Photography / Hands-on Review

Tamron Lenses for Full Frame, APS-C and Mirror-less Camera Systems


Tamron has been in the business of manufacturing quality optics for more than 60 years, and in that time the company has developed a loyal following of dedicated photo enthusiasts. The lenses are available with lens mounts compatible with film and digital cameras from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony/Minolta. Tamron currently produces three categories of photographic lenses; Di series optics for full frame and APS-C format cameras, Di II series optics for use with APS-C format cameras and Di III series optics, which are compatible with mirrorless digital cameras.

Included among Tamron’s offerings are all-in-one zooms, high-speed zooms, telephoto zooms, macros and a selection of wide and ultra wide-angle lenses. To ensure optimal image quality, Tamron lenses feature a number of advanced imaging technologies designed to produce sharp, accurately rendered imagery.

Included among these image-optimizing features are aspherical lens surfaces (ASL) that help maintain edge sharpness, reduce aberrations and optical distortions, extra refractive index glass (XR) for better color saturation and tonal fidelity, and low dispersion glass (LD) to maintain image detail and minimize the effects of chromatic aberration when focusing close with longer focal length lenses.

Other image-enhancing technologies found on many Tamron optics include anomalous dispersion (AD) glass for reducing chromatic aberrations in telephoto lenses and lateral chromatic aberrations in wider angle lenses, internal focusing (IF) that maintains a constant lens size and allows for easier use of Polarizing filters, Piezo drive (PZD) autofocus systems and vibration reduction (VR) for sharper results when shooting in low light.

Tamron All-in-One Zooms

All-in-one zooms have become increasingly popular among enthusiasts who want a lens that “does it all,” from wide angle through telephoto. Relatively small and compact, all-in-one zooms are ideal for travel purposes and occasions in which a multi-lens camera bag is impractical or undesirable. For full frame (and APS-C) format cameras, Tamron manufactures three all-in-ones, each featuring aspheric lens surfaces, internal focusing and macro focusing. Included in this group is an image-stabilized AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) with a minimum focus of 19.3” (0.49m), a non-stabilized AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) with a minimum focus of 19.3” (0.49m), and a more compact, shorter range AF 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 XR Di Aspherical (IF), which also has a minimum focus of 19.3” (0.49m).

For APS-C format cameras, there’s also a choice of three lenses that include an AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD that features a Piezo Drive AF system, a standard AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) that focuses down to 19.2” (0.49m), and shorter range AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) that has a close-focusing distance of 17.7” (0.45m).

For mirrorless cameras—specifically Sony NEX E-mount cameras—Tamron offers an AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC , which is available in a choice of black or silver.

Tamron Telephoto Zooms

For the maximum in flexibility for capturing distant subjects, Tamron offers a selection of longer zooms in several configurations. For full-frame and APS-C format DSLRs, Tamron offers a choice of 70-300mm zooms: an SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD that features a highly responsive Ultra-Sonic Drive AF system and a non-VC version  SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di for use with Sony DSLRs containing built-in image stabilization systems. There is also a longer SP 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) designed to capture subjects beyond the reach of a 300mm lens.

Owners of APS-C format DSLRs can make good use of Tamron’s 55-200mm f/4-5.6 Di II LD, a near pocket-size zoom that covers the approximate FOV range of an 82.5 to 300mm lens on a full-frame DSLR.

High-Speed Zooms

If you shoot sports or other venues that require faster response times, especially when shooting in low light at longer focal ranges, Tamron offers two fixed, wider-aperture zooms that unlike slower variable-aperture zooms, maintain a constant f/stop regardless of how far you zoom in to your subject.

For closer range, street-style shooting with full frame or APS-C format DSLRs, Tamron offers the SP 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF), which opens up to a fast, maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout its zoom range and can focus down to 13” (0.33m) from your subject. For capturing subjects farther from your vantage point, Tamron offers an equally fast SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) zoom lens that in addition to maintaining a constant aperture throughout its zoom range, can focus as close as  37.4” (0.95m), which is impressively close for optics in this category.

If you own a compact DSLR containing an APS-C format imaging sensor, Tamron manufactures a pair of 17-50mm f/2.8 wide-to-normal zooms that cover the approximate FOV of a 25.5 to 75mm lens on a full-frame DSLR (or 27.2-80mm zoom when used on a Canon APS-C format DSLR).

Between its fast, f/2.8 maximum aperture and VC image stabilization system, Tamron’s SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical (IF)  is the perfect zoom for close to midrange shooting under less than desirable lighting conditions. With a minimum focusing distance of 11.4” (0.29m), Tamron’s SP 17-50mm f/2.8 is also capable of capturing dramatic close-ups, especially at the wider end of its focal range.

