Tamron is without question in every way an upgrade from the Sigma. Better AF, better IQ, and better focus accuracy. I suspect more than a few Siggy’s are going to end up in the used market.

  69. Ravishankar says:

    Thank you Dustin! That's a very informative and detailed review. Very useful!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome. Thanks for the kind feedback.

  70. Michel J says:

    Thanks for sharing this, but I did not see one single crop (100%) in a good lighting situation.
    You have published some in good light, but never 1/1 to be honest.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Michel, the crops were made in Lightroom and most are within a few percentage points of 100%. I zoomed in to 1:1 magnification and made a crop as close to that size as possible. None of them may be a perfect 100%, but are representative of that value. I’m not quite sure where you are coming from or precisely what your point is.

  71. Ahmed says:

    Hey Dustin great review really helps in making my decision, I wanted to if you tried using a extender on this lens it might be silly, but then it can replace my telescope 🙂
    i would appreciate response to this weird question.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I used a Kenko 1.4x and it worked fine. AF hunts a bit more, but it did AF. IQ is degraded somewhat, but as you can see in my review, it isn’t bad.

  72. Anthony Meador says:

    Thank you for an informative and drama free review of this product. I don't think I've ever seen so many photographers (and I use that term loosely) get so emotional about an equipment release.

    It's nice to know that the reality of the beast lies somewhere in the middle, perhaps being slightly better than hoped. Enough so that I'll certainly consider purchasing one as soon as my Wife's not looking. THIS one she'll notice! All the other ones have red rings and are about the same size (more or less)!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Anthony, thanks for the great feedback. Good luck on hiding this one from your wife; it’s size is a wee bit noticeable.

  73. Rob says:

    Great review. Thanks
    I will be ordering this lens soon.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Rob, I would appreciate if you would order through one of my links when you do. I will be putting up a B&H link for American customers later today.

  74. Arie says:

    Thanks for the wonderful review! Question: does the lens have a hard stop at infinity or does it go past? Hard stops are nice if you're taking pictures of the moon, etc.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Arie, I don’t actually have the lens in my hand at the moment, and I don’t know that I actually physically tested for that. I will have a copy in hand again within a month, and I’ll be sure to test that and add a note in the comment section here. Thanks for the nice feedback.

  75. Grant Hall says:

    A good review. I'm thinking of selling my Canon 100-400 for this lens but would I have problems using my 1.4 extender.

    Grant Hall

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Grant. You might end up needing to use a third party extender like a Kenko if you need the extra reach. The extra 200mm on the Tamron is going to help a lot!

  76. Thank you for the time and effort on this review.

    I came across this lens in a camera store and was immediately attracted to it. Your review just brought my comfort level up 100% about putting out the cash for this lens. I am waiting on the Nikon version and my supplier is quoting a higher $ than what your piece mentions so I will do some serious shopping around for my best deal.

    Thanks again.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Cathy, I’m glad to have helped. If you local dealer is quoting a higher price, preorder the lens from Amplis through the link above and the coupon will give you 5% to get the price down even lower.

  77. Sebastian says:

    Hi, Dustin,
    Very well made review. I had the Samyang 8mm EF mount and it was a joy to use. Excellent optics and great resistance to flare. Beautiful colors. I'm interestes in an ultra-wide angle lens for my Fuji X-Pro1. When I had the Canon 60D, the Samyang size was not a problem, but now… I don't know. I am curious about how much wide this can be, or should I wait for the future Samyang 10mm F2.8? And I don't find any alternatives, in this price range, for an ultra-wide MF lens. People say that this 14mm is the weakest in sharpness among Samyang lenses. Is that true?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      There apparently was an early optical formula that was less sharp, but the current Samyang 14mm is incredibly sharp. It is considered as sharp as the $2500 Canon 14mm f/2.8LII. I love the lens. Is the Fuji a crop sensor? 14mm is VERY wide on a FF body, and on a Canon crop sensor (1.6x) it is the equivalent of 24mm. This is one of the very best value lenses available.

  78. Reynaldo says:

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the
    rest of the website is extremely good.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you on all counts

  79. Tory says:

    This post provides clear idea for the new visitors of blogging, that actually how to do running a blog.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you

  80. Nimai says:

    Dustin, first off, amazing pictures! You are a big inspiration for me in shooting landscapes! Second, many thanks for this very thorough and honest review. I have read tons of reviews on numerous lenses and this is easily one of the best and most accurate I've read.

    Not only have you convinced me to buy the 6D which is my primary camera now, but I now have this. Some history: I have a 17-40 myself and find the corners very soft so I picked up this guy for $275 @ Buydig and find it incredibly sharp corner-to-corner. It's a keeper for sure.

    For correcting 95% of all the distortion/vignetting, this is by far the best profile I've found online (works for all full frame cameras): http://www.svenstork.com/2013/10/02/rokinon-14mm-lightroom-lens-profile/

    Also, In case people didn't know, Samyang struck a deal with Cokin, who are now producing filters for this lens! See here: http://www.samyang-europe.com/index.php/new-products/samyang-filter-holder-sfh-14

    Thanks Dustin, I absolutely love wide scenes with great color, depth, and sharpness, and this lens delivers.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the great feedback. I too am excited about the filter holder as it will offer even more flexibility for the lens and isn’t incredibly overpriced.

  81. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thanks for the great feedback. I too am excited about the filter holder as it will offer even more flexibility for the lens and isn’t incredibly overpriced.

  82. Interesting lens, since it has little competition except the Sigma 150-500. But I bet most will go for the Tamron unless they already own the Sigma. I actually sold my 70-300L to buy this lens and should recieve it very soon. Thanks for good review with solid information and samples.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the nice feedback, Victor. I agree with your conclusion, and I hope you really enjoy the lens.

  83. Hello,
    thank you for your very good report and meaningful images.

    Best Regards 🙂

    Alfred Weglehner, from Germany

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Alfred, thank you for taking the time to write. I’ve got several German photography friends that are very talented.

  84. Heiner says:

    Dustin, many thanks for sharing so many pictures with us. In regard to sharpness all your pics are very impressive. I can’t judge the colors yet, since I got a new notebook last week and the colors in general differ a bit from my old notebook.
    Now I’m waiting for the first reviews for Nikon cameras.I assume for that price ther’s nothing better in the market.
    Best ragards
    Heiner (Bremen/Germany)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’m not aware of anything better on the market for the money. I still don’t know exactly when the Nikon mount will release, but hopefully sooner rather than later.

  85. P Chow says:

    Nice shoot, I am very impress with this Tamron new lens even at 400mm. It seems that it is as good as the Canon 400mm. In the next few months, I would like to get my hand on one. Thank you for the review.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Wish you the best in getting the lens!

  86. P Chow says:

    I could see the reflection on the squirrel’s eye, very impress, thank you for the review.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Pretty cool, isn’t it? Glad to provide the review.

  87. Nicolas says:

    Hi Dustin, thank you for this awesome review, I appreciate the effort you put on it.

    I have a Nikon D5200 and I wanted to buy the Sigma 50-500 on a trip to Tokyo I'm going to do on march (btw, I'm from South America, so no American prices for me), but after reading your review and a little more research I think I'm going to buy this Tamron and a Nikkor macro for the same money than the Sigma.

    Best regards,

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Nicolas, glad to serve. Other markets can be a challenge. Pretty great to be able to get both lenses for the same price as the Sigma. Enjoy.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That seems about right. DXO only tests optics, so it doesn’t tell much of the story about the way the lens performs in other situations, but that data is handy as it shows a baseline between the 100-400L, the Sigma, and the new Tamron.

  88. Todd says:

    hey Dustin,DXOmark seems to rate this lens much higher on full frame then crop frame like the 7d which is what i use,my question is what are your thoughts comparing this lens,full frame vs crop frame? im a crop frame guy and waiting patiently for 7dmk2,i want the extra reach but has to be quality reach and according to DXOmark this lens performance not so good on crop frame. i love my 70-300L but when comparing these lenses on 7d,the 70-300L is superior and i was hoping that the tamron was atleast equal.if not ill have to pass on the tamron.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Todd, a crop sensor is never going to be as absolutely sharp as a full frame. Their conclusions strike me as a bit odd in that regard, as typically the optical flaws of a lens are actually diminished by using a crop sensor. DXO is not overly transparent as to how they arrive at their conclusions – which can be a bit odd sometimes. I don’t think the Tamron is as sharp as the 70-300L, but I don’t think it is drastically less sharp, either. Only you can determine whether you need that extra reach. The 70-300L doesn’t work particularly well with teleconverters.

  89. Steve R. says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Great review. This looks like a fantastic lens. I was thinking of getting a Nikon D3200 camera. Will this new Tamron lens work well with the D3200 and can it make use of all the high end auto features of this lens.

    Do you know of any reviews of the D3200 with the Tamron lens?

    Thanks, Steve
    Burbank, CA

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Steve, unfortunately the Nikon mount has not yet been released. I expect it to be on sale within a month or so, but until then no one knows for sure how well it will perform. I haven’t actually seen any Nikon reviews yet, so I don’t know if there any of the lenses “in the wild” yet.

  90. Todd says:

    thanks Dustin! the point i guess im trying to make is the 70-300L is super sharp on both full frame and crop frame,i love it with my 7d very sharp! but the tamron is alot less sharp on crop frame and seems to suffer much more on crop frame then the 70-300L so if its noticeably less sharp then 70-300L on APS-C sensors then i may not be happy. i may rent it first like i did with the 70-300L. not sure you answered my question about whether you thought it performs great on APS-C sensor compared to full frame? was looking for your thoughts and if you noticed that the tamron doesnt perform nearly as well on APS-C then on full frame bodys? if you compared at all?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Todd, I only have the EOS M as a crop sensor body right now. Images look fine with the combination, but I used it very little because the size is completely impractical. That being said, I just saw a wonderful review based on the 70D today that should answer your questions: http://www.sumeetmoghe.com/2014/02/field-testing-bigron-aka-tamron-150.html

  91. Todd says:

    thank you Dustin! i did see this review but couldnt see what camera he was using,this is very helpful and shows this lens is very capable of capturing good shots!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      He mentions he is using a 70D about a third of the way into the review. He used the lens VERY well and got some great pictures. He was working with much better light than at any point that I had the lens (January is not an overly inspiring month around here!!)

  92. AndrewCCM says:

    I have owned this lens since the day it was released and concur with pretty much everything you have written here in your EXCELLENT article. I have used it on 3 different bodies, 70D, 1D3, and 5D3 all with very good success. Thanks for taking the time to put together such a well thought out review

    Crystal Clear Media

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Andrew, that is a great bit of feedback. I particularly like hearing of your success using the lens on multiple bodies. Thank you!

  93. Bob Gibbon says:

    Thanks !

    Seems to hit the sweet spot. Starting to "save" today. Maybe sell some less versatile glass.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That sounds pretty much like my policy!

  94. Lars Nielsen says:

    Just read you tutorial, very good. Think I will give it a try. Could you provide me with a fresh discount code? Brgds Lars

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Sure, Lars. I’ve requested one and will post it ASAP

  95. Dustin,
    Great article on the Tamron 600mm! In your "Basic Facts" section, you mentioned this lens being on a 6D and that "apparent sharpness will seem higher on a full frame…" This has me wondering how the quality of shots would be out of a 7D or other APS-C sensor bodies. I have both a 7D and 5DMK3 but am only interested in putting this lens on my 7D. Did you or anyone else you know, use this lens on an APS-C sensor body, if so, what kind of results did they have? Any reviews on that? I have a decent stock of good Canon glass but I'd love to add this for some long distance shooting, only if the image quality is good.
    I look forward to hearing back from you Dustin.
    Thank you, Louie

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Louie, I recommend that you take a look at this link. He does a great review on a 70D body. http://www.sumeetmoghe.com/2014/02/field-testing-bigron-aka-tamron-150.html

  96. manoj dhaka says:

    very helpful I was going get the canon 100-400mm but I think I will go for tamron ps 150-600 VC USM and I have canon 70D what do think you think I get the tamron Manoj Dhaka Rohtak Haryana

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Manoj, that would be my choice if I was making the decision right now. Take a look at the comment above yours and see a link to a great review on the 70D with the Tamron.

  97. wellhung says:

    Dustin Just want to say.Thank You for this review of the tamron.
    I purchased the lens three days ago and find it to be a great lens.All I had was the canon 55-250.With the tamron I have taken very nice shots of the bald eagles here in New York.Your review was a great help to me.Thank you very much.Chuck..

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Glad to hear the good feedback. Enjoy the lens!

  98. Mike says:

    Wonderful coոteոt you've gotten hеre.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you!

  99. James says:

    Looks like you focussed on the nose here, so this might be betraying the true quality of the lens (unless of course AF accuracy is out)

  100. Richard DesJardins says:

    Excellent, comprehensive review! Thank you for putting the time into it. Your excitement for this lens really comes through. As an amateur, having a super zoom in this range was previously unthinkable – "game-changer" is apt. I've been very pleased with my Tamron 70-300 SP VC USD and look forward to putting my tax return into Tamron's latest offering. I'm also glad that I found your site. Your reviews have a nice conversational tone and give the potential purchaser practical insight into what to expect, (your comment about "learning" the lens was encouraging). Including real-world results with side-by-side "test" shots in hi-res sealed the deal. Thanks, again!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the great feedback, Richard. Glad to be of service, and enjoy the lens when it arrives.

  101. Onnie Espena says:


    Have you tried the Tamron 150-600MM and Tamron 1.4x if it work well or Kenko 1.4x only?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I don’t actually own a Tamron 1.4x right now, so I haven’t had an opportunity to test that combination. Using a teleconverter with the lens should really be a last resort, as AF will really suffer.

    2. Dustin Abbott says:

      Tamron has stopped supporting their teleconverters. I don’t believe that combination works.

  102. Todd says:

    hi Dustin!
    saw this new review and thought you might wanna add it. this is one review ive been waiting for. thanks again for your great review! ill be ordering this lens soon!


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I too am a fan of Bryan’s reviews. Thanks

  103. What an awesome lens. I can’t wait to order mine. Along with the New Canon 70d….Your images are amazing.

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  106. Joe Davis says:

    Pastor, ever thought of doing photography workshops?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Joe, I haven’t in the past, but it’s something I might consider doing in the future. As with most things, it’s about finding time!

  107. Grant Eyre says:

    i have snap art 4 and I love it being an artist and photographer. Many thanks for this very clear and well presented tutorial,so helpful.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome, Grant. Thanks for the kind feedback.

  108. Elma says:

    Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform? I'm new to the
    blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      This is a WordPress platform. You don’t have to have coding knowledge, per se, but having access to someone who does know some helps if you want to do much customizing. Best of luck to you.

  109. Paul Roberts says:

    One of the most down to earth, practical and useful lens reviews I've yet read. Like you I have the old-school 35 and love it despite its flaws, but now I see the 35 IS USM in my future. Thank you!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Paul. I appreciate the nice feedback.

  110. Jay says:

    I appreciate your effort and time spent on this reivew.

    To my eyes, Canon @ 300mm resolves more details in face of teddy bear than Tamron at 600mm.

    I would say, a direct comparison of Moon's craters taken at same time would tell us which one resolves better and shows the craters clearer.

    with regards

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jay, it would be near impossible for any 300mm lens to outresolve a 600mm lens when upscaled. The 70-300L is a wonderfully sharp lens, but it would be fighting a serious battle against physics here 🙂

  111. Rowland Williams says:

    Tempted to buy based on your review! I have the 35L but the AF/MF selector switch detached from the lens altho' it still works, but Canon quoted over $300(!) to repair, so I didn't. What's holding me back is I already own the 28mm f/2.8 IS with which I am very pleased, so I don't know if there is enough difference here to justify the purchase.

    I appreciate that you didn't just automatically go for the Sigma 35 Art which seems to be the fad with other reviewers. It would tempt me but for its lack of IS.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Rowland, that would be a tough call. I haven’t used the 28 mm lens, but I’ve heard nothing but good about it. I would choose the 35mm over it, but that’s not exactly what you were doing. If you are happy with what you already have, I think I would just stick with it.

  112. Jay says:

    //Jay, it would be near impossible for any 300mm lens to outresolve a 600mm lens when upscaled. The 70-300L is a wonderfully sharp lens, but it would be fighting a serious battle against physics here //

    Goliath did not win the battle..
    The above link is un-edited photos from your post. Canon @300mm has out resolved Tamron @600 in red circled area, while Tamron even at 600mm f8 just barely managed to have better sharpness in green circled area.
    Again, it is your own photo. un edited with respect to sharpness.

    I understand the fact that your camera had a inch of focussing point difference between these two photos.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jay, I appreciate your zeal here, but this isn’t really a perfectly scientific means of testing sharpness. My reviews are not about chart measurement anyway, but, as you rightly pointed out, the slight variance in focus essentially invalidates the comparison for testing definitive sharpness. If you research the subject you will find that it is, as I said, basically impossible for the 300mm lens to outresolve the 600mm lens when the 300mm lens has to be so significantly upscaled to provide similar framing. There’s a reason why photographers spend big money for the long glass.

  113. Amit gajare says:


    I love to take bird photographs. I have planned to upgrade my lens. I have 2 option,
    Option1: Nikon 300mm prime f4 and a kenko 2.0x teleconverter
    Option2: Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD

    Which option I should go for ?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Amit, I’m not sure about the body that you will be using, but the single biggest problem is that your first option may not autofocus for you. It will have a maximum aperture of f/8. Because you are using a Kenko, AF may work, but I would suspect the image quality and AF would be better/faster with the Tamron. It would be my choice of the two options.

  114. Holly Horner says:

    Great article! I'm reading this after the expiration of the Snap Art 4 coupon….do you have any new discount codes?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Holly, I’ll post one here as soon as I get one.

      1. Dustin Abbott says:

        Here’s a new code for anyone interested: DAB1405

  115. JD Warren says:

    I'm interested in dark sky night photography (i.e. stars, milky way etc.) and see some of your night sky examples looking good. I have been using a Sigma EXDG 20mm lens (manual focus) on my Canon 5D Mark III set at aperture f/1.8 with shutter set between 5-10 seconds, & ISO 1000 to get some good looking milky way shots but now tempted to purchase and try this 14mm lens at aperture f/2.8 for an even wider night sky shot.

    Were you at f/2.8 for night sky and what shutter speed & ISO did you end up selecting when sky was darkest?


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’ve shot at f/2.8 and f/4, primarily. The excellent sharpness of the Rokinon allows for very tight star points, giving nightscapes a very crisp look. I typically shot for 15-20 second exposure. I will often shoot in the ISO 1600 range. The Rokinon is my favorite lens for night work because the coma is so well controlled.

  116. Jeff Lambert says:

    Thank you so much for your time in reviewing this lens. A fantastic review!! I had read a review from someone else prior to yours and he didn't really do the lens justice. I really enjoyed your take on this lens. Very thorough and honest, lots of photos…Thank you!!
    Love the fact that Tamron has a 6 year warranty. Because of your awesome review and the warranty, I placed my order for this lens today. I've wanting a lens with reach and now there is one within my reach.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That is some great feedback, Jeff. Thank you!

  117. todd says:

    hey Dustin,thought i wanted to ad another review,the lens specs out nicely from there test. this is one of the few test sites that seem to be pretty accurate.


  118. Hans-Peter Nöh says:

    Excellent Review!
    Very helpful with all the pictures and crops.
    After reading it, I ordered the lens.
    Actually not available in Germany for Nikon, must wait estimated 6 weeks to get it.
    I´m really curious and excited what quality I will have with my Nikon D610.

    Best regards

    1. Dustin Abbott says:


      I’ve just started to get feedback from Nikon users, so the lens is starting to circulate in that mount. The feedback so far has been very good. Your D610 has a very good AF system, so I think you will be very pleased with the results. Enjoy!

  119. Jocelynne Littlebear says:

    Thank you, most kindly, for your excellent, thorough and impressive report. I can not think of any aspect of reportage that you have overlooked. I believe that you have answered all of the really important questions that I have.

    I have Sony Alpha equipment, so I expect that the VC facility will not be included in this lens intended for usage with the Sony Alpha bodies. But that is no hold up or weakness IMHO.

    Again, thanks for your efforts and professionalism.


    Jocelynne Littlebear

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Jocelynne. It is always a bit of a shame to me that Sony users don’t have an either/or option when it comes to VC, as the VC/IS systems in many lenses is more capable than the in camera stabilization. I’ve started to hear feedback from Nikon users (very pleased!) but haven’t heard from any Sony users…I don’t know if the mount is currently available yet.

  120. david says:

    Hi came across you page today searching for info on the Tamron lens. I was excited to discover that you are also a pastor. We lived in Petewawa and knew the united Pentecostal minister in Pembroke. Our pastor was the late Bill Smith . i also am a pastor with the PAOC for over 30 years and also have a photography business in Nova Scotia

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      David, great to meet you and to make the great connection. Stay in touch!

  121. Danny (Dreamer) says:

    Hi Dustin

    I am an admirer of your photography work and writing style. First noticing you on the CanonRumors site. I’ve been thinking of getting the 35mm for a while after reviewing my zoom shots and noticing a fair chunk of what I shoot falls between the 35mm and 55mm range. So, other than the convenience of zoom, I thought i would play in the prime space for a bit. Your review tipped me over the edge to buy – particularly with all the hoopla around Sigma Art – which was very tempting for me to switch (pack mentality can be overwhelming at times). But i like the idea of integrated technology, so given Canon are within statistically insignificant boundaries of Sigma for performance (and with IS), everything else gets down to the skill of the photographer.

    Again, keep up the good work


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Danny, thanks a lot for the positive feedback. I have now spent 8 months with the Canon and continue to really like it. It’s a very strong lens.

  122. Jason Berge says:

    This is why I sold all my Canon gear and bought a Sony A99. I have the two Zeiss zooms, 16-35mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm f/2.8, and the 135mm f/1.8 will be my next purchase. 🙂 Awesome Zeiss micro contrast, and auto-focus, and in body image stabilisation. Now I just look at all my colleagues who use Canon or Nikon and feel a bit sorry for them really.

    Kind regards,

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jason, Sony is doing a lot of innovative things, but from what I understand, most of their Zeiss branded products are not actually made by Zeiss, and the 135mm f/1.8 is not quite in the same class as this lens optically. That being said, I know of several photographers that have made the switch from Canon or Nikon to Sony and are very pleased for having made that change.

  123. Thank you for the review. It's actually a quite interesting lens for travel, moreover with a wide angle lens to cover the under 24mm area.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’ve just returned from a vacation that I used the lens almost exclusively on. I’ll be writing a brief companion article/travelogue with my findings. Thanks for the nice feedback.

  124. Ondrej says:

    Hello there. How much is rear element moving when zooming?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Interesting question. I checked it today and I would say the travel is a little more than 2 inches (maybe 7-8cm).

  125. Marcin says:

    It'a a great review Dustin. I think it's first solid review of that lens in the Internet. I'm also impressed that you can set AFMA +2 at 28mm after calibration with Reikan FoCal Plus. My copy is unfortunately completly different at that focal length… I did some "review" for dpreview.com but I don't know if it will be approved by moderators so I post it also here OK?

    Don't expect miracles…

    From lens which is probably one of the Canon zoom lens after reverse engineering process with additional range 28-70mm added and awesome Tamron's picture stabilization.

    I have that lens from few days at home. It's coming from latest (second) delivery to my home country Poland.

    It's connected to my EOS 6D. I needed to calibrate that lens with my camera because at 28mm ESPECIALLY at infinity I received very soapy picture to my taste. Calibration helped but not so much as I would wish.

    I used two methods, at first Datacolor SpyderLENSCAL (DSL) then Reikan FoCal Plus (RFP). With DSL I received best AFMA adjustments for wide side (W) from +14 to +16, for tele (T) side from -4 to -8. But (T) was tested from closer distance so I think it's not accurate.

    +14 or +16 is high value right? So I buyed RFP to get another tool for comparison. And RFP give me values (W) +15 and (T) +3. (T) was measured from longer correct distance so I think it's more accurate.

    So now I'm using in my camera values measured by RFP. You can see my all tests which I did for that lens here:


    That lens working very good if it comes to image quality at range slightly over 70mm up to 300mm. In my opinion in whole range (28-300mm) absolutely minimal usable F value is F/5.6 but better use F/8 or higher if you don't want to throw that lens to the wall because of image quality. For 300mm you can start with nominal value F/6.3 and you will get very good quality pictures.

    So what's with that "reverse engineering"? EXIF tell you the truth. This is screen capture from program SimpleImage (OS X):


    Can you see that "Lens Model:" section? Yes, it's recognized as Canon EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM from 2002 which based on EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM from 1999.

    Now when you connect your camera (in my case it's EOS 6D) to the computer, EOS Utility will be launched and if you select "Lens aberration correction" from "Shooting menu", will be AUTOMATICALLY loaded to camera profile which you can see here in lower left corner:


    Then in right place of camera menu you will see this:


    Is it working? Check it here:


    "Peripheral illumin." definitely yes.

    And that's why Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD A010 working very good if it comes to image quality at range slightly over 70mm up to 300mm.

    What about build quality? I don't like lens hood – it' made from too elastic material. I don't like that tube extends itself when lens is directed towards the earth – extends starting from 70mm and stops at 200mm.

    That's all. I hope now you know a little more about that lens.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Marcin, interesting. It sounds like you had a very different experience with the lens than what I did, but that’s why it’s good to get information from multiple sources…and why I will share your findings here.

  126. jason says:

    All beautiful images. Can I ask about this shot, did you focus on the bride, that helped get the rope and groom in focus ?. I ask this for sometimes I have issues getting one person more sharper than the other and at times looks more like the bride and Celebrant from above, what can you suggest or how you accomplished this image with focus ? Thanks in advance.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      A couple of suggestions for shooting ceremonies: first, learn to use AF Servo mode. I use AF Servo mode during processionals and recessionals, or when I know people are going to be on the move. I’ve reprogrammed my DOF Preview button to enable AF Servo when I hold it down so I can switch on the fly. Secondly, in a key moment like this one (or the kiss), take a bunch of shots and weed them out later. I change my aperture (and depth of field) depending on how much I want to have in focus. The focus on this shot is helped by the fact that the bride, groom, and the rope are pretty much all on the same plane of focus. Your shooting angle strongly affects that. Hope this helps…

  127. Harsha says:

    How close were you to the subject? If I am close to my subject in focus, I cannot open the lens up to f/2.8. Is this a problem?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      There should be no problem in maintaining a constant F2 .8 aperture as you’re getting closer. The effective aperture will change at close distance, but the physical aperture of the lens should remain the same.

  128. Novella says:

    תודה על המאמר הנפלא. ראיתי מאמר נוסף בנושא.

    שמחתי לקרוא ולהגיב על הכתוב.

  129. Peter Battye says:

    Thankyou very much for your travelogue and your hands-on review of the Tamron 28-300 pzd. Very well done!
    I have both the Canon 6D and the Tamron and would completely agree with all your comments.
    Did you tweek the settings of the Canon? If so, would you mind sharing your preferred settings?
    I am still trying to decide and so have a range of settings on C1 C2 P and A that are different to the default values.
    Thankyou once again,
    Peter Battye

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Peter, thanks for the kind feedback, and I’m glad you are having a good experience with the lens as well. As far as my camera settings go: I shoot RAW about 98% of the time, so most of the important settings happen in post. I do change my cameras to shooting in the Adobe RGB space as I will be doing post work. I’ve done a few custom settings (like changing the DOF preview button to enable AF Servo mode instead). I most often choose my focus point myself rather than having them all enabled. The majority of settings, however, I have built into a Lightroom Import preset. One other thing I have found valuable on the 6D – you can set a shutter speed in manual mode (high enough to freeze action, for example) and then put the ISO on Auto ISO and it really helps deal with variable lighting on the fly. This is what I do for about 90% of my event work. Happy shooting!

  130. Harry Calderbank says:

    Great to finally read a detailed review of the Tamron 28-300. Also great to read a test of it on the camera I would be using it on, the Canon 6D. What I was wondering is if there are any full size images I could view or download? That would give me a much better idea of its sharpness compared to my current lenses.
    Jealous of the north American warranty too, as all we get here in Australia is either one or two years depending on where you buy it. Thanks again for the good review.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Harry, I will add an image or two to the lens gallery page. Are you more interested in wide open performance or stopped down a bit for optimum performance?

