Review of Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD A005NII

According provided by lens Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive, model A005NII for Nikon cameras) huge thanks to Radozhiva's reader - Evgeny Khitruk.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD


  1. What a beast
  2. Main Specifications
  3. Is it really a copy?
  4. Build quality
  5. Stabilizer operation
  6. Focus Features
  7. Aperture Features
  8. Image quality
  9. Sample Photos
  10. My personal experience with the lens
  11. Actual lens prices
  12. Results
Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

What kind of animal?

The Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD A005NII is a classic 70-300mm telephoto lens for full frame cameras. These lenses are great for shooting outdoors, especially when you need to shoot something far away.

Similar, 'dark' telephoto lenses are very common and popular (in particular, due to the relatively low price), and almost every self-respecting manufacturer has its own model range of such lenses.

Tamron has been releasing autofocus telephoto lenses for a long time, the following is the most complete list of 70 (75) -300 / 4-5.6 models:

Some older Minolta / Sony camera lenses might have the prefix 'M' next to the model name, for example '672DM'. For Nikon / Canon / Pentax cameras, models have always been labeled with the single letter 'D', for example, '472D'.

Note that there are copies of Tamron lenses called 'Promaster', for example, Promaster EDO AF LD 70-300 EDO 1: 4-5.6 Tele-Macro (1: 2)which is a copy Tamron LD DI AF 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 Tele-Macro (1: 2) Model A17.

This review presents the most recent model in this line, with the full name on the bezel: 'Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC Ultrasonic Silent Drive', and on the box you can find a clarification - the inscription 'Model: A005NII' ...

Note that the Tamron A005 lens is available for three systems:

  • Canon - Model A005E (an overview of this model can be viewed here)
  • Sony - Model A005S (The version is called Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 USD A005 and does not have an integrated image stabilizer)
  • Nikon - Model A005NII (such as in this review)

Strange, but the A005 is not available for Pentax cameras.

Letter 'N'in the model name refers to the lens version for Nikon cameras. Designation 'NII'for the Nikon F mount version, it is analogous to the native' AF-S 'and' G 'type lenses. The 'NII' is not the second version of the lens, but simply a peculiar lens designation that means there is a built-in focus motor and no aperture ring.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Main technical specifications of Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD A005NII

The name of the instance from the review (as it is written on the lens itself) Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC Ultrasonic Silent Drive A005 114825, on the box the lens is called Tamron SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 DI VC USD Model: A005NII Filter size: 62mm, for Nikon Buil-in Motor D Compatible, SP
Basic properties
  • SP (Super Performance) - high performance inherent to Tamron's professional lens range
  • DI (Digital Integrated) - lens designed for full-frame cameras, analogue of Nikon FX
  • LD (Low Dispersion) - the use of low-dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  • XLD (eXbetween Low Dispersion) - the use of super low-dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  • USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) - ultrasonic quiet focusing motor
  • VC (Vvibration Compensation) - built-in image stabilization, vibration reduction
  • BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) - deep anti-glare multi-enlightenment
  • IF (Iinternal Focusing) - internal focus
  • Ftmf (Full Time MAnnual Pass Focus) - constant manual focusing mode (has a number of features)
  • 5 year warranty (indicated on the box)
  • Lens got series of awards: Best Entry Level Lens at TIPA Awards 2011, 26th CAPA Lens Grand Prix, EISA AWARD FOR 5TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, etc.
Front Filter Diameter 62 mm
Focal length 70-300 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 105-450 mm
Zoom ratio 4.29 x
Designed by for Nikon digital full-frame and crop cameras
Number of aperture blades 9 petals
Tags focal lengths for 70, 100, 135, 200, 300 mm. Scale with focusing distance, mark for attaching the hood, mark of the bayonet mount.
Diaphragm 70 mm from F / 4 to F / 32. 300 mm from F / 5.6 to F / 45.
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 1.5 m, the maximum magnification ratio is reached by 300 mm and is 1: 4
The weight 765 g
Optical design 17 elements in 12 groups. The circuit includes 1 low dispersion element (shown in yellow on the optical diagram). And also the optical circuit includes 1  super low dispersion element XLD (shown in purple on the optical diagram.Optical design Tamron 70-300 USD VC
Lens hood bayonet, flap, Tamron HA005, made in Philippines
Instructions View–>
Manufacturer country China (Made in China)
Period From August 2010 for Nikon, from September 2010 for Canon, from May 2011 for Sony

In Tamron A005 many innovations:

  • this is the first Tamron lens with a USD type motor
  • this is the first Tamron XLD lens
  • this is the first lens in the 70 (75) -300 line, which belongs to the SP series
  • this is one of the first Tamron lenses supporting the Tamron VC integrated stabilization system

Is it really a copy?

I found the fact that the optical circuits of the Tamron A005 and Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM very similar. Both lenses have 17 optical elements in 12 groups.

