Tamron 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 SP
I bought the Tamron 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 SP (what a mouthful) the same day I bought my EOS M5 (2016). I admit it is an odd combination. The EOS M5 features the first built-in EVF in the EOS M-series and also has a more substantial grip compared to previous models. We had been living for several years in our new house, next to a large natural park, and I wanted try my hand at bird photography.
Well built, optically good, attractively priced. Absolutely love the Arca-compatible tripod foot (all long lenses should have this feature). The the clutch mechanism on the zoom ring is great. Zoom creep is not a problem, but still it is reassuring to be able to lock the lens in any position. I will never get used to the fact that Tamron zoom and focus rings rotate the opposite direction of Canon (one of the reasons I have hesitated to add the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens to my collection).
Bulky when mounted on the EOS M5, but almost manageable. When zoomed to 600mm, the lens is physically long and the weight very far forward so that the EOS M5 is hard to balance. It is okay for a few minutes of handheld shooting then my arms need a rest.
After purchasing this lens it wasn’t too long before I also added a high quality carbon monopod to my kit.
I am very pleased with this lens for general landscape work as well. The ability to zoom into distant scenes and to isolate compositions is handy and rewarding.
I have not become a hardcore bird photographer, but I have learned a lot more about the birds that frequent my area.
Canon have made very few super-telephoto zoom lenses, and none with this focal range. The excellent and popular Canon EF 100-400mm is the only realistic first-party alternative. An un-realistic alternative is the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM (aka, “Unicorn”) with built-in 1.4x extender (for a total focal range of 200-560mm and the price of a used car).
Early-2020 MSRP prices comparison:
|Tamron 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 SP||$1399||4.42 lb / 2010 g|
|Sigma 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary||$1089||4.03 lb / 1830 g|
|Sigma 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports||$1699||6.29 lb / 2860 g|
|Canon EF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L IS II USM||$2199||3.61 lb / 1640 g|
|Canon EF 200-400mm ƒ/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x||$10999||7.98 lb / 3620 kg|