I'm looking at adding the 70 - 300 Tamron to my equipment. I wanted to know do you like that lens? And I have heard that the front lens rotates when you zoom in and out is that true?
Hey CG, sorry I didn't get back to your question until now...
Yes, I have to say that all things considered, I really do love my Tamron 70-300. For the money
it truly is an outstanding lens and I use it more than any of my other lenses combined. Yes, it focuses a little slow, especially in low light and yes, the focus is a little noisy...in other words, no it doesn't focus like a $1000 Canon or Nikon lens, but for the $90 I paid for this lens the quality and sharpness of the optics are unbeatable! The sharpness of the shots I get from this lens EASILY compares with that of the Canon 70-300mm...and even new, this lens is less than half the price ($179 for the Tamron vs. $549 for the Canon based on todays price at Adorama.com) although granted, it's not an IS like the Canon is.
As to the front lens rotating when you're zooming...no...it does not (I just ran downstairs and checked). It does however rotate when you're focusing
...as virtually any lens in this price range would. Yes it can be a little annoying when you are using a polarizer (or something like a split color filter), and at the very least, a little more time consuming as you have to stop and re-adjust things occastionally, but that's really the only downside to it. Again though, virtually any lens in this price range is going to do that...ya learn to live with it.
Now having shot with this lens for almost a year now, I will say that I do wish it was a faster lens...that f/4-5.6 makes it really
hard to use indoors without a flash and even in shade without having to bump up the ISO...an f/2.8 would be ideal. I also wish it had IS (image stabilization) considering I do much of my shooting handheld. Yes, I do wish it had a faster focusing mechanism...a faster focus would be nice for those animals I shoot that never stop moving around in their habitats. I was recently shooting a little gray fox at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History who wouldn't stop moving and with the camera's focus in "servo mode", the lens was still struggling to keep up with this little guy. A faster focus would have allowed me to walk away with more keepers (probably). Slow focusing seems to be one of the biggest pitfalls of all Tamron lenses. But again here we're talking about an "entry level" lens and not a $1000-$4000 "pro" lens here. -If- this 70-300 were an f.2.8 with IS and a really fast focus, I have no doubt that it would be at least $1000 if not considerably more...even being a Tamron. With that said though, I don't think the lens would be any sharper at all...just more convenient. As with so many things in regards to photography, this is about compromise...if you don't have $1000+ and you can live with a slower focusing lens, again these Tamrons are -sharp-...and to me, that's THE most important thing.
Honestly, most of the gripes I've seen about Tamron lenses have been from people who were expecting to get something comparable to a $1500 Canon "L" lens (or something comparable in a Nikkor) for only $200 and then were disappointed because the lens has a plastic barrel instead of metal and because the focus was slow...it's amazing how naive, petty and downright stupid people can be sometimes. People want to "have their cake and eat it too" but don't want to actually have to pay for it by the slice I guess! LOL! I have to add here that in some ways, I think those plastic bodies are actually more "rugged" than the metal bodies. Last summer I dropped my Tamron 70-300mm in the middle of a street intersection...it fell out of my coat pocket while shooting a water fountain and other than a chipped UV filter, the lens didn't suffer any damage at all. Had that of been a Canon L lens, I'm positive I would have ended up with a $1500 paper weight! LOL!!! I'd rather have a sharp...and working $90 lens than a $1500 paper weight any day!
As long as you understand these things, then YES, I whole-heartedly recommend Tamron lenses and I think you'd be really happy with the 70-300mm LD. In the sub-$500 price range, I think it's one of the very best lenses out there and certainly one of the sharpest even at several times the price!