In addition, the lenses have the same arrangement of low dispersion elements, the minimum focusing distance, the maximum magnification factor, the presence of internal focusing and the same movement of the frame of the body during a change in focal length. I could not find the exact information about the similarity of the optical schemes, you can leave your guesses in the comments.

Let me remind you that optical circuits Nikon ED AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6D and Tamron AF 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 LD DI Macro (model 362D, possibly other models) are completely identical.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD


Tamron a005 well assembled, I did not notice any obvious backlashes or shortcomings. The lens body is made of high quality plastic. Lens is made in China.

The lens uses a plastic bayonet hood, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. On the copy from my review, the hood is very poorly fixed when installed in the opposite direction. In this position, at 70 mm, access to the zoom ring is lost. While changing the focal length, the lens hood moves with the trunk of the lens.

The focus and zoom rings are rubberized; the Tamron A005 has a metal mount. The lens does not suffer from spontaneous lengthening of the frame. The only thing I didn’t like when using the lens was an unpleasant, rough sound during the rotation of the focus ring, maybe this is a feature of the specimen that I visited.

When changing the focal length, the rear lens moves in the middle of the lens body like a pump - it draws in and pushes out air. This behavior of the rear lens is called the 'vacuum cleaner effect', which can increase the amount of dust accumulating in the camera.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD


Tamron A005 has Tamron built-in image stabilizer VC (Vvibration Compensation). Stated that the stabilizer can compensate 4 stops by shutter speed... (by the standards of Tamron). In numerical terms, this means that you can shoot at shutter speeds 16 times slower than required by a lens without a stabilizer. For example, when shooting without the stabilizer of stationary objects, at a focal length of 300 mm, you can shoot at shutter speeds of 1/320 s or faster. With the gimbal on, you can theoretically shoot by 1/20 s. True, 4 feet is an exaggeration. The stabilizer works well, but it is far from 4 stops.

The gimbal can detect camera movement while shooting panoramas, but does not 'understand' when the camera is mounted on a tripod, so the gimbal should be turned off when shooting with a tripod. To switch the operating modes of the stabilizer, there is an 'On / Off' switch on the case.

When working with the lens at 300 mm focal length JVI the difference is clearly visible when the stabilizer is on and off. When sighting with the stabilizer on, the picture freezes and allows you to comfortably compose the frame. I got the impression that the Tamron A005 gimbal performs better during sighting than the Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM.

When turned on and off, the gimbal emits a characteristic clicking sound (similar to that of the Tamron 17-50 / 2.8 VC).

A stabilizer with similar efficiency is used in the model. A009.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD


The Tamron A005 is the first Tamron lens to use USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) - ultrasonic quiet focusing motor. This innovation was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Tamron.

Model A005 will automatically focus on any Nikon digital SLR camera. When using the lens on the camera Nikon D700 with focus module Nikon Multi-CAM 3500FX There were no problems with speed and focus accuracy. The lens focused accurately and rarely re-focused.

The body has an 'AF / MF' (auto focus / manual focus) switch to select the focus mode. The lens is declared to support Ftmf (Full Time MAnnual Pass Focus) - continuous manual focus control, which allows manual focusing in 'AF' mode without switching to 'MF' mode. But, as it turned out, this is not a complete analogue Nikon M / A (or other similar) FTMF mode only allows you to adjust the focus after the camera is focused. In focus mode AF-C this mode is useless.

Focusing speed is mixed and depends on the set focal length:

  • the lens focuses quickly at 70 mm of focal length, and the travel time from infinity to MDF and vice versa is similar to Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM.
  • at 300 mm of focal length, the lens focuses noticeably slower, and the focusing speed can be called average.

During focusing, the front and rear lenses remain stationary, as the lens uses internal focus 'IF'('Iinternal Focus' - 'Inner Focus'). During zooming, the front lens leans forward but does not rotate. Thus, it is possible to use any filters without problems, for example polarizing or gradient.

The minimum focusing distance is 1.5 meters. Unfortunately, the Tamron A005 has the poorest 1: 4 magnification ratio of its predecessors. All previous versions had the 'Macro' prefix in their name, hinting at the possibility of macro photography, and their zoom ratio was better, ranging from 1: 3.9 to 1: 2.

The focus ring rotates to 135 degrees, when extreme positions are reached, it does not rest, but continues to slide, without affecting the focus.

Tamron A005 has window with distance scale in meters and feet. There is no IPIG scale, as are tags for working in the infrared spectrum.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD


The lens uses aperture with 9 rounded petals. On covered diaphragms you can get 18 ray stars from point light sources.

