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New Tamron 16-300mm for Nikon

Just a day after Nikon's announcement of a new compact Nikkor 18-300mm all-in-one lens for DX cameras, Tamron (a well-respected third-party lens manufacturer) is stepping in with its very own offering: the all-new Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro.

Tamron's version of this handy superzoom seems very similar optically, with a construction of 16 elements in 12 groups and with 7 rounded aperture blades. Like the Nikkor, the Tamron is stabilized and features silent autofocus, and it is designed with compactness in mind. Tamron has equipped the 16-300mm with a "moisture resistant" weather-sealed design, making it very versatile for single-lens shooters. The Nikkor lens does appear to have a rubber gasket around the lens mount, though the press release did not comment on its weather sealing.

There are a few differences between the two lenses, most of which seem to give the Tamron lens an advantage. First of all, it's considerably cheaper, launching at just $629 compared to the Nikkor's $899 price tag. The Tamron also has a distance scale window, which is unusual in a superzoom. Finally, and arguably most importantly, the 16mm focal length offers a field of view that's wider by 6 degrees.

But which lens is better as far as image quality goes? Well, we're going to have to wait until these lenses are out to make hands-on verdict. The 16-300mm is expected to start shipping in the US in mid-May.

View the full specifications in our lens database, or pre-order the lens at B&H Photo. The lens is also available for Canon and Sony mounts.


The reviews of the Nikkor 18-300 have been luke-warm as far as image quality ... no surprises there... so I'd put my money on the Tammy being very similar. A solid "ok" but nothing to write home about. The 16mm's and the cost savings over the Nikon will be attractive for those seeking a nice "travel" snapshot lens.


I'd suggest looking at the Sigma 18-250 before pulling the trigger on either of those new lenses however. It's a decent enough lens and only around $350. All-in-one lenses are purpose built for portability, and in-so you are trading convenience for IQ. I found the Sigma to be a bargain in that regard; decent IQ, excellent macro (for an all-in-one) and good handling (AF speed and OS). I'd find it hard to justify spending an additional $300, let alone an extra $600, for a snapshot lens... even if you got an extra 2mm on the wide end...

The Tamron 70-300 usually gets better reviews than the Nikon version, so it would not surprise me if the IQ equals or surpasses the Nikon 18-300.

True, I have the Tammy 70-300 and it is a stellar piece of glass.