  131. Harry Calderbank says:

    Hi Dustin,

    I would be looking at mostly shooting between f8 and f11 for the best lens performance, especially as the 6D is so good in low light and at high ISO settings. I would also be shooting a lot at either end of the focal length range. Thanks.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Harry, I have uploaded three full size samples to the lens gallery page now. Feel free to take a look. I did both ends of the range plus a middle focal length (116mm). The lens will probably be strongest in the middle of the range.

  132. Harry Calderbank says:

    Thanks for those extra full size images Dustin. The 28mm looks pretty good to me for corner sharpness – just a little purple fringing at the edges, but not as bad as I thought it might be. The middle focal length is excellent. The long one seems a little soft but as you say, it is a handheld shot and you may have just focused on the nearest part of the waterlily leaving the rest of it just out of focus. Overall though, I am now keen to get one on the camera. The range is just perfect for me for a general or travel lens as there are many times now where I just cannot carry all the gear. Again, on the 6D it seems a good thing as it can be stopped down without worrying about shutter speeds being an issue due to the great low light ability of the 6D. Thanks again for the review and the extra shots too.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Harry, you’re welcome for the help. Enjoy the lens!

  133. George Wang says:

    Following your on Flickr page for a while now and was hoping (and kind of expecting) a review form you on this lens and I must say that you have done a fabulous job on reviewing it.

    In my personal experience with this lens for the past month and half as a professional wedding/family/event photographer who also enjoy landscape and nature photography while working at Henry's, I am very impressed with everything this lens has to offer. Many of my camera customers (Canon, Nikon, Sony)have many lovely "Pro" lenses; however, have expressed their concern about the weight of their gears and the need of changing lenses at lesser than ideal condition had caused their photography experience to be lesser enjoyable.

    On a Canon 5D Mark III, either shooting a wedding or a two day MS Society bike tour, the auto focus was quick and accurate with non audible noise and the vibration control (image stability system) performed as well as my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. With a third of weight (and a third of cost), it makes the vibration control to be even more effective than the heavy Canon L lens which "cause" vibration due to its weight and length against the balance of a human body by gravity. f/6.3 is a none issue as you have mentioned in the review since it is only a 1/3 stop over f/5.6 and what is a 1/3 stop no a full frame camera these days? Wonderfully, nothing!☺

    For the first time in four years of shooting the two day bike event for MS (with Tamron 17-35mm, Canon 24-105mm, 70-200mm and 100mm L macro), with this one lens and the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 I was not tired even thought I often had to lay flat on the hard (and hot) black pavement or rough country side road for hours to support the weight of my camera system.

    All in all, a great all in one small light weight lens (smaller and lighter than Canon 24-105 f/4L) with great build quality, weather sealing and image quality all at a 1/3 of a Canon L weight and price… what's not to like!

    Thanks Dustin for providing such a great review and sharing your beautiful images on Flickr that inspires so many people including me. ☺

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      George, great to hear your positive experience with the lens. You’ve done a great job of summing up the real advantages of it. I wasn’t aware that you worked at Henry’s – very cool. I’ve done a little work with them (writing), but there has been some turnover recently and I have established a relationship with the replacements of my old contacts.

      Thanks for the kind feedback!


  134. George Wang says:

    Great review Dustin.

    I had a an opportunity to compare the Tamron 18-270mm VC against this lens at their maximum focal length and the focusing speed and accuracy with a T3i body was "HUGE" difference. This lens was able to lock onto subjects very quickly, quietly and smoothly while the 18-270mm was not able to get a lock on a tree outside of a door in distance. 270mm compare with 300mm is not a big difference; however, the ability to capture at 16mm is another "HUGE" advantage compare to 18mm.
    My friend who purchased this lens for her T3i for vacation was absolutely impressed with the quality of the image (up to 250mm), auto focus and VC performance while capturing some birds in fly.

    Thanks for the review.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      George, thanks for the great (and real) feedback. It is a big step forward for the series. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  135. Todd says:

    hey Dustin,
    now that Sigma has come out with a 150-600mm lens,i would love to here your comparison of the two.since I have a sigma 17-50 that I love,I tend to lean toward Sigma for better quality build and sharper photos over Tamron. im expecting the new Sigma to be a bit better then the Tamron.Hope you review the new Sigma and give good comparisons between it and the Tamron. thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Todd, considering that the Sigma is both larger and heavier (and with a larger front element), I do expect it’s optical performance to exceed the Tamron. Sigma has been producing some great optics as of late. My biggest concern with the proposed Sigma lens is consistency of AF – always an issue with Sigma. Tamron seems to do a better job producing consistent AF results on (at least) Canon bodies. Beyond that, if the Sigma comes in at the rumored $2000 range, it will cost roughly twice as much as the Tamron. That, combined with heavier weight and larger size, will mean that the two products will probably appeal to two different kinds of photographers. Tamron is going to continue to sell a ton of 150-600 VCs because the lens is fairly competent while not being overwhelming in size, weight, or price.

  136. todd says:

    http://sigma-rumors.com/2014/09/sigma-150-600mm-f5-6-3-dg-os-hsm-sports-additional-details/ in case you haven't seen this yet,be very interested in your thoughts!thanks!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I had seen that, Todd. I’ll comment on your other post with my thoughts.

  137. todd says:

    I believe the Sigma will have better optics and build quality but also I think the autofocus will have to be pretty good on the Sigma since they're calling it a sports lens. Ive been reading too many complaints about the Tamron autofocus issues with there 150-600 lens,not to mention theres still a long wait to get the Tamron. Hope Sigma learns from Tamron and produces many more copies to flood the market faster the the Tamron. just my opinion.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I hope you’re right, but AF accuracy/consistency has long been Sigma’s Achilles heel, and that has been true right up to their more premium offerings like the 35 and 50mm ART lenses. I agree about production, although, like I said, I don’t expect a $2000 lens to move units like the $1000 lens has. That’s two very different budgets!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Brian, thanks a lot for the tip. I’ve updated it now.

  138. todd says:

    Hey Dustin,
    looks like Sigma is releasing 2 versions of a 150-600mm lens.very cool! one to compete with the Tamron and a higher end one.great marketing! if they have the supplies they will steal the show away from Tamron based on that alone!


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I look forward to being able to compare the lenses side by side. As far as stealing the show – Tamron has sold a BUNCH of these lenses already, so I expect they are feeling pretty good. There is already some market saturation for people looking for that type of lens. Sigma may put out a better product, but they will never be first to the market – kind of a big deal!

  139. Louis Trerise says:

    Mate!! I never comment on things but this is one epic review!
    You just solved 1 week of unnecessary stress about what lens to by.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Glad to help. Enjoy the lens!

  140. Catherine Cromwell says:

    I am interested in buying Snap Art 4. I really enjoyed your tutorial and am hoping I could try it on something that I have.

    It is way past June, but I was wondering if you couldn't help me out with a 10% discount, it sure would help me for sure to decide on getting it.

    Thank you for your time.


    Catherine Cromwell

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Catherine (and anyone else): just enter “dustinabbott” and it will give you a 10% discount. This one will last for a while…so enjoy!

  141. Mike Smith says:

    Great picture transformation! Can I get an updated discount code?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Sure, just use code, “dustinabbott”. Enjoy!

  142. John Andersen says:

    spectacular shot!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, John!

  143. Graham says:

    Hey Dustin,

    Awesome review, as always! Loved seeing your real world experience.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Graham – thanks a lot for writing. You did a great job with your review as well – and those images were stunning!

  144. salsaguy says:

    Dustin, any reason why you chose the Tamron 70-200 instead of the Sigma 70-200? This zoom range is the next on my to buy list and wanted to know since I was leaning towards the Sigma. Thanks.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Better sharpness, better bokeh, better focus accuracy. The Tamron is definitely the superior lens in pretty much every way. Look for a new Sigma to hit the market within the next year or so to try to undo that advantage.

  145. SW says:

    Dear Mr Abott,

    Thanks for writing such a detailed review on this lens. To be perfectly honest this is just about 1 out of 2 available reviews I can find on the net.

    May I suggest that you post samples for comparison between the tamron and the native EF-M lenses at equivalent focal lengtha? As most purchases of the EOS-M cameras should (I presume) be done as a kit, those photos will help us readera gauge if the optical trade offs are well worth it.

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the nice feedback. I don’t know that I can get those samples for you as I no longer have the lens on hand to do direct comparisons with. I also have a total of 3 lenses, one tripod, a flash unit, and some accessories that are all being reviewed right now with a fourth lens arriving next week! Busy time!

  146. todd says:

    hey Dustin heres the new Lenstip review of the new Sigma,thought you might like to see it! looks better then the Tamron,obviously it the more expensive/pro level lens,not the cheaper Sigma that's competing with the Tamron.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Todd, that’s a nice review, and about what I expected. Frankly, the most encouraging thing was the focus consistency that he achieved. That continues to be the Achilles’ heel for Sigma. I will be interested in seeing how the cheaper model tests out, as that is really going to be the primary competitor for the Tamron in terms of size and price. I plan to do a head to head comparison myself as I now own a copy of the Tamron and will have the Sigma supplied to me.

  147. Winnie says:

    Dear Sir ,
    As this is a cry for help , I shan't compliment you on your skills ; you write very well . your prose is pleasant & complex , and your knowledge on all photographic things is no less than impressive , but you already know this
    I have bought – eBay – one Samyang 14 mm /etc UMC from a reputable company in South Korea . The resulting tests show no sahrp area/region in the frame whatsoever .
    I think I knew a thing or two about lenses , having all my life worked either with Leica or Rolleiflex , or indeed Linhof , but this one baffles me
    I was wondering if you may care to throw an eye on them pics and hopefully enlighten me .
    I do appologize for my attempt to imposing on your time, but from all I've seen on the web your review is by far the best & most complex
    Thank You ,

    viorel bucur , M.A. Ph.D
    I do not have any account on flickr , facebook & the like

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Viorel, I can only guess that you have a lens with misaligned elements. The Samyang 14mm is not a difficult lens to get very sharp results from, and the depth of field is so deep that typically SOMETHING is in focus. The one potential user issue you could have is focusing to infinity – the lens will often focus past infinity, leaving nothing in focus. Back off from infinity focus a bit and see if that helps solve your problem, or focus on something closer than infinity. If that doesn’t solve your problem, I would either exchange the lens (if possible) or send it in for service.

  148. R Ro says:

    Excellent review and beautiful images!
    May I suggest a review of the Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 UMC Fisheye II (EOS M mount) next?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’ll take a look at it at some point. I’ve got a full plate of reviews at the moment. Unfortunately the target audience for EOS M reviews is on the smallish side!

  149. vikram says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Firstly, amazing pics and an amazingly in depth review.

    I personally own a 70d and a canon 70-300 L IS which I use primarily for wildlife and birds. I am very happy with the AI focus on the 70-300L for BIF, but the only shortcoming is the max focal length of 300mm.

    For the extra reach, I want to go in for the 150-600 Tamron, however my only concern is that whether it would function as well in the AI servo mode )with a crop sensor like the 70D) for BIF. Your views please.



    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Vikram, thank you for the kind feedback. First of all, know that the 70-300L is a great lens. The 70D/70-300L is a great combo. For the most part the Tamron’s AF performs very well. I have seen a lot of successful BIF shots with the lens. That isn’t necessarily my strength as a photographer, so I haven’t used the lens in that fashion a lot. I’ve also shot the Tamron almost exclusively with 6D models, so the good news is that your 70D has a much more robust AF system than my 6D’s. I think you will find that the AF will be slightly under the level of the 70-300L but still very good. AF is slowest at the 600mm mark, but still entirely useful. I would recommend (if possible) not selling your 70-300L initially but getting a copy of the Tamron and testing them side by side. If the Tamron doesn’t do the trick for you, return it. If it works for you, then you can consider selling the 70-300L. I consider myself very blessed to have them both! Hope this helps, Dustin

  150. David says:

    Great review thanks! Do you know if this lens works well with a teleconvertor?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      It will work with a Kenko tele, but I don’t really recommend it. Both IQ and AF will be compromised

  151. Gary says:

    Very nice review Dustin. Really unbiased. This review is spot on. Even down to the boring sunstars. Even stopped down to F16, I have been forced to enhance Sunstars in post. I don't no to many reviews that get that detailed. I will certainly refer people to this page. Gary (WestOkid).
    See you on Flickr!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Gary. It’s a great little lens. I would appreciate the referrals as I continue to build my “brand”

  152. Caleb Keiter says:


    First of all, thanks for your awesome review of the Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM lens. I must have read this post at least 5 times before I decided to buy the lens myself.

    After I bought the lens, I decided I wanted to create a photo project to really learn what it can and cannot do. So, I created the "35 Days of 35mm" project that turned into a real-world review of this lens.

    I'd love to share it with you since your article played a big role in my decision to purchase this lens.

    Here ya go! – http://bit.ly/146rA4Y

    Thanks again!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Caleb, that’s an excellent review with a lot of great images in it. I review a lot of lenses these days, and the 35IS continues to stand out to me. One of the biggest deals is how accurate the AF. I never miss with the lens, and thus images are always very sharp. I think it may be one of the most accurate lenses I’ve used to date.

  153. Matteo says:

    Your photo of the snow is wonderful, is a master class shot!!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks a lot!

  154. Suryanarayana Jagarlapudi says:

    A beautiful picture almost poetic in its presentation of the event!!!

  155. todd says:

    hey Dustin,i was considering the Tamron for some time but have held off and now with the new Sigmas,im still holding off to see what they are about,hopefully you will get your hands on a Sigma and do a review. ive sold my 70-300L which was a fabulous lens,just to short for my purpose.Now with the long awaited release of the new 100-400L im very much interested in that lens.Looks to be a very good lens,better then the 70-300L in just about all categories,longer reach,closer focusing distance,higher magnification ratio,and I would think even sharper,atleast at 300mm.I just think that the Canon L lenses are superior to anything ive ever used so im very much leaning towards the new 100-400L.I just wanted to know your thoughts and I hope you get a chance to review the new 100-400L and give some comparisons,between it and the Tamron.i like the idea of a 600mm lens but id rather have a superior 400mm lens. Appreciate your comments! thanks!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I certainly plan on reviewing both the Sigma and the new 100-400L and will stack them against both the 70-300L and the Tamron 150-600.

  156. 0=0 says:

    I had already decided on this lens for my EOS M. Thanks for the thorough and detailed review. You've taken some lovely images here and it's inspiring.




    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I think you’ll be happy!

  157. Harold says:

    Hello Dustin,
    Thanks for this complete review.
    I'm on the fence to buy this lens but I wonder if it can uses "85mm type" filter(s) holder without vignetting (from Lee or Hitech).
    It seems you're using only Ø67mm circular filters with this lens… But maybe you have an idea?

    Have a good day.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Harold, I have successfully used filters from a the Cokin P system, which I think are about that size. No vignetting issues. The lens thread actually flares out quite a bit wider than what the front element is, so I’ve yet to encounter a vignetting issue with any filter combination so far.

  158. Brian Nuttall says:


    I have just read your excellent and comprehensive review of this Tamron 28 – 300 new lens.

    I currently have the Tamron 70 – 300 on a Sony A 7 and A 6000. The results generally are not bad but am considering switching to your reviewed lens. I wonder if you have used this lens of mine and made a comparison. I use it for wildlife, landscape etc but I'm particularly interested if the resolution at full zoom 300mm is better or worse than the one I have.

    From what you say it sounds better and I'm inclined to go with the new lens, which of course has an advantage of a wider range.

    Great review – thanks again very much appreciate your comments.

    Brian Nuttall
    (I'm in the UK just outside London but often in the US; in fact I'm going to the Masters at Augusta in February and have a feeling this lens would be ideal.)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s a tough question. I have used the 70-300 VC from Tamron and quite liked it, but I haven’t compared the image quality side by side of the two. I would suspect that the 70-300 is slightly better at the focal lengths that the two overlap. It would be extremely rare for 10+x zoom to exceed the image quality of a 4+x zoom range.

      At the same time, I don’t think you would take a huge image quality hit and the focal length is, of course, exceptional in the 28-300mm. It comes down to your own priorities.


  159. Dave T says:


    I've used the lens extensively and can chime in with a few thoughts about the Zeiss 50 Planar.

    1. Since it doesn't any floating elements, close up performance is not very good at all. Using it up close and wide open is a recipe for poor photos.
    2. Given that test sites such as the digital picture or Photozone take photos of their charts at close range, it doesn't perform all that well in the tests.
    2. It is quite good at middle distances to infinity. Real world shots stopped down are fantastic with great sharpness and bite.
    3. Shots wide open or near it, at any focal range, can be hit or miss. Portraits at f/1.4 or f/2 can have their place. I've taken other environmental type of shots at these apertures and have liked many of them for "the look", but there is a veiling haze.

    It's certainly a lens that has its limitations, but if used for its strong suit it has a character all its own and holds up well to the competition. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the 50 Planar beats the new Sigma 50 Art at infinity stopped down some.

    I ultimately sold mine due to the limitations, but miss it now.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Dave, thanks for the great feedback from someone who has spent more time with the lens. I feel like I can agree with your statements at least in the sense that I was quite impressed with the sharpness of pictures at infinity focus. Those also happened to be stopped down a bit, but still. I doubt, however, that the Zeiss beats the Sigma in sharpness even at that point, although I do prefer the drawing and bokeh from the Zeiss…along with the color rendering.

      Thanks for adding your feedback!


  160. Ian Geddes says:

    I have just bought the Zeiss Otus 1.4/85 ZE lens and when importing my raw files into Adobe Bridge the Exif info about the lens showing in the metadata section just shows 85mm and not Zeiss Otus 1.4/85 ZE lens. I also have the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 ZE lens and this does show Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 ZE lens in the Adobe Bridge metadata section.
    I have spoken to Adobe who also confirm this but say it is a question for the lens and/or camera manufacturers since this metadata is not something Bridge or ACR/LR has any control over as it is written by the camera based on what the lens communicates to the camera.
    I use the lens with the Canon 5D MkIII camera. Do you know why the correct lens information is not being written to the Canon 5D MkIII or is it a problem for Canon to resolve.
    I have included an image posted to my Flickr account which also shows only 85mm in the Exif metadata section.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I have the exact same issue. Irksome, isn’t it, particularly in a lens so expensive! Ironically, the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART has the same problem. Tell you what: I’ll pass this on to my contact at Zeiss and see what his response is.

  161. Matt Birmingham says:

    Really phenomenal Dustin. Great review of a masterpiece! If money were no object I would own this lens. Even though I'm merely a hobbyist. I appreciate the points you made and the logic used to make them. In my opinion, from the photo gallery, numbers 9/13 and 12/13 are definite blowups/wall-hangers. And the interior church shot in the review – simply unbelievable. But I have also been very impressed with the 6D's resolution and color production from the sensor. In a photo forum I belong to (theuglyhedgehog.com) there is a "photo-friend" in Idaho, Coeur' d'lane region, that shoots fantastic bird shots with his 6D and the newer big Tammy (150-600mm). The sharpness and nailed focus of Reggie's shots (Reggie Tolbert) are outstanding. I'm convinced the Canon 6D is the best value FF camera in the market at this time…Thanks for your dedication to the craft!!! God bless.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s some great feedback, Matt. The new Tamron is surprisingly good for the money, and people that know what they are doing can produce great results with it. I agree about the 6D! God bless you, too

  162. Ian Geddes says:

    Hi Dustin – it will be interesting to see what Zeiss have to say. I've also contacted Zeiss through their Facebook page so let's see if they respond. I agree that for such an expensive lens it does irk a tad that the correct Exif data is not written to the camera.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I haven’t heard back yet, but I will add the info to this space when it arrives.

  163. Ian Geddes says:

    Hi Dustin
    Adobe have now confirmed that the solution lies with them – Zeiss stated that the lens CPU simply communicates a number – it is the s/w (Bridge / Lightroom) which takes the number and converts it into an alpha description such as the lens mfr and name.
    Adobe told me that the fix will be in a future release for the 85mm. Lens profile support will continue to work as expected.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Very good research, Ian, and that explains why the problem seems to lie with the newest lenses (from third party manufacturers). I find that the Canon bodies do the same, so, for example, the 50mm Makro Planar that I am reviewing right now shows up the same as the Sigma 50 ART (just as 50mm) in the camera body.

  164. great review ! I too also own the 35mm f/2 IS. I use it for infrared digital photography. you don't get that notorious hot spot in the infrared photos that certain canon lenses which have this hot spot issue . i have to be careful on what lenses i purchase. The canon 50mm f1.2L and the 1.4 both have the hot spot issue.but the nifty fifty 1.8 and 1.8II don't. i have the original 50mm 1.8.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s some feedback, Fred. This is a lens that has really continued to grow on me the more that I have used it.

  165. Phil says:

    Hi Dustin
    Thanks for your review which as always I enjoyed reading. I would appreciate more information on focussing with this lens. I imagine the long throw of the focus ring is excellent compared to an AF lens and would be great when live view focussing. What about when focussing hand held via the OVF? Your review mentions the electrical connection between the lens and the camera body achieving focus confirmation. I imagine this works fine when stopped down but is of less use when shooting wide open as there is no ability to calibrate for micro adjustment as there is with an AF lens? I assume therefore that when focussing wide open via the OVF one is reliant on the sharpness of one’s eyesight?
    Thanks Phil

    1. Dustin Abbott says:


      I actually shot the lens almost exclusively between f/1.4 and f/2.8 and mostly using the viewfinder and focus confirm. I felt my keeper rate was very high. It is certainly very doable. The lens is actually easier to visually focus than most other MF lenses because of its extreme sharpness.

  166. RJD says:

    Do you have a new code for Amplis, the code AMPLIS52014 doesn’t work anymore.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The code has been updated and should work now. Enjoy!

  167. Hi Dustin, it was a pleasure to read your review. I am currently thinking of buying a fast prime lens and the Canon 35mm f/2 is certainly one of my options. I was wondering if you have any experience with shooting forestscapes and/or astrophotos with this lens, since these would be the main type of pictures that I would like to shoot with such a lens. In both cases, sharpness and a bokeh quality are important for making the decision.
    Thanks !

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I certainly have used it a lot in the forest. I have other lenses that I use primarily for astraphotography, but I think it should do fine because it is very sharp wide open and has very little distortion. It is a lens that I like better and better the longer I use it. It is perhaps the most accurate lens (in AF consistency) that I have used. Very impressive!

  168. Tim Darragh says:

    Finally purchased this lens from B&H after a long wait due to a backorder situation. I am sure I could have purchased it elsewhere but I am a fan of B&H. I can only hope images on my Nikon D-7100 come out half as nice as yours. Can't wait till Tuesday for delivery!
    Thanks for a great write-up. It was instrumental in my decision to purchase. Your included images were also a great help. Beautiful.
    Thanks again

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Tim, glad you could finally get your lens. It’s been a good problem for Tamron to have such a high demand for the lens, but not so great for consumers like yourself. Enjoy your new lens. I don’t use mine often as I rarely shoot that type of photography, but am always pleased with my results when I do use it.

  169. Mahi says:

    Nice review .. Thanks

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      My pleasure

  170. Marian Wyse says:

    Thank you so very much for the comprehensive review of the f/2 IS. I was actually on a price watch list for the Sigma, but kept coming back to look again at the Canon. I read your review and realized that the Canon was precisely what I really needed – a fast, sharp, reliable travel/street lens. I bought it that day, and am completely satisfied with this awesome little lens.

    Thanks again!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’m really glad to hear that you like it. It’s a great lens.

  171. D Pei says:

    This may contradict that you point you were trying to make with 35mm f/1.4: the page on Irving Photography's website regarding the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 actually cited the reason of getting rid of this lens was that the color rendition not being close to other Canon and Zeiss lenses they were using. They ended up spending a lot of time in post processing due to that.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I think your feedback (along with that from another poster) is valid; I’ve updated the text to make my point through more effective means.

  172. Jennings says:

    I was surprised you did not call attention to the lens spontaneously 'reseting' itself. I have used my lens for a month and a half and have missed three critical moments due to this. I have also had it take a picture which when played back was an alternating white then black screen. That is the way the picture was recorded and played back until I finally deleted it. Therefore my B&H review notes that wedding photographers, and some others may need to take this into account. But, I will say that autofocus is 'dead on'. I used a tripod to let it focus on a bright star at 10x magnification, took a picture, reset the focus off of infinity and took 2 more photos that way. In every one, the stars across the frame were dead on using my 7D (original series). It is sharp, the build is excellent, and the only thing I might miss is the focus distance scale (but have not as yet).

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Interesting. I never had anything like that happen to me. I do know from experience with the 40mm STM that it would “go to sleep” and it would take cycling the camera on and off to awake it. Are you referring to something similar?

  173. Dave T says:


    My lens thoughts are usually on the same page as yours, but I have to offer a differing opinion on this lens.

    Please note that I haven't used the lens so I realize my opinion may be of limited value here, but… the image quality per chart test doesn't appear very good at all.

    Comparing vs 24-105L

    The STM wins at 24mm. Afterwards the L lens wins wide open comparisons vs f/8 STM at all other focal lengths.

    Comparing vs the old 28-135

    The STM wins at 24/28mm and 35mm. At 50mm and above the old 28-135 actually wins. The 70-105mm comparisons are won quite handily by the 28-135.

    If it can't even beat the old 28-135 from an image quality point of view then IMHO the lens is of quite limited value.

    What's the point of putting such a lens on a full frame camera?

    Wouldn't the average user who is stretching their budget, the users who IMO are the ones who'd end up with this lens, be better off with something like the 70D and a 3rd party 17-50 f/2.8 zoom for less overall money?


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Dave, this lens has proven to be surprisingly controversial. I do think that this lens is superior to the 28-135, and not just from a sharpness standpoint. The focus is more accurate, the IS is much better, it has less CA, ghosting, and improved contrast and flare resistance. I don’t think you will find anyone who uses those two lenses side by side and actually prefers the older one. But you are right about the intended target; I suspect that Canon has a more budget FF DSLR coming that this lens will be paired with. It isn’t a great focal length for a crop sensor, but I don’t think it is really a worthy match of even a 6D. We’ll see…

  174. Gary says:

    Wow! You nailed that review, many thanks
    I have been sitting on the fence with this product for some time,
    have read many reviews, many saying how, "it doesn't compare with my 500 or 600 f4"

    Going to pull the trigger on on of these next month
    I have a "now old" Nikon 300 f4 which is not cutting it for wildlife on FX

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Gary, thanks for the nice feedback. That particular review has been my most popular to date. A lot of people have been interested in the Tamron!

  175. DaniLew says:

    Awesome tutorial and beautiful portrait!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you very much!

  176. Dustin Abbott says:

    Great feedback, Dave. I tell people that their experience with any gear is what is most important. I try to give as educated an opinion as I can, but ultimately people will decide for themselves whether they do or do not like a product. I’m glad you are happy!

  177. RJD says:

    It accepts the code now but doesn’t actually take anything off the price.

  178. Kel says:

    Hi, I recently picked up the 12mm rokinon and the a6000. Your review of this lens was what led me to pick it up from Amazon. Since I am a beginner when it comes to photography, can you tell me exactly how to you set up the lens according to "For example, if you set an aperture of f/4 and focus at about 7 feet out, everything from 3 feet to infinity will be in focus.". I would like to know where exactly on the lens would you achieve that focus. Thank You.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I don’t have a copy with me right now, but somewhere right around the 2 meter mark on the distance scale should be right. The distance scale is fairly accurate on the lens from my experience.

  179. Dustin Abbott says:

    They say it should work from their end. If you have another problem, just email Amplis and let them know the details of your order and what you are trying to do and they assured me they will process it for you.

  180. Jon Austin says:

    I saw a link to this review of the 35IS on the Canon Rumors site several months ago, and after reading the review, I put the lens on my wish list.

    I just picked up a refurbished copy on the Canon Direct store for about $100 less than its current new (with rebate) price. I look forward to its delivery, so I can put it through its paces.

    Thanks again, Dustin!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Good for you, Jon. That is a great price. It’s a lens that continues to impress me. I also use it quite a bit for my video reviews.

  181. Larry Schwartz says:

    Really liked your pics with the Zeiss 15 F2.8. The resolution
    was terrific, especially the pic with the trail and cactus.
    What setting did you use ? What elements of the pic were changed in your software?

    best regards


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I think that particular shot was f/11, although there is little to distinguish between f/5.6 and f/11 in terms of resolution. In post I most added contrast, warmth, and some selective saturation. I shoot fairly flat RAW images to give me the most latitude for post processing. Thanks for the nice feedback!

