Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens


      In summary

      Tamron’s latest long-range zoom lens, the AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro, extends the range of the zoom at the wide-angle end of the spectrum and covers a popular range of focal lengths for amateur photographers. Like the 28-300mm Di lens we reviewed in Issue 21 (February/March 2005), it’s surprisingly compact and light in weight for its range. . . [more]

      Full review


      Tamron’s latest long-range zoom lens, the AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro, extends the range of the zoom at the wide-angle end of the spectrum and covers a popular range of focal lengths for amateur photographers. Like the 28-300mm Di lens we reviewed in Issue 21 (February/March 2005), it’s surprisingly compact and light for its range.

      The new 18-200mm is well designed and built, with similar features to the SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) lens reviewed on page ??. Available with Canon, Konica Minolta, Nikon and Pentax mounts, it can only be used with DSLR cameras with image sensors of around 24 x 16mm in size. The design features XR (Extra Refractive Index) glass, which is used in a way that evenly distributes the optical power in the lens and minimises aberrations. Three hybrid aspherical elements and two LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements are included to reduce chromatic aberrations.

      The zoom ring carries settings for 18, 35, 50, 70, 100, 135 and 200mm focal lengths, while the focus ring has measurements in metres and feet. Like its 28-300mm ‘sister’ it can focus down to its minimum distance (45cm) across the entire zoom range, providing 1:3.7 macro magnification at the 200mm setting. The autofocusing control on the test lens was a little quieter than the 11-18mm, but comparatively slow, making it difficult to take action shots in dim lighting. Fortunately, the AF system showed little tendency to hunt.

      A switch on the barrel selects between the AF and manual settings. Manual focusing is made easy and effective by the ridged grip on the focusing ring, which is reflected in larger form for the zoom ring. The zoom moves smoothly and easily and it can be locked to prevent it extending when the lens is carried on a camera. The lock is a simple sliding finger-latch that shows a red bar when it is engaged. A ‘flower shaped’ lens hood is supplied and the lens is compatible with 62mm diameter filters.

      Zoom lenses that cover a wide range of focal lengths are appealing to photo hobbyists because they offer an ‘all-in-one’ solution for most shooting situations. They’re also cheaper to buy than a pair of short-range zooms covering a similar focal length range – and much more affordable than a set of prime lenses. However, to achieve an 11.1x zoom ratio in a light and compact lens requires considerable compromises, which are usually evidenced in imaging performance.

      We tested the Tamron 18-200mm lens on a Canon EOS-300D camera with the Adobe RGB colour space and all parameters set to normal. ISO 100 sensitivity was used for all shots. Pictures taken with the test lens were pleasing to look at as long as they were not over-enlarged. We estimate a maximum print size of 20 x 15cm would keep imaging flaws to a minimum and were able to make prints that looked acceptably sharp when enlarged to A4 size from the best files in our test shots collection. For web use, image quality was generally satisfactory – though not outstanding.

      The main problems we found with this lens were to do with resolution and chromatic aberration, although slight barrel distortion could be seen at the 18mm setting and pincushioning at 200mm. Neither would be problematic for most users, and we found no noticeable distortions around the middle of the zoom range.

      Imatest detected the best overall resolution in shots taken at the 18mm setting between f8 and f16, and the worst at 200mm at f6.3 (the widest aperture). Chromatic aberration ranged from barely visible in the middle of the zoom range to severe at the extreme ends and was quite pronounced in shots taken in contrasty lighting. Flare and ghosting were generally very low, thanks to the internal surface coatings in the lens, and we found no fault with overall colour or tonal reproduction, even with relatively strong backlighting.

      Overall, Tamron’s AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II lens is more remarkable for what it can do than for its faults. As a lightweight, all-in-one solution for everyday picture-taking it’s a good performer on the whole and would make a fine travelling companion, especially if you don’t make large prints. However, if you yearn to print your photos to A3 size, we suggest you consider two or more zoom lenses covering shorter focal length ranges. [25]





      Focal length range: 18-200mm (picture angle equivalent to 28-300mm on a 35mm camera)
      Maximum aperture: f/3.5-6.3
      Minimum aperture: f22
      Lens construction: 15 elements in 13 groups
      Minimum focus: 0.45 m
      Filter size: 62 mm diameter
      Compatible mounts: Canon AF, Konica Minolta AF-D, Nikon AF-D and Pentax AF
      Dimensions (Diameter x L): Approx. 73.8 mm x 83.7 mm
      Weight: Approx. 398g






      Digital cameras, lenses and accessories with 100% genuine Australian manufacturer’s warranties.
      Ph: (02) 9029 2219

      Camera House



      Ph: 133 686
      The largest speciality photographic retail chain in Australia.

      Camera Pro


      CameraPro Pty Ltd
      Suite 607, 180 Queen St, Brisbane 4000
      Tel: 07 3333 2900
      Australian owned and run company based in Brisbane.




      Retailer of digital camera equipment and more.
      Secure online shopping and delivery across Australia.
      Ph: 1300 727 056


      Ph: 1800 155 067




      Comprehensive range of digital cameras and accessories online (www.camera-warehouse.com.au) and an online print service (www.royalexpress.com.au).

      Digital Camera Warehouse


      174 Canterbury Road 367 High Street
      Canterbury Northcote
      NSW 2193 VIC 3070
      Ph: 1300 365 220

      Electronics Warehouse


      1300 801 885
      Australian retailer of Vapex rechargeable batteries offering factory direct prices and fast, free shipping Australia wide.



      Photographic Equipment & Supplies – Retail & Repairs. Click here for list of stores.

      Ted’s Cameras




      1800 186 895
      Big range of cameras and photographic products with stores in most states and online.