We found this excellent feature on the the Sony A7II and Tamron 150-600mm in Antartica On Luminous Landscape and were pretty blown away. Michael Reichmann took the Tamron SP 150-600MM F/5-6.3 Di VC USD on a trip to Antartica.
The Tamron lens that Reichmann shot with is designed for the Sony A-mount system, so he used the Sony A-Mount to E-Mount converter, giving him the ability to shoot in autofocus with the lens. Reichmann combined the 150-600mm and the Sony a7II on his Luminous Landscape workshop. (We have no affiliation with the workshops, but hear they’re wonderful.)
With a street price of around $1000, the Tamron lens isn’t cheap, but it’s not expensive either, considering the wide zoom range and the extensive reach of the lens. Usually, a wide-ranging zoom at this price point has a lot of negative qualities, but Reichmann didn’t find a lot to complain about.
The construction quality and materials of the Tamron feel first rate. There is a removable rotating tripod shoe, a Lock switch that holds the lens at its shortest focal length and thus smallest size for transport, and the supplied front lens hood is made of metal and bayonets on firmly and securely.
As for as image quality goes, I did some 2,600 frames with this lens in Antarctica. I used just about every focal length and find little negative to comment on. CA seems well controlled, and the lens is acceptably sharp right through its focal range, with the exception of 600mm, where it is a bit less sharp than at 500mm and below.
Tamron’s Lens Information Sheet
Zoom up to 600mm for images that soar
Capture the power and beauty of wildlife, birds, travel destinations, and exciting sports action close-ups with this high-performance 150-600mm long-range zoom. VC (Vibration Compensation) and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) enable you to shoot crisp images of fast-moving, distant subjects handheld, while proprietary Tamron optical technology, including eBAND Coating, works to suppress flare and ghosting for impressively clear, vibrant images.
Advanced Optical Technology
Three LD (Low Dispersion) elements are effectively deployed to correct chromatic aberrations, a challenging problem when shooting at long distances and at long focal-length settings. Tamron’s eBAND Coating and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating help suppress flare and ghosting for class-leading image quality.
VC (Vibration Compensation)
VC (Vibration Compensation) is Tamron’s proprietary image stabilization system. Tamron’s VC is a three-coil system, whereby three driving coils activate the shake-compensating VC lens group electromagnetically via three ceramic ball bearings. The VC lens elements are held in place by contact with the ceramic ball bearings, achieving smooth movement with little friction. And since the VC mechanism is moved in parallel using only the motorized control, the mechanical structure has been simplified, enabling the development of a more compact lens.
USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive)
The quiet high-torque USD motor ensures a speedy and accurate autofocus response.
New eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating
This new coating technique developed by Tamron deploys a nano-structured layer (1 nm = 1/1,000,000mm) of ultra-low refractive index, with dimensions smaller than the wavelengths of visible rays of light. This nano-structured layer coupled with the sophisticated multiple layer coatings underneath, yields significant anti-reflection properties, efficiently reducing undesired flare and ghosting to an absolute minimum to deliver sharp, crisp images.
Compact and Stylish
While covering a very wide range of focal lengths, this lens is remarkably compact and accepts 95mm filters. Its stylish design with signature Tamron tungsten silver finish and elegant brand ring incorporates a sturdy tripod mount to enhance both stability and ease of use.
Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent moisture from penetrating the lens.