On a recent trip to Houston my wife and I took a side trip to San Jacinto State Park for a visit to the WWI era Battleship Texas. I had never been near a warship before so I wanted to make sure I had the right gear with me to memorialize the experience. I also saw this as a great opportunity to put the Tamron 18-270mm VC image stabilized digital camera lens to the test.
On arrival at the parking lot it was evident that we would have the ship pretty much to ourselves since only three other cars were in the lot that day. I mounted the Tamron 18-270 VC on my Canon camera and we set out to explore the grounds. Standing at the bow end of the mooring slip and looking up what seemed three stories to the ship’s anchor certainly put the size of the ship into perspective. I was going to need to back up quite a bit if I wanted to capture the Texas with one frame.
The Tamron lenses’ 18mm wide angle was perfect for the shots I wanted. I was able to frame the ship without having to back up so far that the size of it was lost in the perspective of the shot. When I reviewed the images on my LCD screen they didn’t show any distortions to the clean lines of the vessel or its surroundings.
After buying our admission we crossed the pedestrian bridge to the deck of the ship. Taking pictures of the superstructure, the anti-aircraft gunnery stations and the huge fourteen inch main guns gave me the chance to run the Tamron lens through much of its focal range. The twist action zoom was well damped, I never felt like I had to put effort into zooming nor was it loose and sloppy.
After shooting for an hour in full daylight it was time to descend into the ship itself. The passageways were lit well for vision but poorly for photography. I did use a flash when it was appropriate but I was also able to rely on the Tamron VC image stabilization system for ambient light shots. With the flash turned off I was often shooting at around 1/8 second shutter speed. The VC image stabilization worked so well that even at that slow shutter speed the ship’s dials captured in the images could still be read!
Our tour ended at the highest point allowed, the bridge of the ship. The view was stunning so I took several images at the 18mm lens setting so that I could later stitch them together to create a panoramic image. I followed up with many tight shots of park details at the 270mm zoom setting.
The results of this photo excursion with the Tamron 18-270mm VC digital camera lens: out of 187 images taken in two hours I had zero failures. Every shot was crisply focused, no distortions were evident and the colors were excellent. Since this trial I have shot several hundred more images with the lens and found pretty much the same results. I highly recommend this lens to any photographer looking for a single zoom lens to carry for travel and excursion photography.