  182. Canon Mania says:

    Great review! If you have the opportunity to test this lens with a different body please let us know if it still tends to underexpose.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Sara, I have returned the lens to Zeiss and so won’t have a chance to test it further. I did notice, however, that the undexposure showed up more here in Canada (where there is a lot of snow!) I think that may have exacerbated the underexposure, as I didn’t notice it to the same degree while I was shooting in Arizona.

  183. George says:

    Great review, lot's of useful information !
    Thank you

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome, George. Thanks for taking the time to write!

  184. Juan says:

    Hi Dustin,nice review !!
    I would like to know if have you tested the Canon 70-300 DO ??
    I know one starts at 28mm and the other one in 70mm, but what about the iq??

    Thank you,


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Juan, thanks for the feedback. I haven’t tested the 70-300 DO. It is praised for its compact size, but the IQ has left most people disappointed, and the bokeh is thought to be a little odd.

  185. Todd says:

    thanks for your great review Dustin! Seems like youre very impressed with the new 100-400L! im replacing my 70-300L with this lens and your review pretty much makes my decision an easy one,as I was leaning toward the new 100-400L anyway. I just know that I loved my 70-300L in every way and was my favorite lens. now with the new 100-400L,its even better in every way then the 70-300L. I wanted an upgrade and the 100-400L certainly is and upgrade! the new 100-400L seems to be in a class all by it self! i love the close focusing and higher magnification cuz I like shots of dragonflies,flowers,butterflies,humming birds and this lens will be great!thanks again!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Looks like we are on the same page. I’m thinking pretty much the exact same thing.

  186. Jim says:

    Excellent review, many thanks. But everyone, please note, there is no MK1 version of the 100-400. There is the original 100-400 and the MK2.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You are absolutely right in a technical sense, but one needs to be able to verbally distinguish between these models. And technically you can’t have a MK2 without the existence of a MK1 😉

  187. tccin3d says:

    focusing stiffness is normal in cold climate, in summer it is smoother.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’m sure you are right, although I used it for two weeks in Arizona (temperature in the 60s F/high teens low 20s C) and the weight is still heavier than other Zeiss lenses I’ve used.

  188. Adam F says:

    Wonder how the Canon EF 400 5.6L compares to this new lens

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Adam, the 400mm f/5.6 remains a very sharp lens (it’s a tossup which of these is sharper). That discussion aside, however, the amazing stabilization of the new zoom is a HUGE asset at that focal length. Check the comparison here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=972&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

  189. Tim Cz says:

    Great review as always Dustin. Some lovely images in there as well. Think ill be selling my older 1ds3 now and putting it towards a 7dII and one of these.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Tim. I’m interested in seeing what bodies come along in the next year. I’m not sure what to think of the 5DS yet. I don’t know that I personally need 50+ MP

  190. gary says:

    Before I read your review, just wanted to say that you might want to take a look at your css. Those stupid little social network buttons on the left? They impinge on the text in half of the browsers I tried, including firefox.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Gary, I’ve had a few bits of similar feedback in the last couple of days. I don’t have any such issue, but I am working on a large monitor. I’ve passed it on to my web developer and we will try to fix this problem shortly. Thanks for the feedback.

  191. Sandy says:

    Dustin thanks for the detailed review…
    Would be helpful if you could compare this lens with the 70-200 f2.8 with 2X Extender as that will become a 140-400 f5.6
    I am a bit confused after reading your review which one to buy?
    Option 1: 70-200 f2.8 + 2x extender
    Option 2: 100-400 IS ll

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Sandy, what is your main purpose? Wildlife, shooting events? The 70-200 is the better event and portrait lens. The 100-400L IS II is a great multipurpose lens with longer reach but much slower aperture. Do you need the wide aperture? If not, I would go with the 100-400L II. The ability to add on even more reach with an extender is pretty huge!

  192. Bohns says:

    Thank you for this review.
    Now, I am confused… Initially, I was not considering this new lense because of the narrow aperture, despite my interest was caught by the relative lightweight…
    Here is my problem. I own a 5d3 and a 7d2 bodies. I practice a lot wildlife and nature photography in the French Alps. I also own a 70-200 f2.8 L IS II, a 300 f2.8 L IS II, and both extenders vIII. Certainly a good kit, but quite heavy when hiking for long…
    If I buy this new 100-400, i would have a doublon with the 70-200, but I would lack the f2.8 which I like a lot for portraits. In the other hand, I am very reluctant in selling my 300… What I am sure about is I cannot keep 3 lenses like those for an amator practice.
    Any advice ? Would I be able to generate with the new 100-400 background blurs of the same quality as what I get from the 70-200 at full aperture for portraits ? Maybe thanks to the short MFD ?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That is a tough one. The 100-400L works nicely for portraits, but it is never going to have quite the shallow depth of field as the 70-200. You could compress the image more by going to longer focal lengths, but that will change the look of features slightly (compressing them). There is a is reason that the 70-200mm focal length is so good for portraits. That being said, in many cases if you were doing headshots or waist up shots f/2.8 is probably too shallow a DOF. The problem is that all of these are very good lenses. I think the bigger question for you to ask yourself is how big a deal the weight is. Are you willing to part with your big 300L? You could carry just the 100-400L with an extender and do a lot of the same stuff – just not as narrow a DOF as your 300L provides. Both of your bodies have good ISO performance, so this may work for you.

  193. Paul says:

    Just for clarification…autofocus works with the Kenko 1.4 on all Canon bodies?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      As far as I know. I’ve not used one yet where it didn’t work.

  194. Erich says:

    Thanks for the review. Currently my gear does not go beyond 200mm, so longer reach is a natural next place for me to extend. I'd previously not been considering the 100-400 II due to the factor of 2 price bump relative to the Tamron 150-600, but your review has me rethinking this.

    I just want to make sure I'm clear on one point: I use a 6D, and I understand from the review that the Canon 1.4x teleconverter will not focus on the 6D with this lens — but that the much less expensive Kenko one will. Is that correct? Are there other downsides to using a Kenko TC that I should be aware of?


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The only downside that I’m aware of is the the EXIF data doesn’t report aperture correct. This is part of the way that the Kenko “tricks” the camera into attempting autofocus. The aperture will report as f/5.6 instead of the f/8 it should report with the teleconverter attached. Otherwise they work great.

  195. Krister Simon says:

    Thank you for the detailed review!
    Just a note:
    You stated that you used the shift function for the panoramas.
    My understanding is that you rather should use the shift function for panoramas.
    / Krister

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Krister, I’m not sure I understand your comment. I used shift, and you are saying that I should use shift?

  196. Karthik says:

    Hello Dustin. Thanks for the review. Good one!!
    I currently have 5D3 and 100-400 MK I. I do mostly bird and wildlife. I feel most of the times 400 on 5D3 is not sufficient especially for birds. I have to do heavy cropping. I was wondering will it be a good idea to upgrade to 100-400 MKII + 1.4 extender. Is it a good idea? or should I sell 100-400 and get Tamron/Sigma 150-600?
    Which one will be better?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Karthik, I do think that you will find the performance with the 1.4x extender on the new lens considerably better. I do like the Tamron 150-600, but just know that it is a fair bit larger. If you are just looking for the reach, however, and don’t mind that, it is a fabulous lens for the money. I haven’t tested the new Sigma yet, but just know that it is a very, very large and heavy lens. I think it is quite good optically, but that is certainly something to consider. If your priority is reach, I’d give the Tamron a try. Take a look here for a good example of guy doing great birding work with the Tamron: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neal-lewis/

  197. Jan says:

    Thanks for this fantastic review! Could you state the focus throw in degrees from longest to newrest end? Is the scale evenly divided or are the marks further away from each other the closer the focus distance is?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The focus throw seems to me to be about 160 degrees (or almost a full half rotation). The throw is spaced out fairly well from minimum to about two meters and then jumps pretty quickly to infinity. The challenge would be manually focusing between the 2 meter to roughly 4 meter mark at wide apertures. After that I’m sure infinity focus would be achieved. To be honest I have done next to no manual focusing with the lens for photos because it is so extremely accurate in autofocusing. I have used it with video, however, and don’t recall any issues.

  198. Goran says:

    Nice write-up! Spectacular lens. This is truly an all-rounder and the resulting photos are stunning. The relatively short minimum focusing distance (MFD) is amazing. However I was surprised that when zoomed in all the way at MFD the framing is almost identical to that of my 180mm macro lens. So I did some testing at 400mm. First I noticed that by using MF I have a shorter MFD than with AF (93 vs 96 cm as measured from the sensor). Based on photos I calculated the magnification to 0.3125x. Then I simply added an extension tube and refocused, from the same distance. The "effective focal length" suddenly increased a LOT! I think this might be very important practical knowledge. Then I tested various extension tube lengths at the 100mm and 400mm settings. My results with third-party extension tubes are very interesting but also confusing. I found that a 31mm extension tube seems to provide 1:2 magnification at MFD both at 100mm and 400mm. This way MFD at 400mm is shortened about 16cm. Zooming out to 100mm and moving closer, your subject will be roughly 15cm in front of the glass at MFD. When using tubes greater than 31mm, magnification (still at MFD) turns greater at the 100mm end as you move even closer to the subject. True 1:1 macro (I just had to find out) is reached at 100mm by adding a 13+13+21+31mm tube combination. For several reasons long tubes are bad, but I couldn't help noticing that just one medium tube can make a big difference! Any thoughts on this?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Goran, kudos to you for putting in the time to actually do some empirical measurements. What you are seeing is a fairly common phenomena in modern lenses – often called “focus breathing” and is typically due to “floating elements” that allow for better resolution at closer focus distances. The 70-300L does the same thing…as do a number of other telephotos (one exception to the rule is Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8L II). So, yes, the maximum magnification doing the math of the focal length and minimum focus distance should produce an even higher magnification than what the lens does. I would surmise that it is because of that floating element that the one extension tube makes such a big difference. Your result at 100mm is interesting to me. The plus there is that it gives you some flexibility in your working range.

  199. WOW! Thanks a lot Dustin! You review is great, compared to Matt Granger's review. Since this lens appeared on the market, I was curios to see if this lens surpasses Canon 16-35 F4 IS – and I think it does. I want to buy a ultrawide les for wedding photography and this Tamron 15-30 will be my pick.
    Thanks again Dustin! Great review!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      My pleasure. I will try to compare the two lenses side by side in a few months. This one is my pick, though.

  200. Simen says:

    I wonder how much the image circle extends beyond APS-C while having the hood off. I'm specifically thinking about using the Sony E mount version on a Sony FE camera.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That may be possible with a Sony, perhaps, but the mounts don’t work that way in a Canon infrastructure.

  201. Ecki says:

    nice review.

    but instead focusing on a "cheap rokinon prime" vs. "tamron zoom" comparisations you should have focused on a canon 16-35 f4 to tamron 15-30mm comparisation.

    i bet way more people are interested in how this lens compares to the canon than the rokinon.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’m sure you are right, but I didn’t have the Canon on hand and only had about 8 days for the review – not enough time to get one. I will do a head to head between the Canon and the Tamron down the road for sure, though.

  202. Emil Aliev says:

    Thank you very much for this review, Dustin, as well as for the YouTube video, great descriptions about all important aspects. I really liked the fact that you included some comparison with other lenses, including the "oldies".

    I need guidance deciding what lens to get, that maybe you or someone here can help me with.
    I'm about to purchase my first full frame and I have decided to go with Canon 6D.
    Of course, there are packages/bundles/kits of the camera, plus some "blockbuster" lenses and other goodies, but I'm looking for something more specific.

    My intention is to use the equipment to shoot an artistic installation with the following criteria:
    1. The installation is wide, hence, I need to take the shot from about 4m (13ft).
    2. I'm not going to use any Bokeh or any other optical compositions, because of the following topic.
    3. My intention is to use light painting technique, hence, the exposure will be at bulb, ISO 100 and the aperture as small as possible.
    4. Human bodies are involved in the composition, hence, I need no distortion on the edges of the frame. That's why I need a standard, prime 50mm.

    Of course, I can get the "fantastic plastic" Canon 50mm 1.8, however, despite the fact I have a very strong case of the equipment I want to use to take this picture with, I would like to get something that I can use to explore other scenarios. That's why I'm looking at something wider than 1.8, like this 1.4 you are reviewing here.

    My dilemma comes when people start talking about sharpness. Everyone of course will review the equipments at its widest aperture, but never at the smallest. Is this because it is obvious that the sharpness will be great at, say f/22 with any lens? Since it's light painting of human bodies I'm shooting, I really need to make sure things are as sharp as possible, because the composition, by nature, is already chaotic enough as not to have sharpness to it (especially that "dreamy quality" you are talking about, which is great for other scenarios I would love to explore).

    Important questions:
    1. When you say that the lens "does not have a lot of strong micro contrast" at the widest, would you say the same happens at the smallest aperture?
    2. Do you think I need a different type of lens for my picture? If so, what would you recommend?

    Thank you very much in advance, I greatly appreciate any help.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’ve responded to this in a direct message, but suffice it to say that the lens becomes very sharp by about f/5.6 and has great contrast. Diffraction starts to limit sharpness somewhat after f/11, but that is true of just about every lens.

  203. JB Gimena says:

    I've been having an internal battle on which lens to buy – the Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art or the Canon 35mm F2 IS USM. Both have the same price brand new from where I'm currently based. I've read a lot of reviews on the two and have pretty much concluded that they have amazing image quality.

    However, this is the only review I have read where it talks about that "magic" in the images captured with the F2 IS. Looking at the greats shots you've taken, there is indeed that "magic" you talked about. That helped a lot in my decision and I'm now saving up for the Canon 35mm F2 IS USM.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’ve not regretted my choice to buy the Canon at all. The biggest reason is that it has amazingly accurate AF – the Sigma has had a number of people return it because of AF inconsistency.

  204. Michael says:

    I was set to buy the Nikon 16-35mm until I saw your YouTube review. After watching it, I decided to go for the Tamron as I also have the 150-600mm and was mighty impressed with that lens. Today I went to 3 shops to no avail as it's so new none of them had them in stock. I finally called on one more store and they had 2 literally just unloaded from the delivery truck. This lens is now on my camera and I look forward to testing it over the weekend. Great review Dustin and thanks!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Michael – enjoy the lens. You were fortunate to get one – supply isn’t quite up to demand. I would love to hear your feedback on the lens.

  205. Jules says:

    Hello Dustin, great review on the Tamron 15-30. Was looking to pre-order from Amplis but that Tamron lens is not found on their website. Seen it there a week or so ago. Just letting you know.
    Thanks again for the review.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jules, I’m looking into this now but won’t probably won’t have an answer until tomorrow. I’ll let you know.

  206. Dustin,
    Great review and thank you for including a brief analysis of coma aberrations. If I may ask, how does coma of the Tamron 15-30 compare to the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm f/2.8, which serves as my benchmark for astro-landscapes? Thanks,

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I compared images side by side and couldn’t really tell any difference. The Samyang has a bit more distortion in the extreme edges, but it also has a noticeably wider field of view. Still, I think enough of the Tamron that I will be letting my Rokinon 14mm go in favor of it.

  207. Great review of a great lens. I am wondering… is this lens better tan the new Tamron 15-30 that you reviewed also, what do you think. I want to buy a wide angle lens for my wedding photography. Thanks!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      If wedding photography is your main pursuit, I would say that this lens is the better choice. Not being able to use traditional filters isn’t so big a deal. They are both wonderfully sharp, but the wider aperture is a big deal for shooting weddings.

  208. Goran says:

    Brilliant comparison! With all the hype surrounding the Sigma Art series I began scouting for a fast prime to complement my zoom arsenal and the 135L. The Sigmas are sleek and optically impressive, but as you are pointing out they do have AF-inconsistency and they are pretty big and heavy. This 35/2 IS seems like the real thing. You've captured some beautifully calm nature details there. Can't wait to try one! Thanks Dustin for sharing your experience and thoughts.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Goran, it is the real deal. It’s a great lens that I enjoy using every time I do.

  209. Samuel says:

    Hi Dustin:
    I would like to know your comments on the effect of using a Canon Exntender 2x on Canon 5D Mark III using the new Canon 100-400 IS USM II lens. I own these two items but would like to know whether it would affect auto focus if I using the 2x extender instead of 1.4x extender. Currently, I am using a Canon 70-200 IS USM II 2.8f lens with the 2x extender to make it up to 400m. I am also considering the Tamron 100-600 lens because it is a lot cheaper.

    Thanks for your comments and advice.


    p.s. I posted some pictures on flicker under stkphotoalbum tag name.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Samuel – I’m not crazy about the idea of using a 2x Extender with the lens – that makes maximum aperture f/11; I don’t think that is going to AF other than in Live View, and that will be painfully slow. I wouldn’t use that combination myself. If you don’t want to spend the money for both the extender and the 100-400L II, I would go with the Tamron (if you need that reach).

  210. Roy says:

    Hi dustin, i am just curious, how much worse is the image quality or sharpness of this lens compare to Tamron 24-70mm USD given at the same focal length? and since i am at it, what about the image quality or sharpness of this lens compare to Tamron 70-300mm USD given at the same focal length too? Thx in advance if u ever reply since you reviewed and own the lenses i mentioned which i am trying to compare. much appreciated. 🙂

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Roy, the lens does not compete optically with the 24-70 (which is an exceptionally good lens covering a much smaller focal range). The 70-300 is slightly better at most focal lengths, although the 28-300 VC may have a marginal advantage on the long end. It is almost impossible for a superzoom to truly compete optically with more dedicated focal length, but Tamron has done a good job putting some great image quality into the 28-300 VC despite the compromises.

  211. John says:

    I liked your review since it has so much information and would love to see the comparison between this lens and Canon 16-35mm F4. I'm looking to purchase this very soon for Real Estate photography.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That should be happening next month, John. I’m scheduling the pieces to arrive at the same time about the second week of April.

  212. Roy says:

    Dustin, i own the tamron 24-70 and 70-300. I just wanna know how much worse is the compromises on image quality for such superzoom lens like this one. If the image quality doesnt fall too far from the both lenses mentioned/compared, i dont mind to grab one for traveling. You know, the practicality of saving the hassle from changing lenses with impromptu moment you wanna snap during a vacation. Anyway, just read your another article with this tamron 28-300 at quebec city. i guess that pretty much make me confident to grab one of this lens for traveling without much regret. thx Dustin. 🙂

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’re welcome. They’ve done a good job of making the lens good enough that you can use it without taking too much of a resolution hit, particularly when stopped down a bit.

  213. Dustin,

    Thanks for another great review! It looks like a "killer" lens but not without at least one key drawback – difficult to meter/set exposure!

    Two comments about your test shots: first, family game night shots. Most people may not know what the Rook card game is all about but I grew up playing that and love it! Can't wait to teach my boys – very soon. Second, your pictures in the American southwest…not quite sure where you were but I will be taking a Spring break trip beginning next Friday to Tucson, Az for several days and then north to the Grand Canyon, South Rim. Then to Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, St. George Utah, Idaho via Salt Lake City, then home to Oregon. 10 days and 3500 miles. (This is a road trip…)
    Seeing those pictures has created a desire to leave now!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Rook is definitely a family favorite. The lens isn’t diffic to meter with in AV mode or in manual using the viewfinder. It is Live View manual mode that doesn’t meter properly. The Southwest photos were Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, Arizona

  214. Karen Bossard says:

    I love your gallery of images with the new lens. I have a question about using a Canon extender with the Tamron 600 lens; First of all, will the extender work with this lens, and will it work well (or at all) on my Cannon 5D Mark 3? The Tamron lens works on my 5D, however it did take some time to get used to it. Now I would like to add the extender but don't want to damage my camera. Should I be worried about that?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I believe it will work with the 1.4x extender on a 5d3, but expect the image quality to be seriously degraded. I wouldn’t use the combination, myself. I think cropping would achieve better results

  215. Samir says:

    Thanks a lot for a such great review. I was the stage of buying wide angle lens and third party lenses always was critical for me but after such great review I can say that It doesn't make a sense buy Nikon's or Canon's lens for more money and less quality compared Tamron 15-30. But at the end of review Rokinon appeared so which one is better, i mean optical I don't care about features.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The Tamrons optics surpass the Rokinons

  216. Grzegorz says:

    i found Camera Raw Lens Profiles for Tamron 150-600mm 😀
    for Nikon,Canon and Sony 😀 grab the link

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Excellent. This lens continues to impress in many ways even after newer and more expensive releases

  217. Laurent says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Nice review!

    Your view was pretty well exposed.

    I would still have a question please:

    – the 24-105 F4 is rated by DXO for having a transmission of light equivalent to F5.6 in reality.

    Don't you think that negate the advantage of the "old" version in favor of this STM version ?


    Thank you for your time,

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s a good point. I do think that helps to bridge the gap somewhat, particularly if there is a very good deal on the 24-105 STM

  218. Dustin, great Job! I live the composición you have choose for the pics. Thanks for sharing your workflow, it' interesting knowing that…
    Best regards!
    Juan Pablo Bialade

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Juan. Happy to share!

  219. mihir says:

    i love all type of photography specally wild and landscape so i m recently purchased 5d mark 3 with 24-105 i required your suggestions what is my camera gear??? i dont know sir i m confused about some canon killer lenses
    your suggestion is must reqired about some lenses which one is great for landscape which one is great for wild sports and family which one is great for wedding so suggest some lenses i m confused about purchasing also suggest some carbon tripod with some ball heads i m waiting for your mail

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      My top recommendation for wildlife right now is the Canon 100-400L MKII lens, with the Tamron 150-600 VC as a budget option. I personally use the Tamron 24-70 VC and 70-200 VC lenses for family, portrait, and wedding work most often.

      As for tripods, I have begun using tripods from Vanguard. Good price and very excellent construction.

  220. Jerome says:

    excellent walk through, i for one have a whole stack of Images taken on such overcast days sitting in my hard drive waiting to be brought back to life. Your post has inspired me to look at what might be salvaged. I am rarely motivated to write comments on web sites, but felt that your explanation and thinking required me to do so. Thank you for taking the time and energy to share this.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for writing, Jerome. Happy to provide a little inspiration.

  221. Hello, Dustin, thanks for this great review. I have this lens for a year now and the primar y use for it is landscape tripod shooting. I find in it the best focal lenght for landscape or cityscapes. I bought it before the canon 16-35 F:4 IS was released, I don't know now wich one wolf I choose. But this one, is 100% zeiss! burilo quality! the manual focus! and the micro contrast! in live it. I agree with you on the pros and cons on this lens, but for me if I have the time to set up my frame (tripod, manual focusing via live view, etc) this lens pays back with great results. Pared with the 50/2 makro planar, they both do a great couple. Best regards!!!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That is a nice pair of lenses. I’m glad you’ve been happy with yours.

  222. Ole Henrik Skjelstad says:

    Awesome review, Dustin! I was about to order the new Canon 16-35 f4, but I think I will go for the Tamron based on your excellent review. Again, thanks!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Ole, I think it will be a great choice for you. You are familiar with using LEE type filters anyway, and I’m sure that kind of solution will soon be available for the Tamron. It’s a great lens – I am in the middle of doing a three way comparison between it, the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, and the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II.

  223. Thanks Dustin, sorry for my english, mi automatic corrector in the iPad changes every word. I really enjoy your videos – reviews.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      No problem. It was nice of you to write.

  224. Philip Yeoh says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Greetings from a fan in Penang, Malaysia. I own both the Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 and Planar 50mm f/1.4 lenses. They are a joy to use and as you've mentioned in your reviews, Zeiss lenses seem to have a magical quality in their color rendition that sets them apart from my Canon lenses. The manual focusing doesn't put me off at all; in fact, I've learnt to slow down and compose my pictures more thoughtfully.

    Please keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing and reading your reviews.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Philip. You will probably enjoy an upcoming article about how every photographer should spend some time with a manual focus only lens and why.

  225. Graham says:

    I wonder if this lens will be a no-brainer in the Sony A mount, like the A77mkII with it's in camera image stabilization and focus peaking feature?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That would be very tempting. To get a stabilizer and good focus aids would help a TON!

  226. Alex Mao says:

    Hi Mr. Abbott,

    Really enjoy your review on Otus 85mm. I was just wondering if this lens is suitable for food photography. Would it be as good as a macro lens for food photography? I look forward to your expert comments. Thanks very much.



    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Alex, that is a funny question for me, in that I never do food photography but actually did some with the Otus. The Otus is suitable for just about everything. It is super sharp. The question as to whether or not it would be as good as a macro lens is another matter. If this is your primary purpose, I don’t know that I would buy the Otus. A macro lens allows you to get natively closer, obviously, and the aperture advantage of the Otus isn’t significant because depth of field is so incredibly thin that you would need to stop it down anyway. Buy the Otus if you want the best lens for a lot of applications…including food…but don’t buy it if your primary purpose is to shoot food. P.S. If you do decide to buy the Otus, please use the links in my article. It helps fund this site!

  227. Jan-Jaap Vis says:

    Hoi Dustin ever tried the sigma 150 2.8 dgwithout os?
    Close focus1
    Bokeh great
    It does have an af (not so great)

    have fun keep up the good work!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Jan, I haven’t yet. There are so many new lenses being released that I often don’t have time to fit in reviewing some of the older ones.

  228. Nadia says:

    Hey, great review! You got me hooked up on getting this lens. But to be sure, I have to ask, does it make a difference wether it's called Rokinon 14mm or Samyang 14mm? Since I haven't been able to find the Rokinon in my country yet.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s right, Nadia. Rokinon rebrands Samyang glass, so if you can get a Samyang 14mm you have gotten the same lens.

  229. Scott Hooper says:

    Fantastic review! Thanks so much for taking the time. I've just bought one of these and feel like I already know the tips and tricks to make it work for me. I'm actually going to use this lens for real estate photography. I was encouraged pre-purchase by this post: http://markusjaaskelainen.com.au/my-first-real-estate-photography-job-with-samyang-14mmf2-8-ed-as-if-umc-lens/. I'm taking on board your comments though. Love your gallery; some very nice shots in there.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, Scott. The DXO profile definitely does the best job of correcting that distortion. It remains an excellent budget option. Enjoy!

  230. John Hesley says:

    Just purchased the 16-35mm lens after reading your review. Clicked on B & H to go to their site and make the purchase. Wanted to make sure you got the credit.

    John Hesley

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks, John. Very kind of you…and I did!

  231. Roel says:

    Thanks for the down-to-earth approach, for example on the actual light transmission. I myself figured that 2/3rd of a stop difference between the f/1.4 and this f/2 was negligible, but couldn't find a review backing me up there.

    Currently this is the lens I carry with me all the time, because it's light and great for street & travel. But I'm not sure yet whether this lens has its unique signature or character, like the 24mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.2 do have.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Roel, my pleasure. I know what you are saying about those other two lenses, but I have found the 35 IS has a great look in certain situations as well.

  232. Ronnie Chan says:

    I am surprise you didn't experienced the focus shift issue as most of them had.
    Anyway good article man!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’m aware that others have experienced it, but I didn’t have any AF issues that I could point to during my review.

  233. George Wang says:

    Excellent review Dustin. Finally, someone is able to bring out the "uniqueness" of this lens as well as the "real" importance of photography which is not all about the sharpness of the lens but the unique characteristics of the lens combined with the hart that wills it.

    In real world people look at the photos because of the "artistic point of view" that imspires them and not often the sharpness of the image.

    There are always differences between lenses that are build for the purpose of capturing the soul of a frame and lenses that are build to capture the technical excellence of a frame. I believe this lens is definitely build for the soul and that is why people loves it and will not give it up.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      A “soul” lens – I like that…and may just borrow it!

  234. Hjalmar says:

    Let me start saying that I have also owned all Canon 50mm lens and more than once each.
    I may agree with the fact that the 50L has a magical bokeh but CA and focus shift with the 50L were a nightmare for me so I ended selling every single copy I got.
    I'm considering new Sigma 50mm Art but also waiting if a new 50L II or a 50mm f1.4 IS is released.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I understand how you feel. The Sigma is a great lens in many ways, but if what you dread is AF issues, the Sigma seems to be a lottery for whether or not you get consistent AF from it. I personally most want a 50mm equivalent of the 35mm f/2 IS; it’s one of my favorite little primes.

  235. Tomas says:

    Nice review I rent 50mm 1.2 L for wedding and was left disappointed with AF accuracy and sharpness my Canon 85 1.8 kills 50L in terms of AF accuracy..

