Which one – The Fujifilm 150-600mm or the Tamron 150-500mm

You know I’ve had both these lenses for over a month now and I still can’t decide if those companies said I could keep it which one I would want to keep.

So today I thought I could go through a few things and give you my opinion on them.

However, first of all here is the same gallery I showed you last week, but I have put which lens took which image. I wonder if it matches up with what you thought.

Let’s get down to what makes the decision for many of us.

The Cost

The Tamron lens sells for around $1800 to $2100 in Australia.

Whereas the RRP for the Fujifilm lens is $3500 or thereabout, though you could possibly get it for $2800 if you look around.

So with both of those in this case I think the Tamron is probably a better choice, if you are going on price alone.

The Technical Stuff

Now you know I’m not big on this, but let’s talk basic technical stuff.

The main reason you buy one of these lenses is because you want to be able to use it at the longest focal length, so 500mm for the Tamron and 600mm for Fujifilm. Straight away you can see you will get further reach with the Fujifilm lens, however, that does come at a cost.

I am not going to assume anything, and let’s take a look at the number on the lenses.

The Tamron is F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Fuji X. I’m not going to lie I don’t know what most of those mean, but I do know what F/5-6.7 means. So when the lens is at 150mm the widest aperture you can get is F5.6. If you want wider then you have to pay a lot more for your lenses. Now when you zoom out to 500mm the widest aperture you can get is F6.7. That is pretty good. It isn’t really fast, but it is okay. You want wide apertures so you can use lower ISO and get better quality images.

Now let’s look at the numbers on the Fujifilm camera and they are F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR. Again I am really only interested in these ones, F5.6-8. Hopefully, you can see what I’m getting at straight away. At 150mm the widest aperture is F5.6, but at 600mm the widest is F8, which isn’t so good. That means out of the two lenses the Fujifilm is the slowest. It means when you are shooting at 600mm you will always have to have a higher ISO to compensate for the F8 aperture.

When comparing the two lenses I think the Tamron does come out better, then again you get closer to your subject with the Fujifilm. If you are shooting on a bright day it isn’t going to matter, but if it is foggy or overcast then it will matter more.

Take a look at this image

I don’t know if you can tell but it is a very noisy image because I had to have the ISO on 2000 to take photos because of the fog. It was so thick that morning. This image has been cleaned up a little, but at 2000 ISO it can be hard to get rid of it all.

Now I’m not an expert on bird photography, but I know you need some speed because you are photographing objects that are moving and you don’t want blurry images.

One thing I liked is how the Fujifilm lens is one of those ones that when you zoom out the lens doesn’t get longer. I think it is because the zoom is internal or something like that.

Using the Lens

One thing that I noticed straight away when I picked up the Fujifilm lens was how much lighter it seemed to be than the Tamron lens. I found it easier to hand-hold the Fujifilm lens on my camera, but not for long. As with any lens like that they are hard to hold up for long periods.

When you use a tripod or monopod it doesn’t really matter which lens you use because the weight doesn’t matter then.

I suppose it is about carrying it around as well. The Fujifilm is a longer lens all round and I had to do some moving around with bags when I was taking it out. The Tamron lens fits better in most of my bags.  Something else to think about.

Overall thoughts

I still don’t know. I think perhaps the Tamron lens is a better lens, except for its weight and the reach of it. Though when you compare 500mm to 600mm there isn’t a lot of difference really.

I would take either one if I was offered it, but they are both still too expensive for me. Due to budget if I was given an opportunity to buy one, I think I would have to go with the Tamron lens, sorry Fujifilm.

The lenses are about to go back, but I’m hoping to get a chance to photograph the full moon this weekend and will do it with both lenses and see how they turn out. Fingers crossed it isn’t raining, again.

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  1. I have a Sigma 150-600 mm for my Nikon 750. Reviews comparing Sigman and Tamron have Sigama coming out on top. I think comparing a Fujifilm to a Tamron lens of different MM is not an even enough comparison. I understand that is what you have to compare right now.

    1. I think it is a fair comparison if you want to buy a longer lens and they are the only two options you have, so how do you choose which one to go for. That is the big question really. From what I can tell Sigma only do one lens for Fujifilm, so there is not way to compare that. I agree, I have heard that the Sigma for the Nikon is better. Thank you.

  2. I would tend to go with the ‘native’ glass, if given the choice. But that is a quite high price. The reach could be a consideration if you really need it, but you’re right: very little functional difference between 500mm and 600mm. At that sort of range, I might even prefer a prime (dare I say it).

    Big But… the cost is eye watering.

    I’ve noticed the mirrorless Canon line’s lenses also have — what seems to me to be — rather slow apertures. Combined with the price of the glass, it really makes me wonder why I should consider switching from my current stuff.

    1. This is eye watering, unbelievable at times. I don’t mind the other lenses, sometimes I wonder if they are better because all they are doing is making lenses, who knows.
      Yeah, I find the same, that those lenses, they want you to pay a lot for faster lenses.

      I got your messages Matt and no problem, just going with this one.

    2. Normally, WP shows my message and a “waiting moderation” message. I didn’t see them, so I figured tech had failed me again! 😀

  3. It seems like the Tamron is the better lens all around, Leanne. I too don’t know exactly what those numbers mean but I know enough to use the lenses right.

  4. I thought the Fuji lens had better color and was a bit brighter than the Tamron in some cases. But that’s easily fixed in post. So Tamron is the better choice when it comes to cost. I’m getting used to my Tamron lens now. I wonder what would happen if I picked up my Nikon gear!!

    1. That’s true Anne, it can be fixed. I would think it was, I mean especially with the price and it is the faster of the two. I’m happy to hear you are getting used to your Tamron lens. Haha, let me know if you do pick it up and see how it goes. Thank you Anne.

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