Review: Tamron 18-200VC for the Canon EOS-M Lens

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FINALLY the day I’ve been waiting for! Tamron has released the first 3rd party autofocus lens for the Canon EOS-M series, the 18-200VC. Before I go into this review I want to talk a little about the camera. The EOS-M came out in 2012 and was essentially…..dead in the water. It was priced very high (between $1,000 and $800) for what you were getting. With no viewfinder, a pretty difficult to hold body (the white one was very slick) and awful autofocus, this camera sat on the shelf for quite some time. I even remember making fun of it when I went and held it for the first time at a local camera store. Its no doubt that mirror less cameras are becoming bigger and bigger, and Canon users really wanted to like this camera, they just couldn’t. Fast forward to a new firmware update to the autofocus which made it marginally better, but still the camera was a big fat NO to a lot of people. That is until the price started dropping. You can now find this for about $200 which makes it a very good buy as long as you know what to expect. For me this camera has become my goto camera for video for when I need to mount the camera on something where weight plays a big part. Things like a car mount, snoricam, glide cam, or even my drone, this camera can do it all. The video quality is quite good for such a small body, and it does have full manual control. One of the best features is that it can accept EF/EF-S lenses through various adapters. Which is great if you’re already invested in Canon glass, but does make the form factor kind of odd using such a heavy lens on a small body. Currently Canon has 3 lenses for the system, two kit style lenses, an 18-55 3.5-/5.6 and 55-200 4.5-6.3 and a pancake 22mm f/2. and thats it. No other lenses set to be announced and no other 3rd parties lens companies making any. Until now.

The Tamron 18-200VC covers the entire range that the canon offers in one package. It also covers the entire range of variable aperture that both the canon lenses will give you, essential making this your goto lens without having to carry 2 from canon. There are other companies out there releasing lenses for the  EOS-M system, but they don’t share autofocus or image stabilization


The build of the lens is very sturdy and durable. Its a plastic lens, which i expected for a small camera and lens, but hardly feels cheap or inferior. Its very simple in design, and the focus on it feels very smooth. Zooming the lens barrel feels a bit stiff, but with a lens covering that much of a range, is to be expected. Even with the robust build quality the else is light weight and feels right at home on the EOS-M.


Needless to say, I’m very impressed with the lens. Its incredibly sharp from 18 all the way to 200. Colors are good and contrasty as well. Great bokeh at 200/6.3 and the lens can almost act as a macro, being able to focus pretty close up. check out a few pics here


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This was shot at 200 6.3 hand held at 1/40th of a second, I love the color and sharpness.



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This little guy is also at 200/6.3 at 1/60 of a second.


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I also did some flash work with it and my assistant Shawn, here its shot at 18mm



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And again at 200mm


One thing I was worried about was the focusing of the lens. The eos-m is known to have awful autofocus, however I was pleasantly surprised how quick it was to auto focus.


This is the lens Ive been wanting for my eos-m for a long time. Being able to use this camera scouting locations for bigger shoots will be awesome and shooting video with it will be a dream. Being so light weight, having VC, and being able to cover a huge zoom range, not to mention snappy autofocus and good color/sharpness, this has easily become my goto lens for this camera system.

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