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      As I’ve said, it is a polarizing lens. It seems like earlier copies were more prone to having focus issues. I didn’t have them myself.

  236. Zeki Can says:

    Dustin, i really liked your web site and especially reviews about lenses. İ highly appreciate your experience and comments. They are really helpful to make my choices.

  237. Jakub Sisak says:

    Great review as always Dustin! This lens has been on my radar for a long, long time. The only reason I purchased the f1.4 is the cost of the "L" lens which is what I really wanted. Your review has me convinced this is the lens for me and I will get it eventually, once i've aquired other hardware on my long list. In a meanwhile I am waiting for my new, well not so new, HELIOS 44-2 58mm f/2 M42 to arrive from Ukraine. I must admit your other reviews were partially responsible for this decision.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You’ll enjoy the Helios. I get a kick out of mine. There is a BIG cost gap between the 50mm f/1.4 and the f/1.2L. It can be hard to justify that expense if you are an amateur. For a professional I’d say “go for it”. The more robust build will give you more peace of mind, and the better results are worth the bigger investment.

  238. ji ming says:

    How it compare to carls zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ze?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Two very different lenses, although both have beautiful drawing in the bokeh region. The Zeiss is softer wide open but sharpens up more at narrower apertures.

  239. squiddy says:

    Well done, great review! I can confirm 100% that you have written. The mood of 50L pictures are quite unique which I love really much.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the feedback!

  240. Bob Abe says:

    Loved your article. If the lens creates images like my 85mm f/1.2 I'd love it. That lens creates fantastic portraits.

    I keep meaning to pair up my 85mm with a polarizing filter to see how that changes the images. Have you ever done that sort of test? I'd think a polarizing filter might create better contrast and nicer shots.

    If you happen to do that let me know.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Bob, a polarizing filter is often an excellent choice to add some contrast and enrich colors. Play with the polarizing angle and you will definitely notice a difference.

  241. Daryl says:

    I bought this lens relatively recently. I read about the focus shift issues and I also noted the complaints tapered off and I never had any focus shift issues and wondered if Canon did a "silent upgrade".
    Another complaint from rhe forums was the ability to focus in low light levels and suspect that the average complainer did not factor in the very narrow depth of field at f/1.2.
    I have several Canon lenses and I was fascinated by this lens as it was the first lens where you had to have experience to use it.
    Apparently the 85mm lens has a floating element which helps avoid the focus shift issue but adds to the cost. I dimly recall a rumour that the mark II of the 50mm will also have the floating element.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The one downside to the floating element is that it often causes some “focus breathing” where the apparent focal length diminishes near minimum focus. I’ve heard a number of people theorize about the “silent update.” I don’t know if it is true or not; I just know that I had no focus issues with the copy of the 50L that I used.

  242. Philip Yeoh says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Yet another thoughtful and very illuminating review. I feel the Canon 50L shares similar characteristics with my Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* Both are not exactly the sharpest 50mm lenses around, especially if you want to pixel peep or glaze over MTF charts. However, it's the drawing and color rendition that makes me fall in love with the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4.

    Cost is the main reason why I wouldn't purchase the Canon 50L for now. Besides, I think my Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 is good enough even though it's manual focus and stops down to "only" f/1.4; that makes getting the 50L redundant for me. As for the new Canon 50mm f/1.8 that's another story, LOL.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Philip, the new 50mm f/1.8 may be a nice companion to your Zeiss for the times you want the focal length but need AF. Small investment and hopefully large dividends. I’ll be reporting on that lens starting next week.

  243. Thomas says:

    Hi Dustin,
    Lovely review and I really like that doggie's photo. What do you think about making a short video of how it has been processed. I think it's really nice :).

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ll consider doing something like that in the future.

  244. Lars says:

    I wonder what you have to say about the optical qualities of the Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG HSM (not the Art one, the precursor). Did you ever test it? I know, it has AF issues but how does it compare optically?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I have the review material done, but have never posted a review. I wasn’t really super impressed by it. I found it had very heavy green fringing and wasn’t nearly as sharp as the ART series lens. Some people love it, though.

  245. Randy says:

    It's quite the lens. I'm using it more and more. I think I like the way it renders sky and clouds. Something I don't get as good as with my Canon lenses. Not sure if you covered the horrible, horrible lens cap issue but it's a shame that it falls off so easily. I haven't got around to buying another lens cap for it yet. Also, a very small complaint I have is with the metallic filter threads that sometimes show up in shots, in the reflection of a window, or in sunglasses. Those are my only two real complaints about it. I thought I'd sell it eventually, but I think it's a keeper for life!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The lens cap does come off as being very cheap by comparison with the rest of the construction. The caps for the Otus series are MUCH nicer.

  246. Angela says:

    Thanks for this great in depth review. I'm going to buy either the Canon 16-35 f4 or the Tamron 15-30mm. Difficult decision given each has its advantages. I rely on auto-focus. Which lens has the better auto-focus?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      They both have excellent AF, so I would just go with what suits your purposes better from other perspectives.

  247. Mischa says:

    What about the Aperture and Focusing mechanism?

    I want to buy the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm f/1.4 aswell and am glad that its infinity-focus problem can be solved quite easily. (I do hope, however, that it will work on my 1Ds mk III too.)

    However, I also found some conflicting discussions concerning the pin for Aperture movement and the A/M-switch in combination with different kinds of M43-EF-adapters.

    Is there anything specific to look for when buying the adapter?

    I really want the AF confirm chip, it helps a LOT when the camera beeps happily when shooting. :o)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Just make sure to buy one of the adapters that has a flange. It will depress that pin and keep it out of your way. I would recommend getting this adapter: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1009420-REG/fotodiox_m42_eos_fl_dc_p_adapter_for_m42_lens.html/BI/19614/KBID/12112/kw/FOPCECAM42F/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xFOPCECAM42F. The Fotodiox Pro adapters are tooled more precisely than most of the ones from China on Ebay, and the price is great, too.

  248. Lynn Allan says:

    Nice review.

    However, my impression is that the sharpness / IQ is not really exploited on existing Canon f.f.'s like the 6d or 5d3 with relatively low resolution and DR. I would think it would take a Sony 36mpix Exmor (such as A7r or Nikon D810) to really justify an Otus.

    I'll be interested to read reviews of the Otus on the 5Dsr.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s true, to a certain extent. A 20(ish) MP sensor isn’t going to take full advantage of the resolution, but you definitely see a big difference in the image quality nonetheless. With a lens like this, however, you aren’t just buying for the camera you have now. It’s a lens that I would buy and pretty much keep for life.

  249. Mat says:

    Nice review and I would agree with all your observations.

    I had the lens a while back and decided to sell it because the difficulty of focussing with modern digital cameras. Bought Nikon's 50mm 1.4 offering and while focusing improved the rate of technically correct keepers it is nowhere near the colour rendition and cinematic look of the zeiss. So after living with the nikon for 2 years I am now selling the nikon lens and just got the zeiss.

    I also find that the flaws make the lens stand out from the crowd. I find Sigmas boring in comparison. Also, while the 50mm makro planar from zeiss is a technically better lens I found it slightly mundane and overrated.

  250. Mat says:

    Nice review and I would agree with all your observations.

    I had the lens a while back and decided to sell it because the difficulty of focussing with modern digital cameras. Bought Nikon's 50mm 1.4 offering and while focusing improved the rate of technically correct keepers it is nowhere near the colour rendition and cinematic look of the zeiss. So after living with the nikon for 2 years I am now selling the nikon lens and just got the zeiss.

    I also find that the flaws make the lens stand out from the crowd. I find Sigmas boring in comparison. Also, while the 50mm makro planar from zeiss is a technically better lens I found it slightly mundane and overrated.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That sounds about right. Zeiss glass/coatings are special.

  251. Jim says:

    Great review. I am using a canon FF with the 17-40 for RE photography. It is fine but I wish it is shaper and wider. Do you think the 14 can replace the 17-40 for my use? And how would I or-set the aperture to f8 and pre-focus it to get everything in focus? Thanks, J

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s exactly what I did. Unless you want f/8, f/5.6 is an even sharper aperture. Just use Live View and determine where infinity focus is. The newer versions of the lens even come with a focus confirm chip to help.

  252. Harry van Gastel says:

    Hi !
    I got to know your website recently and like it a lot because your comments combine common sense, enthusiasm and useful examples. Don't stop !
    About a year ago I came across a Helios 44, 58mm f/2 "white" aluminium finish, 13 aperture blades, M39 mount with a M39-M42 adapter, preset aperture, in optically very good shape, that I guess to be about 50 years old.
    This lens is far from optically perfect near the borders and corners of the frame ; once you close the aperture to say, f/4, all is well.
    I had to buy 2 adapters for my EOS6D before I got infinity focus (at least at f/5.6…), ordered a split-field focusing screen from somewhere in the Far East, bought a few 49mm filters & accessories ; and now I'm buying more of this fun stuff ! Old AND new.
    Found a Praktica MTL5B with 50mm f/1.8 MC (nah) in brand new condition for…€ 5 (!) and got a great little Tokina 135mm f/3.5 for FREE.
    Now I followed your advice and acquired a Samyang 135mm f/2…a dream. It needs a master but gives great rewards.
    And all of this is FUN, FUN, FUN !

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Manual focus lenses are fun. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but it seems like you get a greater sense of accomplishment when you produce great images with them.

  253. Marc P. says:

    I've found this 24-105 STM in someways better then the 10 year old "L" Design of the same focal length, because of a view things:

    1) The IS is much better then onto the older 24-105 L
    2) F3.5-5.6 VS F/4 constant Aperture vs the L is not a issue, thanks to the better IS built in.
    3) The STM AF is near silent, for real…and also way fast (using onto a 5D Classic)
    4) The distortion into Wideangle is less than the 24-105 L
    5) It is much cheaper
    6) The Zoomring is much more comfortable to turn, then the usual L smaller rubber
    ring, i think
    7) Last but not least, check out the Photozone Review, both the 24-105 STM vs the L each tested onto the 5D II Body, so they're 1:1 comparable from the results, the STM does resolve into some focal lengths more lp/mm, and also with less distortion, and CAs.

    For about 380 EUR i paid, it's a steal compared to the APS-C 18-135 STM, you can't really argue with that, and it's very low price compared to the L…and
    like the L it's full-frame compatible, unlike the 18-135 STM.

    Of course, the drawbacks are mostly -for those who need it- no weather sealing,
    no constant aperture, and no lens pouch or lens hood included, but i bought the last 2 parts cheap.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      The pricing in different markets are more extreme and makes the newer lens more compelling. I’m glad you are happy with it!

  254. Mikhail says:

    Good and detailed review, thinking about buying the Tamron, with my Minolta 400/4.5 and tele 1.4 TC is not always convenient because of the fixed focal length. Thanks

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      It’s a very worthy lens at a fabulous price. You will enjoy it!

  255. Aaron says:

    Very helpful. Now I want it. But I too have the 40mm. Since you picked up the 35 f/2, what became of your 40mm (banished to the bottom of a camera bag, sold, do you find a use for both lenses)? I am wondering if you view the 35mm as complimentary or an upgrade to the 40mm?

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I’m afraid it is mostly banished to the bottom of the bag. I mostly take it along if I going out hiking with a long telephoto as a “just in case” I want a wider perspective. If I were you I’d probably sell it to help fund the 35IS purchase.

  256. Mischa says:

    Thanks for the review!

    Will certainly add this to my collection 🙂

    spotted a little error in the bokeh test: The SMC Takumar produces OCTAGONal bokeh not hexagonal, which would be the result of a 6-bladed aperture.

    ps: I bought a LED chain from IKEA just to do that bokeh test too, with my newly acquired collection of fifties (Zeiss Tessar 2.8, Zeiss Pancolar 1.8, S-M-C Takumar 1.4 and Helios 44-2 "zebra", plus the Yongnuo 50/1.8)

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Doh! I knew that as I was typing it and somehow still put the wrong thing! Thanks. How does the Yongnuo stack up?

  257. Kozlok says:

    The Pentax versions of the various Samyang lenses have the "A" setting on the aperture ring so you can control the aperture from the body in AV mode. We also get focus confirmation with any lens (does not rely on an in-lens chip) as well as stabilization (due to the SR system). Pentax really is an overall great system for manual focus users.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Nice! That is a definite improvement over the operation of these lenses in a Canon body.

  258. Jim5 says:

    I have the original version (Mk 1) of the nifty fifty bought in the late 1980s, the build quality is very, very much better than the plastic fantastic, and it had the focusing scale window. But it was my first major investment in a camera system as a student! So it didn't see much actons.
    Then in recent years, Canon brought down the price of the plastic fantastic, so I bought myself 2 more copies to use, in case 1 broke! It proved a worth while move as the cheap price made me carry it wherever I go, thus enabling me to capture some fantastic shots!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      You will definitely find the new lens an improvement in a number of ways, including build quality. It’s a great optic for the price!

  259. Chris Harrison says:

    The Samyang range makes a lot of sense for the small but merry band of Sony a99 users still out there. Big enough camera to use these fairly large lenses comfortably, internal IS and most importantly some lovely manual focusing aids right there in the viewfinder.

    The Zeiss 135mm 1.8 is perhaps the greatest (and rarely mentioned) 135 out there, would love to know how it compares to this.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I think your opening statement explains why there aren’t more reviews of the Sony/Zeiss 135mm f/1.8. Most of us who do reviews are locked into either the Canon or Nikon ecosystems. I am very tempted by the A7RII, though.

  260. Mischa says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I now got an adapter that works. (At least after I've filed away some of the flange for the aperture-thingy to be able to move freely.)

    The lens is really a joy to handle and focus.

    I can also confirm that the Canon 1Ds mk III does NOT need any modifications and the mirror won't hit the lens at any focus setting.

    I did, however, have some bad luck with my S-M-C Takumar. The distance scale came lose and I've got no idea how to fix it. (In addition to the A/M-pin that was bent/broken and made the flange-less adapter useless in the first place.)
    Old lenses with issues (a Nikkor micro and the Tessar 50/2.8 with sticky oil in the focusing mechanism, the backfocusing issue of my Yashica-A and others) are stacking up now and I will likely let a pro handle them all at once.

    I will write more about my findings when I can move on with my comparison on my blog:

    Unfortunately, I'm stuck at the moment because my storage system is corrupted and I can't/won't work on any pictures until that's fixed. O.o

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Ah, the joys of working with vintage glass. I just got the Fotodiox Pro M42 adapter and it is very nice.

  261. Kevin says:

    Great review! It helps me to decide whether or not I should add this lovely lens to my collection. I am however still deciding if I should get this lens, simply because I have other lenses may cover this focal length as well as DOF.

    My current gears:
    16-35 f4 is (covers 35)
    50 1.8 stm (covers DOF)
    100 2
    200 2.8

  262. Jacob says:


    Excellent review.
    I have a chance to get a used 135L for about $750 (1 year old). The alternative is to get the samyang.
    I already have some manual lenses and I use magic lantern with focus peaking for the focusing, and I ordered a dandelion chip (G4).
    So, I'm not afraid of manual focus, but the question is – what would you recommend?
    I have the 85 1.8 from canon so fast focus is covered (by that and the 70-200 f4 IS).



    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      That’s a tough call. I’d think I’d go with the Canon at that price. It is still an amazing lens and will put your 85 to shame. You will definitely keep your value at that price, and I don’t know that you would be able to tell the difference (much) in the image quality.

  263. Awesome review Dustin. I've decided to invest in a ultra wide angle lens for sometime but with the introduction of this new Tamron it really made it harder to make a final decision. I am torn between the new Canon 16-35mm F4 and the Tamron 15-30. I'm now gonna go ahead and over the Tamron, even though it doesn't have an L ring, from what I've read in your very comprehensive review it's the stronger performer. Thank you, great work!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Lilyan, there isn’t a bad choice between these two lenses, but, if it helps, I bought the Tamron for myself.

  264. Dan Dill says:

    Combining telephoto compression with panoramic view is a neat idea. Thanks very much.

  265. Jakub Sisak says:

    Doesn’t look like an M42 adapter is available with focus confirm chip…

  266. Leo Jonkers says:

    Dustin, thank you for the very nice review and the film reviews I saw of this lens.

    I bought it and received it a couple of hours ago! I have waited along time to buy this lens. Not because I was afraid of the quality, I like my Tamron 24-70 F2.8 very very much!, but there where a lot of lenses coming out, the two Sigma's and the Canon 100-400 mark II. And I already own the Canon 100-400 mm mark I, maybe the main reason of waiting so long to buy a zoom 200 mm longer. But 200 mm is a lot.
    The Canon was to expensive for me, although it is a high quality lens and with a nice size as well.
    The Sigma Sport is to big for me, so the Sigma Contemporary was the contender. I think it is a nice lens as well, but had a little more trust in the Tamron. And the price was nice, 900 euro for such a zoom is not expensive. The Sigma was a little more expensive but not much.
    Your reviews made me go for the Tamron.

    I have heard some complaints about the early samples of this lens, the VC should not work with panning. Tamron has made a update of this zoom and if you have issues with that problem will update yours. Here you can read witch lenses should need that update, later lenses already have them: http://www.tamron-usa.com/about/updates_canon.php

    I always like to view your reviews, keep it going like that!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thanks for the great feedback, Leo. Glad you are enjoying the lens; it really is a great optical instrument for the price!

  267. Hello Dustin,

    I am a amateur photographer from Turkey. I am going to buy a telephoto lens. Prime lenses such as nikon/canon 400mm, 500mm, 600mm f/2,8 or f/4.0 are very expensive for me.

    I am presently Nikon (FF) user however I might go to Canon full frame body as I will work on wildlife and bird photos. Anyway;

    I read all reviews of yours about Tamron 150-600mm vc, canon 100-400mm II and sigma 150-600mm sport.

    I am really confused now. Tamron has price advantage on other two lenses but İf we ignore the price, which one is more suitable for me regarding image qulity (sharpness), bokeh effect, durability (built qulity), versatility and Autofocus performance ??

    I will be very glad if you help me about my decission??

  268. Jakub Sisak says:

    You fall shots are amazing!

  269. simon gahan says:

    Great real world review, i have the older 35 f2 which i love, but i think i may have to trade up to this beauty. I have the 24mm f2.8 is usm and this is a perfect stablemate. by the way the snow shot is excellent, very Van Gogh!

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      It would be a very nice pairing with the 24mm f/2.8. These are great lenses at reasonable prices.

  270. I own a Nikon 16-35 VR 4.0 but is this lens the 1mm wider much of a diference.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Michael, there is about 3 degrees difference angle of view (107 for your Nikon, 110 for the Zeiss). That will be noticeable but no dramatic. You buy the Zeiss more for its low distortion, amazing contrast and resolution, and great color. You’ve already got yourself a pretty great lens, though.

  271. mbphoto says:

    Very interesting.
    I just bought the Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 for a ridiculous 200 USD (in great condition) with a 20$ EMF AF adapter.
    I’ve bought the adapter from Roxsen, because so far I never had any problems with those for Nikon F-EOS, nor for the M42-EOS conversion.

    Will report here how it fares with the C/Y-EOS adapter and maybe help people save a lot of money.

  272. mbphoto says:

    “It’s a lens that I would buy and pretty much keep for life.”
    This comment has me struggling.. I now own a lot of 50mm lenses and am considering to sell them all (after completing the purpose of my blog) and buy a “real keeper” Monster McFifty.
    However, even if I get really great prices for my fifties, I won’t even have half of what is required to get a USED Otus.

    On the other hand, I really, really love this lens and what it can do.

  273. Chris Sears says:

    Canadian price seems a little high compared to American taking into account the exchange rate. Getting close to Sigma.

  274. Max says:

    Good day, mr. Dustin Abbott.
    Your review is very useful fo me. My camera is Nikon D7100.
    I want to buy this 18-200 lens or 16-300 in the near future (for landscape & travel photo).

    What do you think about this Tamron 18-200 vs Tamron 16-300? What lens is better (in 18-200 range ONLY)?
    1) sharpness
    2) contrast \ micro-contrast
    3) distortion
    4) XA
    5) autofocus…this new DC like CANON-STM (18-200) vs PZD(16-300)…?
    6) what lens is better for video? this option is very important for me…

    Сan you express your opinion?

    With respect, Max

  275. It could be just me, but the 45 seems to have nicer bokeh: smoother, creamier.

  276. Max says:

    Thanks for the reply on e-mail. Your answer helped me with the choice. Thank you.

    With respect,

  277. Terry says:

    I would be interested in the camera settings which would help us not so knowledgeable photographers to try to make their own star and sky photographs. Terry

  278. Dustin Abbott says:

    No problem, Terry. I actually wrote an article about that here: http://bit.ly/1bPDF2M. It should hopefully answer your questions.

  279. voronspb says:

    Thank you very much for this review! I am eagering to find the replacement for my good old EF50/1.4 USM, and after reading this review I was absolutely sure, that this is the solution.

    But in the photo store the things were not so rosy. I found this lens having really slow AF on my EOS 6D in comparison with my other Canon lenses, starting from 40/2.8 STM. It looks like you’re trying to focus in darkness, when you barely see your object through VF, and the camera is always seeking the focus point for several moments before giving the confirmation. But that was happening in well lit hall, where my 40/2.8 focused almost instantly.

    So I decided with a sore heart not to buy this lens despite its optical excellence. It seems like nothing left but waiting for proper 50 mm IS prime from Canon.

  280. Dustin Abbott says:

    Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right. AF is not super fast, but neither did I ever see any behavior like what you are describing. That’s odd. I found the lens focused fine even in more challenging lighting situation (strong backlight, for example). Are you saying that your viewfinder was actually darkened? That shouldn’t be the case at all. This is a bright lens.

  281. voronspb says:

    No, of course, the VF wasn’t darkened during the shooting with Tamron 45/1.8. There were normal indoor conditions (F/1.8, ISO 500, 1/160s), and the lens itself was brand new and OK in general.

    But the AF speed was more like when I shoot with my 50/1.4 or 40/2.8 etc in such conditions when it’s hard to see something in VF because of darkness. In other words there was noticeable lag between half-pressing the shutter button and confirmation that it’s possible to shoot – even if I focused on the same object several times.

    Also if I set the focus ring at 0.3 meters and then forced the AF to focus on the object in 5 meters from me, the lens could even fail to focus, sticking at infinity. Such behaviour was usual for my ‘2005 Sigma 70-300 APO, but that was very strange for much more expensive lens.

  282. revabbott says:

    Odd. That was certainly not my experience. I’ve reviewed 25 lenses this year and haven’t seen what you are describing from any of them – certainly not this one

  283. voronspb says:

    I’ve sent an email to Tamron office with description of this issue. If you are sure that your copy had good AF it’s possible that my copy was defective or something. If so, it would be a pleasure for me to obtain a good copy!

  284. revabbott says:

    That’s probably wise. I’ve read a number of reviews other than my own and none have mentioned the issue you’ve described. I hope you get a great copy in the future.

  285. Hi! Thank you so much for all the reviews, particularly for the lenses. In an internet full of technical reviews it is sometimes very difficult to get a ‘feel’ for what a lens is really like. Tech specs say only so much. Your reviews really give a feel for the lens from a photographer’s perspective – tones, colors, drawing, etc. It is especially helpful as you have reviewed so many, to be able to compare so many lenses by the same evaluation criteria. Looking forward to seeing more great reviews on your website! Thank you, Jure Atanackov

  286. Tayter Taylor says:

    Looks like a great way to hang a camera! I would like to hang my camera with the strap on my visit to China. Tayter

  287. voronspb says:

    By the way, the guys at lenstip.com also have only one major complaint for 45/1.8: its AF speed…

  288. Dustin Abbott says:

    I’ve read their review, but in no way does it describe the kind of behavior that you saw. It’s a good enough lens that I’ve ordered a copy for my own kit.

  289. Dustin Abbott says:

    It would be great for that. Best of luck to you, Tayter.

  290. voronspb says:

    So, you’ve finally assured me that this is a good lens, and my experience was unusual. 🙂 I’ve just ordered an “opened box” version from Amazon with $100 discount. I think, it’s fair price even if the AF speed is not as good as it could be. In my local store this lens costs $200 more.

    Thank you again for informative review and sharing your experience with me!

  291. voronspb says:

    Really interesting experience!

    But about mRAW. When I changed my EOS 5D to new EOS 6D I made a quick resolution test between 11MP mRAW from 6D and 12 MP RAW from 5D. I also used full-size RAW from 6D as a reference. The lens was Canon EF 50/1.4 @5.6.

    Unfortunately, the mRAW image from 6D was the most blurred. I was putting hopes on mRAW feature to conserve space in my archive, but the quality appeared not good enough in comparison with approx. 8-year old 5D. Despite its age, this camera has an excellent per-pixel sharpness!

  292. Alex Foong says:

    I noted you are testing these new lenses using the Canon 6D, I belief these new lenses are design for high megapixel camera like the Canon 5Dsr with a smaller pixel pitch of less than 4.5 macron. It would be nice if your test are carried out using the 50.6mp or 42mp camera to see the sharpness and macro contrast in relation to 4.5 macron pixel pitch sensors.

    I have been shooting with the Canon 5Dsr and till todate I have not experience moire’ with my present line of Classic Zeiss lenses. The worse I have seen is the Zeiss Distagon 35mm f2.0 lens performing on the Canon 5Dsr.

  293. Dustin Abbott says:

    It’s funny how a new body is released and many people suddenly think tests done on any other body are somehow less valid. I may use a 5DsR in the future, but I also believe that the same standard I have applied to dozens of previous reviews gives a strong, fair representation of the lenses I review. The number of people who shoot at 50.6 or 42mp is a very, very small sample size in the market right now.

  294. Philip says:

    You have the best unbiased and informative reviews!
    Keep it up especially how logical & well thought out you present it!

    Can you compare this sigma 24-35 f2 against canon 24-70 f2.8 II??

    I want to get a full frame camera now and can’t decide between these 2 lens.

    I’m looking for the best overal image quality, sharpness and auto focusing. Mainly just for general picture taking, portraits, landscapes etc..

  295. Dustin Abbott says:

    Both lenses are exceptionally sharp, but if you are looking for general purpose shooting, it is hard to beat a 24-70mm lens. It’s a great focal range. I think you will find the 24-35mm pretty confining if it is your primary lens.

  296. Philip says:

    Thanks was thinking the same but the faster aperture of sigma is very tempting still!

  297. Heather Rai says:

    Thanks Dustin! Looks like a handy strap. I love the reviews 🙂

  298. Dustin Abbott says:

    Heather, it definitely is…and thank you! I’ll throw your name into the mix for the draw.

  299. Excellent review, thank you. I bought a Canon 35mm f2 IS recently and was amazed by its performance (and I have owned and used a lot of great lenses). The IS is incredible allowing me a 30-40% success rate for tack sharp frames at… one second. I wonder how the Tamron’s VC compares? Its great to see Tamron offering us another alternative to either Sigma or Canon, but I can’t help but feel that Canon got the 35mm IS so right that its a tough act to follow. Like you said, its not all that heavy or large, IQ is amazing, AF is spot on and price is good. Personally, I have found Canon is producing amazing lenses at the moment and the competition really needs to add something special to displace them from my kit bag. I’m not sure the Tamron quite manages to differentiate itself for practical shooters, because unlike the Sigma ART, f1.8 vs. f2 is not worth worrying about really. For those who want more solid build (we do not know about the inside, only the outside) and weather sealing, the Tamron looks great.

  300. Dustin Abbott says:

    I won’t argue with your thoughts on the Canon – I love it! I do think that the Tamron has some very serious upsides, though, including that incredible magnification and true weather sealing (it does have internal sealing at the ring, switches, etc… plus the fluorine coating on the front element).

  301. V says:

    Very beautiful! Could you please add the link to the adaptor? Or mention the key words in order to find it if possible?
    Thanks in advance,

  302. Dustin Abbott says:

    Try searching on Ebay for M42 to EF-M adapters. You should find a number of them.

  303. Sergio Grez says:

    Hi! Thanks for this review. One question. I bought my tamron 90 mm di sp vc for my nikkon d3300 but it seems to be very very dark and I often have to use higher Iso and flash to take a pic of an insect in the mid day outdoors. Is that correct? Is this how the lens is supposed to be? Thanks in advance for your help.

  304. John Minter says:

    This is my kind of image, I love it!! Question, I have problems establishing proper exposures when using off-brand legacy lenses on my Canon 5d3. Any tips on how you get them to work? Thanks.

