So you’ve got yourself an excellent Nikon D3400. That’s one of the best starter DSLRs on the market, and you’re going to have a great time developing your photography skills with it. Still, a camera like the Nikon D3400 is only as good as the lens that you pair with it. You need a lens that’s not only affordable but also performs well in a wide range of different photography situations. Well, Tamron’s got the perfect lens for you and your D3400 camera.
Here, we’re talking about Tamron’s AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC All-in-One Zoom lens. That’s not to be confused with Tamron’s Di-III (three) lens, which is a more powerful, more expensive version of this lens. No, here we’re talking about the Di-II. The name of the lens itself gives you a great idea of what it’s all about. It’s a zoom lens, it’s all-in-one, and it’s got a vast extensive focal length range which makes it highly versatile. With this lens attached to your D3400, the sky’s the limit!
Tamron is a Japanese company that’s been in the business for over 70 years. The company has its headquarters in Saitama, Japan, and they specialise in producing only one thing: photographic lenses. That level of specialisation for over seven decades means one thing: Tamron is one of the best in the business.
This Di-II has a well-earned reputation. Tamron released this lens in 2015, and since then it has made an excellent name for itself in the global photography community.
Performance And Functionality
There’s a reason Tamron calls this lens an ‘all-in-one’ zoom lens. That’s because they jam-packed this light and compact lens with so much functionality, you probably won’t need another lens for a long, long time. Let’s take a closer look at what this thing can do.
Vast Focal Length Range
If you buy this lens for no other reason, let it be because of its vast focal length range. This Tamron lens can go from 18mm all the way up to 200mm, and that’s not something that many lenses can do. With that much range, you can use this lens to capture great shots in all sorts of different situations. Indoors, this lens would be great for capturing high-quality portrait shots of your friends and family. Or, you could take it outside to get wide-angle shots of beautiful scenery, or you could get a telephoto shot of a subject that’s far in the distance. Best of all, you’ll do this without ever having to change to a different lens!
Enhanced Image Quality
Focal length aside, the image quality from this lens is fantastic. As an update to an older Tamron lens, this one demonstrates a much more enhanced image quality. The pictures captured on a Nikon D3400 camera with this lens are sharp with such vibrant colours and great contrast as well. Talk to anyone who has experience in using Tamron lenses, and they can tell you how far the company has come in the image quality of its lenses. This enhancement of image quality shows us how the company continues to hone its craft in producing high camera lenses like this one.
Vibration Compensation (VC) Image Stabilization
This lens also comes with a feature that has made Tamron lenses so popular: its Vibration Compensation or VC function. VC is what Tamron calls its image stabilisation feature. The VC feature is useful, sure. Still, it’s exceptionally helpful in certain situations, like when you’re zooming in on a subject really far away and the camera is shaking too much to capture a good photo. In a position like that, the VC keeps the image stable so effectively that it’s almost as if you have your D3400 camera tripod-mounted! The VC helps you capture stunning snapshots, especially in low-light conditions when you’re utilising slower shutter speeds.
This Tamron lens also comes with a super quiet autofocus feature. Tamron uses a DC autofocus motor inside the lens barrel which not only provides you with excellent focus accuracy, but it also keeps the noise levels down. Never underestimate quiet autofocus abilities. If you’re in the outdoors trying to get stunning photos of wildlife, silent autofocus is essential so that you don’t startle your animal subjects. It’s also crucial if you’re capturing video footage because you don’t want to ruin your movie with your microphone capturing the sound of the autofocus working.
Loved By Independent Reviewers
It’s easy to see that all of these functions were received well by the photography community worldwide. Do a quick Google or Youtube search, and you’ll see that this Tamron lens has received loads of praise from independent reviewers in articles and videos. Bear in mind that it’s not easy for a camera lens manufacturer to earn that much praise and so little criticism. Still, Tamron’s been in the business long enough that they clearly know how to deliver loads of value in one compact package.
User Interface And Control System
Another reason why this Tamron lens makes for such a great companion to the D3400 camera is that it’s so easy to control.
Zoom Lock Switch
One of the first things you’ll notice about this lens is that it comes with a zoom lock switch. The function of this switch is pretty straightforward: flip it on, and the zoom on your camera is locked in place. Even if you somehow bump the lens accidentally, you won’t lose the perfect zoom that you’ve locked into place. That’s a convenient feature to have when you’re trying to get the ideal zoom setting for a subject that’s far away from you.
Focus Mode Switch
Here we have something a little bit more standard on many autofocus lenses: the focus mode switch. What this does is it allows you to switch between manual and autofocus modes. In some cases, especially if you’re on-the-move while capturing photos, you might want to take full control of focusing your lens. Photographing while mobile could confuse your autofocus so switching over to manual might be better. Of course, if you’d like the lens’ autofocus to take over, all it takes is a flick of the switch. You don’t have to go through your camera’s menus or anything like that just to change modes.
