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Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC

Tamron 18 400 mm review

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Tamron keeps coming on with brand new optical solutions for photography lovers. Its lens always stands out for its unique features, as Tamron 18 400 mm does too.

Lens gallery of Tamron includes a wide range of lenses for both full-frame and APS-C SLR’s including comprehensive zoom designs for wide-angle, telephoto, and superzooms.

Great features such as a high level of flexibility, compact size, and low weight, make these lenses particularly suitable for daily use as well for professional operation.

Tamron 18 400 mm product overview:

In the world of the telephoto lens, this company recently came up with the world’s first ultra-telephoto, the APS-C format. Tamron explained it as all in one zoom lens for APS-C format. It has an extensive and ultra-telephoto range equivalent to 620mm in the 35mm format. 18-400mm VC provides exceptional optical solutions across the entire zoom range from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto.

The core feature of DSLR is that it supports an interchangeable lens, yet people look for a single lens for it, which can provide all in one result. If you are one of those people, Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD <- Affiliate Link 🙂 can be your solution. It gives you Canon and Nikon mount options, fairly wide-angle coverage, super-telephoto focal length, water-resistant for your lens, and much more.

18-400mm is super convenient for travel photography. You don’t need to carry a bag full of lenses for your camera while traveling. This lens will cover much of the focal lengths/zoom ranges you desire to capture. It is compact and lightweight.

Good size

If we talk about the design of 18-400mm VC, this lens is reasonably long. But it turns out the perfect match when attached with bodies of APS-C SLR. When not extended, it only measures 4.9 by 3.1 inches. On extension, it measures up to 9 inches while it’s set on a 400mm position.

The lens barrel is black polycarbonate. This lens comes with built-in moisture protection, so you can efficiently operate it in the rain too. The zoom action is very smooth. Zoom barrel has set markings at 18mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 100mm, 200m, 300mm, and 400mm, and can be locked in place at 18mm for storage.

Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD

It is designed with a lock switch and the other two ways of control- AF/MF and VC On/Off. Manual operation is a little tricky and effort to require, so this lens is not recommended for manual lovers. There is another drawback in design that it doesn’t have any feature of dust protection.

Results of Tamron 18-400mm VC HLD varies at different focal lengths. At 18mm f/3.5, the lens delivers intense sharpness from edge to edge. Stopping down to f/5.6, there’s a modest resolution bump. The lens provides excellent results at f/8 and f/11.

An all-in-one zoom lens

There’s a slight drop of resolution at f/16 and a huge one at f/22. In general, 18-400 VC further qualifies itself as an all-in-one zoom with a maximum magnification (MM) rating of 0.34 and minimum focus distance (MFD) of 17.7″ (45 cm).

Telephoto focal lengths magnify camera shake resulting in blur images or poor quality results. This problem is minimized in this lens by VC technology. Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) technology stabilizes the image in the viewfinder so that you can take sharp and solid telephoto shots.

VC is great for reducing camera shake in images. This is also very helpful for framing subjects while taking photos.

VC feature can help achieve results in poorly lit situations. Overall results are not good when the surrounding isn’t well illuminated. 18-400mm VC provides the best results in well-lighted areas. Satisfactory results are delivered in ample daylight.

Tamron added HLD (High/Low torque-modulated Drive) in this lens. This trait saves power, provides superior drive, enables smooth autofocusing, and focuses accurately and quietly while adjusting the motor’s rotation from low to high speeds.

The latest optical design of Tamron 18 400 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD includes elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) glass and aspherical lens. Whether you’re shooting at wide-angle or telephoto, Tamron intends to provide sharp and superior quality images as well as to eliminate chromatic aberrations and distortion through its entire lens and entire zoom range. Lens also possesses a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9, so you can enjoy tele-macro photography.

Wider apertures are better for creating a background blur and eliminate diffraction. Unfortunately, a narrow range of aperture is offered by this lens. In many cameras, it is seen that image quality is reduced at f/11 through f/16 because diffraction kicked in, but the remaining aperture is still quite useful.

Tamron 18 400 mm specifications:

  • Focal Length: 18 to 400mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 28.8 to 640mm)
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5 to 6.3
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22 to 40
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF
  • Angle of View: 75° 33′ to 4°
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.344x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 17.72″ / 45 cm
  • Optical Design: 16 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, Rounded
  • Focus type: Autofocus and manual
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Dimensions(ø x L): 3.11 x 4.9″ / 79 x 123.9 mm
  • Filter Size: 72 mm (Front)
  • Weight 1.6 lb / 710 g
  • Internal focus: yes
  • Focus limit switch: no
  • Supplied accessories: lens caps, hood
  • Weather shield: yes

Tamron 18-400mm


  • VC image stabilizer
  • Impressive wide-angle to super-telephoto range
  • Zoom lock (ZL) mechanism
  • Series of low dispersion elements for sharp results
  • Hybrid Aspherical Elements (ASL)
  • It can be attached to Tamron’s Tap-in console. Helps to connect easily with USB and personal computer.
  • High-quality tele photo-shoots
  • Conveniently compact and precise
  • Delivers 1:2.9 macro magnification when zoomed in
  • Other two controls beside lock switch- AF/MF and VC On/Off
  • Matches well with the APS-C SLR bodies
  • Very lightweight
  • Work well as a travel lens.
  • It gives the longest focal length range available in a DSLR lens
  • The rounded seven-blade diaphragm adds in bokeh quality.
  • Moisture resistance construction
  • HLD (High/Low torque-modulated Drive) saves power while providing superior drive


  • Not an ideal lens for low light actions
  • Without wide apertures
  • VC feature is not very helpful while framing subjects
  • VC may not perform correctly during tripod use
  • By 50mm, image quality gets notably worse
  • A narrower aperture settings, diffraction negatively affecting sharpness
  • The Vignetting of the lens steadily decreases as you move the aperture down
  • Barrel distortion at the wide end. Pincushion distortion at the long end
  • FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is not supported
  • Only available for Canon and Nikon APS-C DSLRs
  • Lacks the Tamron 16-300mm’s wide-angle potential

Focal lengths:

  • Focal length: 18mm Exposure: f/3.5
  • Focal length: 400mm Exposure: f/6.3

Packaging Info

  • Package Weight: 2.28 pounds
  • Box Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.85 x 5.8 x 4.95″

Final review:

Tamron 18 400 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD gives a wide range of photo zooms to its users. This lens can be your best choice if you look for a lens with a maximum telephoto range at a better value for money.

This lens provides the most extended focal length range available for DSLR cameras, making it a fantastic lens to use. With 18-400mm VC, the design team of Tamron came up with a fair balance between specifications and price.

Besides excellent zooming capabilities, this camera lens is not too bulky for everyday use. Certain drawbacks such as the maximum aperture are relatively narrow, a little distortion, and image quality suffering at the edges and the long end of the zoom range unless you narrow down the f-stop. However, still, this lens is capable of providing you the best telephoto experience.

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