  305. Dustin Abbott says:

    John, if you are using an adapter that can change the “aperture” value, it will only expose correctly when set to to the maximum exposure (f/1.4, for example). That can throw off exposure value. If I want my adapter to register the proper exposure value, I’ll determine the correct shutter speed with the adapter set to wide open (the lens can be stopped down) and then change the adapter’s aperture value to whatever aperture the lens is actually set at.

  306. Cody McGee says:

    Great review. I definitely agree that the M3 failed in some areas and excelled in others. I was very surprised at how good the image quality was. I’ve gotten to where I take this camera with me when I do portrait sessions with my full frame to get a few more creative angles easier. The only problem I have is its compatibility with Yongnuo products which hopefully gets fixed in the coming months. I probably should have just saved up for the canon ST-E3-RT instead of the Yongnuo brand.

  307. Dave T says:


    Excellent review.

    Do you think the Tamron 35 is a reasonable alternative to double as a normal use lens and also be good for astrophotography?

    Another site did a coma review and found that while f/1.8 coma wasn’t that great it was completely cleared up by f/2.5.

    The same site shows the Canon 35 f/2’s coma is not very good even at f/2.8 and at that aperture is almost as bad as the Tamron wide open.

    I understand the Sigma 35 is the sub $1,000 35mm coma king, but I’m scared off a bit by erratic autofocus reports.


  308. Jeff says:

    “without hardly noticing the weight at all”

  309. Dustin Abbott says:

    Dave, I do think this should be a solid choice for astro, and the build quality means that it will be performing well for you for many years to come.

  310. Rubén says:

    Always a pleasure to read your reviews, Dustin. Thank you.

    Just one question. I would be much interested on 24mm and 85mm primes for general low-light and portrait photography, respectively, on my crop body. No news from Canon about a 85mm f/? IS and the 24mm IS is seems to be good but “just” f/2.8 (what makes me consider also the 35mm f/2 IS but think would give me a too closed FoV for my taste). So, do you think we could see a 24mm and/or 85mm f/1.8 – 2 VC from Tamron in the close future?

    Thank you.

    Best regards,


  311. Anton Sincov says:

    Hello Dustin!

    Once again I find your thoughts about a particular lens so close to mine. It is funny, but originally bought the 50L in attempt to compensate my Canon 400D’s awful ISO capabilites.
    Boy was I right and wrong at the same time! Surely 50L allows to get away with IS0 <= 800 in most situations, but it needs very confident AF system at f/1.2 which 400D lacks completely. I am now using
    50L with 6D (single center point + servo mode) and it really shines. Was lucky enough to get it used without focus-shifting issuse. It is now one of my 2 favourite lenses alongside with
    85L II (which is even more magical), but must admit that 50mm is more practlical for everyday use and weather sealing also comes in handy. I find 50L producing images which are so corresponding to my inner vision
    of how I would like the things to look like, if you understand what I mean. And this dreaminess and magical softness at f/1.2 make objective specifications like sharpness almost irrelative.
    Here I found a small set of photos which briefly show strong points of 50L: http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/lenses/50L/

  312. Dustin Abbott says:

    Anton – I’m glad you have enjoyed your 50L. It is a very nice lens. Thanks for the great feedback and for the link

  313. Dustin Abbott says:

    Ruben, I have no guarantees on those lenses, but I do know that Tamron has more primes planned for the season, and both of those are pretty common focal lengths. I’m personally hoping for the 85mm, myself.

  314. Fatlind says:

    wow Dustin!!!!!!!! This is amazing! Can this be achieved with any of the Wide angle lenses of Zeiss? !!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  315. Sure. Just use a heavy ND filter (I used a 10 stop filter here) to achieve the long exposure look.

  316. chris says:

    Hi, just download “Simple Dof calculator” on the Mac App store.

  317. chris says:

    Oups, misplaced my reply ; this is supposed to answer Kel’s question.

  318. Phil Wright says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Great review and a simply gorgeous lens. The price to match unfortunately. Have you seen/used the Sony FE 55 1.8 ZA lens? How would you compare the two? I’ve just moved over to Sony from Canon and have this lens and although it’s only a 1.8, the sharpness, contrast and bokeh are fantastic.

  319. Dustin Abbott says:

    I don’t have a lot of experience with the Sony lenses, but the Otus line is record breaking!

  320. Philipp says:

    “higher level APS-C bodies like the 70D/7DII” the 7dII has no Wifi….
    i’m using a usb cable to connect my 7dii to my phone. Works perfect. (wifi still would be nice)

    there are 0.5 – 5m Cabels for about 5$….

  321. revabbott says:

    Thanks for the info. I hadn’t yet used the 7DII and was under the assumption that it did have Wi-Fi capability. I will make the correction in the article.

  322. Nicolaas Strik says:

    Thanks for the review Dustin! I wanted to say how much I love your landscape and nature photos, as well as your wedding and portraits.

  323. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you, Nicolaas. I appreciate the nice feedback.

  324. Victorien aubry says:

    Hi dustin,
    55-250mm is stm vs tamron 70-300mm vs usd with a canon 700d ?

  325. Dustin Abbott says:

    That’s a tough one, Victorien. If you ever think you are going to go to a full frame, buy the Tamron. If you want to do video recording using AF Servo, definitely the Canon. If you plan to stay on a crop sensor body like the 700d, I’d probably stick with the Canon.

  326. alan jones says:

    Hi Interestingly my wife and i between us own both the canon 100-400 MK2 and the tamron 150-600 I find the Tamron sharper at 600MM F.8 than the Canon100-400mk with a canon 1.4 mk3 at 560 mm !! i have retested this many times with the same results even after checking the MFA on the 7D2 s we use..At 400 mm with no telecoverter the canon is very slightly better the 100-400mk2 is as stunning lens but my Tamron 150-600 is also a keeper !!

  327. Dustin Abbott says:

    Alan, the new batch of super telephotos are all excellent. I get a lot of questions about which to buy, and while I try to steer people according to what I perceive as their needs, I always add the caveat that there isn’t a bad choice among the lenses. They are all good – just slightly different enough to meet different needs.

  328. Jack Marziliano says:

    Hi Dustin . Would love to put that lens head to head with that from Samysng . I sm enjoying the 85mm on my 6D . Not missing Af except for speed factor. Added a magnifying type device on body and it’s getting easier.

  329. Bill says:

    Thank-you for this great review! After reading it, I was certain the Tamron 45mm was the perfect replacement for my EF 50 1.8 II I had been wanting to replace for some time, even after originally planning on replacing it with a 50L that I recently rented. As thoroughly written as your article is, it still left me with a few questions, number one being: If you had both the Sigma 50 Art and the Tamron 45 in your bag, which one would you consistently prefer and why? After all the fifty’s you reviewed, I would love to know your definitive opinion in relation to it’s primary competitor.

    Since getting the Tamron, I also got a chance to hold and shoot a few pics with the Sigma 50 Art in a camera store. My impression of the Art was that it felt more solid, and thus better built than the Tamron. I also liked the looks of the Art better. So my second question is: What is it about the Tamron exactly that you think exhibits better build quality than the Sigma? Is it the fact that you know that the Tamron has weather resistance, or something else? Would you still feel that way if you took weather resistance out of the picture?

    I have had the Tamron 45 for a couple of weeks now, and so far I have produced some beautiful images with it. Focus accuracy seems generally on par with the 50 1.8 II, but outer focus points seem to have trouble locking in low light with my 5DII. I wonder if the Sigma would do any better?

  330. Dustin Abbott says:

    Bill, I did personally choose the Tamron over the Sigma for a few important reasons. First of all, I got more consistent focus results with the Tamron. I’m not alone in getting somewhat inconsistent focus results with the Sigma. Secondly, the Tamron is both physically smaller and also better built (the Sigma has a great looking design, but is primarily plastics while the Tamron is made of lightweight metals). The Tamron has good weather sealing; the Sigma has none. The Tamron can focus much, much closer and has better magnification; its manual focus ring is much better than either the Sigma or the 50L. I haven’t used either of the lenses on a 5DMKII, but I wouldn’t expect the Sigma to focus better (not my experience at all). The 50L, perhaps, but I’ve had very good focus results with the Tamron despite it not being the fastest focusing lens I’ve ever used!

  331. Paul says:

    Good point, Dustin. There wasn’t a WWI until there was a WWII! Now everyone calls it WWI.

  332. Hi Dustin – I have just “discovered” you today through your 6D vs 5D3 comparison article which I found very interesting. As a part-time photographer the dual-card 5D3 was the only choice of bodies, but as an upgrade to my 50D for my second body I would now consider the 6D instead of saving up for a second 5D3.
    If there is one criticism that I would make reading through your articles, your descriptions and your videos is a slight bias towards all things Tamron at the expense of all things Sigma – many test of the 150-600 from both camps rate the Sigma higher but not you, the 50/1.4 from Sigma is considered by many as the 2nd best IQ 50mm ever made (after the Zeiss) and many more. Personally, I recently swapped my Canon 24-105 f/4 with the Sigma 24-104 f/4 Art lens and the improvement has been staggering.
    Keep up the good work and I have already subscribed to your YouTube channel.
    A new “fan” from Cyprus

  333. Peter says:

    I actually bought the M3 based on what I read on your review. No regrets. Great image quality despite the shortcomings. Like you, I find the weight of my 6D and FF gear a little tiresome for hiking and travel. Your troubles with the EF-S 55-250 IS STM rang a familiar bell for me. I previously bought the Tamron 16-300 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, only to find out that it doesn’t work at all (with the EF adapter) on the M3. The lens froze after power on, then it powers off. I note that you have used other Tamron lenses successfully on the M3. Any suggestion on a resolution..

  334. Dustin Abbott says:

    Peter, I would contact Tamron. There may be a firmware update from them that can make the lens work. Canon really, really needs to update the EF Adapter, though. It worked pretty consistently with the M1, but certainly does not work very consistently now.

  335. Marton says:

    I also tested the new Canon 100-400 against the old one and the 400 prime f/5.6 and it didn't convinced me at all the it is an optically better performed lens. Indeed, the prime is so much better than this, and can accept teleconverters without any huge compromise. The 70-200 II with the only Kenko 1.4x which is superior to any Canon performs better than this.
    I thought it would be a great telelens, as I like its design, but I don't recommend to buy it.
    – marton

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Marton, I don’t know what to say other than that your findings contradict both my own and basically all other reviews of the lens.

  336. Ivan Muller says:

    Hi Dustin, I always enjoy your reviews and thanks for the effort!

    Just some thoughts on the word 'blessed' as opposed to 'privileged' I read in the 100-400 zoom that you wrote we are 'blessed' to have great affordable tele zoom lenses…etc

    Would you really describe that as a 'blessing'? Do you think God blesses us by that type of material thing or wouldn't you rather think of it as a 'privilege'?

    I know that we easily claim we are blessed but if one thinks about it for a moment, does that then mean what we consider blessed, when it is absent, that we are then not blessed?

    I am just wondering if 'privileged' is not more appropriate and true?

    Regards, Ivan

    And have a blessed Christmas in the true meaning of the word!

  337. Fatlind says:

    Hi Dustin,
    Thank you first of all for all your advices and happy new year.

    I am new in this photography journey and many of the times I am a bit puzzled with the endless possibilities of making things happened.

    My first gear is a used 5D m2 and Zeiss Macro Planar 50mm. It is just an interesting universe for me. I am deep into Photoshop and lightroom.

    I was trying to see passed year that was is the step for me into the world of photography and product photography and landscape are my favorites that sticked with me.

    For the time being, jewellery photography is where I am focused in. Apart from it i am doing work on other fiels like bads, shoes, food… however, jewellery seems challenging.

    On the way of search is that I noticed that my lens is 1:2 magnification. I am a Zeiss lens ONLY person, and I do not think to move from it, even if the cost bits me sometimes…. Nevertheless, it appears that gem stones and other small objects need a 1:1 macro.

    My question is:
    Is my 50mm macro enough to do the job?
    If not do you think that an extension tube would make it 1:1, any draw backs using extension? Any extension brand you would suggest?

    I have done some research on Canon 180mm macro. Can this lens be a replace for anything that will slow the work with Zeiss MF. I can alternate the lenses if time demands speed, however , i am a manual oriented person, i take my time.

    Do you think Canon EG-S precision focus screen is necessary, i read your review.

    Any other comments on this products photography gear will help. I don’t want to spend money in wrong buying.

    Sending my best regards and wishes for 2016


  338. Matthias says:

    Hi Dustin,

    you have really interesting content on your site. I enjoy reading your blog, and I have been following it for quite a while. Thank you for this article and for all the other posts.
    May I ask if you offer a tutorial on how to create the photos of rain or snow that you use as overlays? I would love to learn more about it.
    Thank you, and Happy New Year (as it is January 2nd today) 🙂


  339. Nick says:

    Any chance for a direct shootout with regards to the “drawing” of the 35mm f/1.4 L II and the 35mm f/2 IS? There are some similar photos in each of the respective review galleries but something more controlled would be nice. The extra aperture is nice but at over 3 times the cost. Yikes!

  340. FinKK says:

    Thank you for a very informative and detailed review. Any interest to test out the Zeiss Distagon ZE 35mm f1.4? It would be very interesting to read your opinions of it. I own ot, and its colour and draving is impressive. God blessings anyway for a new year. 🙂

  341. Dustin Abbott says:

    Nick, I definitely intend to do a few of those before I send the 35L and the Sigma back. I do have a comparison series shot with the Christmas light bokeh. I’ll do a landscape and another general purpose series as well.

  342. Dustin Abbott says:

    FinKK – I’m always interested in testing Zeiss lenses! My next Zeiss review is of the Milvus 1.4/85mm. It sounds very, very interesting.

  343. FinKK says:

    Okay, that 85mm is very interesting indeed. 🙂 I really want to see the bokeh examples, or how it behaves wide open longer distance; ie does it have the same “medium format look” as the 85mm otus.

  344. Dustin Abbott says:

    You and me both 🙂

  345. Masumkhan says:

    Hi Dustin. I am from bangladesh. I’m a hobbyist and am shooting on a crop nikon d5200. I own a manual 50mm and the slow kit lens and would really like to own lens that is the world’s best. Do you suggest I save up and purchase this 85mm or should I build a system with $4000+
    I don’t mind using this single lens for the rest of my life. .

  346. Dustin Abbott says:

    Masum, if you want the best, this is it. My only concern is that you are using a crop sensor camera body. The incredible resolution of this lens is somewhat wasted on a crop body.

  347. Peter says:

    I have used the 70-300mm L at a number of inside venues and never once missed a shot. Very Fast and accurate focus. Reading your comments on the 100-400mm L ii having trouble in low light, “event shots”, relative to the 70-300L appears to be a significant downside of this lens compared to the, now 5 year old design, 70-300L. Just wondering if you would say that the 100-400mm L ii is a more limiting lens in focal length of the 70-300L in terms of utility under a variety of lighting conditions ? .

  348. Dustin Abbott says:

    I’ve recently used the 100-400L II in some school gym events without trouble. The event I shared photos from in my review had much dimmer light, but I didn’t use the 70-300L side by side in that setting. A variable aperture lens is never going to be best pick in low light anyway (either of these).

  349. Peter says:

    What I am commonly amazed at is the steller, glowing reviews about sharpness of a lens only to find that sharpness iis restricted to the center of the photograph . Hard to imagine a more glaring example of this than the Canon EF 35mm L II on Photozone.de . Jaw dropping how bad the lens is off center especially for price and how ground breaking it is in the center. Everyone should see the analysis results at http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/964-canon35f14mk2?start=1

    That said, I really love the care you put in the practical, real world impression of each lens with much more thought than nearly all reviewers. Thanks again !

  350. Dustin Abbott says:

    Peter, I’m not quite sure where they are getting their data, as it isn’t true. The lens is amazing out to the corners. Take a look at this comparison vs. the Sigma 35 ART: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=994&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=829&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0. My real world experience tells me that the resolution of the lens is pretty close to perfect across the image frame.

  351. Marcel Houle says:

    Beautiful. It reminds me of similar conditions I captured on last November, near my home in Montreal. Check it out :

  352. Nathan says:

    Hi Dustin,

    From a practical use perspective, how would you compare this lens to the 135mm f2 Zeiss. Especially in the background blur and longitudinal CA department?

    Was there a noticeable color shift?

    Even though they have similar parameters, is the Zeiss easier to focus?

    Please justify my future Zeiss purchase I guess or change my mind into buying the Samyang 🙂

  353. Dustin Abbott says:

    Nathan, if you can afford the Zeiss, don’t hesitate. It is a superlative lens, and the focus is definitely easier on the Zeiss due to both better mechanics and AF confirm. It is one of the finest optical instruments out there, period.

  354. Chris Sears says:

    Wow!! Thanks so much for doing this kind of in depth real world testing Dustin. Really useful!

  355. Dustin Abbott says:

    Chris, you’re definitely welcome. The autofocus segment goes up onto YouTube tonight.

  356. Moritz says:

    Beautiful photos shot with an amazing lens! Thanks for sharing this.

  357. Dustin Abbott says:

    My pleasure.

  358. Nicolaas Strik says:

    Very nice! The Tamron 15-30 has to be the best wide angle zoom. I love mine!

  359. Dustin Abbott says:

    I agree, Nicolaas. Great lens!

  360. Based on your review, I purchased this lens for travel purposes, and I wasn’t disappointed in the overall quality of the optic. However I had the feeling some of the pictures could be sharper. After spending this afternoon calibrating my copy using the Magic Lantern dot-tune module, I went for +2 wide and -6 tele AFMA settings on my 5DMkIII. I’m happy to say that’s nicely consistent with your results, Dustin! I wish I would have had the time to do this before I took the lens on holiday as there is a marked improvement especially at 300mm, but alas… I’ll reap the fruits of my labor next time 🙂

  361. Dustin Abbott says:

    Michiel, doing a good AFMA is the first thing I do with any lens. It’s amazing how much difference it can make, and makes you wonder how often this is the problem when someone reports a lens as being “soft” when reviewers have found otherwise. I’m glad the lens is working out for you; it is a great travel option!

  362. Heather Featherstone says:

    Love the images that the Soul behind them brings to life & light.

    Wonderful work.

    Heather F. (bought the canon 70-300 / Arnpior)

  363. Dustin Abbott says:

    I knew the name was familiar, Heather! Thank you, and I hope you are enjoying the lens.

  364. Adnan says:

    Have you tried the CZJ Flektogon 35mm f/2.4 M42?

  365. Dustin Abbott says:

    Adnan – I haven’t. CZJ lenses are too expensive to try on a whim, unless you find them at an estate sale or pawn shop.

  366. Donna DiNovo says:

    are you able to achieve nice catchlights with the scoop?

  367. Johan Lannek says:

    Sounds promising! Looking for something to replace my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, this might be it 🙂

  368. Dustin Abbott says:

    This is only for mirrorless bodies, so as long as you are planning to use it on mirrorless, it is a great choice.

  369. Dustin Abbott says:

    Definitely, if positioned the right way. Usually off camera produces the best catchlights, as you can get the light source higher.

  370. Heather Featherstone says:

    The peace of dawn.. Yes. It lovingly amplifies the connection of All living things.

    This image is stunning.

  371. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you, Heather!

  372. Johan Lannek says:

    Totally missed that it was for the EF-M mount :-(….might get one for my the EOS M if Canon’s “EOS M4” improves over the M3. If the M4 does not solve the current problems…well time to look for another mirrorless travel size camera.

  373. Peter says:

    I have the Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS lens which is great for the work I do. I noticed one of your pictures said your dog was shot at F/1.4. In my experience you need to shot between F/2.8 and F/4 to get a dog’s face in focus because of their long “nose” (speaking about 40 – 70 lb dogs). I am looking at the Canon EF 35mm F/1.4 L ii vs the Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8 L ii lenses. There are so many elements to consider. First the 24-70mm in practical terms outside is like walking 2 – 5 steps versus the 35mm. So then I think about getting the very best 35mm possible to beat the 24-70mm. Yet, the 24-70mm in many quantitative tests edges out the 35mm F/2 IS in resolution assuming you can hold the lens with faster than 1/70th of second shutter speed. So in the end, do you long for the extra image quality of the new Canon EF 35mm F/1.4 L II over your Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS lens ?

  374. Peter says:

    PS: To add to my previous comments I forgot to mention I have both Canon 6d and Canon T6s bodies

  375. Dustin Abbott says:

    Regarding the dog – that depends on your working distance. Am I tempted by the 35L II? Absolutely. Will I make the move? I don’t actually know, yet. I’ll give it some time, but it really is a stunningly good lens.

  376. Peter says:

    Thanks Dustin for your comments. I have looked at lens reviews from inside/out and always am drawn to your reviews from the depth, authenticity, and insight to the photography on the ground.

  377. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you, Peter. I certainly strive for that.

  378. Marek says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Thank you for the great review.

    How would you compare the image quality (sharpness, contrast, colors) of this lens with the Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 and the 40mm 2.8? At an event, would you feel comfortable shooting wide open or would you go up to at least 2.8? If you already had a large zoom in your bag, which of the three would you go for? Would you hesitate to take the 35mm (or the 40mm) and leave the Tamron behind and if so why?

  379. Dustin Abbott says:

    Marek – that depends on what large zoom you are talking about. If I am going out with the 100-400L II and don’t think I’ll use it much, I’ll bring the 40 because you can put it in a pocket. If I am shooting portraits, I will often bring the 35, if I am shooting events and want ultimate versatility, I use the Tamron 24-70. I use the Tamron a lot when traveling, too. I shot the 35 at f/2 unless I need more depth of field. It is essentially perfectly sharp wide open.

  380. first thanks Dustin for the detailed review.
    I'm intending to start shouting wildlife, in particular birds.
    For years I'm shooting overall with a 5D (1e generation) with the last 7 years with a canon 24-70 F2.8
    Seeing the age of this camera and the intnetion to go shooting birds, it's time for a new camera. This will be the 7D II.
    But I'm still not sure if the canon 100-400 is the right lens for me in this range.
    Could you please gif your opinion about this combination of camera and lens.
    Thanks in advance


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      I think you will find that a great combination in focal length, image quality, and focus operation. Enjoy!

  381. FinKK says:

    Beautiful moment, well captured. The tension between the colours of the light in the shadows & sun makes it even more interesting.

  382. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you, Fin!

  383. Harry van Gastel says:

    Hi Mr. Abbott !
    I agree concerning the focus issues (with the Samyang 135mm f/2 – I don’t own the 50mm) even when using the “specialized” Canon focusing screen. I did not get many well focused shots with it though and decided – after talking to a Zeiss engineer during a (Zeiss !)demo – to order a modified Canon screen at focusingscreen.com. Slightly more expensive but it really works on my 6D. If you did not already, maybe you should look into that.
    I’m also into old glass, using – among others – an aluminium 13 aperture blade Helios 58mm f/2. Several optical shortcomings that don’t matter when you get to see the results.
    Love your site !
    Grtz, Harry

  384. Dustin Abbott says:


    Thanks for the feedback. I’ll definitely take a look at that site, too.

  385. Elderin says:

    Great review and some nice images. I am actually looking for this lens because of its optical quality. Zeiss puts Canon and Nikon to shame because they show how a good lens should be like. In comparison most Canon and Nikon lenses are just crap. Maybe Nikon and Canon think so as well and give their lenses an adaquate build 😉
    I shoot a Nikon D810 and with the few good lenses the sensor is stunning. But on the Nikon side i only can recommend the 200 f2 if you want the best sharpness, color and overall rendering. The new 1.8 lenses are all sharp but thats about it.

  386. Cip says:

    Hi Dustin,
    How does Tamron compare with Canon f2 IS in terms of IQ, AF speed and accuracy?
    Thank you

  387. Cip says:

    Thank you Dustin. The test is great.
    However, the noise and jpeg compression affect IQ.

    Based on 5 foot images, looks like Canon f2 nailed the focus best and Canon f1.4 comes second. Of course, there is also the aperture (DOF @ f2 is about twice than @ f1.4)

    There is also a typo on Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM section: “20 foot” is in fact “5 foot”

  388. Dustin Abbott says:

    Cip – if you watch the episode above called “Autofocus accuracy” you will see all of these in more detail.

  389. Dustin Abbott says:

    The Tamron has a bit better image quality overall, but the Canon is definitely tops in focus speed (by a good margin) and is a bit more accurate (though this is close), The f/2 IS is one of Canon’s best focusing lenses in my experience, topping a good number of the L series lenses that I’ve used.

  390. Cip says:

    Thanks. Just did. Impressive work.
    Just realized the captures you show on video look better than the one above (jpeg compression artifacts, I think).

    For me and my pocket, Canon f2 looks like a winner. And, where I am from, is 40% cheaper than Tamron or Sigma.

  391. Dustin Abbott says:

    Hard to argue with that. I’ve been using the lens for about 27 months in my own kit and love it!

  392. saravana says:

    I own a 5DMKIII camera and 70-200 F2.8L IS II lens along with 2X extender. I am in a confusion of buying lwns for wildlife photography. I got bit confusion in selecting Canon 100-400 IS II or Tamron 150-600mm. Please guide in choosing best lens for my field of interest.

  393. Dustin Abbott says:

    Saravana – check out this video here where I attempted to answer that question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw9qCNyK6s8

  394. Leon Hall says:

    Hi Dustin. I saw some of your videos and I told my wife: “this guy is a born again Christian”. I could just sense it. I just had a look at your biography page toay, after many months of reading your reviews, and I wasn’t surprised to see that you were in fact a 5th generation pastor. Keep up the good photographic work and keep on shining your light. It’s clear you’re walking with God, even through the internet it’s visible (even though you never talk about it) – just by being who you are. I always look at your reviews and photos on something before I buy. God bless and regards from Melbourne, Australia (previously from South Africa). Leon

  395. Johan Lannek says:

    Looks beautiful! Well done Dustin.

  396. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you, Johan

  397. Miz says:

    Great review! Really nice read.
    I assume you own this lens.
    How’s the long term experience?
    Does the rubber ring any better than Sigmas?
    How’s the AF speed in dark reception (both servo and single mode)?
    I dont expect amazing, but is it fine? No strugle?
    Keep the reviews comming.

  398. Dustin Abbott says:

    Miz, I really enjoy the lens (and yes, I did purchase a copy). Once I had the focus dialed in, it is really great for chronicling events and general purpose shooting. Accurate focus (but not fast). The focus ring is 100x better than the Sigma, no question.

  399. Alberto says:

    Great review Dustin! I just bought this lens and I shoot with a 6D as well. I love the colors it produces and the bokeh is of L quality. I agree about the autofocus being very slow. The lens hunts a bit even under some shade unlike my canon 24-70 2.8 v.1. For me (a hobbyist) this isn’t a dealbreaker but may pose as a problem for professionals.

  400. Dustin Abbott says:

    Alberto, I didn’t really find the AF slow on the 35 overall, but I did note that it was more likely to hunt a bit than the Canon 35 IS. The Tamrons have a much longer focus throw than the competitors (particularly the Sigmas), which has the pro of more accurate focus (and makes them great to MF), but the tradeoff is a bit slower AF.

  401. Miz says:

    Nice to see exposure bracketing, I might check it, thx Dustin!

  402. Robert says:

    Hello Dustin,

    I own the Tamron 150-600, but am considering buying the 100-400 L II and a Kenko 1.4 Pro 300 DGX TC (which I already own) with it. Will use it on a 5DIII for an upcoming safari. I like the idea of the 100-400 as it is more compact and a bit lighter. But I do not want to sacrifice IQ…So which combo do you feel is sharper at 500-600 (Tammy) and 560 (100-4– with Kenko 1.4) ?

    Another possibility is to use the 100-400 natively on a 7DII body…



  403. Dustin Abbott says:

    Robert, if portability is your chief concern, I think the 100-400L II is a good choice (the one that I’ve made myself). With the Kenko the Canon still has a slight advantage on the long end in sharpness.

  404. robert says:


    Thanks for your reply. IQ is my prime concern, but if it is more or less a tie in IQ, I suppose I would go with the Canon lens. I had hoped that IQ would me markedly better with the 100-400. Maybe that would be the case using it sans TC on the 7DII….


