My Review of the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens

I received the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus lens for Canon EOS as a gift. This is not a detailed technical review, but I wanted to share my thoughts on how this lens has performed for me. I have used this Tamron lens in the macro setting and as a short telephoto lens for wildlife.

This Tamron AF 70-300mm lens is a lightweight and compact mid-range zoom lens. This Di Macro Autofocus lens can be used on full frame or digital APS-C sized cameras and has mounts for Canon, Pentax, Sony, and Nikon. One of the best things about this lens is that it is very cost effective which makes this a great quality lens to have in your camera bag. Right now, this Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens costs around $179.95.

My new Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens.

When I first received this lens, I went out to a local park and photographed some cattail fluff that was remaining after the cattails had burst. To use the macro setting, all you have to do is flip the switch on the lens to macro while having the lens extended out to the 300mm focal length. The macro capability of this lens has a focal length range of 180-300mm and has a minimum focus distance of 0.95m. The magnification of this lens is 1:2 which is great for photographing flowers, insects, and other small subjects.

As you see below in this macro image of my cattail fluff that this lens made a very sharp and detailed image. This lens does not have a vibration reduction (VR) or image stabilization (IS) function, and I will have to note that I was also handholding my camera and this lens on a fairly windy day to take this image. Normally, I would not be handholding while shooting in macro, but I wanted to test this lens out and see what I might get in these conditions, especially since the lens does not have VR or IS. I was really pleased and impressed with the result of this cattail fluff image. Of course, I increased my ISO up to 1600 to get a fairly decent shutter speed of 1/320 and used an aperture of f/8.

Cattail fluff, ISO 1600, f/8 and 1/320sec in macro mode, handheld.

My next test of this Tamron lens was to go to another local park and photograph some wildlife. I found some domestic ducks and spent some time photographing them while again handholding my camera and lens. Again, this lens was very lightweight and easy to use for photographing wildlife. Using this mid-range telephoto lens, I shot hundreds of images of these domestic ducks and only got a handful that were out of focus and not really sharp. Otherwise, all my wildlife images were sharp and showed a lot of detail. The autofocus worked well with my wildlife subjects. I had no problems in focusing on my subjects using autofocus especially with movement of my subjects. I mainly photographed the ducks with a wide-open aperture of around f/4-5.6 range. I was, again, impressed with the performance of this lens as I had some really awesome photos of these domestic ducks.

Below are a few of the images of the domestic ducks that I photographed using the Tamron AF 70-300mm lens as a telephoto lens.

White Pekin X Mallard Hybrid, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000sec, at 300mm focal length, handheld.

Mallard Drake Swimming, ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/3200sec at 200mm focal length, handheld .

Lastly, I used this lens for what I really plan to use it for, which is as a macro lens for my flower and wine art photography. I mounted my camera and lens on my tripod, and with the use of my shutter release I photographed hundreds of images of roses and tulips and even some of my wine art subjects. Having the longer macro range of 180-300mm was good for my indoor setup, and this macro range will be really ideal for when I go to the botanical garden this Spring to photograph flowers and insects.

I used my indoor set up to photograph the below flowers with this new lens. I photographed the flowers from different angles and perspectives using the natural indoor lighting. I mainly used a low ISO setting of about 200 and then used a range of apertures to test this lens from f/8 to f/32. The backgrounds I used were either a solid white or black reflective background board. All the images turned out sharp with a lot of detail. I switched back and forth a lot between manual and autofocus and found that the autofocus worked pretty well for photographing macro subjects. While photographing both flowers and my wine images, I found that just using the lens as a telephoto instead of the using the macro function also worked exceptionally well for capturing some excellent images of the flowers and my wine art.

Here are a few images of my flowers taken with the macro switch on.

Overall, I think this Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens is a great lens for the value, allowing for crisp and sharp images. I have been impressed with the superb and stunning images that I have taken with this lens. This lens also comes with a lens hood and lens cap.

If you are a beginner photographer or even a professional, like me, this lens makes a great addition to your arsenal of photography equipment. Just keep in mind that it is not a VR or IS lens and to always make sure that if you are handholding that you have enough shutter speed. And if, like me, you use this lens mounted on a tripod, then it really doesn’t matter that the lens does not have VR or IS as you should not using that function while mounted on a tripod.

I will definitely be using this lens for my macro subjects and even some as a telephoto lens. I have not used it as a portrait lens, but I would bet it would be excellent for that use as well. It is a versatile lens that has many capabilities for shooting a wide range of subjects. This Tamron AF 73-300mm f/4-5.5 Di LD Macro Autofocus lens will certainly find a spot in my camera bag.

Hope you may find my review to be helpful if pondering over purchasing an inexpensive but quality and versatile lens that you may need for macro use or for use as a telephoto lens.


Thank you for taking the time to view and read my blog.

All the very best,

Lori A Cash

Copyright © 2006-2020 Lori A. Cash Photography. All Rights Reserved.
All images on this website is the sole property of Lori A. Cash/Lori A. Cash Photography. Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission from Lori A. Cash Photography.

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