Nikon AF P 70 300mm f45 56E vs Tamron 70 300mm f45 63
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Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E vs Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3

One of the well-liked sorts of telephoto lenses is the common-or-garden 70-300mm variable-aperture zoom. They’re small, gentle, and low-cost – and plenty of of them nonetheless handle good picture high quality. It’s anybody’s guess why Nikon has taken so lengthy to introduce one to their Z system. As an alternative, photographers who need a light-weight telephoto have been adapting the F-mount Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E for years. Nonetheless, now that Tamron’s 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 can be obtainable with a local Nikon Z mount, I wished to check the 2 lenses intimately. Which one is best?

The Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 on the unique Nikon Z7

Measurement and Weight

Among the finest elements of those two lenses is how small and lightweight they’re. The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E is 680 grams (1.50 kilos), whereas the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 is even lighter at 545 grams (1.20 kilos).

In apply, the Tamron’s weight benefit is even higher than that, because you don’t want to make use of Nikon’s FTZ adapter as a way to mount it on a Nikon Z camera. With the FTZ II adapter weighing a further 125 grams (0.28 kilos), the comparability skews even additional towards Tamron. Certain, each are light-weight lenses, however there’s nonetheless greater than half a pound distinction between them.

As for measurement, the distinction is much more vital. Right here’s a tough comparability of the Nikon lens + FTZ II adapter versus the Tamron lens measurement, to scale:

Nikon AF-P 70-300mm 4.5-5.6E vs Tamron 70-300mm 4.5-6.3 Size Comparison
A simulated measurement comparability between the 2 lenses (with the FTZ II adapter for Nikon)

Briefly, the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 wins the competition of measurement and weight. Contemplating that 70-300mm variable-aperture lenses are well-liked for light-weight wants like journey and mountaineering, that’s a giant plus in Tamron’s column.

Construct and Dealing with

Neither of the 2 lenses I’m evaluating in the present day are thought of high-end. That doesn’t make them dangerous lenses optically, but it surely does imply that they’ve some construct high quality and dealing with compromises.

One of many largest compromises is that each lenses have externally zooming designs, the place the lens barrel extends as you zoom in. Even some skilled lenses do that, and it’s not a dealbreaker, but it surely does name for some further warning when utilizing these lenses in dusty or wet environments.

Each lenses have primarily plastic exteriors, with a couple of key areas of metallic (just like the lens mounts). The plastic feels a bit nicer on the Nikon lens.

The Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3

As for dealing with options, the Nikon lens comes out forward, because it has a devoted M-A swap and a VR swap. In the meantime, the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 doesn’t have any buttons or switches in any respect. Each lenses have a zoom ring and a spotlight ring.

I favor the Nikon lens’s dealing with, whereas I’d fee the construct high quality of each lenses about the identical. That mentioned, including the FTZ adapter undoubtedly makes the Nikon extra annoying to make use of, particularly if you’re swapping the FTZ adapter between a number of F-mount lenses.

Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Image Samples (3)
NIKON D850 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70mm, ISO 1600, 1/13, f/4.5
NIKON Z 7 + TAMRON 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD A047Z @ 276mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f/6.3

Picture High quality

Which lens performs higher optically between the Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E and the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3? In most classes, the 2 lenses are both tied, or the Nikon lens is the winner. However let’s take a better look, as a result of the variations might not be intensive sufficient to matter for you.

1. Distortion

Devoted telephoto lenses often don’t have a lot distortion, even zoom lenses like these. That mentioned, the Tamron has a bit greater than I’d prefer to see. Listed here are our full distortion measurements:



As you possibly can see, the Nikon lens is a lot better managed for distortion. The Tamron will get as excessive as 3.14% pincushion distortion at 200mm, which is rather a lot for a telephoto.

2. Vignetting

Subsequent up is vignetting. Neither lens is horrible on this regard, however they nonetheless have noticeable vignetting:



Be aware that our exams for the Tamron lens embrace each shut focus and infinity focus information, whereas we solely measured infinity focus vignetting on the time of testing the Nikon lens.

To sum issues up, the Nikon lens has much less vignetting in nearly each case, notably large open, the place vignetting is crucial. The variations at 70mm, 100mm, 200mm, and 300mm are 0.54 stops, 0.46 stops, 0.30 stops, and 0.20 stops respectively. The variations aren’t huge, however all of them favor the Nikon lens.