  405. alan jones says:

    Hi ..We own both the Tamron 150-600 and the Canon 100-400 mk 2 the canon 100-400 mk2 on the 7d2 outperforms the tamron slightly but put a 1.4x TC mk3 (which we do )on the Canon and the Tamron slightly outperforms the canon plus t/c at 550-600 regarding sharpness AF if great on both if you are wanting to use a 1.4x t/c the 100-400 Mk2 is the way to go as the Mk1 is soft a massive difference in fact ..as with all lenses there is some variation my Tamron is sharp at 600..the Tamron for the money is a great lens the VC is good i can easily hand hold at 600 (960MM) the AF is quick and accurate too yes the canon is superb too my comments only apply to the aps-c sensor size on the 7D2 but both lenses are great on our 7D2 (my wife and I) out of the 2 lenses the 100-400 mk 2 is more versatile being able to focus at less than metre i love both lenses that why we keep them both !!

  406. Dustin Abbott says:

    Good feedback all around. I’ve not used a 7D2 at all, so can’t comment on that.

  407. Luka says:

    Thank you for this review Dustin! 🙂
    Finally someone that actually tested the AF success rate and confronted to the sigma art. After owning a Sigma (2013 build) and having headaches because of very bad AF accuracy, I was dying to know if buying the Canon it would be possible to resolve this big problem for me.
    My girlfriend and me do weddings, family portraits, magazines, … The 35mm is by far the most used lens (ok, not for magazines, but everything else). My girlfriend is the main shooter and she could do a whole 12-14h wedding with it. We used sigma art for more then 2 years and we really like the image quality, but it has a 50% rate to hit focus (we learned to make a lot of reduntant shots because of this) and sometimes is even impossible to achive focus (keeps missing even when repeating the shot). That is why we waited for Canon to release the new 35, just to resolve our problem with AF. Now is the time to go for it 🙂
    Thank you once again! 🙂
    I also own the 24 1.4 art (new build, 2015). Less problems with AF but still can’t trust it. I heard that the Canon isn’t much better also. And because we don’t use this focal lenght nearly as much as the 35, we accept the AF problem till a better lens comes out. 🙁

  408. Dustin Abbott says:

    Luka, thanks for the feedback. I have found Sigma users to be very aggressive in defending the ART series despite this issue, and many don’t like it brought up. I like Sigma lenses, but the AF consistency is a very real issue.

  409. Bruno says:

    Keep up the good work, Dustin!

  410. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you, Bruno.

  411. This has to be one of the best and more detailed comparisons I have EVER read!
    I am considering the Tamron for my Sony a7ii over my FE 16-35mm mainly because of the extra stop and Bokeh it can achieve.

  412. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thanks, Luis. These types of comparisons are very time intensive, so I understand why few of them are done!

  413. Oh yes indeed! I have done some for myself between two lenses only and not as formal as yours and it takes me hours and hours so I cannot imagine all the time you invested in this. I wish you shoot Sony mirrorless as I would love to see your videos for our lenses too 😀

  414. Eugen Hoppe says:

    Check this out: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qdslrdashboard/id912760548?ls=1&mt=8

    This is the best Timelapse App for IOS. It works wonderful with 6D Wifi and even have an special LRTimelapse mode for best results in “Holy Grail” Workflow.

    There is an Android and Windows App too..


  415. Bill Duncan says:

    Good Evening,

    I’ve been reading through your site off and on for quite some time. Your reviews on vintage lenses have helped me save money, and through the patience required become a better photographer. I’ve invested in Takumar lenses, the 50mm F1.4 (both 7 and 8 element versions), and a Takumar 75mm F4.5 for Pentax 67, adapted to Canon EOS. I have the Helios and its a joy to shoot.

    I find them a joy to shoot and a challenge to focus, even with the addition of a precision focus screen to my Canon 6D. But when the focus is perfect, the results are worth all the attempts in the world.

    I find myself lacking everything needed, but would really value a different style of lens shootout. What I really want to see if a vintage VS modern shootout. I want to see the Canon 50mm F1.4 go against the Takumar 50mm F1.4’s. I would love to see the 75mm go against the 85mm (yeah, not a perfect comparison but that 75mm performs amazingly).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your experiences and work. I’ve found it extremely helpful, wish I had seen this before my last tour overseas. Thanks again and i’ll continue following your work.

    Bill Duncan

  416. Robert says:

    Alan, great feedback, thanks. I own the Tamron, but will but will buy the 100-400–mk II and the 7DII as I feel on my 7 week safari trip it will be more versatile and less cumbersome. I will carry the 5DIII with a combo of 24-105L and 16-35 f4L. Oddly, Dustin says he has used the keno 1.4 on the Tamron on his 6D, but Kenko says it is not compatible.

    Dustin, can you confirm the Kenko works on the 100-400 II?

  417. Dustin Abbott says:

    Robert, I own the combination and can definitely attest that it works perfectly fine.

  418. Miz says:

    Thx for this. Hope to see Your hands on the new Tamron 85mm as soon as possible. Would be great to get some comparission with 45mm in terms of colors, microcontrast, and out of focus rendering. I would like to stick to one coating/rendering aproach. And im highly interested in 45.

  419. revabbott says:

    I’m definitely scheduled to get the Tamron 85 VC for testing. I’ll have the 90 Macro VC first and then the 85 VC.

  420. mbphoto says:

    What about the Distagon Milvus 50mm f/1.4?
    I’d love to see a head to head comparison with the Sigma Art 50/1.4 regarding the rendering, micro contrast, bokeh, etc.

  421. revabbott says:

    A Milvus 1.4/50 is schedule for the latter portion of this month. I probably won’t be able to have the Sigma on hand, though.

  422. Darin says:

    The latest release of ACR does have profiles for most Samyang/Rokinon lenses, even the 12mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.2 but not yet for the 21mm f/1.4 although I wouldn’t expect it to be too far out.

  423. revabbott says:

    That’s good to hear. I’m sure you are right if the 50mm f/1.2 is there.

  424. Robert says:


    I have the Kenko 1.4 and 2x Pro DGX’s. Have you used either on the 100-400 II Canon? Keno states, at least for the 1.4 that they CANNOT be used…Thanks, Robert

  425. Peter says:

    I would be interested where you see that the Kenko’s do not work with the new Canon 100-400 Mark II ? I have the 6D and it works perfectly within the limits of day light with the Kenko 1.4x.

  426. revabbott says:

    Robert – I have not had a problem with the combination at all. It works perfectly for me.

  427. Bruno says:

    Another great review. Thank you, Dustin!

  428. revabbott says:

    Thanks, Bruno!

  429. Hanbit Kwon says:

    Thank you, this is a great review article. I love the sample images.

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      thank you for the nice feedback!

  430. Dustin, I very much like your work. I too have a “blog” called http://www.photojournalchronicles.com and hope you might take time to visit my efforts. I recently changed the title to The Covenant Chronicles given my relatively new emersion in to God’s Word through my wonderful church. My greatest hope, God willing, is that as each of us speaks from our hearts about our relationship with the Lord, that our ‘covenant’ with Him will branch out extending The Vine to who knows where?

    All the best and God bless. It was a joy to find your site and blog. I wrote a poem about a silver fox and thought I might find something: yours came up on Google. I was stunned with the one image that looks more like a pen/pencil drawing than a photograph! Wonderful.

    Lee Anne Morgan

  431. revabbott says:

    Lee Anne – what great feedback. Thanks for taking the time to reach out!

  432. Givi says:

    Thank you, Dustin, for the wonderful review. Looking forward to seeing your review of a 50mm version of the Milvus series.

  433. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thanks, Givi – I’m looking forward to my time with it, too!

  434. Minh Mai Lê says:

    Should i get this lens or the Rokinon 24mm F1.4 for my sony A6300, video quality is my main concern.

    Thanks for a very in-depth review.

  435. asok Kumar Das says:

    After purchasing Tamron 18-200 vc lens l have gone through many reviews but none of them satisfied me. After reading this review and seeing all images l came to know all about this lens.Thanks

  436. revabbott says:

    Glad to help out!

  437. Nicolaas Strik says:

    Another great review! Thanks!

  438. revabbott says:

    Thanks for the nice feedback

  439. Larry Wilson says:

    I am seriously considering the Tamron 45. Have you used this lens for wedding type events or events with motion in less than ideal light such as a church? Is the focusing good enough to get a high sharp focus rate in conditions as I have described?


  440. Amir says:

    I would like to confirm Marton’s findings on the comparison between 100-400 old vs 100-400 II at 400 mm. I have compared the two and found no difference in sharpness at 400mm at the center of the image (on 5d III). At the same time 100-400 II handles Canon 1.4x III extender better, images seems to be a tad sharper but importantly, the AF is two to three times faster on 100-400 II as compared to the old version when using the extender. I must say that my 100-400 old version is only 3 years old. I read that the older 100-400 productions were not as good. Just my two cents.

  441. revabbott says:

    Amir, that’s interesting. There seems to be a much great sample variation with the first generation lens, which could account for different opinions on the sharpness improvement. It is unquestionable that the sharpness near the outer portion of the image circle is much better with the new lens. Bryan’s Carnathan’s chart testing agrees with my findings: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=113&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=972&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

  442. Fred says:

    Dustin, I am extremely interested to know the dimension of the usable image circle this Rokinon throws onto a full frame sensor — your 6D, for example. I will, as of tomorrow, be a new M3 owner (complementing a Sony A5000, in what I feel is a notably synergistic APS-C combination). Since I am a “35mm-equivalent-is-normal” sort of shooter, and having the EF-M 22mm/f.2.0 coming with the M3, I might be better served getting this lens in Sony e-mount… IF I can also get utility from this attractively compact fast 50 on a Sony A7R… with which I am intending to replace my A7 now that used prices are approaching convergence between the two models. Cropping to a 4:3 frame (nicer for many subjects, IMO)… et cetera… should work out fine with 36mp on board. Can you assist here?

    Many thanks! The new purchase has led me to this website (from having watched a number of your videos previously: I had already acquired the 10-18mm, 40mm/f.2.8, and 55-250mm STM’s + the EF 28mm IS USM and ‘smart adapter’ for the Sonys!). Your M3 run through here has helped put me on a faster track to mastering the new, complementary system, I am sure; and I am grateful for that, as well. Regards, F.

  443. revabbott says:

    Fred, I’m not quite sure how you would test something like that as the Ef-M mount simply doesn’t fit on a full frame body and there are no adapters that I’m aware of.

  444. Mike Derbish says:


    I’ve been following your reviews for a while now and I have to say that your reviews are the best quality I’ve been able to find on the Web. I greatly appreciate the work you are doing. Thanks -Mike.

  445. revabbott says:

    Mike, that is very high praise and I appreciate it!

  446. Fred says:

    Yep, I got ahead of myself there, mentioning the 6D. It would take the e-mount version + a Sony A7 to test that directly. I took a look online of photos of the Sony e-mount on an A5000 vs. the EF-M mount on the M3 to see if there was any possibility of “freelensing” the EF-M version onto a Sony body… but I could not tell just from ‘eyeballing’ the photos if the EF-M’s bayonet flanges would clear those in the throat of a Sony. The flange back distance is, of course, the same in the two systems. I will have to wait for my M3 kit to get here in order to test that possibility directly, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope for that working.

    One might, I suppose, get some idea of what to expect by shining a bright light through the lens onto a flat white surface exactly 18mm behind the plane of the lens’s bayonet. The 50mm f.1.4 Rokinon for DSLRs looked good indeed in your 50mm lens comparison feature, but that size and weight of prime lens is not something I’m at all keen to carry about and have to attach by means of an adapter. Here’s a voter for small, sharp and upscale f.2.0 and f.2.8 full-frame prime lenses: Unlike decades earlier, we are little catered to these days, except by Pentax with some excellent, but older primes. Thanks, Dustin.

  447. revabbott says:

    I certainly agree on the compact primes. I look at how small some of my vintage primes are (and how good they are) and wonder why no one seems able to do that anymore.

  448. Oscar says:

    Thanks for your review. The lens looks wonderful. It does have a bit of ring bokeh in far backgrounds? I may get one for my Fuji, assuming it has better color and is sharper wide open than a Takumar 50mm F1.4 SMC.

    In response to the above question about full frame, there is a recent thread on DPReview where it was shown to cover most of the Sony A7 sensor except for the corners: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57393259

  449. drasko2015 says:

    great quality images! waiting for your 85mm 1.8 review, nice greets

  450. revabbott says:

    I’m really looking forward to the 85 VC, too. If it is as good as I expect I may add it to my own kit.

  451. revabbott says:

    It does have a little bit of concentric rings, but that was only when testing with bright highlights. The overall bokeh and drawing from the lens is really quite beautiful

  452. zarlock says:

    Looking forward to that review. This might be an interesting contender vs our Zeiss Distagon 3.5/18…which is a great lens, but f/1.4 is so much better than f/3.5…

  453. revabbott says:

    That’s very true. Unfortunately the 3.8/18mm is not one of the Zeiss lenses I’ve spent time with, so I can’t give you a comparison. I am, however, comparing it to the Voitlander 20mm f/3.5.

  454. Harry van Gastel says:

    It seems I should have waited a while before buying the – also great, but more expensive ! – Manfrotto Lumie Muse…always new gadgets in the market though, so…

  455. revabbott says:

    Harry, that tends to happen. This was originally a Kickstarter campaign project. I liked the first one enough that I’ve purchased a second for my purposes.

  456. Larry Saideman says:

    Another well written review with many astute observations that are relevant for the non-pro (and the pro, too, I imagine).

  457. revabbott says:

    Thanks for the great feedback, Larry.

  458. Thank you for this! I have a Canon eos M3. I searched for a app better then Canons so long and now I found it. Because of this article. It works fine! I like to take timelapse and now I can relax and let the app do the job. Thx

  459. Andrew says:

    I love this lens. 135mm has been a favorite (though seldom used) focal length of mine since the 1980s, and after going without one since going digital, I was delighted to find this lens.

    I use it on a Canon 6D with the S precision matte screen, which helps greatly. I don't use it often, but when I do, it never ceases to amaze.

  460. revabbott says:

    Glad this helped you out, Sanna!

  461. Gabrie says:

    “There is a Mitakon 50mm f/.95 lens, but it is for a mirrorless APS-C system, so this lens still trumps it when paired with a full frame sensor. ”
    WRONG! The Mitakon is a FULL FRAME lens and aside from the nostalgia and sexy red ring, the Mitakon beats the Canon in every IQ department , Of course, it is manual only.

  462. Dustin Abbott says:

    You are right. I assumed that it was an E-mount APS-C. Sony’s designation on its mounts gets a little confusing! I’ve updated the review accordingly.

  463. I got this lens when I switched from Canon DSLR to Fuji and must say that I’m very impressed. I loved my Canon 28mm 2.8 on 5D so I chose similar focal length and for it’s size and price nothing can beat it!
    Thanks Dustin for a great review as always!

  464. revabbott says:

    David, I’m glad you are happy. How are the mechanics of shooting MF on a Fuji system?

  465. Scott Sater says:


    Such an incredibly in-depth review of these lenses! Thank-you! I have been looking closely at the Canon 16-35 mm f/4 for my treks to the Indian Himalayas. I am looking for great landscape wide angle options. Weight is also a consideration, as we trek large distances. So at this time I am “leaning” toward the Canon. But if ever there were a pause for reflection for me on a wide angle, it would be this Tamron 15-30 that you have so eloquently reviewed alongside the two Canons!

    The other wonderful discovery here in all of this for me ~ is your incredible BLOG with so much information on many topics and gear! I am now “booked” for some more reading! You are beautifully intense and passionate in your detail!

    As an aspiring photography (purely recreational and casual), I am about to make some big purchases for my travels: Canon 6D, Canon 70-200mm f/4, Canon 24-105mm f/4.

    In short, thank-you for sharing your photography insights, wisdom, and experience with us all! I truly can’t wait to get busy reading more of your amazing blog!

    All the Best,

    Scott in Minnesota

  466. Dustin Abbott says:

    Great feedback, Scott, and regarding the two lenses – buy the one that best fits your purposes. They are both excellent! The Canon is definitely a lot lighter and more compact, so if you are doing a lot of trekking, I suspect that it is the better choice for you.

  467. Thanks for the great review – manual focus is something I’ve shied away from for, well forever – but for this lens after your review (and trying manual focus on my Nikon with a 70-200) I may well give it a whirl.

    I used to have a 135L back when I was with Canon and it really was a great lens – so much so that even after I’d moved on I still had it just in case Nikon and I didn’t agree with each other… Well several years later and I just have to get a 135 again and I hope I’ve come along enough to try manual, well its not like they didn’t work perfectly well before both my time 🙂 and before autofocus came along.

  468. revabbott says:

    Best of luck to you. No concerns about being disappointed with the optics, so as long as the focus process works for you, you are golden!

  469. Arthur Argote says:

    Thank you for the review.

    I’m curious how you would compare the optical performance, specifically the CA and sharpness wide open, to the voigtlander nokton F1.5 50 mm. While not native to the eos-m, the leica M to ef-m adapter makes these rangefinder lenses very accessible to the eos-m3

    Add to that the newer voigtlander f1.7 35mm ultron prime which has been well reviewed by many.

    Thanks again!

  470. Dustin Abbott says:

    I’m afraid I’ve not used or reviewed either of those lenses. I will say, however, that the wide open sharpness and contrast excels that of the SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 – a lens that I love!

  471. Jerome says:

    An excellent review that I am happy to have in my inbox, and excellent lens that is shortly going to be in my bag. Wonder if it’s a capable portrait lens!?

  472. Sean says:

    “Similarly the concave front element that prohibits the use of traditional filters will discourage others, though an adapter already exists for third party filters from Fotodiox as well as other third parties.” – I think you mean “convex”

  473. revabbott says:

    I’ve been guilty of getting those two confused before!

  474. revabbott says:

    Medium telephoto macro lenses are great portrait lenses – a perfect focal length and great sharpness/bokeh.

  475. Scot says:

    Thank you so much, Dustin, for another super thorough, well balanced review! This must take a ton of time and consideration. I was initially drawn to the Sigma for the wide aperture but the size and weight give pause, especially if it won’t be used that much relative to other lenses in the kit. Most often, I find myself grabbing and going with the 6d in a smallish bag with the Canon 28/1.8 and 85/1.8 lenses and the 40mm pancake thrown in, because it can (surprised how often I use this lens). I would love to have wider without much size/weight penalty and this seems to fit the bill–worth a rental to see how well it works for oneself at least.
    I know exactly what you mean about lenses punching above their spec sheet class, as I found that with the zeiss 50mm Planar I rented a couple years ago–loved the look and color of those images (though I wasn’t skilled enough to focus consistently even after changing the screen).

  476. Daniel Arenal Martínez says:

    Hi Mr Abott,

    Thanks for this detailed review. i have a dubt.

    I have a ef-m 55-200 in a a eos m3 and suddenly i have a choice to take a Tamrrom 18-200 really Cheap.
    In a few months i will go to Kenia to live a safari.

    What do you think. I keep the native 55-200 or sell it and take the Tamron?

    I´m not sure. For me the most important is the image quality and the reasonable AF speed (I know the m system limitations).

    Thanks and regards from Spain

  477. revabbott says:

    Hmmm, that’s a tough call. I think the 55-200 probably has the edge in IQ, but the ability to go from wide to telephoto in one lens is very nice. I would make the call based on what you’ve got to cover 18-55 and whether or not you want to change lenses in the field. The AF on the 55-200 is perhaps a bit better, but it isn’t exactly incredibly fast.

  478. Daniel Arenal Martinez says:

    Thanks for the answer. In Kenya i prefer to use one lens and don’t change it in the middle of the massai Mara. The lions don’t wait. I will travel with the eos m3 with the tele photo and my fuji x-pro1 wifh the 35mm for details. The dubt is the image quality. I’m not sure. I investigate more about this Tamron and will search more samples. Thanks and congrats for your reviews. Nice and detailled rews.

    Regards Dustin

  479. Jerome says:

    Beautiful capture, can we please remind viewers that the best camera to capture such moments is the one at hand. I have kilos of a certain brand, however when out an about my smart phone has captured the ephemeral l.

  480. Jerome says:

    Beautiful capture, the camera is only a tool.

  481. revabbott says:

    While I don’t disagree with you, Jerome, I certainly would not have gotten this shot with my iPhone. This shot is the result of careful planning for the conditions and matching the right equipment to the situation. There were a number of people out with cell phones when I shot this, and, while I’m sure there shots were nice…they don’t look like this.

  482. Wolfgang Grosse says:

    Hi Dustin, I have the 6D and I got a Helios 44-2 (M42) on Ebay ( http://www.ebay.de/itm/191826665764?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT ). Did you try the 44-2 on the 6D? I’m a little bit afraid of the mirror.
    Greetings from Germany

  483. Sanna says:

    Hi, I don’t manage the use the intervalometer for morse than 100 pittoreska. The batteri and SD Cardiff is ok. Do you have any advice? Thank you !

  484. revabbott says:

    I may have run into that limitation, too. That’s a good question to ask the app developer.

  485. I solved it by using the manual mode. Then it goes on until the SD card is full 🙂

  486. revabbott says:

    Excellent. That’s good to know.

  487. Chris says:

    I really liked your review here. This lens is epic beyond epic, to play with one truly enrapturing, yet to own one, I would likely rarely use it. So thanks for allowing me to vicariously enjoy this rarity!

  488. revabbott says:

    Chris, I’m glad you enjoyed the review. Thanks!

  489. Henrik Olsen says:

    Dear Dustin. Please stick with the great articles on photography. Or, if a new great interest in other categories, make separate feeds. Thanks for the good work.

  490. Dustin Abbott says:

    I certainly will take your feedback under advisement. That being said, I respectfully respond that this is my personal website, not a publicly traded company, and I do feel that I have the freedom to research or post on whatever subject I so desire. I would be happy for the gear given to me for giveaways go to people who have been faithful readers or viewers over the years. This post is under “Accessory Reviews”, not Camera or Lens Reviews.

  491. David Woods says:

    Can’t wait for the full review!

  492. Dustin Abbott says:

    It’s pretty good. A few quirks, but I think it’s going to be an impressive lens.

  493. musti says:

    hi dustin;
    you are doing great job here. here is my idea: i wanna use this 50-100mm lens with my FX camera at its 80 to 100mm range. because i need it for my job. i work under low light and i shoot sports. this lens will rise quality of my images. However my question is just like other 3rd party lenses how fast and accurate its focus speed and does sharpness good for FX camera? your opinions are important for sure if you can answer. I dont wanna give more than a grand just for assuming it is good.
    my best.

  494. Jerad says:

    Thank you for doing the review. Well put together. I think that this has helped correct a fundamental misunderstanding that I have had regarding photography, effective focal length vs. focal length, EF-S lens vs. EF lens.

    To check/verify my understanding, please correct me if I’m wrong. I have been shooting with a couple of Canon APS-C (cropped sensor) camera bodies and using both EF and EF-S lenses.
    The Canon EF 40mm would provide nearly the same field of view on my camera as the Canon EF-S 24mm would (effective focal length of 38mm, on a full-frame camera (that EF-S lenses can’t be mounted to anyway))?

    Thank you for doing good work!

  495. Shreenivas Yenni says:


    thank you for excellent review..i was confused between Canon 100mm IS Macro ( too costly ) & New Tamaron 90MM Macro.. now i am going to place order for Tamaron 90mm Macro after listening to your review.. thank you

  496. revabbott says:

    Glad to help out!

  497. I wish Tamron had an adapter for Sony E mount like Sigma so we could keep features like Eye AF..would make this 85mm such a great alternative.

  498. Dustin Abbott says:

    The lens will come in a Sony mount – is there an A mount to E mount adapter?

  499. Yes there is, I use the LAEA3 with my Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 and 15-30mm but you do not keep the fancier AF features like continuous Eye AF unfortunately. The sigma is the only adapter currently that keeps this although reports are all over the place from people loving it to people that say the adapter sucks so we have to wait a bit longer on it.

  500. Dustin Abbott says:

    I wasn’t aware that Sigma made a specific adapter like that. Smart.

  501. How is the optical from previous version? apart from no IS and silent, fast auto focus?

  502. Dustin Abbott says:

    This is a significant improvement in every way, including optically. It isn’t far behind the much more expensive (and massively large) Canon version.

  503. Thanks for a wonderful and helpful review.
    I bought the Samyang 12mm f/2 lens a few months ago for my Fujji XT1 and I can confirm that it is an exceptionally good lens at a great price.

  504. STEVEN GRUEBER says:

    Dustin: You might consider updating this review to include (1) Rokinon now has a Canon EF version with EXIF data and focus confirm chip, and (2) Both DxO Optics and PTLens have distortion correction modules for the moustache-shaped curvature.

  505. Fantastic review Dustin, I love all the Voightlander SL II series lenses. Their color rendition is the look I want with my images. I’ve slowly been building up my collection and this 20mm is the last I need. (Own the 28,40,58,and the out of production 90 3.5). If you really want to be blown away, give the 40mm a go, it’s an incredible lens and what started me going out of my way to buy up the rest of the lineup.

  506. Matt Birmingham says:

    Well Dustin…it’s not the Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 or the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f1.4, but it sure looks like a stellar performer. Fills in a current big gap for Canon shooters. And with autofocus, VC, and the new calibrating tool Tamron has introduced…I would say, a winner. It looks like flare is exceedingly well controlled in this lens as well as coma. You should try a little astro with it. I know it’s not the usual focal length for that kind of work but I would be interested to see how it does. Thanks. Love the shot of the beaver dam. And the portraits. Great rendering of the OOF areas. Amazing Bokeh. Pretty compelling lens, especially when you consider build quality and the price point. Interested in your review.

  507. revabbott says:

    Matt, you’ve summed things up pretty well. I’ll just say that I’m liking it well enough that I’m strongly considering an add to my own kit.

  508. Mark Robinson says:

    Dustin, always enjoy seeing your photography and reading your reviews. As an EOS M owner, and since you mention the 22mm lens. What are your thoughts 22mm vs. this 24mm in terms of ultimate clarity, particularly for use on the M?


  509. David Woods says:

    You have the Canon 85mm f/1.8 to test it against? Love to hear how the Canon stands up.

  510. Very good review! I have to admit, 35mm f/1.4L is one of my dream lenses, but in reality, I can only effort the optimum lens for me: this 35mm f/2.0 IS. I know, it has all the picture quality, it should have. I am not interested in perfection, but in good feel, contrast, smoothness and bokeh rendering, to make me smile.
    Thank you once more for sharing your experience with us, Dustin!

  511. revabbott says:

    I’m afraid I no longer have a copy. I can safely tell you that the Tamron destroys it, though.

  512. Dustin Abbott says:

    Mark, if you are going to primarily shoot on the M, then go for the 22mm and get that extra bit of aperture. If you think you might shoot on two bodies, then go for the 24mm f/2.8. The 24mm has a very slight edge in overall image quality with both lenses wide open, but the 22mm is sharper when stopped down to f/2.8

  513. Mark says:

    Thanks so much Dustin. I do have and love the 22mm. If I may ask one more question. Awhile back you did a review of the EF 35mm f/2.0 IS. The IQ and IS appeal to me. I was considering adding that for my M (already have the adapter and use the EF 50mm 1.8).
    Did you use the 35 on the M or M3? I wondered what the performance would be like with the adapter?

    Thanks much.

  514. Jerome says:

    I bet does ducks are remote controlled. Lol. Beautifully captured. Clearly a fine lens

  515. revabbott says:

    I love that lens. It focuses very quickly on the M3 (and did on the M, too), but not as quietly as STM lenses.

  516. revabbott says:

    LOL. I need some wind up geese like that!

  517. F. Jones says:

    Hi, Dustin…

    You mentioned experiencing a notably tighter focusing action on your sample of this lens than you might have expected. Well, I just received a never mounted copy in EOS-M mount which I’d characterize as uncomfortably stiff in use; and while I wouldn’t say it is binding up anywhere across the focus travel, if I hold the lens in hand and fast focus from one end of the travel to the other, it makes a sound that right away reminded me of the wind howling. I’ve never run across that one before, and I’ve handled a lot of MF lenses — you could use this for “dark and stormy night” sound effects if you were recreating a radio play from the 1940’s era and close mic’d it!

    I’d appreciate knowing if this sounds at all familiar from your experience with the Rokinon 50mm f.1.2… or if you’d surmise that I have a defective example, well outside of ‘spec’. Thank you for all your good work on this site. Regards, Fred

  518. revabbott says:

    I didn’t see anything as pronounced as what you are describing. No noise, for sure.

