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Tamron Lenses for Canon EOS Cameras

written by: Balachandar Radhakrishnan•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/18/2011

Tamron is a popular choice for third party lenses for your digital SLRs. You don't have to blow your bank account to get a telephoto, you can always depend on third party lens makers for a cheaper lens that can get job done. So let's take a look at Tamron lenses for Canon EOS cameras.

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    Tamron Lenses for Canon EOS Cameras

    It's a common misconception that good cameras make great images, it's actually the photographer who creates great photos and the lenses just play an important role. Given the chance to expand your photography kit it is recommended to expand your lens collection rather than lust after the latest camera body on the market. Once you've bought your Canon body you're now thinking of getting some lenses to unleash your creativity, this article should help you to make a choice about third party lens makers like Tamron. Canon lenses are mostly expensive and at times do not offer the enthusiast photographer the value that he expects. Third party lens makers like Sigma and Tamron have come out with equally good, if not great, value lenses. Let's take a look at some of the best Tamron lenses available to Canon EOS camera users.

    Before we start, I should make something clear - there is a certain risk in buying third party lenses. Canon does not license its lens manufacturing standards to Tamron hence all Tamron lenses are reverse engineered to fit canon bodies. What does this mean to you? Well, there is always the risk that Canon might suddenly change their lens mount and your older Tamron lenses might become incompatible with newer Canon bodies. That said, I should also mention that this has never happened before and given that Tamron ships with an awesome 5 years guarantee there shouldn't be any problem even if it does happen. So now, let's get on with Tamron lenses for Canon EOS cameras.

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    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II

    Rating Average

    tamron zoom17-50 f/2.8 

    One of the advantages of getting third party lenses is that you can invest in better features. The 17-50 lens allows a much wider angle of coverage than the regular 18-55 lit lens, yes, you do lose some on the tele range but it's a reasonable trade off. The wide open aperture should allow great low light shots with creative control over the aperture. The lens has a decent build and the rubber rings are grippy and soft. The lens does not extend while focussing and is a bit noisy though focussing is fast enough. As is the case with lenses supporting wide open apertures one expects to see loss of image sharpness, however the Tamron 17-50mm lens is sharp even at f/2.8, of course stopping down increases sharpness even more but it does provide good image quality at wide open apertures. A lens much cheaper than its Canon counterpart, only lacks in image stabilization but it still is a wonderful value for money. For a fast lens it isn’t heavy and is easy to carry around as well.

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    Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di

    Rating Average


    This is the next Tamron lens that should come in to complement the 17-50mm. The lens serves the purpose as an awesome carry around lens and is almost perfect for portraiture. The wide aperture allows for beautiful bokehs and wonderful natural light profile shots. Given that this lens is also compatible with full frame bodies you can buy it now and have them ready for a full frame upgrade if you intend to. On the crop sensor they provide the just the right focal length for portrait shots and provide great value for the money. The lens is a bit slow to focus in low light conditions but I guess that’s acceptable for the price. The center part of the image is sharp and there is dome observable edge softness on this lens, though crop-sensor users will not experience it. On a full frame camera there is some noticeable vignetting and of course softening of image edges. The lens comes with an internally focussing front element and hence the lens does not extend during focussing, though the focus ring does rotate. The build quality is good and the lens is not very heavy and ships with a lens hood and pouch unlike (non-L) Canon lenses. All in all the Tamron 28-75 is a good value purchase considering it does most of its job satisfactorily and at a considerable price difference to the Canon lenses.

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    Tamron 90mm f/2.8

    Rating Average


    Macro lenses are traditionally expensive ones, especially the good ones. Now the 90mm f/2.8 Tamron lens has broken that mould and come out with a fabulous lens for macro that rivals even Canon’s own macro lens. The sharpness of this lens is stunning, even at wide open apertures. This lens is as well compatible with full frame as well as crop sensors making it a worthy purchase. The 90mm focal length is healthy distance for a getting great macro shots from a decent distance, especially on a crop sensor camera. The lens also doubles up as a fabulous portrait lens providing great low light/natural light shots that create compelling images. The push/pull focus rings are well made and good to use. The focussing speed is a bit slow but acceptable for macro shots. There is a focus limiter switch which will reduce the hunting of the lens for focussing, which is helpful. The only disadvantage as such with the lens is the protrusion of the front region while focussing which could become a problem when shooting at very close distances. The lens is very sharp both on crop sensor and full format cameras, even at f/2.8 the sharpness is maintained and of course is improved when stopped down. The lens ships with a pouch as well as a lens hood.

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    Tamron 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 Di LD VC

    Rating Average


    The Tamron 18-270 mm belongs to the category of super-zoom lenses that serve as an all-in-one solution for photography enthusiasts who don’t like carrying too much gear. The reach of this lens is just stunning and the telephoto range is great for wildlife photography. Imagine going on a safari and requiring to change lenses in a dusty environment! The lenses that allow you to go from wide angle to telephoto are a relatively new phenomenon and they seem to taking off very well. The Tamron 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 Di LD VC (oh that’s a mouthful even after omitting a few letters!) is a great competitor to the Canon 18-200 which came out not long ago. This lens provides a whopping 15x zoom ratio which is the largest ever - on a full frame equivalent expect 29-432mm! This lens is designed for crop-sensor Canon bodies and expected to be the do-it-all lens for any SLR camera user. The build quality is decent, the zoom rings are sturdy and the barrel extends considerably while zooming. With such a wide zoom range image quality does suffer but is visible only on cameras with very resolving power like the EOS 50D (15mp). The lens has distortions as would be expected from a lens that covers such a long focal length but is acceptable. The center sharpness is good but edges do go soft, the provided VC (vibration compensation) or image stabilization does help practically though not to the specified 4 stops. At F 6.3 it is a bit dark on the telephoto side but longer exposure do help with the included VC. The lens is marginally better than Canon’s 18-200 lens and hence a great buy considering the price.