3. Lateral Chromatic Aberration

The Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E and Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 have very totally different chromatic aberration profiles, as you possibly can see under:



At 70mm, the Tamron lens has much less chromatic aberration, though neither lens has sufficient to be of concern. The story is analogous at 100mm, with even much less CA on each lenses. At 200mm, the Tamron’s CA ranges begin to enhance – it’s now larger than the Nikon, and could also be simply seen in real-world photographs. Lastly, at 300mm, the Tamron lens skyrockets in CA ranges, whereas the Nikon lens stays very tame.

Total, I’d fee the chromatic aberration efficiency as comparable from 70mm to 200mm, however the Tamron lens is far worse at 300mm.

4. Sharpness

Now the second you’ve been ready for – sharpness! Which lens is sharper? Though each lenses have stable efficiency right here, neither rises to the degrees that we’ve seen from top-end telephoto lenses.

I’ll begin with 70mm:



Right here, the story is fairly easy. The Nikon lens has higher corners, whereas the Tamron lens is sharper within the middle, and each are extraordinarily comparable within the midframes. As anticipated, the variations slim at f/11 and f/16.

Now for 100mm:



The state of affairs may be very comparable at 100mm – in actual fact, extra pronounced. The corners now strongly favor the Nikon lens, whereas the middle strongly favors the Tamron lens. Midframe sharpness is a bit larger on the Tamron.

Now 200mm:



The Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR’s efficiency at 200mm is much like its efficiency at 100mm. The Tamron, although, has undergone a personality shift – dropping some central sharpness however gaining some nook sharpness. The top result’s that the 2 lenses have comparable middle and nook efficiency at 200mm. Nonetheless, midframe sharpness favors the Tamron.

Lastly, right here’s 300mm:



As with 200mm, each lenses are fairly much like each other at 300mm. The Tamron lens has a slight edge within the middle and midframes, whereas nook sharpness stays neck-and-neck.

Total, I’d categorize the Nikon lens as extra constant throughout its focal lengths. The Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 has a little bit of a break up character. On the wider focal lengths, it is vitally sharp within the middle however worse within the corners; on the longer focal lengths, it has pretty even sharpness throughout the body. Each lenses are lots sharp for many functions, however you need to in all probability take these variations into consideration based mostly in your private necessities.


It is a uncommon case when the Tamron lens is dearer than the Nikon lens… or at the very least, that’s what it appears at first look. The MSRP of the Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E is $600, whereas the MSRP of the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 is $700.

Nonetheless, that’s ignoring the worth of the Nikon FTZ adapter that you just’ll want as a way to use the Nikon lens on a Z-series camera. It’s additionally true that the Tamron lens routinely goes on sale for $600. In apply, the 2 lenses are principally the identical when it comes to value and worth.

You’ll be able to examine the present costs, and help my testing efforts at Photography Life, on the following B&H affiliate hyperlinks:

Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Image Samples (8)
NIKON D850 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 92mm, ISO 64, 1/25, f/8.0
NIKON Z 7 + TAMRON 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD A047Z @ 300mm, ISO 64, 1/160, f/6.3


For full-frame Nikon Z shooters, I lean towards recommending the Tamron. It’s a bit worse optically, however not by a lot – and it’s considerably smaller and lighter than utilizing the AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E with the adapter. Nonetheless, if you have already got the Nikon lens + FTZ adapter, I don’t assume it’s price switching to the Tamron. You gained’t acquire something optically, and also you’ll lose loads of cash when promoting your lens.

One other case the place the Nikon lens wins is if you happen to intend to make use of both of those lenses with a Nikon Z DX camera. Nikon hasn’t but added in-body picture stabilization to any of their Z DX cameras (hopefully that modifications quickly), and the Tamron lens doesn’t have built-in vibration discount. So, the Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E would make much more sense in that case.

Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Image Samples (12)
NIKON D850 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm, ISO 64, 1/160, f/8.0
NIKON Z 7 + TAMRON 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD A047Z @ 207mm, ISO 64, 1/320, f/6.3

I hope this helps! Be happy to ask me something about these two lenses within the remark part under, and I’ll do my greatest to reply.

#Nikon #AFP #70300mm #f4.55.6E #Tamron #70300mm #f4.56.3

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