Vintage Lens: Tamron Auto 300mm f/5.6

I have a few vintage lenses at my disposal, so I’m going to write about them. The first one is the Tamron Auto 300mm f/5.6. Built between 1972 and 1973, the lens cost around $50 last summer when I wanted something with more reach.

One thing that annoys me when searching for new gear reviews is using words like “is it any good”. Of course, it is! It’s a new product! And to prove my point, I’m going to show you some images I took with this over 45 years old lens.

After the sunset, handheld
Moonlight, on a tripod
Moonset, handheld
On a tripod
On a tripod

So is the Tamron Auto 300mm f/5.6 any good? I’d say so. Sure, shooting at f/5.6 means you’re gonna get soft images. At f/8, you’ll have to crank up the ISO even when shooting in daylight, because the shutter speed has to be faster. It’s heavy (816g, twice what my Sony a6300 weighs), you have to manually focus and the chromatic aberrations are highly noticeable.

If this $50 vintage lens can be good at shooting the moon and a few owls, then any new lens, even the modern ones considered bad can be decent. It’s not that you shouldn’t want the best lens your money can buy. Just set your expectations accordingly and enjoy shooting. I know I have with the Tamron.

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