Tamron SP 200-500mm F5-6.3 Di LD IF Review

General information

This is a zoom lens manufactured by Tamron and the lens was released 2004.
The lens belongs to the category telephoto zoom lenses, a telephoto lens where you have the possibility to zoom in and out.

Product description from Tamron

At launch 2004 Tamron wrote this regarding Tamron SP 200-500mm F5-6.3 Di LD IF :

"The Tamron SP designation is reserved for lenses developed with special emphasis on extraordinary photographic performance. Engineers are free to innovate in an uncommon atmosphere where optical performance comes before price, resulting in lenses that satisfy the demands of discerning photographers.

Extreme photographic conditions call for extreme, specialized optics. Distant and elusive wildlife, birding, team sports, motorsports and surveillance are just a few of the photographic conditions that demand both zoom versatility and extreme telephoto power. APS-C-sensor photographers will enjoy super-telephoto magnification, with a picture angle range approximating a 310-775mm lens on a 35mm film or full-frame DSLR. Featuring LD (Low Dispersion Glass) to combat chromatic aberrations and an Internal Focus mechanism that maintains a fixed barrel length when focusing, the SP 200-500mm provides high telephoto magnification accompanied by the sought-after perspective compression effect that draws even greater attention to subjects. While not a small lens, when compared to other similar focal lengths, the SP 200-500mm is an easy choice for outdoor enthusiasts who often must hike great distances with their gear, in search of their subjects.

This super performance ( SP) tele-zoom has everything to satisfy the desires of successful nature or sport photographers. The extreme tele-end lets you bring your far away subjects up close and allows you to capture the images in a frame-filling format. The power to bring your subject nearer makes out interesting image compositions, and extends the photographic and creative horizon substantially. Furthermore, the lens offers fantastic image quality thanks to the application of modern design principles and high-quality glass.

The lens is equipped with a tripod adaptor and a filter Effect Control ( FEC), to simplify the use of polarization filters. Chromatic aberration, which is a problem with many telephoto lenses, was minimized by the application of a LD (Low dispersion) element with low color dispersion. Clear colors, high resolution and brilliance are visible at every focal length as a result of this optimization.

* SP (super performance) high-capacity lenses of excellent optical and mechanical quality.

The designation “Di” (Digitally Integrated Design) marks a generation of lenses, which have been specially adapted to the higher requirements of digital SLR cameras (APS-C and full frame).

Please note: The Nikon mount is only compatible in the MF mode with the following Nikon cameras: D40, D40X and D60. This is due to fact that these 3 cameras require lenses with a built-in motor. The Nikon version of this lens does not have a built-in motor."

Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

The lens is available for both Canon and Nikon cameras, but there are two different versions of this lens (one for each brand and mount) so it is important that you ask for and choose the right version when bying the lens.

This lens is constructed to fit all models of Canon and Nikon cameras, regardless of camera model or type of sensor.

Here it is the only Canon version of the lens that has a built-in autofocus (AF) motor. The possibility to use autofocus (AF) is available for Nikon cameras but only if the camera itself has a built-in autofocus (AF) motor. Some cheaper and budget camera models from Nikon lacks a built-in autofocus motor, and we at Lensora appreciate autofocus, so in the list of compatible cameras we have chosen to display only the cameras that you can get autofocus with.

The lens has a focal length of 200-500 mm. Depending on which camera the lens is used, the experienced and perceived focal length will be different. Please visit the list of compatible cameras below, it will provide the equivalent focal length you get on each camera.

A positive thing is that this lens has a versitale zoom range, where the difference between 'maximum zoomed out' to 'maximum zoomed in' increases the lens versatility since you as a photographer easily can compose your picture without moving yourself physically.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/5-6,3.

This lens is not considered to have a good aperture value and brightness. It is something to consider before you purchase the lens. To compensate for this you might, while photographing in less favorable light conditions, be forced to either use higher ISO settings (which generates more noise in the image), slower shutter speeds (which may give some motion blur) or flash lightning. Read more at the link below what lens brightness means to you as a photographer.

One thing to consider is that the lens has a variable brightness, which means that depending on how much you are zooming the lens will have a different maximum aperture value. At 200 mm the lens brightness is f/5 and at 500 mm the brightness is f/6,3. Through the link below you can read more about what this could mean for you as a photographer.

The lens lacks image stabilization, which otherwise os good for avoiding the blur that can occur when using slow shutter speeds. 

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 86 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

Together with the lens there is a lens hood included but we have unfortunately no further information on model etc so feel free to contact us if you know more.

Tripod Mount

This lens is equipped with a tripod mount, which makes use of a tripod easier and more stable.

Images of Tamron SP 200-500mm F5-6.3 Di LD IF

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • Long focal length with its 500 mm
  • An impressive focal range
  • Works on all sensor types
  • A lens hood is included
  • A tripod mount is included
  • No built-in autofocus motor (the Nikon version)
  • No built-in image stabilizer
  • Poor aperture value with its f/6,3
  • A variable lens brightness at different focal lengths
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust
  • Heavy (1237 gr)

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Tamron SP 200-500mm F5-6.3 Di LD IF .

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Overall rating 3 of 5

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