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It becomes a challenge to lug a lot of gear into the field. On the other hand, it’s nice to have wide-angle, telephoto and close-up capability, as well as a tripod for support. So the dilemma is always to either travel comfortably or be prepared for anything.
Tamron’s new AF28-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC zoom provides a wonderful solution: It packs a wide range of focal lengths, close-focusing capability and a new Vibration Compensation system all in one compact unit. We found the VC system will let you shoot handheld at shutter speeds two to four stops slower than is possible otherwise. We gave the AF28-300mm a real test, and it passed with honors. Our test lens was very sharp, and the autofocusing performance proved excellent on birds in flight despite the slowish maximum aperture of ƒ/6.3 at the 300mm focal length. Throw in a street price of less than $600, and this lens is a terrific deal.
Lens: Tamron AF28-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical [IF] Macro
Lens Design: 18 elements in 13 groups
Special Elements: Two LD, 1 AD, 1 XR, 1 GM aspherical and 2 hybrid aspherical elements
Diameter: 3.1 inches
Length: 3.9 inches
Weight: 19.6 ounces
Mounts Available: Canon EF and Nikon
Estimated Street Price: $599
Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.