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Tamron Auto Focus 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD All-In-One Zoom Lens with Built in Motor for Nikon DSLR Cameras (Model B008N)

by Tamron
426 customer reviews
| 102 answered questions

Price: $449.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Price after rebate: $399.00
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From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 73%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

  • 18-270mm focal length
  • 27-405mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras, 28.8-432mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F3.5-6.3 maximum aperture; F22-40 minimum
  • Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
  • Image stabilization
  • 62mm filters
  • 0.49m/19.29" minimum focus
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  • Tamron Auto Focus 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD All-In-One Zoom Lens with Built in Motor for Nikon DSLR Cameras (Model B008N)
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  • Tiffen 62mm UV Protection Filter
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  • Zeikos ZE-HLH62 62mm Hard Lens Hood
Total price: $463.44
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Style: Nikon

Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested December 2012
The Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is a perfectly competent superzoom that squeezes a huge focal length range into a compact package.
Andy Westlake Andy Westlake


The Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is a perfectly competent superzoom that squeezes a huge focal length range into a compact package. Autofocus is slower than its competitors, however, and image quality is weak at the telephoto end.

Reasons to buy

  • Very useful 15x zoom range
  • Good image quality at wide angle
  • Quiet autofocus
  • Reasonably effective image stabilization
  • Compact and lightweight

Things to consider

  • Rather soft at telephoto end, especially wide open
  • Strong distortion across most of the range
  • Chromatic aberration at each end of the zoom
  • Slower autofocus than its peers

Suggested for

Anyone looking for a compact, lightweight, all-in-one general purpose and travel lens.

Not suggested for

Sports or action work that requires fast autofocus.
Poor Excellent
Optical Quality
Build quality
Image Stabilization
Ergonomics & handling
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Style: Nikon

Product Description

The acclaimed Tamron 18-270mm VC ultra zoom for APS-C format DSLRs has reached an astonishing new level of compactness, performance, and speed.

From the Manufacturer


The acclaimed Tamron 18-270mm VC ultra zoom for APS-C format DSLRs has reached an astonishing new level of compactness, performance, and speed Tamron lenses at Amazon.comwith the addition of PZD (Piezo Drive), an innovative ultrasonic autofocus motor based on an advanced piezoelectric design. The result is a lens that's considerably lighter, and noticeably shorter and slimmer (filter diameter: 62mm) than any previous lens in its class, and provides faster, quieter auto-focusing.

Signature features that have made this amazingly versatile lens the world standard in its class have been retained. They include a 28-419mm equivalent (15X) zoom range, an improved, lightweight, compact Vibration Compensation (VC) system, macro focusing to 0.49m (19.3 inches) throughout, and, of course, superlative imaging performance. 

Technical Specifications

Focal Length: 18-270mm
Format Size: APS-C Di-II
Maximum Aperture: F/3.5-6.3
Diagonal Angle of View: 75°33' - 5°55'
Lens Construction: 16 elements/13 groups
MFD/Max. Mag. Ratio: 19.3" / 1:3.8 (at f=270mm)
Filter Diameter: 62mm
Overall Length: 3.5"
Maximum Diameter: 2.9"
Weight: 15.9 oz.
Diaphragm Blades: 7
Standard Accessory: Hood


Piezo Drive (PZD) Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor

Ultrasonic motors are divided into two categories depending on the principle that generates the energy to move the drive: traveling wave motors and standing wave motors. Traveling wave motors include the ring type ultrasonic motor used in the recently launched 70-300mm F/4-5.6 VC USD as well as other lenses, but this lens employs a newer technology, the PZD (Piezo Drive), which functions on the standing wave principle.

A standing wave ultrasonic motor utilizes high-frequency voltage to extend and turn the piezoelectric (piezoceramic) element, thus moving the entire element in a standing wave movement. The metal tip is the contact point of the element to the rotor, and moves in an elliptic motion from the swiveling motion of the moving element, and the friction from this motion turns the rotor. Standing wave ultrasonic motors have the distinct advantage of being smaller than their traveling wave counterparts, and therefore allow a more compact SLR lens size.

Tamron PZD Technology lens highlights at
PZD Technology Diagram

Lenses are designed for exclusive use on digital cameras with smaller-size imagers and inherit all of the benefits of our Di products. These lenses are not designed for conventional cameras and digital cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm.

15x Zoom Ratio
This lens covers an extremely broad range of focal lengths, from an extra-wide 18mm length to a telephoto 270mm length (the 35mm equivalent of 28mm to 419mm). The resulting 15x zoom ratio is the world's largest, representing a wide cross section of Tamron high-power zoom design technologies. Plus, the vibration compensation works throughout the entire zoom range, giving you the freedom to create a wide variety of images. The lens lets users capture once-in-a-lifetime panoramic landscape images or close-up pictures of children smiling, all without getting too close to the subject or changing lenses. Other details include a macro magnification range of 1:3.5, a minimum focusing distance of 19.3 inches, and a 72mm filter diameter. The lens, which measures 3.1 inches in diameter and 3.9 inches long, carries a six-year warranty.