There are marks with a focal length on the zoom ring, the following is a list with the minimum numbers F available for these marks:

  • 70 mm - F / 4
  • 100 mm - F / 4.2
  • 135 mm - F / 4.5
  • 200 mm - F / 5.3
  • 300 mm - F / 5.6

Like most modern lenses, the Tamron A005 does not have an aperture control ring, all control is done using the camera controls.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Image quality

The Tamron A005 is the first Tamron lens to use XLD (eXbetween Low Dispersion). Declared that optical performance XLD close to fluorite, but personally I think that there is not much difference between XLD и LD. Also, Tamron A005 belongs to the line of SP (Super Performance) lenses with high performance typical of Tamron professional lenses. But, despite the low price and modest apertureThe Tamron A005 is not a true 'professional lens'.

On fully open apertures, Tamron A005 shows good sharpness in the center of the frame in the range of 70-200 mm and acceptable sharpness in the range of 200-300 mm. If you cover the aperture to F / 8, then in the range of 200-300 mm the center of the frame becomes quite sharp. The edges of the image on a full-format camera in the range of 70-200 mm are good at F / 8, and in the range of 200-300 mm at F / 11.

Lens showed good contrast and good resistance to side and back light.

Unfortunately, vignetting on completely open diaphragms was not without tangible. But, it is worth covering the diaphragm, as the vignette is noticeably reduced.

The distortion level is common for a similar lens. There is a small barrel-shaped distortion at 70 mm of focal length, which is replaced by a pillow-shaped distortion to 300 mm.

Chromatic aberrations well compensated, especially at 70 mm focal length.

In general, the lens showed good, and sometimes even good image quality.

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Sample Photos

You can download RAW source files at this link (24 files in the '.NEF' format, 340 MB). All photos were shot on Nikon D700.

Sample photos on Nikon D40 (Nikon DX): Red paradise, facebook | club photo en | VK | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

My experience

I am pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Tamron A005. I used to use it for a long time Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM, and I can say for sure that optically Tamron A005 is at least no worse than native Nikkor. As indicated at the beginning of the review, these lenses have very similar optical schemes, and therefore I can assume that the Tamron A005 is a kind of processing of a successful native Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM.

Main differences between Tamron A005 and Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM

  • Nikon 70-300VR has a full focus mode Nikon M / A. The FTMF mode on the Tamron A005 is not so convenient.
  • Nikon 70-300VR has a rubber seal near the bayonet for protection against dust and moisture.
  • Nikon 70-300VR has a larger front lens diameter (67 mm vs 62 mm).
  • Nikon 70-300VR It has two modes of operation of the stabilizer to save battery power and more convenient operation in different situations.
  • Included with Nikon 70-300VR There is a velor cover.
  • Tamron A005 is 4 years newer than Nikon 70-300VR.
  • Tamron A005 is slightly lighter at the short end (F / 4 VS F / 4.5).
  • Tamron A005 is significantly cheaper and has a longer warranty.

Otherwise, the lenses are very similar. I would safely buy Tamron A005 instead Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM. Hopefully the Tamron A005 has a small variation in build quality and image-to-instance image.

EGF lens for Nikon DX cameras is 105-450mm. Tamron A005 analogue for Nikon DX cameras can be considered Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR IF SWM и Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR II. This Tamron A005 works wonderfully on cropped cameras and does not cause much inconvenience due to recalculation EGF. In the case of telephoto lenses crop factor cameras Nikon DX in most cases is only beneficial, as it allows you to increase EGF and reach even further :).

Additionally, a list of all Nikon DX series lenses can be found. here. The optical design of all Nikon DX lenses can be viewed here.

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD

Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD


The real prices for the Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD A005 lens can be viewed at the links:

either in the price block below:

All 70-300 Class Full Frame Lenses with Stabilizer



Canon (EF, EF-S)

Nikon (F, FX)

Sony (E, FE)

The names of the lenses are indicated according to the inscription on their body.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


The Tamron SP AF 70-300 mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD is a good lens with a good price / performance ratio. I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality and image quality that the lens creates. In my experience, the Tamron A005. optically no worse than a similar native lens - Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM. I recommend the Tamron A005 as an inexpensive telephoto lens with stabilizer.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 136, on the topic: Review of Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD A005NII

  • Denis

    Dear senior colleagues, tell me, is this lens suitable for shooting birds in the park? I use the carcass while D5600 with whale 18-55, but do not get close to the birds with such a lens. If you can use something better within 30K, I would be grateful for advice on what is better.
    Thank you!

    • Valery A.

      Very suitable. Television guns sigma-tamron 150-500 (600), probably used also cost more than 30t.r.

    • Pastor

      A great option. It is also possible to buy nikon 70-300vr - it is no worse than tamron, and even native and with dust and moisture protection. I do not recommend buying 55-200 or 55-300. Sigma 150-500os in used form also fits into the budget.

    • Vadim

      For the D5600, I would take the native AF-P 70-300, optically no worse, the speed and accuracy of focusing pleases. Noticeably cheaper.

