It’s been a busy couple of months for us, with not much time for photography (as you’ll no doubt have noticed if you regularly follow the blog). In between my job, and studying for a diploma, my wife and I have been busily preparing for the birth of our first child, who is due to arrive in the next few weeks. It’s a very exciting time for us.
Now that I’ve finished with decorating the bedroom for our pending arrival, I’ve been itching to get out and get some real daylight on my skin. The arrival of the Tamron 150-600mm earlier in the month gave me a great excuse! I’ll be putting it through its paces until September to see how it fares.
This has got to be one of the most eagerly anticipated third -party lenses in a few years. It’s a modest 4x zoom ratio, with a top end of 600mm, and it costs less than £1000.
Now, I’ve never used a lens this long before. 340mm is about my existing limit. I expect that learning to handle this one is going to come with quite a steep learning curve, and I feel that I should be up front about that from the outset. I will have to master a few techniques, but this means that I’ll be the perfect person to discuss the suitability of the “Bigron”(coined by Sumeet Moghe) as an entry into long-lens work.
So, first impressions:
- It’s built like a tank. The lens hood is huge (although not quite as large as it appears in the wide-angle above)
- It balances very well on my full-frame body, resting squarely on the tripod foot.
- Manual focus is very smooth, and is geared in such a way that you can adjust fine focus with just a fingertip.
- Because of the zoom range, it’s large, and fairly heavy.
However, there’s a note to be made about the size, and it’s that this is still what I’d consider a compact lens for its class. How did I reach that conclusion? Simple. I have the Think Tank Digital Holster 30 V2.0. That’s a shoulder bag designed for a 70-200mm lens with a hood attached. The bigron fits inside it. Snugly, with the hood reversed, but it fits, and I can close the lid with ease. If you don’t feel the need for the hood, then it fits very easily. I did not expect that.
To summarise, I’ll be reviewing a 600mm lens, which costs under £1000 (I’m going to keep saying that, because it’s significant), which is small enough to fit in hand luggage without filling it.
Basically, if you’re going on safari any time soon, you’re going to want to look very closely at this lens.