  519. Bob says:

    Great review and truly piqued my interest in the EF-S 24mm. Given a choice between the EF-S 24mm in the review or the EF 20mm F2.8 USM, EF 24mm f2.8 IS USM, EF 28mm F1.8 USM, EF 28mm F2.8 IS USM, EF 35mm F2.0 IS USM, which is the better option? Obviously, these other lenses are more money but price removed from the discussion, I’d love a comparison of these lenses… each has it’s appeal but which performs best? I’m shooting a 70D now and likely will for some time. There seems like there would be a lot to gain with the larger aperture of F1.8 and not much loss/gain in focal length between 24 and 28…

    Thanks! I look forward to your thoughts on this one.

  520. Leslie M. Leyh says:

    Beautiful wedding shots. I would think the bride and groom were very delighted with your work. I purchased the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC usd a very short time ago for my Nikon DSLR. I was looking at the Nikkor 24-120mm f4 vr2 however I really wanted a f2. 8 not a f4 for subject isolation shots. The extra reach of the Nikkor was tempting and I never bought a Tamron lens before so I was unsure of the quality. Now that I have had this lens for a period of time I am very pleased. The quality of build is as good as the 24-120 but not likely as good as the Nikkor 24-70 which is a all metal tough lens. The Tamron appears to be pretty tough too though but what I really like is the quality of the pics I get. Very sharp and good auto focus.

    All in all for the price it is a very, very good quality lens and one that I think that most photographers looking for a mid range zoom would be very happy with. Right now I am using it on a APS-C Nikon however one of the reasons for this lens over a DX is that my next camera in the future will be FX so I am setting up my lens kit with this in mind. On my present camera the Tamron is not as wide as I would like however I have a Tokina 11-16 that presently fills that void. Again I agree with all your findings on the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC usd. They are what I have also found with this lens.

  521. revabbott says:

    Bob, if you feel like you are going to continue to use the 70D (or a crop sensor) for sometime, I think you should probably stick with this lens. If you feel like you might move to full frame, any of the three IS lenses are excellent. The 20mm and 28mm f/1.8 lenses are a bit outdated at this point, and won’t be as sharp as the other lenses even stopped down.

  522. Dustin Abbott says:

    Glad to hear you are enjoying the lens. It has served me very well for the past four years!

  523. F. Jones says:

    Thank’s for the quick response, Dustin: that is definitive enough, for sure. Regards, F.

  524. Sue says:

    Great review! I'm thinking of buying an 35mm lens for my full frame camera. Recently I bought the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 L and I already have the EF 17-40L, EF 24mm f2.8 and 50mm f2.5 compact macro.
    I'm not quite sure if I really "need" a 35mm prime, just because the 17-40mm includes 35mm and I have a 24mm and 50mm lens.
    The EF 35mm f2 IS USM would be very nice, f2 is a fast aperture for me, the image stabilisation is really cool and it is not sooo expensive.
    Hmm,I'll see.

  525. RichMack says:

    Well balanced review. I have been looking for an all-round lens for my canon 70d. This may well do the job although I would like a much wider lens than 16mm but then as I mentioned in my google post to you, no lens is totally perfect..
    Based upon your review I am going to try this lens out.
    Many thanks for the weite up.

  526. Nick Sarris says:

    Dear Dustin,

    You cannot imagine how much I was expecting you to do this review! More or less it confirmed the general view I have for this lens. Now to the point…

    Since I’ve seen over the net that you are also a fan of the EFS 15-85, I would like to hear your opinion in making a selection between the two, for a all-around, travel lens. Although I find the extra 3mm on the wide end much more interesting than the extra 50 on the long end, still, an image quality on par with 15-85 and a more responsive autofocus speed performance than the standard USM could convince me to go for the 18-135 USM (which in fact, I find at lower prices over the net than 15-85). Various MTF performance reviews I’ve seen on the net favor the 18-135 (others not), but looking at pictures I find 15-85 a bit sharper, so do you think that the good-old 15-85 is better performing? Also the USM is slower than the nanoUSM (of course, I am talking about the general feel you have by using both lenses)?

    Having to select between the two, assuming that 98% of the time I use the camera for photos and not video (70d owner), which one would you take for a long trip?

    Congratulations for all the amazing work and (I can imagine) large amount of time you dedicate into your website and reviews. Really looking forward for your reply!


  527. Peter says:


    I love my 85mm Tamron in some of the ways I loved my Canon EF-135 F/2 L lens. Magic transitions and sharpness but appreciate the even better sharpness in the center and edges of the Tamron with a caveat. Yet so hard to deny the Canon EF 135 F/2 as still artful in a good way but surpassed by the Tamron in many others. I have not completely tested the focus problems mentioned here http://www.lenstip.com/472.1-Lens_review-Tamron_SP_85_mm_f_1.8_Di_VC_USD_Introduction.html related to focus accuracy up close being better than at a greater distances and if you correct for one you have the problems in another. My copy does not exhibit this to any degree I can say it exists to be concerned with if at all. Your thoughts ?


  528. P.san says:

    I’ve tested the SP primes at a recent Tamron event. I clearly remember the 85mm having that hesitation. I thought the 35 and 45 had a similar characteristic but to a lesser degree. Do you recall those primes having that focus delay right before it confirms focus?

  529. Dustin Abbott says:

    I have the 45 VC, and just tested it, and yes, I would say that it does something similar. The 85 VC focuses faster, though.

  530. Hi Dustin,
    I am thinking is it possible to see the auto focusing speed of this lens? Like how fast it get the focus and does it hunt when trying to get the correct focus.

  531. revabbott says:

    Fergus, I’m afraid the lens has been returned now. I only have them for 3-4 weeks on average.

  532. RichMack says:

    Loved your after thoughts on that delicious brew you made. I am sure it complimented your wife’s birthday treat! I reside in a sunny country but I still partake in the odd cup of infusion that you mentioned. Puts me in the right frame ( pardon the pun…) of mind to go out a capture (!) the moment!
    Regards to you on this fine blog of yours. Simply delicious!

  533. Nadav Biran says:

    In-depth review with great samples. I had the chance to test this long waited lens myself and what I find absent in this review is the VC performance in video mode, which is absolutely useless. For my work that’s a deal breaker and doesn’t worth the weight of the lens.

  534. Dustin Abbott says:

    Nadav, would you mind expanding on what you mean by “useless”? I tend to use something a like a Glidecam if I do video work, so I’m interested in what you mean. My reviews are more stills oriented by nature as I am more a photographer than videographer.

  535. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thanks, Rich.

  536. Nadav Biran says:

    Dustin, Since I figured out you’re more stills oriented I thought adding this comment is important. I mostly shoot video with DSLR equipment and work only with stabilized lenses. With VC “ON” the shakes and “Jello” effect are still very noticeable, especially horizontally and the handheld image looks like there’s no stabilization system at all. With Canon 24-105mm or 100mm f/2.8 macro (same weight, both IS) I’m quite sure you will get better results on focal 100mm than the Tamron.

  537. revabbott says:

    Interesting. Thanks for the feedback.

  538. musti says:

    dustin hi;
    after i asked you about how this baby functions on ff body i ve been checking out your page almost every hour. LOL immediately i saw your review i watched it 2 times. i just found time now to say thanx. what you did in this review was (imho) answering questions of many people like me. it enlightened all my questions and i believe so the other photographers and the enthusiasts too.

    i appriciate your work and big fan of you 🙂

  539. revabbott says:

    Thank you, Musti. Glad it helped out!

  540. This is a fantastic review! I was struggling between S35 F1.4 and EF 35mm F2 IS USM. By seeing all the AF challenges (especially in the low light environment) people have with Sigma, I decided to buy the Canon one. We were able to shoot in the birthday party of my son and conducted the video recording. Guess what…the IS worked perfectly and my friend’s Sigma really had the challenges on video (well…to hold a heavy lens like S35 with 5D3 in low light is definitely a challenge. I don’t blame my friend). Another scenario I had last week is to shoot in the museum which the tripod is forbidden to bring in. Then IS plus F2 worked perfectly in such a low light environment. Thank you Dustin for the great advice. This review has provided lots of great info and really helped me to make the decision.

  541. Dustin Abbott says:

    Michael, you are welcome. The 35 IS punches above its weight in a number of ways and really is a delight to use.

  542. It would be a great lens for most any shooter with a Canon 1D series body – like myself (I like my 70-200/2.8 IS but did contemplate switching to a set of this one + 100-400… though it would mean carrying more). The missing IS and weathersealing made me drop this idea though (not to mention the cost… lol).

  543. revabbott says:

    Someone else mentioned it as a nice option for a 1.3x crop body.

  544. Helmut says:

    Cascable sure is good tool to add missing features. However, I am looking for an equivalent for Android for my Canon EOS M3!

  545. Dustin Abbott says:

    Helmut, someone recommended this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=info.qdd. I haven’t used it myself, but you might want to check it out.

  546. Nice review Dustin. I have also been pleasantly surprised with the performance of the 80D. I have found it tracks medium and larger birds better than the 7dm2. The image quality is also noticeably better. Even though the speed and buffer is a drag I find myself grabbing it more than the 7dm2 when I am shooting raptors. You might like this Osprey shot from when I was testing out tracking. I found tracking sensitivity turned to -1 and color recognition turned off allows the af to track really well… https://flic.kr/p/GFguaU


    SIGMA USA has had my 35 and 50mm lenses twice trying to calibrate to infinity. I’m confident the focus problems are not QA related but a design flaw.Realistically the 3-5ft distance is the most reliable focus range and makes the most sense for these fixed focal lengths. My 85 f/1.2 gives me the distance I can’t get with the 50mm or else my 70-200 f/2.8 extends my distance. I’m very let down by all reviews except yours which is blunt and honest. It’ll be live view for infinity with these lenses wide open.

  548. revabbott says:

    Kristofer – that’s a great shot! Thanks for the tips on the tracking. I’m not much of a birder, so this is very helpful.

  549. revabbott says:

    Gustave, ironically I take a lot of heat from Sigma fans for pointing out the AF deficiencies, but I try to as candid as possible about the strengths and weaknesses of all the gear I review.

  550. Thanks for the kind words Dustin. I know the 80D received some flack for not having pre-set “cases” All the settings are there, so by turning tracking sensitivity to -1 it is essentially set up like case 2 on the 7D Mark II. Through lots of trial and error I also found that iTR on the 7dm2 was horrible for tracking birds with similar colored backgrounds. I turned off color recognition as soon as I got the 80D because I assumed it probably uses the same algorithms as the iTR. So far I have not been disappointed. However it does struggle with small fast moving birds like swallows and martins, but it can still be done with some persistence..

  551. Klaus says:

    Hi Dustin,

    I’m already using the Sigma 18-35 on a Nikon D7100. I also intend to buy the 50-100. The advantage on a Nikon body: you have a further crop-factor of 1.3 = 24 to 180 on a ff body. With this aperture there is no reason to buy a ff body.

  552. Dustin Abbott says:

    I suspect these lenses will keep quite a few people from upgrading on to full frame.

  553. snaileater says:

    “exceptionally good dynamic range” ? Is it a Canon-only user’s point of view or did u have any occasion to compare the 80D abilities in that field to other brand’s models ?
    Nice review in any case.

  554. Dustin Abbott says:

    Hi, while I personally compared it against other Canon models, a number of other reviewers have compared it to Sony and Nikon bodies and come to a similar conclusion.

  555. Dustin Abbott says:

    Thank you!

  556. Peter says:


    Looking at your comments of on exposure ? Do you use an external light meter to calibrate your camera or simply use on the TTL of the 6D ? I ask this because of the limitations of the TTL in complex dynamic range situations.I do not have an external light meter but have been frustrated by the problems of blown out clouds among other dynamic range problems with my 6D and 7D Mark II


  557. revabbott says:

    Peter, I use a hybrid of the TTL and my own instincts based on experience. I’ve shot many tens of thousands of shots with the 6D’s and have a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn’t. I often ignore what the camera meters and plug in my own value based on experience.

  558. John Lee says:

    Thanks so much for reviewing this. I’m still pretty torn between purchasing this lens or the Tamron, although after reading your entry I might lean towards getting the Tamron. I’m a wedding photographer but I also want to dabble in landscape photography in the future.

  559. revabbott says:

    I would personally go with the Tamron for the extra flexibility, though if you feel you need f/1.4 the Sigma is the obvious choice.

  560. Matt Birmingham says:

    Nice images! Talk about isolating the subject…wow! I’m interested to read your review of this lens and how well built you think it is. Seems like it could be a good to great portrait lens.
    Quick question. Did you shoot the product images with the Tamron 85mm f1.8? Or your Tamron 70-200mm f2.8? 😉

  561. Matt Birmingham says:

    Beautiful picture! Back in “old days” of film, I really liked using my Olympus Zuiko 135mm f3.5 for portraits. I got some great photographs with that lens (paired with an Olympus OMPC camera…new in 1984 or ’85 I think). (I still have both too.) I should try the 135mm on my 40D or 7D as I have a Fotodiox Olympus to EOS adapter…

  562. revabbott says:

    I actually use the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro for most of my product shots. Neither the 70-200 nor the 85 VC have great magnification. The Tamron 45 VC is actually a better choice, though it has more CA than my macro lens.

  563. ramen says:

    Hey Mr Abbott

    Great review! I know you briefly mentioned the Sigma 30mm f1.4 art. Can you go into detail about the differences? I’m able to find the sigma 30mm 1.4 art for about 2/3 of the price of this tamron, and obviously differences like stabilization vs f1.4.

    Any thoughts on chromatic aberration, af performance and accuracy, sharpness, and colors between the two?

    Thank You! Keep up the great work!

  564. Dustin Abbott says:

    Ramen, I personally think the Tamron is worth the extra money. Better build, better sharpness, better AF, much better magnification. That’s what I’d go for.

  565. ramen says:

    thank you for helping with my decision

    I really enjoy the close up / magnification as well

    Will be using this on my 80D!

  566. Georgi says:

    Hello, amazing review! I just bought a 6D and I am thinking of buying this lens. I will be using it mostly for event/party photography in small and tight clubs. Before I went full frame I used 600D and Tokina 11-16, do you think it will be difficult to focus with this lens ? I use flash so I guess I won't be needing f2.8, i will be using f4/f5.6 but still…

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      It’s not hard to focus once you gain experience, as the extreme focal length means that a lot is in focus all the time. The lens does have a fair bit of distortion, though, so you will have to be careful with people at the edges of the frame. Another great choice for what you are looking at shooting is the Tamron 15-30 VC. It gives you autofocus, some zoom flexibility, and an image stabilizer. It’s quite a bit bigger and is more expensive, though. I moved the Rokinon for the Tamron and have been very happy.

  567. Valentino says:

    ok this is really tempting, I'm portrait photographer and I tried one in the shop and focus seemed much better then the other zeiss.
    I tried the 85 milvus, 100 milvus,135mm apo and 85 Otus. Few years ago I used to own 35mm and 100mm f2 – the 100mm suffered strong CA till f4.

    My findings within the 5 minutes testing each in bad light handheld:

    Otus 85 feels the best to focus.
    Milvus 85 was not so easy to focus somehow.
    Milvus 100 felt better to focus mabye because it's lighter on the camera.
    135mm APO was not as comfortable to handle compared to the new designs.

    So more or less I'm between the 100 Milvus and the 135mm Apo now.
    + 100 milvus: slightly lighter, macro as well, cheaper, perfect focal length
    – 100 milvus: CA, may have less appealing look then the others

    + 135mm: no optical faults, sharpness, more flattering focal length
    – 135mm: old design, handling not sooo nice, longer focal length might need a tripod to stabilize

    + 85mm Otus : handling perfect,optically perfect,
    – 85mm Otus: weight and price, focal length a bit wide for headshots

    I will be using then lenses from f4 to f8. Do you think optical quality becomes similar at those apertures?
    Could you comment on my observations? You had more time with those lenses!

  568. Hon Kin KAN says:

    Dustin & Peter. I am using Canon M3 and own EF adapter and Tamron 16-300 too. I also encountered same problem as Peter. I phoned to Tamron Hong Kong office (I live in Hong Kong), the technician said the Tamron 16-300 is not designed for M3, and no firmware will be provided for this issue. It’s quite disappointing indeed.

  569. revabbott says:

    That’s unfortunate. They probably feel that it doesn’t affect enough people to warrant the work. The Tamron 18-200 (for mirrorless) is quite an excellent lens.

  570. Ron Dewar says:

    I bought this lens, the only thing I don't like is the light fall off in the corners that becomes quite pronounced when zooming in – say where the lens is marked 135 and all the way to 200, the corners become quite dark. Its not so noticeable except when the upper half of the image is bright sky and you're at 200 mm, the corners are quite dark.

  571. Bruno says:

    Beautiful colors!

  572. Dustin Abbott says:

    thank you!

  573. yogesh says:

    I have a Canon 60d.
    For videography, which lens is better?
    Rokinon 14mm or Sigma 17-50mm 2.8.

  574. revabbott says:

    Yogesh, I would say neither. If you are going to buy a good lens for doing video, try something with stabilization. Maybe the Canon 35mm f/2 IS or the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC would be better choices.

  575. Bruno says:

    Another outstanding review!

  576. revabbott says:

    Thank you very much!

  577. INDI says:

    Thanks for this review !
    I just wating for the EOS 150D / EOS SL2 … to buy the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

  578. Mistral75 says:

    Thank you for your review. There is a serial number: your lens’s is S000231. It’s written at the front of the lens.

    As for the difference between the two apertures: you write “I found when using the STF ring that I had essentially a one stop advantage in the softness of the bokeh – T/8 was comparable to f/5.6 and so on.“. Actually the apodisation elements decreases the light transmission and creates an important difference between the two scales (more than it is the case for conventional lenses).

    Moreover, the difference between f stop (geometrical aperture) and T stop (effective light transmission) is more important at bigger apertures. For instance f/2 is equivalent to T/3.2 (2.6 stops) whilst f/8 seems to be equivalent to T/11 (1.9 stops) judging by the speed chosen by you camera (1/13s for f/8 vs. 1/20s for T/8).

    However, f/2 and T/3.2 correspond to the same aperture and give the same rendering (setting aside the difference in the number and shape of aperture blades). Likewise, f/8 and T/11 correspond to the same aperture and give the same rendering. It’s just two different scales to measure the same thing, like °F and °C for instance.

  579. Dustin Abbott says:

    That would be a very nice pairing.

  580. Dustin Abbott says:

    The Trans Focus ring only goes to T/8, which is why I reported the difference in the quality of the bokeh even though the t/stop and f/stop setting values (shutter speed) align as you stop the lens down.

  581. Nick says:

    I love my 5DsR. It’s the best of all worlds. Full frame, high pixel density, you effectively have a 7D Mark II and 5D Mark III in the same body. Want more res? Crop. No banding issues like the 5D Mark III. Better noise than either for most print sizes. About the only thing I’d wish for is a couple more frames per second. I missed the perfect moment of a Thunderbirds solo pass at an airshow that I might have caught with my 7D Mark II. The resolution of the rest of the photos more than made up for it though.

  582. Matt Birmingham says:

    I didn’t see where you list the MFD for the lens…what is it? Thanks. Great review Dustin!

  583. Matt Birmingham says:

    I found it in the specs at B&H…2.95′ or 90cm…

  584. revabbott says:

    Those that use the 5Ds R extensively seem to really like it, but I don’t get the impression it has really been a volume seller, either.

  585. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the great review and for sharing the superb photos. I just purchased this lens.
    Is there a way to see the exposure settings of the photos?

  586. Dustin Abbott says:

    I’m afraid that’s not really built into the gallery. You can find some of those images at either Google+ or Flickr that will give you that information. Just follow the social media linkage on this site.

  587. Bruno says:

    God bless you, Dustin!

  588. Brook Tyler says:

    Great testimony! Thanks for sharing!

  589. revabbott says:

    Thanks, brothers!

  590. Kamran says:

    That looks like a nasty hit and i’m so glad to hear you were unscathed. God bless you and may God bless us all and keep us under the wings of His infinite protection. Really loved the way you remained positive minded and God rewarded you with a better car. I can totally relate to your story as i have personally been through the same. Lost our apartment building in 2005 due to an earthquake and in 2012 lost my brand new Toyota Corolla (hardly 500kms driven) to a severe accident and it go toppled over and it was a complete loss. Yet God rewarded me and my family with his never ending blessings with a better car and a bigger home in replacement to that lost apartment.
    Stay blessed Dustin, you are a source of great inspiration to me, not only as a great photographer but even a great human being. TIme is the most valuable asset these days and i truly appreciate the time and effort you put in your reviews to make our lives better.
    May God bless you always.

  591. revabbott says:

    Kamran – thanks for the great feedback. I’m glad to hear you have a similar testimony.

  592. Jung Oh says:

    I really enjoyed all your reviews. that provide great and very detail information and so useful who need some input from expert like you. Among many sites, yours are seriously considered to determine to buy or not. Thank you very much.

  593. revabbott says:

    Jung, that is really nice feedback. Thank you for your kind words!

  594. Damn, you’ve had a rough patch with cars.. I hope that never happens to me since I’m on a motorcycle and those situations don’t end up as well. :-/ Sweet looking new ride.. and the shots aren’t that bad either. 😛 Cheers from Croatia. 😉 ‘dbauernf’ on youtube.

  595. Robert Moore says:

    Fantastic review.
    I have the EOS 16-34/4=great when weight matters for trips.
    Also the Rok 14/2.8 and 24/1.4=the classic choice for wide-field astro.
    And have just added the Tamron 15-30/2.8.
    One should know of the weight issue going into this=just the price to be paid
    for a constant 2.8 and quality construction.
    Now about the issue with filter threads. At the same time I ordered the Tam I ordered
    the WonderPana system for it. I realize many pros don’t believe in protective/sacrificial UV
    filters but being an amateur hobbyist I can enjoy their protection and now one lives on the
    Tamron 15-30mm unless I need to sub out for a screw on ND or CPL (or both).
    I juse a Cokin Z-pro system on my FE 16-35mm; it works but is cumbersome. The 145mm
    filters for the WonderPana are large with a capitol L but to me easier to manage and less prone
    to hardship when packing/transporting.
    I’d recommend WonderPana for the Tam 15-30 from the get-go….and no I don’t work for Fotodiox 🙂
    What sold me on the Tam 15-30mm was the hard stop at infinity…makes Milky Way so much easier, especially
    for aging eyes.
    Dustin you have a great site and even greater insight. Thanks for being out there.

  596. Koro says:

    Hi Mr. Abbott,

    I found that your reviews are very impressive and detailed. Just want to hear your thoughts or suggestion for my next lens.
    I have a Canon eos M3 and i now have the ef-m 18-55mm kit lens and the ef-m 22mm, and now i am thinking to get a new lens for portraiture. I'm not a professional photographer, just an amateur so i don't have the luxury to spend too much for lenses so i'm looking for kind of a budget ones.

    Do you have any suggestion on any good portraiture lenses that i might want to look for considerations?
    At the moment i don't have the ef-m to ef lens adapter but i might as well decide to get it.

    Thank you in advance

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      There isn’t a lot in native mount. You might consider getting the adapter and the 50mm f/1.8 STM. It works pretty well as a portrait lens on the system and mounts well.

  597. Talia says:

    Hello Dustin. New here; great blog! A question please: Tony Northup, a photographer on youtube too, states that full frame lenses actually perform less well than dedicated kit lenses on crop sensor cameras. So basically a L lens is wasted on a, say, 80D. What do you think? Canon EF-S lenses are unfortunatelly sparse and much lower quality. It’s too bad as the video autofocus of a 80D is soooo appealling. Now, may be that 1080p video does not require a L lense anyway, being just about a 1/6 a the width of the 80D sensor wide side? Thanks!

  598. Talia says:

    Hello Dustin. New here; great blog! A question please: Tony Northup, a photographer on youtube too, states that full frame lenses actually perform less well than dedicated kit lenses on crop sensor cameras. So basically a L lens is wasted on a, say, 80D. What do you think? Canon EF-S lenses are unfortunatelly sparse and much lower quality. It’s too bad as the video autofocus of a 80D is soooo appealling. Now, may be that 1080p video does not require a L lense anyway, being just about a 1/6 a the width of the 80D sensor wide side? Thanks!

  599. Andrew says:

    I have a Helios 81-H from my Nikon days (I should get an F to EF adapter). It was a lot of fun and produced very nice results. I recently ordered the Helios 40-2 and am waiting for delivery from Russia, and of course there are the Jupiter 3 and Jupiter 8 lenses I enjoy so much on my Leicas.

    Russian glass is definitely first-rate, only the mechanics sometimes don’t live up.

  600. Andrew says:

    I just bought this lens last week (after renting it a few times before) and have no focus issues either. Mine didn’t even require micro-adjust for AF. Date code indicates my copy was just made in March 2016.

  601. revabbott says:

    That would not be good! Thanks for the nice feedback, too.

  602. revabbott says:

    That’s a lot of wide angle lenses! Wow!

  603. Dustin Abbott says:

    I may shoot an episode on that. While it is true that full frame lenses look best on full frame, I disagree that they are wasted on crop. Good glass is good glass…period. Frankly I’m always disappointed by the image quality of most crop sensor variable aperture zooms and tend to shoot mostly full frame lenses on my crop bodies anyway.

  604. Dustin Abbott says:

    Andrew, I’ve heard really nothing but good about the autofocus from those who have purchased in recent years. I don’t know if it was a change to the lens or that it just plays better with newer camera bodies.

  605. Talia says:

    Thank you for your answer! Like you before, I am debating between a 80D or a6300. Lens selection is a minor factor for me as I don’t plan on spending thousands on glass (though I would enjoy!). I wish Canon had more APS-C fast prime lenses like Fujifilm does…

  606. revabbott says:

    Talia – for me it came down to ergonomics. The short battery life and lack of touchscreen made the a6300 less useful to me…as does Sony’s (infamous) support.

  607. Matt Temple says:

    I have an M3 and a Tamron 16-300. I know it has imperfections, but I keep getting drawn back to it. I really love the4 feel of the images coming out of it. I also sent the Tamron lens in for a firmware update. Sad to say, it didn’t help.
    Here’s what I’ve found that can help. First, if you are using a tripod (You /are/ aren’t you at 300mm?), when you
    turn off the anti-shake, the lens usually works. Of course, manual focus is fine. The problem seems to get worse
    the more zoomed out the lens is. But, since there is now a firmware update designed for the Canon 55-250, I think I will install that. Maybe it’s a combination of zoom/hunting/mass-of-lens that’s causing the problem. After I do the firmware update, I’ll report back.

  608. revabbott says:

    Did you specifically tell them what the issue you were trying to fix was? Unfortunately this combination probably isn’t being used enough to justify much development. If it was an M mount lens they would fix the problem without a question, but since it isn’t…

  609. Kan Hon Kin says:

    Thanks for Matt Temple and Revabbott’s suggestion.
    The problem just like Matt said, if I attach the Tamron 16-300 to the EOS M3, when I press the shutter, the camera will freeze and turn off. I also found that if I turn off the anti-shake and AF, the problem will appear less.
    I am using the newest firmware of EOS M3, version number 1.1.0.
    I have sent an email to Tamron Japan and got reply, they said there is no compatibility between Tamron Di and Di II lenses and Canon EOS M series, because Di and Di II lenses are designed for DSLR Cameras, they are not workable with mirrorless cameras. However, it is funny that M3 can work with old Tamron lens which I am using, i.e. 28-75, 200-500, 180 macro, 90 macro (272E), and even Sigma 10-20. The Tamron Japan didn’t reply why other Tamron lens can be used with M3, but just said their Di and Di II lenses are not designed for Mirrorless Cameras, they cannot guarantee the performance on mirrorless camera bodies. I think it is not very responsible to say that. Why the old Tamron lens can work with M3, but new lens cannot? And the market has the adapter for user to use DSLR lens on a mirroless body, so I think many user will expect the EOS adapter can be used with the Di and Dii lens. Tamron should have mentioned it through the web page to remind customers their technology are just a little bit behind the real market situation!
    This lens is very good when I use it with 7D, but when I buy it, I also want to use with M3, it is quite disappointing that I will think again the compatibility before I buy third party lens in the future. As the EOS M adapter can work with all Canon EF and EFS lens, but for Tamron 16-300 is not in the list.

