the "new" Tamron lens
I mentioned back in December that I had purchased a new lens... it's new to me, but actually it's likely about 13 years old. I bought a Tamron AF 28-300 F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical IF 185D off Kijiji after looking here and here for the only real reviews I could find. For now (and may never be) it is not in the budget to purchase some of the fine glass that is out there to take really crisply focused shots. I paid $100 for the lens and a Minolta 3600 HS D flash which I thought was a good deal.
The benefit of the new lens is that it has some low dispersion (LD) glass in it. My previous Sony kit lens is all plastic elements. So the new Tamron lens doesn't get the chromatic aberations (CA) or purple fringing nearly the same as the Sony lens.
Here is a shot of a kingfisher at Bayfront Park this January, which on the Sony lens would have turned out with all the branches being purple. The bottom right side still has a slight bit of the CA happening, but not as bad as the Sony lens would have.
Another plus of the Tamron is it's bottom end of the focal range: 28mm vs 70mm of the Sony; a welcome extension to the almost wide angle range. It actually is 42mm (1.5 x 28mm for the APS-C sensor size) so not wide angle, but still provides a bigger range on the bottom end all in once lens. It also "collapses" into a smaller length than the Sony which is nice for carrying around.
...Well, it's now the next day... :)
However, a trade off seems to be that the Tamron doesn't seem to be quite as crisply focused at the longer focal lengths out to 300mm. That is somewhat frustrating and I feel like I have to choose between the CA issue and focus quality. Especially with birding, it's often that you're shooting against sky and back lighting, so the CA often creeps up. But it is never enjoyable to trade of good focusing!
Another thing I've noticed, is that the Tamron doesn't get you in as close as the Sony does. Although they both say they are 300mm lenses, the Sony zooms in closer. Does anyone know if lenses are given their focal lengths like car's engine sizes are - rounded up often somewhat dishonestly?
Oh the trials we have to we go through as relatively wealthy people! Much of the rest of the world has to make decisions which involve how to feed or put a roof over their families.