Monthly Archives: December 2011

Gear Up! – Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Review

See how and why Tamron’s latest kit lens may change the way you pack your gear bag!

In a crowded market of kit lenses all claiming to be the best, the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD brings a lot to the table. We took this ambitious kit lens on a wild ride across North America and Australia for a test run, and were more than happy to have the Tamron in the gear bag and along for the ride. Potential flaws are addressed by a some convenient features. What’s best about this lens is being able to shoot wide landscapes and zoom in close to capture distance subjects, all without having to change lenses. Read on to see how and why this lens may change the way you pack your gear bag for a day out.


First off, we clear out the cloud of confusion and address the basics. The full title of this les is the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD. The suffix letters indicate the key features of this lens.

Di – “Digitally Integrated” – This feature means that the lens is designed to reduce unwanted darkening of the corners (otherwise known as vignetting) and minimize flare and imaging ghosting in bright scenes. The Di also works to reduce unwanted purple tinting (chromatic aberrations) that normally occurs between light and dark colours in the image. Di lenses are appropriate for Full Frame Cameras as well as APS-C sized sensors that are used in most DSLRs on the market.

VC – “Vibration Compensation” – This feature can be turned on and off with a simple switch. It allows the lens to reduce “wobbling” and “shaking” that may become noticeable at slower shutter speeds. Later, we will go into detail about how well this works in this lens.

PZD – “Piezo Drive” – This feature means that this lens makes use of Tamron’s latest ultrasonic motors. This ensures the lens is quick, quite, and accurate to focus.

It’s In The Bag

How does the 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD measure up exactly? At its smallest length, the Tamron isn’t too much longer than similar lenses. However, when fully extended and zoomed in, the lens more than doubles its length.

On The Field

By packing the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, we were able to carry one less lens in our gear bag. At its widest viewing angle, the Di technology really comes into play. Images are nice and bright from corner to corner. Being able to zoom up to 270mm is a fantastic treat. Whether out in the city or hiking out on the trails, the versatility of this lens allows it to play many roles.

The 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD makes an excellent lens for capturing animals from a distance. On our Nikon D90, the VC (vibration compensation) seemed a bit difficult to use for still photos. This is because while focusing, the VC tries to stabilize the image, causing the actual frame to shift around. If this proves to be a problem, the VC can be turned on and off easily via a simple switch on the side of the lens.

Continue reading