Minus the image stabilization but otherwise equal in image quality is the Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) , which is also slightly smaller, lighter, and focuses closer than its image stabilized 17-50mm XR Di II twin.

Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom

In the wide-angle department, we have the Tamron SP 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF)  ultra wide-angle zoom lens. Designed for use with compact APS-C format DSLRs from Nikon, Canon, Sony and Pentax, Tamron’s SP 10-24mm ultra-wide zoom takes in the equivalent  FOV of a 15-36mm lens on a full-frame DSLR (or 16-38.4mm lens when used on a Canon compact DSLR). With an angle of view of 108° and a minimum focusing distance of 9.4” (0.24m), the Tamron SP 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) opens up a range of creative possibilities for shooting landscapes, architecture and tabletop photography.

Macro Lenses

For full-frame and APS-C format DSLRs, Tamron offers a choice of two macro lenses designed to deliver ultra sharp, life-size image details of your subjects. The shorter of the two is Tamron’s SP 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro, a short telephoto (or mid-range telephoto when used on an APS-C format DSLR) that can focus down to 11.4” (0.29m) for life-size (1:1) image reproduction. Tamron’s 90mm macro can also be used as a portrait lens.

Twice the focal length—which makes it the perfect macro for photographing close-ups of butterflies, frogs, birds and similarly skittish subjects—is the Tamron SP 180mm f/3.5 Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro. A great choice for capturing close-ups of flowers and other small objects without casting your own shadow on your subject, the longer focal length of Tamron’s 180mm macro also makes it easier to isolate your subject from distracting foreground and background details, especially when captured at the lens’s maximum (f/3.5) aperture.

For use with APS-C format DSLRs Tamron offers the SP 60mm f/2 Di II LD (IF) Macro, a fast, short macro lens that features close focusing down to 9.1” (0.23m) and has the same 1:1 reproduction ratio as Tamron’s longer focal-length macro offerings.

Regardless of what and how you photograph and what camera system you enjoy using, Tamron has a lens (or two or three) that can greatly expand and improve upon your sense of creativity and overall photographic capabilities. We have them all at B&H.

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Sir, can u tell me.....which is the best low light wedding...Lense for my Nikon D 750 Camera Body.....Its Very Urgent....May be Tommorow....I w'll be Purchase it.....Thanx....

See the links below for recommended lenses to use in low light situations and for wedding work with your D750:




When can I get a full-frame E-mount TAMRON zoom like the Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS ?

Unfortunately Tamron has not provided us with a timeline for the projected future lenses that they will be offering.  Hopefully we will start to see them produce some FE lens options.  – Yossi

Looking for a 18-200 f/2.8 or 4.56 wide angle zoom lens

There are no full frame 18-200mm lenses currently on the market, so 18mm won’t be overly wide on any camera an 18-200mm lens is designed for.  Also, there won’t be a lens with that type of range on the market with a max aperture as large as f/2.8.  They will all have variable max apertures that will be smaller.  If you send us an email, letting us know what camera and lenses you currently have, what you are looking to shoot, and the limitations you are finding with your current lenses, we would be happy to make a recommendation or two that might fit what you need.  *Christina*  askbh@bandh.com

  I Have a canon 5d Mark111 can i use Tamron sp lenes on my camer

SP for Tamron simply means Super Performance.  There are quite a few Tamron SP full frame lenses that you can use on your 5D III.  The full frame lenses from Tamron would be there Di lenses, so any Di SP lens could be used on the 5D III.  The Di-II lenses are for APS-C size sensor cameras, and the Di-III are for mirrorless systems.

Hi christina! Just to clarify, can I use the Tamron AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 Di LD SP Aspherical (IF) Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens

on a Canon Markii or Markiii without smashing my fmirrors etc? I love my Tamron 70-200 & 24-70!! Need a wide angle lens for my full frame cameras


Yes, you can safely use the Tamron AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 Di LD SP Aspherical (IF) Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens on a Canon Mark II or Mark III cameras  without damaging the lens or the camera.  This is another Di series lens which are designed for full-frame use. 

When will Tamron be making a wide angle zoom available for full frame Canon cameras.

Apparently Tamron has just recently announced that they are developing a full frame 15-30mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle zoom with vibration reduction for Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts.    You can find the announcement on sites such as dpreview.  They haven’t announced pricing or availability yet, so it would be impossible to say when this lens would actually hit the market.