Tamron 18-270mm lens highlights at
18mm zoom - 270mm zoom

Vibration Compensation (VC)
Shake can ruin your photos, particularly when taking telephoto shots or shooting in low light conditions.Simply flip the VC switch on and you'll notice the difference immediately.

  • VC delivers blur free - handheld images for incredible results
  • VC mechanism employs a three-coil system
  • Lens element compensates for vibration using 3-steel balls (making movement quiet & smooth)
  • Exceptional images at slower shutter speeds – reduces the need for a tripod
  • Bring out contrast to motion & stillness
  • Eliminate the need to shoot with a Flash

Tamron 18-270mm lens highlights at
VC Off - VC On

Low Dispersion (LD) Glass for Greater Lens Sharpness
Tamron 18-270mm lens highlights at
Add sharpness to your image with Low Dispersion (LD) glass lenses

Low dispersion (LD) glass elements in a lens help reduce chromatic aberration; the tendency of light of different colors to come to different points of focus at the image plane. Chromatic aberration reduces the sharpness of an image, but glass with an extremely lowdispersion index, has less of a tendency to separate (defract) a ray of light into a rainbow of colors. This characteristic allows the lens designer to effectively compensate for chromatic aberration at the center of the field (on axis), a particular problem at long focal lengths (the telephoto end of the zoom range), and for lateral chromatic aberration (towards the edges of the field) that often occurs at short focal lengths (the wide-angle end of the zoom range.)

Internal Focusing (IF) System
Internal focusing provides numerous practical benefits to photographers including a non-rotating front filter ring that facilitates the positioning of polarizing and graduated filters, and more predictable handling because the lens length does not change during focusing. Even more important, Tamron’s Internal Focusing (IF) system provides a much closer minimum focusing distance (MFD) throughout its entire focusing range. In addition, IF improves optical performance by minimizing illumination loss at the corners of the image field, and helps to suppress other aberrations that become more troublesome at different focusing positions.

Zoom Lock (ZL)
Another original Tamron mechanical engineering concept is the Zoom Lock (ZL), a simple convenience feature that prevents undesired extension of the lens barrel when carrying the camera/lens unit on a neck strap.

Anomalous Dispersion (AD) for Better Color Correction
Tamron 18-270mm lens highlights at
Anomalous Dispersion
Anomalous dispersion (AD) glass is a special type of optical glass that is used to achieve more precise control of chromatic aberrations, thereby enhancing overall imaging performance. Glass of this type provides an abnormally large partial dispersion ratio (amount of diffraction) for light of specific wavelength ranges (colors) within the visible spectrum. By combining AD glass having these special characteristics with elements made of normal glass having different dispersion characteristics, it is possible to control the dispersion factors of a specific wavelength. This enhanced level of control results in much lower levels of on-axis (central) chromatic aberration for telephoto lenses (or zooms used at tele-photo settings) and a significant reduction of lateral (peripheral) chromatic aber-ration for wide-angle lenses (or zooms used at wide-angle settings.)

Aspherical Lens Elements (ASL)
Tamron uses several hybrid Aspherical lens elements in many lenses
Tamron 18-270mm lens highlights at
Achieve the ultimate in image quality with Aspherical Lens Elements (ASL)
bearing the Aspherical designation. These innovative optics allow us to achieve the ultimate in image quality, and at the same time produce lenses that offer remarkable zoom ranges in extraordinarily compact packages. By perfecting theses cutting-edge advances for series production, Tamron has advanced the state of optical design, and virtually eliminated spherical aberration and image distortion from the high-power-zoom series.Through the effective application of Hybrid Aspherical Technology, one lens element can take the place of multiple elements without compromising performance. This is what allows us to produce remarkably compact long-range lenses that deliver a uniformly high level of image quality at all focal lengths and apertures.

Product Details

Style: Nikon
User Manual [1.58mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches ; 15.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B004FN1W2I
  • Item model number: B008N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (426 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at December 9, 2010

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,431 of 1,455 people found the following review helpful By Naftade on February 14, 2011
Style Name: Canon
....Versatility never comes without cost:

+ First impression when mounted to my t2i was "wow". I could hardly believe how small this thing really is considering it's zoom range! It's also very light (only a tiny little bit heavier than a Tamron 17-50 2.8!)
You can carry it around easily and my t2i felt very well balanced with it. - A good start
+ the lens comes with a lens hood (you see Canon!?) and with a 5 years warranty. That's quite a package, even though the lens hood (being suitable for all offered focal lengths) cannot really help when you are zoomed in to the max.

