HANDS ON THEANO NIKITAS
Lightweight with an easy-on-the-budget $800 price tag,
the new Tamron 100-400mm f/4. 5-6. 3 Di VC USD (Model
A035) lens offers a lot of bang for the buck. Available in
Canon and Nikon mounts for cropped and full-frame sensors, the
lens features a dual MPU (micro-processing unit) control system, up
to four stops vibration reduction and an ultrasonic silent drive motor.
The lens is moisture- and dust-resistant and is compatible with
Tamron’s TAP-in Console for updating firmware and fine-tuning
AF and VC (vibration control). Need more reach? The lens is also
compatible with Tamron’s 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters.
I paired the Tamron 100-400mm lens with the hefty Canon
EOS-1D X Mark II for testing. This combination emphasized the
importance (and comfort) of having a lightweight telephoto zoom
like the Tamron 100-400mm.
The lens delivered sharp images throughout the frame
regardless of focal length, with good contrast and colors. There
was little chromatic aberration, even along high-contrast edges,
and there was almost no flare or ghosting, even when pointing the
lens at or near a light source (other than a bright, midday sun). I did,
however, notice some vignetting at 400mm when trying to capture
buzzards flying overhead against a solid blue sky.
Given the lens’s maximum f/4. 5-6. 3 aperture, you’re not going to
get the same beautiful bokeh that a faster lens delivers. But when
opened up, the 100-400mm produced pleasingly soft backgrounds.
One of the lens’s main benefits is its light weight. At 40 ounces
(the Nikon version weighs 39. 3 ounces) with a maximum diameter of
3. 4 inches, the 100-400mm lens is surprisingly easy to handle, even
when mounted on the heavyweight Canon 1D X Mark II.
At 100mm, the lens measures 7. 8 inches. Extend the zoom to
400mm and add the lens hood, and we’re talking a lens that’s 13. 5
inches long. At that awkward length, I found it a little difficult to reach
ABOVE: Although the minimum focusing distance of the Tamron 100-
400mm lens is 59 inches, it’s still possible to zoom in to 400mm to get
some nice detail shots when needed.
Go long with this affordable