Tamron AF 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 SP Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2006

Special thanks to Peter van den Hamer for providing this lens!


Ok, let's take a deep breath again before starting the review with one of those lens names ... the Tamron AF 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 SP Di II LD Aspherical (IF) ... completes the series of current third-party ultra-wide zoom lenses dedicated to the APS-C image format - in the Tamron universe these lenses can be recognized by the Di II (Digitally Integrated II) part of the name. Di also refers to an improved coating of the lens elements to take care of the more pronounced reflections from the image sensor. Furthermore the lens belongs to Tamron's SP (Super Performance) lineup indicating a professional grade lens similar to Sigma's EX or Tokina's AT-X lenses. The field-of-view of the AF 11-18mm is equivalent to ~18-29mm on a full frame camera. The lens is available in Canon, Minolta and Nikon mount.

The lens construction is made of 15 elements in 12 groups including one LD Low Dispersion elements, one HID element (High Dispersion) and 3 aspherical elements (one molded two hybrid). Its aperture mechanism features 7 aperture blades. The lens is pretty compact with a size of 83x79mm and the most light-weight lens of the ultra-wide zoom gang at only 355g. The filter thread has a size of 77mm. The minimal focus distance is 0.25m resulting in a max. magnification of 1:8 at 18mm. A petal-type hood is part of the package.

The lens extends marginally when zooming towards the "long" end (see the product shot above). Thanks to an IF (internal focusing) design the front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is easily possible. The build quality of the lens is, in principal, fine with pretty tight tolerances (aka no wobbling) but the subjective quality reception is a little on the low side due to the used materials which have a distinctive plastic touch - unfortunately a characteristic that it shares with other Tamron lenses. Another one is the rotating focus ring in AF mode. Both the zoom as well as the focus ring operate reasonably smooth but not really damped. Thanks to the very short focus path the AF is extremely fast though a little on the noisy side due to an conventional AF micro motor.