  • Olga

    Good day! Tell me, how is it with speed? How will it work with Nikon 610?

  • Sergei

    What used lens within 20 thousand is better to buy for a beginner on a Canon crop for the street?

    • tessai

      and take this lens. In the secondary market it is not difficult to find with price tags of 8-11 thousand rubles. It will last a long time. Yes, and change it for no particular reason is unlikely to be necessary.

  • Alexander

    The full-size link is dead. I can’t see now.

  • Alexander

    Is this lens suitable for crop? I'm thinking of hanging on a sony a6500.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For mirrorless crop in the face of sony E it is not released.

  • Oleg

    I found such a lens… .But it is under Sony. And I have Nikon d3100 ………. Is it possible to sort out under Nikon? or shouldn't you bother?

    • Michael

      Not worth it. Too much to change

  • Alexey

    It was not possible to compare it with the Canon 70-300 F / 4-5.6 IS II USM?
    PS. I had the opportunity to compare it with the full-frame EF-S 55-250, it was surprising that Canon's budget glass was sharper on all focal. But the stub is better on Tamron.

    • Denis

      I did not use 55-250 IS II for 1100d for long
      and Tamron VC on Nikon (as well as various budget 55-200, -300)
      Tamron is the best, but in autofocus mode (Nikon) AF-C it turned out to be worse than 55-300
      looked at all this and realized that I did not need a telephoto

    • Denis

      looked in dxomark, according to the tables in the center 55-250 sharper, in the corners worse.
      and the tamron (on the crop) is uniformly sharp
      Nikons lose in the same tamron tests

  • Alexander

    Hello Arkady, tell me if the fine-tuning on the Nikon d300 with this lens works, because it's not Nikkor’s native but another manufacturer.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes it will work

  • Alexander

    I bought this for 8 rubles. although I looked closely at Nikon. Nikon is significantly more expensive, 000 times more. The set includes a velor case and a box, receipts and everything else - a complete set. The lens is assembled in China and the lens cap says “Made in Malaysia” however. The lens trunk falls out a little when walking, the weight and dimensions require more careful handling. It's unpleasant that the on / off buttons for the stabilizer and autofocus are easily switched, with minimal resistance - it's easy to switch and not notice, spoiled a few frames at first, now I always check it when shooting.

  • Dmitriy

    Yesterday I tested the lens in conjunction with dynamic objects at dusk with ISO 600-1000 and was very pleased with the result.

  • Dmitriy

    Thanks to Arkady for the reviews, it helps to make a decision!

  • Anatoly

    Please help me choose which lens to buy:
    1. Tamron SP 70-300mm f / 4-5.6 Di VC USD A005 (from this review).
    2. Tamron SP AF 70-210mm f / 2.8 LD 67DN.
    3. Tamron AF 200-400 mm f / 5.6 LD IF 75D.
    4. Sigma DG OS 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6.
    5. Tokina AT-X 840 D AF 80-400 mm f / 4.5-5.6.

    I will use Nikon D200.
    I will shoot at medium-long focal lengths: Photo hunting (mostly handheld) / Astrophotography (on a tripod, a little).
    The budget is small, I am looking towards used lenses.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Michael

      1. Will not work for photo hunting. At 300 lathers, stub you almost unnecessarily.
      I haven't tried the rest. I also recommend considering Sigma 120-400 4-5.6 DG OS

      • Anatoly

        Thanks. I will definitely look.

  • Sergei

    Hello everyone! I have a very strange dilemma: I choose between a used 50-year-old Pentacon 4/200 and a used Tamron. I will put on a Canon EOS 77D carcass, I need to photograph all sorts of birds. I would be grateful for your comments and advice.

    • Victor

      Really strange, choice without choice :-)

      Tamron, of course.

  • Shurik

    I wonder how he will show himself in full frame, for which he is intended ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Well, the D700, the pictures for which in this review are the full frame

      • Andrei

        It can be seen that this is not a full frame. The people are demanding a more complete cadre.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Tell me, please: is this lens (with Sony mount) compatible with the Sigma Apo tele converter 2x EX DG?

  • En

    Greetings readers. Maybe someone has experience or knowledge in the subject - will this lens work for a Japanese-made Canon elan 7 film lens? Or will it not work with third party lenses? We need an inexpensive telephoto that would fit both the “film” and the crop, but something about the optical qualities of 75-300 from Canon is in doubt.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Might not start. Native 75-300 is quite suitable.

  • Olga

    Who had experience with Canon FF, is this lens suitable and what are your impressions?

    • B. R. P.

      Specifically, this lens model is not suitable for Kenon, it doesn’t matter ff or not, it’s for Nikon. But Tamron has many other models.

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

Russian-version of this article

Version en español de este artículo