Using the Tamron 150-600mm lens at Melbourne Zoo


Had to give the Tamron 24-70mm G2 lens back and in place of it I was loaned the 150-600mm G2 lens to try out. The Melbourne Zoo seemed like a great place to try it out and see how it would go.


The Melbourne Zoo

The zoo is a great place to test telephoto lenses. Even though the animals are fairly close, they often aren’t close enough for photos. Having a lens that will allow you to zoom in and fill the frame with them is really good. With the animals often on the other side of the pens, then it was even better with such a long lens.

Tamron 150-600mm G2

The 150-600mm is a popular lens and a great alternative to anyone wanting to photograph animals or birds. It is, however, also a very big lens, and a weight to match. If you have trouble holding heavy lenses then this one may not be for you. At least not if you are hand holding the lens.

I decided if I was going to use the D850 and the Tamron lens I was going to use a monopod. It was my first time taking the Sirui tripod apart and turning it into a monopod. This worked really well and it took the weight of the camera and lens with no problems at all. It certainly made it much easier to take photos with it.

Add a 1.4x Tele Converter

When I borrowed the lens I was also loaned a 1.4x tele converter. This, in effect, turned the the 600mm into 840mm, which allowed me to get even closer. Perhaps the biggest down side with using one is that you can’t get very wide open apertures, but it was worth it to get closer images. If you look at the image of the snow leopard above it was taken using it. She was right across the other side of the pen, so a fair distance away. The image has been cropped, so it gives you an idea of how good the lens and tele converter are to use.

Here is a gallery of a few of the images that were taken with the lens. Besides the first 3 three images, all the others were taken with the tele converter.


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  1. Hopefully one day you will get to photograph them in the wild, if you ever get the chance to visit Africa I will have a room for you.

    1. I have their 24-70 which basically lives on my camera, but I always feel inadequate when I go to the zoo and even at festivals. I may have to invest.

  2. Great images. The zoo is one of my favorite go back to places. I shoot with a prime F/4 400 mm my crop sensor. I bring along a small point and shoot for any landscape shots. The biggest challenge I have is standing back far enough to get the animal’s entire body in the shot, especially when they’re up towards the front of the cage! I’m now able to hand hold the camera and lens.

    1. That would be a great lens too Anne, I love the zoo, it is great place to go and get photos. I guess that is one of the benefits of the Tamron lens, you can zoom out again. That is great, I can hand hold too, but decided to use a monopod instead. my arms were happy, lol. Thank you Anne.

  3. I have the first edition of this lens and it’s fantastic value for money! I did have to get the motor in it replaced after about 2 and a half years of use but it was done under warranty. Apparently the first edition of this lens had been known to have some autofocus issues which hadn’t been picked up or described in the initial reviews. I hear they fixed such issues in the second edition. It is incredibly sharp considering it’s price range ($1500) when I bought it. I know the second edition is somewhat more expensive, and considering it’s not a particularly fast lens it’s a challenge under lower light conditions which may make some question it’s value. But considering the only close contender is the equivalent Sigma, I think it’s a worthy acquisition. It’s worth noting that you’ll pay close to $10K for the same reach out of a Nikkor or Canon Lens, and you don’t get the focal range.

    1. I tried the first edition of the lens a couple of years ago and I have to say this one, the G2, is really good when it comes to focus. It was really fast and only one or twice I had trouble, but I think any lens would have trouble in those situations. One time it wouldn’t focus at all, I was stumped, then realised I had turned it onto manual focus by mistake. Soon fixed. This one is more expensive, but if you love photographing something that is suited for this lens, then it would be worth it. Absolutely the alternatives, say from Nikon cost so much, many thousands.Thank you Craig, great hearing from you.

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