  610. Matt Temple says:

    It’s hard for me to know what to say about this lens, this tempting lens. I bought it used from B&H, and when it didn’t work originally, and since it was essentially new, Tamron kindly performed the firmware upgrade on the lens. But it did not
    improve anything as far as using it with my M3. I should point out that it works just fine with an EOS-M that I have,
    although it’s not fast. My third camera is an EOS 70D. In normal mode, the lens a really fast to focus. “Great,” you’d think. But in my testing just tonight, it does not work in Live View on the 70D at all. So, I can “kind of” get it to work with the M3; it works reliably with an M, and doesn’t work in Live view on a 70D. Not a good average. Still, what I really like to do is find cheap, vintage lenses — FD and M42 mount, and use those with the EOS-M3. I have quite a collection. I just bought a really neat Jupiter 85MM F2.0 lens from Russia — it has a nice feature. There’s a little ring which limits
    the range of available F-stops you can set the aperture to. (e.g. between 2.0 and 5.6)

    I wish it had a rangefinder, but focus peaking is pretty helpful. It’s fun.

  611. Peter Bates says:

    No live view on the 70D? That’s outrageous. Now that would be worth complaining to them about. I wonder if there is a similar problem with the new 80D. Happily, there is no such problem with the 60D.

  612. Matthew Durr says:

    Cool review, Dustin. I’ll be reviewing my copy sometime in the next month or so. Seeing a lot of the same you are noticing (good and bad), but overall it’s a hell of a lens, and will definitely replace my Nikon 105mm 1.8 ai-s. Nice on getting featured by Venus Optics on their site, too. 😉

  613. revabbott says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Matthew. I didn’t even know I was featured there 🙂

  614. revabbott says:

    One of the major problems here (though I’m not letting Tamron off the hook) is a first party one – the EF adapter doesn’t work nearly as well on the M3 with a variety of lenses as it did on the original M. That’s not just third party lenses, either. Canon needs an updated adapter that better works with the new focus system of the M3, but they haven’t released it. Perhaps it will come with the M4. I would be shocked if they persist with the older EF adapter with yet another new body.

  615. Peter Bates says:

    Nice review. Still wondering if Canon wised up with AEB and allowed five shots like the Nikons, rather than the 3 shots they’ve had along all the time. It’s an issue for HDR photographers. Of course, we can always use Magic Lantern software’s vastly superior AEB, but I doubt they’ll have a version for the 80D for another year, maybe two.

  616. Gabriel says:

    Hello Dustin,
    Have you noticed any Swirly bokeh with this lens? I want it for my A7Rii. I am not buying the native Batis because I hate swirly bokeh and the GM while awesome I prefer to wait until the price drops a little.

  617. revabbott says:

    Gabriel – no, I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen swirly bokeh from the lens. It does get a little “cat eyed” near the edge, but all 85’s do.

  618. revabbott says:

    Peter, you have a menu option to select 2, 3, 5, or 7 bracketed shots.

  619. how about the built in time lapse function in the 80D. I hear that it doesn’t do slow shutter video timelapse- I want to avoid taking pictures and doing the timelapse in post-It would be awesome if I can make low light, slow shutter timelapse and get the camera to make the movie for me….can anyone confirm this?

  620. Iwona says:

    Hello! Thank you for the solid review! I am considering whether buy newer (F004) or older (F017) version. Is the newer lens worth to paying extra money (in my country newer version costs 50% more than older)? I know it’s my money, but I would like to know your objective opinion about real value of the new Tamron.

  621. Dustin Abbott says:

    Iwona – I’d look at the features I discuss in this article and determine whether they are worth the extra money to you. If not, the older lens is still a very good one.

  622. Dave S says:

    As for the VC issue mentioned above, I’ve tested this on three lenses very recently. While not on the 85mm I have found that between 1/60th and 1/200th of a second the images are sharper with the VC off. Above 1/200th and there isn’t a noticeable difference and below 1/60th it looks as though the VC works as it should. This occurred on the 45mm 1.8 and two different copies of the 24-70 2.8. I returned the 45mm and am hesitant to purchase another. As for the 24-70, I discovered this past the return period. It’s currently at Tamron for warranty repair. Lets see if they fix the issue. The other 24-70 I tested is at my local camera shop. Wondering if their cost cutting shift to manufacture in China is causing some QC issues.

  623. Dave S says:

    Gabriel – If I had an A7rII, I’d just save up for the 85 G-Master Sony just released. As a side note, all my gear purchases are on hold and I’m saving for when they release the A7rIII and will add the G-Master lenses to that kit. I’ll continue to use my Nikon for Wildlife and depending on the dynamic range they pull from the A7rIII for landscape as well. For portraiture though, I think the Sony set up with their G-Master lenses can’t be beat.

  624. revabbott says:

    Dave, after evaluating the “issue” I went ahead and purchased one. I’ve now used it on multiple bodies (including the 5DsR) and it really is a fabulous lens. It has really produced for me in a number of settings, so I personally think it is worth getting a solid copy of. I haven’t used the 85mm G Master, but the early reports on the G Master lenses is very positive. I’ve heard a lot of great feedback on the Batis lens, though, too. A lens’ rendering is a matter of taste. I like this Tamron’s rendering quite a bit, myself.

  625. Gabriel says:

    I ended up getting the Tamron to test and I was surprised at how good it is , sharp wide open and even have some comparison shot against the GM where it does not look outclassed at all BUT the bokeh is making me send it back and the fact that, unlike with my EF 70-200 2.8 USM ii, the Eye AF has some issues where it pulses back and forth. My 70-200 does it much better.
    So I will indeed be getting the GM or Batis.
    I am linking here an example of the Tamron bokeh issue..like some of the foliage on the back looks like worms compared to the butter smooth rendering of the 70-200mm 2.8 usm ii.
    On the shot it is from Left to Right:
    Tamron at 1.8, then 2.8 and then the 70-200mm at 2.8
    On this one just hate how it renders the background.

  626. Dave S says:

    revabbott – If the rendering is anything like the 45mm, and from your images, it looks to be, I agree completely. That’s why I’ve been so torn about the 45mm and this lens. I absolutely loved the images that the 45mm produced (with VC off). I just don’t know if I’m willing to continue playing the buy/return game until a good copy comes my way. I also forgot to mention that I noticed a heavy dose of CA in the 45mm that I had with the VC on compared to having VC off. I really do think Tamron has something really close to wonderful here with this trio of lenses. I just think they need to up the QC during manufacturing. My 45mm (that I returned) and the 24-70 that’s in for repair both had Made in China stamped on them…

  627. revabbott says:

    Getting more fringing with the VC on indicates more of a focus shift. VC doesn’t change the optical formula and can’t produce more/less CA with it ON/OFF. Are you sure that you are not experiencing a focus issue due to the lens not being properly calibrated to your body? As to the latter point – interesting. Both my 45VC and 24-70VC were made in Japan. A lot of Japanese manufacturing has been hard hit in recent disasters, though. Expect to see more gear being produced in factories elsewhere by Japanese companies in the future.

  628. Dave S says:

    I originally thought it was a focusing issue as well as the guys down at my local camera shop. We spent a good several hours trying to figure out the issue with both lenses. With the micro adjust on 0 and the VC off, the lenses would focus dead on any distance, then when the VC was turned on, sometimes it would hit focus, other times not (sometimes front focus others back focus). We kept trying different settings and it all seemed random at first. Finally, we did the “brick wall” test. In aperture priority with both lenses set at f/8 ISO100 about 10 or so feet from the wall, we started with 1/1000th of a second and worked our way down. Above 1/200th of a second everything was tack sharp and in focus. 1/200th and 1/160th were ok but “soft”, and at 1/125th down to 1/60th the images were very noticeably “soft.” From my own experimenting, with the VC on and the subject 3ft or less everything worked as it should. It was past three feet with the VC on and in that range of shutter speeds that there was an issue and it seemed as though the focus was “jumping.” Sometimes front focus, other times back focus, and then the rare time it would hit focus. I had read too that the 35 and 45 were made is Japan so I was a little surprised to see that mine was made in China.

  629. Iwona says:

    I was afraid of such answer 😉 I decided to wait. I prefer the newer version, but for now the price is too high.

  630. Stefan says:

    Old article, stumbled accross it when googling for something. But still fun to read how you went through the same process as I did back then. 2013 was a year full of travelling for me: South America, New England, Hawaii, Iceland, Tuscany and many Cities all over Europe (I live in Switzerland). And i was going to make photography the center of these travels. My only camera was a 7D and I was actually really happy with it, but I wanted a FF body (in addition) for my travelling. 5DIII was an obvious choice, but then I started to read all the things you described about the 6D and finally got one of those. My friends mocked or pitied me a bit for that decision, but it was perfect: Small, lightweight, long battery life, great weather sealing, gps, wifi, incredible low light performance and great overall image quality. definitly the best camera (for me) back then, and still loving it more than 3 years later, mainly taking pictures of my two little girls.
    Started to think about a 5DIV now, though 🙂

  631. Walter Rumble says:

    “When God’s hand is on you, satan try’s to destroy, but when your looking for God’s possibility you will always find it”. Thank you for for faithfulness depth and testimony of what God does in our lives.

  632. Kedar says:

    I use Canon EOS 70D + Canon 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM Mark II . I am interested in getting Kenko Teleplus HD 1.4X DGX.

    Will auto focus work. Any idea

  633. Doug Wend says:

    Just wanted to thank you for what is a well written, thoroughly professional review that IMO is one of the best reviews I have ever read. Very informative. I just purchased one of these for a Nikon D600 which has decent manual focusing ability. I am also looking to buy a Samyang 35 as well which may be the only two lenses I use on this camera as I use a Sony RX10 for my “capture the moment” tool of choice. I see the Samyang lenses as the most affordable “creative choice” short of the Zeiss. I also like the Sigma Art series. Anyway, keep up the good work and good luck in your business.

  634. revabbott says:

    Doug, glad I was able to help out!

  635. revabbott says:

    Kedar – yes, that combination does work. I’ve shot with it.

  636. revabbott says:

    I’m definitely going to be watching the 5D4, too. I have the unique privilege of being able to review it when it comes out, so I’ll get a chance to make an informed decision there. My 6D bodies have served me very, very well, though, and have paid for themselves many times over.

  637. revabbott says:

    Walter – thanks for the kind words!

  638. Bruno says:

    Nice pictures! By the way, do you live in Paradise?

  639. Leslie M. Leyh says:

    I am very pleased with my Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC usd for Nikon lens. I read all sorts of reviews on the lens many of which compared it very favorably with the Nikon and Canon counterparts. I have used the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 as a rental on occasion however if I wished to purchase the VR version I would have had to spend $1300 plus tax more for Nikon’s VR version. After running the Tamron through its paces after my purchase and now having had the lens for about 3months of shooting I can honestly say you would really have to have deep pockets to purchase the Nikon or Canon 24-70mm. This lens performs so close and I mean so very close to the Nikon that I can see no reason to spend the additional money. I have compared my photos taken with the Nikon to the Tamron and can honestly not tell a difference. The build quality of the Nikon maybe slightly more robust but I’m not sure with even that statement as I haven’t dropped, banged or tried to do serious damage to either so both may be tough as nails. The VC or VR (lens shake stabilization) is very good on both but I can say that the Tamron VC is quieter and instantaneous where I could notice the Nikon VR took a fraction of a second to grab.
    I am a Nikon shooter and have had and have a variety of Nikkor lenses and I can say that Nikkor lenses are top rate for sure and most of my kit contains Nikkor lenses This is my first Tamron and for the price blows me away. It is sharp, very sharp the equal to the Nikkor 24-70mm . The focus seems very, very close to the Nikkor but I think that the Nikkor is a hair quicker. Both get focus every time even in low light. Some complain that the zoom control turns the wrong way (Canon shooters) but it is bang on for us Nikon people. The zoom was stiff when I first got the lens but either has gotten better or I adapted. The focus ring is thin but buttery smooth, precise and very sure for manual focus control. The focus ring could be wider for me.
    I was somewhat unsure in purchasing the Tamron due to many conflicting reports of poor copies of the lens and some saying it didn’t measure up to the Canon or Nikon. I am so glad I bought the Tamron as either I got an excellent copy or Tamron has upped it’s game. I can live with the distortion and vignetting as the Nikon was similar so it is the nature of the beast and easily corrected in post. This lens feels like a high quality product and I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t true. I like the quality of my Nikon DSLR and Nikkor lenses and this just feels the same. High quality.
    The Tamron is water resistant with a rear lens mount rubber ring and weather sealing at other critical areas however I have yet to use this lens in the rain but it is nice to know that it is up to the task. The out of focus areas or bokeh seems to be quite good to me. I haven’t noticed the onion effect I have read often about and I am pleased with the lens in this regard. For portrait photos I really like the out of focus background. The center sharpness at 2.8 is perfect for portraits.
    I purchased this lens off Ebay from Quickdone which is the same as Prodigital2000 (Canadian Dealers). They were very helpful with my questions I sent them and delivery was fast and right to my door. The price was $400 less than anywhere else and I got a 6 year Canadian Tamron Warranty. I was very pleased with my Canadian price. (Not grey market lens) They give you 14 days for a full refund which is why I tested the lens heavily in my first 14 days. Could not find any problem or reason to return the lens. I can highly recommend these companies for purchase.
    My final word is: If you are sitting on the fence as whether to cough up $2300 to $2500 for Nikkor or Canon or to go with Tamron I would seriously say to take the leap to the Tamron. It may not have the panache of the Nikkor or Canon but those seeing your photos won’t know the difference and you can buy another lens with the leftover money. The quality of the Tamron is first rate. Good deal eh!! (Obviously I am Canadian)

  640. Walter Rumble says:

    Your Welcome…. Do you know anyone who does pictures or graphics, it would be Designing covers for books example

    Date/ calendar/ journal possibility a Chapter book

  641. Phil Wright says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Thank you for a great review. I have just ordered this lens from Amazon to use on my A7rii so I’m very excited to see how it performs. I have been using the Sony 135 1.8 lens with the LA-EA3(4?) adapter but I’m having more success achieving accurate focus with manual so I’m going to swap to the Samyang to save some pennies for the Sony Zeiss 35 1.4 lens.

    Thanks again,

  642. Thank you for useful review! I think there is one more thing to be mentioned – required storage space for storing those 50-MB RAWs. I store mine RAWs on dedicated RAID HDDs since the beginning of time.

    By the way, have you noticed the image quality degradation while shooting mRAW and sRAW? I have tested my EOS 6D in mRAW mode versus my old 5D (classic), side-by-side. The sharpness in mRAW mode was terrible in comparison to “true” 12 MP. So I ceased using it.

  643. Matt Birmingham says:

    Great shots Dustin! …and a great review. Really love the pictures of your Father and Mother -in-law, and the one’s with your daughter and them. The B&W images are great too!

  644. Canopus says:

    Hi Dustin,

    Thanks for the review. I’ve used this lens on 80D and love the pictures taken with this lens.
    However if I use the ‘right outermost’ AF Point on 80D to focus, it missed the focus by a lot. Combined with F1.8 for object within 3 meters away, all I’ve got is bokeh.
    Cetre AF is just fine.
    Just wondering if the same thing happened to others too?

  645. revabbott says:

    That wasn’t my experience at all. It seems odd that you would have such a variance from center point to outer focus point. What’s your result when using Live View? Do you get consistent focus at outer parts of the frame then?

  646. Canopus says:

    I dont remember testing it, but my lens and camera are with Tamron for firmware update and calibration. Just hopefully firmware update improve the AF, or else I might need to get a replacement 🙂

    Just as reference, outer AF with Canon lenses are working fine.

  647. revabbott says:

    Thank you, Matt!

  648. revabbott says:

    Phil, sounds like a plan. If you can successfully MF the lens, it is incredible optical bang for the buck!

  649. revabbott says:

    Best of luck to you. You’ve done the right thing by sending everything in for inspection/calibration

  650. revabbott says:

    I really didn’t notice diminished sharpness in MRAW.

  651. Dustin Abbott says:

    Looks like you have a pretty decent grasp on the lens. I’ve been using it pretty much since it’s release and it has served me very well!

  652. Dustin Abbott says:

    Sometimes 🙂

  653. Carolyn says:

    Very different but so incredibly beautiful.

  654. Fred says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do this comparison, Dustin. It is helpful in a number of ways, even to those of us — a minority, it seems — who don’t care for the set of compromises associated with the popular f.2.8 wide-midrange zooms (consideration of costs aside!).

    I’d note that on a Canon APS-C body (such as my own M3), the EF 40mm f.2.8 STM paired with the notably flexible and [easily obtained second hand] EF-S 24mm f.2.8 STM ‘pancake’ lens — fine review here! — makes for a very sensible “wide-normal”/”long-normal” complement. This sort of thing is the approach I personally favor over the ubiquitous “~50mm F.O.V. equivalent” in APS-C. Since first taking up with SLRs many decades past, I quickly found the typically 52mm F.O.V. to consistently feel either too ‘tight’ in framing, or not ‘wide enough’… and not so often, ‘just right’. This has been a common enough judgement among small format photographers for decades, though it’s not the “majority” opinion, it seems. I typically left my 50mm f.1.4 AI Nikkor home when heading out in daylight, preferring the 35mm f.2.0 AI-S as my main all-arounder (see EF-M 22mm f.2.0 STM).

    Nowhere else is there such an optically capable, lightweight & super compact, thoroughly affordable and practical option for a wide range of photographers at different skill levels as Canon’s pancake pair. Money well spent, in my view. The wide availability of Canon’s economical, featherweight, but admirably performing EF-S 10-18mm ultrawide zoom just cements the case for budget minded shooters or advanced practitioners alike who need a compact alternative — super light weight and compact is good! The two roughly comparable EF-M STM alternatives here (22mm and 11-22mm), plus the 40mm STM adapted, accomplish much the same thing for EOS-M users such as myself. I just have ’em all, since although I’m not a Canon DSLR user [“Pentaxian”], the 10-18mm, for example, remains a keeper for its 15mm equivalent F.O.V. at just over eight ounces (!) on my 1.5x crop factor Sony A5000. The two bodies together (both obtainable at very low auction prices, indeed, if you’re willing to take that route with its risk for hassles) give me a very economical “best of both worlds” lightweight mirrorless pairing in view of the fact that I don’t personally require fast AF from this pair. I leave that to a DSLR. Two bodies, however arranged, also obviates any real need for a compromized “walkaround” zoom or “kit” lens* for many. Just employ a little forethought, and you’re prepared. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

    * The apparently ‘next generation’ fast autofocus on Canon’s latest kit zoom offering might swing the weight of opinion in the direction of accepting that particular set of compromises for some budget conscious users. See Dustin’s nice preview write-up here!

  655. Hillel Brandes says:

    Awsome! Simply awesome….breathtaking as you say! Great photos!

  656. Will says:

    Great post, as always. We’re going to do some research on this place for our large family trip. By the way, I noticed you took the Tamron 45mm f/1.8. How are you getting on with that lens? I think mine could use some adjusting for the extreme focus distances. Have you tried out the tap-in console yet? It appears I have to send my early-produced lens in to Tamron for an update before the console will work. Wondering if it’s worth it.

  657. revabbott says:

    Thanks, Hillel. Appreciate the kind feedback.

  658. revabbott says:

    Will, I’m still waiting for Tamron in the US or Canada to get me one. I should have one soon, and, when I do, I’ll definitely be reporting on it. I certainly intend to send my own 45 VC is for update; having access to the Tap In will be worth it, I think.

  659. Prabhu says:

    does this lens will support auto focus with nikon d3200?

  660. revabbott says:

    Prabhu – it definitely will. Enjoy!

  661. Andrew says:

    I’ve owned and used the 6D for about three years and love it. Last month I added a second Canon body and decided to go for the 5D3. Image quality is essentially the same, as I knew it would be. The 6D is the better travel body for sure, but the auto focus on the 5D3 is vastly superior for anything moving, and also is a better match for macro shooting or precise f/1.2 focusing off-center with the 50/1.2 L for portraits. The center point, while a stop less sensitive than the 6D, does have a neat trick in the form of spot focus, making the point much smaller than the 6D’s which again helps with precision focus at ultra-wide aperture when aiming for the eyes.

    For events I like to use the 5D3 with the 50/1.2 L (I adore this lens for events) and the 6D with the 35/1.4 L II, which is far less finicky with precision focus. Together, the two cameras make a terrific pair.

    Th 6D remains the better body for travel and for manual focus (Mine has the S precision screen), though th 5D3 feels a lot more ruggedly built and is reputed to have better weather sealing, making it my body of choice when I know I will shooting in heavy rain.

    I am very glad to have both, and can see using them about equally.

  662. Dustin Abbott says:

    Andrew, that’s a pretty balanced take on the two cameras. They both have their merits, strengths, and weaknesses.

  663. Brian Biggs says:

    HI there, thanks for this review. I’m puzzled by some of what I read about the manual focus override of this lens. What you describe about it being “focus by wire,” is that only when overriding the auto-focus when the lens switch is set to AF? Or is this when it is switched to MF as well?
    In manual focus mode, with the switch set to MF, I feel like a lens shouldn’t be dealing with electric motors at all. Is this the case here? Thanks much.

  664. revabbott says:

    Brian, I know it seems odd, but that’s how all STM lenses (and now this Nano USM) operate. There is no direct interaction with the elements; everything is routed through the focus motors.

  665. Andrew says:

    My understanding is better quality control (on all Canon lenses) and some slight fine-tuning of the focus system in the lens.

    I also use my lens on a Canon EOS 650 film camera from 1987 that lacks adjustment and focus is dead-on at all distances wide-open.

  666. revabbott says:

    That’s good to hear. The people that love the 50L really love it.

  667. victorien says:

    Hi Dustin,

    I am following your reviews with attention !!
    I have a question for you, in your opinion what is the best options:
    canon FF ( i think the next 5D) + the sigma 150-600mm C or
    Canon 7D mark II (or80D) + 100-400mm VII
    Which combo would you pick up for a travel in Africa ?

    thanks for your help
    best regards

    A fan from France

  668. Jim Hully says:

    Hi Dustin,

    I’m still learning all the capabilities of this lens, but I’m confused by your “chief engineering flaw” as my lens behaves differently. The lens release/lock functions at three positions: when it is collapsed, at shooting position and at super macro. Once you power the camera on and release the lens from its collapsed position you need to move it until the lock engages again at the shooting position. Otherwise the camera keeps telling you to “Set the lens…..” and you cannot get any kind of image. I’m using a recent M3 so maybe there is a software update to go with this lens?

    My biggest criticisms are the redundant lock in the super macro position, what is wrong with a normal hard stop, and that this so-called super macro is really not much of an improvement over the 1:1 available in the normal shooting position. A focus limiter would help for normal distances but I bought this lens purely for macro as this is a fairly unique field of view for Canon combined with image stabilization.


    Grayslake, IL

  669. revabbott says:

    Jim, obviously the mechanics of how we are using it are slightly different. I tend to engage the lock with one hand and quickly twist with the other to prepare for shooting. Unless you very quickly release the switch nothing engages at the normal shooting position, while there is a hard stop at super macro. I naturally go to the hard stop – which is super macro, not normal shooting position.

  670. Chris says:

    Nice review. I just wanted to point out that you spend a great deal of time extolling the feel, the look and beautiful finish of the lens – all perfectly reasonable. But, personally, I do think it worth reminding users that these are irrelevant to the purpose of actually using them. Pride of ownership does not translate into stunning images. Then you are left with a fixed focal length lens of great performance that weighs as much the excellent Canon 24-70 f2.8 II. As you point out: this really is not a lens for everyone. Zeiss seem to have forgotten how to make a small lens. I would be interested to find out how many early adopters of these lenses still have them 2 years after getting them. My guess is that most will have sold them on simply because they are not really very practical for day to day use.

  671. revabbott says:

    I get your point, but the lens is no more impractical in size than the Sigma ART 50mm f/1.4 (smaller in dimensions) and isn’t physically larger than the Tamron 45mm VC. It isn’t just Zeiss: lenses are getting bigger. The new Sony G-Master lenses (for mirrorless!!) are the largest of their class. Most Zeiss users seem to be pretty devoted to their lenses, so I suspect less are dumping them than you might think. I would happily own this lens, and am considering it despite owning a number of other 50mm lenses.

  672. Ron says:

    Dear Mr. Abbott,

    Thank you for this detailed review. I appreciate your reasoned discussion of the lens's strengths and weakness. I also appreciate your use of objects in nature as test subjects – everyone has a good idea of what flowers, birds and fields should look like when properply photographed.

    The details about use with an M3, along with your related review of the M3 body itself, were all the more helpful to me, because I'm planning to purchase either an M3 plus this lens, or a G3 X, as a bridge camera for vacation travels. This combination appears to provided superior imaging and better AF, but perhaps harder to handle and lacks weather resistance. The G3 X looks easier to handle and is weather resistant, but perhaps not as good with imaging. (I'll be traveling mostly in urban settings, so can forgo the 500mm zoom.) I haven't found a review of the G3X by you, but would certainly welcome any advice you have on these two alternatives.

    Thank you in advance

    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Ron, thanks for the nice feedback. I haven’t reviewed the G3X, but your comment was a reminder that I really should. I know a lot of people are looking for a travel/bridge camera, and I have a lot of equipment that I could directly compare it to. It’s now on the list.

  673. Wahab Khan says:

    Very nice article indeed. To summarize…always have the widest possible lens and a telephoto lens, whenever you go for landscape shooting. I am also trying to shoot all my images in both orientations. One never knows how the images will turn out until one comes back home and sees them on the computer screen.

  674. Dustin Abbott says:

    Wahab – I think you’ve hit the high points!

  675. great article and a great site too 🙂 you’ve convinced me to take the plunge!! I’ve got a Canon 6D and also a collection of old film cameras some of which are M42 – I therefore already have a Helios 44M-4, a revueflex 55 1.7 and a CZJ Tessar 50mm 2.8 that are standing by….. I’ve ummmed and ahhhed for ages about getting an EOS/M42 adaptor but based on your site think i’ll invest in a fotodiox one – some amazing images you’ve created here thanks for sharing

  676. Dustin Abbott says:

    Chris, have fun! Shooting vintage glass like this is really a blast. It feels extra special to create amazing images with them.

  677. Soso says:

    Hallo Dustin,

    I need your advice. I’m absolutely not into macro photography but I plan to digitalize my old negative and slide films by using a macro lens and a small light table. The Tamron 90mm macro seems to be my best choice for my Sony A77.

    But there’re three versions available (actually even four): The oldest version comes in at only 280 € and has been rated very good at the time. The F004 come in at about 420 €, has improved AF (which I don’t necessary need), weather sealing (which I also don’t need), better coatings (maybe interesting?) and internal focusing (which might be interesting for my case). And finally the latest version F017 which looks much nice and slightly improved contrast and weather sealing, for about 700 € but not available for the next 3 months. Additionally, there’s also the Tamron 60mm 2.0 for crop sensor for about 350 €. It’s from 2009, so between the first and the second version of the 90mm. How does it compare?

    The question is, is there a image quality advantage (like sharpness, CA, micro-contrast) for my use case (indoor, close focus, reproduction, stopped down, tripod) from the first, second and third version that is a) visible without comparison and b) justifies the higher price?

    Thanks for your reply

  678. revabbott says:

    If you plan to mostly manually focus, you probably can get away with the oldest version. The new ones are better at a lot of things, but that was a good macro lens, particularly when stopped down to typical macro apertures. The new lens is the best without a question, but you can produce great results with the oldest lens. The one thing to remember about the oldest one, though, is that it isn’t internally focusing and will extend quite a ways, making it a bit more complicated to use in close macro settings.

  679. Matt Birmingham says:

    Excellent review (as usual) Dustin! Very helpful and should be an encouragement for many photographers to no longer balk at buying (at least the new ones) Tamron lenses given the ability that this console provides to update lenses along with being able to fine-tune their performance to a given users needs and camera bodies.


    1. Dustin Abbott says:

      Thank you, Adhika

  680. revabbott says:

    Thanks, Matt!

  681. Darrell says:

    Great article….

    To say that Canon did indeed muddy the water with the release of the 6D is a shortcoming. I have read every bit of 40 to 50 reviews, watched many different YouTube video reviews and I am still on the fence about the 6D. Why? Because, while I understand it is in every sense of the word, more camera than most need, a little tiny voice in the back of my mind keeps popping up and saying “what about those few times you do shoot sports of birds”. In as much as I’d like to gain increased IQ by going FF, I don’t want to loose the option to shoot action when I want to. And, in the end I don’t have 5D3 money either. Ugh!

  682. revabbott says:

    Darrell, there’s a reason why this has been my most read article over the past four years. A lot of people are in the same place you are.