Rubberized Zoom Ring And Focus Ring
Of course, this lens also has a zoom and a focus ring as well. For this Tamron lens, in particular, the rings are rubberised, which makes it easier for your focus to grip and rotate them. Rubberised grips are handy in situations where your fingers might be sweaty for whatever reason since they allow for you to adjust the zoom and focus rings without slipping.
Build Quality And Design
This Tamron lens is affordable, light, and compact. But don’t let that fool you; Tamron built this time incredibly well, and it’s pretty sturdy. Tamron designed this lens as an update of the ten-year-old Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD. Without a doubt, this update is lighter, cheaper, and much more powerful than its older sibling.
Let’s look at its build quality and design much closer.
Light And Compact
As mentioned many times before, this Tamron lens is light and compact. But just how light and compact is it? Well, in terms of weight, this thing only weighs 14.1 ounces or just under 400 grams. That’s light as a feather, especially when you consider that your Nikon D3400 camera weighs almost the same weight at 395 grams. So, when you pair the two together, you’ll only be carrying about 800 grams in your hands! You can shoot for much longer without having to worry about your arms getting tired.
The lens also has dimensions of 3.8 by 4 by 4 inches. That small form factor will help you in so many ways. Firstly, despite all of its functionality, this lens will not stick out awkwardly when you attach it to your camera. Second, it’s so small that you can fit it in your carry-on luggage if you go travelling. Depending on what kind of pants you wear, you could probably stuff it in your pocket as well!
Solid And Professional Feel
Tamron built this lens using plastic, which is why it’s so light. Evidently, Tamron chose high-quality plastic materials to make this lens, and you can tell by how it feels when you hold it. In your hands, this lens feels solid, like it can withstand a very soft impact without getting damaged. Also, it feels professional, almost as if it’s a high-end lens that costs way more than it does.
Moisture Resistant Build
Tamron also built this lens to be somewhat weather-proof. They constructed the lens barrel in such a way that it’s exceptionally resistant to moisture. That will give you added peace of mind whenever you’re photographing outdoors, particularly in places with high humidity.
Half-Plastic Half-Metal Lens Mount with Rubber Gasket
You can also see signs of Tamron’s intention to make this lens weatherproof by looking at its lens mount. Half-plastic and half-metal, the lens mount enjoys the benefits of both materials. The plastic makes it lightweight, while the metal makes it sturdy. Plus, Tamron also included a rubber gasket for the lens mount which acts as weather sealing to keep moisture out.
Now, let’s talk about the optical elements in this lens. Tamron built this lens with a rounded seven-blade diaphragm. The result? Exceptionally smooth out-of-focus quality whenever you’re using it to capture pictures with selective focus or shallow depth-of-field techniques like Bokeh photography. When doing Bokeh in particular, the rounded blades will give you much dreamier Bokeh spheres in your image.
Furthermore, the lens includes one hybrid aspherical element and one low dispersion element. Together, these two elements allow the lens to reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations which give you brighter, sharper pictures with more robust colour.
Digitally Integrated Design (Di)
Lastly, we should also explain the importance of this being a Di lens. “Digitally Integrated” or “Di” is a term coined by Tamron for use on lenses that they designed for digital image capture. Tamron designed these lenses to produce only the highest in image quality by applying multiple layers of special coating onto the lenses.
Should you get this Tamron lens? Absolutely. The list of reasons you should own this lens is endless, but here’s a quick summary of what this article has mentioned earlier.
This Tamron lens is lightweight, it’s affordable, and it performs incredibly well. Most importantly, it’s an all-in-one lens, which means that you can use it to capture wide-angle shots as well as telephoto zoom images of subjects far away. With this lens on your Nikon D3400, you will not need to buy additional lenses for a long, long time.
This lens also includes many features that support your photography and help you capture better photos. The VC stabilisation will reduce shaking, allowing you to capture clearer images even when the lighting isn’t so good, or when you’re using slower shutter speeds. On top of that, the autofocus will quickly, accurately, and quietly bring your frame into focus. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking photos or capturing video footage, the autofocus will serve you well in any situation.
All that fantastic functionality and performance is the result of Tamron’s high-quality design and build of this lens. They made this lens light, sturdy, and they even put in the effort to make it weatherproof. No, you can’t take this lens underwater. Still, if you’re outdoors where there’s a little bit more moisture in the air, you won’t have to worry too much about it getting into your lens and gumming up the works.
All-in-all, it’s obvious why this Tamron lens has such a great reputation among photographers the world over. It’s a well-built lens that’s useful in just about any photography situation, be it up close or far away. Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned professional, having this lens on your Nikon D3400 will increase the quality of your images tenfold!