+- the lens is manufactured in China. Quality appearance is ok, but nothing to rave about

+- considering it's enormous range, I was surprised how sharp this lens can get. Resolution is not the reason why I finally opted against the product. It never really gets razor sharp, but at least at most focal lengths it will get the job done. As long as you don't plan to print really big, contemplate your pictures at 100% view on a monitor, or plan to crop details, things will look quite all right (i will upload a few samples, to show you). There are only a few focal lengths at which it delivers really poor resolution unless stopped down at least two f-stops. Unfortunately two rather important settings are among these problematic ones. At the end of the zoom range (250-270 mm f 6.3) and at it's beginning (18 mm f 3.5) pictures can look plainly soft. Especially at the long end, this can be very disturbing as you need a whole lot of light anyway when shooting at 270mm. At f8 things look better, but you won't blur your background that easily and of course you will need quite bright light to get these shots free of shake.
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140 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Larry B on March 24, 2011
Style Name: Canon Verified Purchase
Here's the thing: If you are expecting something along the lines of a Canon L series lens you will be disappointed.

On the other hand, if you are expecting something you can use to take the place of the two standard kit lenses usually sold for the T1i or T2i; something that you can leave on most of the time and NOT have to change lenses very often, you'll probably like this.

This is a new lens for Tamron, but is an update for one they've had in the field for a while. I was a little hesitant about getting something this new in the product cycle but the lure of having a single lens for carrying around on the camera, and early reviews of it, convinced me to give it a try. On arrival I set it up on my camera and did some quick tests in anticipation of an upcoming trip. (This isn't meant to be an in-depth test and I reserve the right to modify it after spending more time with it.)

As other people have noted, this lens is a little on the "soft" side (refers to pictures not being tack sharp at all apertures and focal lengths). I compared it side-by-side with the Canon 18-55mm kit lens and the Canon 55-250mm kit lens. My test involved staging some shots at my house, under natural light, from a tripod at various backdrops and resolution charts. Not super scientific, but enough to tell me if I was going to send it back without further use.

The good news is that it performed about the same as the Canon kit lenses. It's a little slower and a little bit less sharp. But the overall sharpness seems to be very close. Higher f-stops (f/11 and up) seem to help a lot. Since I'm buying it to use as a walk-around lens I expect it will perform adequately for my purposes. If I wanted super sharp, I would spend a lot of money for a lens dedicated to that purpose.
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217 of 238 people found the following review helpful By RonAnnArbor on January 6, 2011
Style Name: Nikon Verified Purchase
I had the first version of this lens which I like very much -- and much to surprise, this much smaller, much lighter, but higher quality lens from Tamron is even better!....The photos are sharp across the entire focal range (better than the Nikon 18-200) with a much better focal range.

It is significantly smaller than the original, and the new motor is fast. Most surprising, it even focuses faster in lower light situations. The new internal motor clearly works well.

This can pretty much stay on your camera all the time. It's great for walk-around; it's light an non-intrusive; and the shots are sharp and clear. I love this lens.
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154 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Vance Bjorn on January 7, 2011
Style Name: Canon Verified Purchase
I enjoy photography but am not a professional. I look forward to a professional review of this lens to examine the fine details, but regardless of how that turns out there is no doubt this will be the lens on my camera 90% of the time. The size, weight, range and build quality will simply allow me to take my camera more places and allow me to frame more pictures.

I also own 20mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 primes and a normal zoom Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC. The 18-270mm PZD certainly won't replace the need for a good low-light indoor or portrait lens, but frankly I no longer see the need for the 17-50 VC. With recent DSLRs achieving good results (even dynamic range) at ISO3200 and even ISO6400 with raw post-processing, even a slower lens like this can get solid results (certainly up to 8x10). I do see a bit of barrel distortion when fully wide, but again that is fully corrected in post.

I take all my photos in raw and run everything batch through DXO - this workflow yields excellent results with this lens, but I suppose that the distortion and speed would be bothersome if I didn't do such post-processing or had an older body which couldn't do good HiISO. (frankly, as done with m43, I wish standard DSLR makers would also produce lenses which expressly take into account distortion correction possible via software. This could make for smaller lenses, but I digress)

Overall, this is an excellent, excellent lens. Great size and weight, very fast and quiet focusing even at 270mm when indoors in dim light...with easily correctable shortcomings (and frankly, I'm being a little bit of a pixel peeper...even without post-processing the images are very solid). For someone who has bought and sold many (non-L, yet not cheap) lenses over the years, this is a rare keeper. Excellent job Tamron! (although you might find me selling my 17-50VC now..)
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Tamron Auto Focus 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD All-In-One Zoom Lens with Built in Motor for Nikon DSLR Cameras (Model B008N)
This item: Tamron Auto Focus 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD All-In-One Zoom Lens with Built in Motor for Nikon DSLR Cameras (Model B008N)
Price: $449.00
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