Physical Views & Controls
Here we can see a top view of the A005 while standing on end. This lens is quite large measuring approx 5.75 inches (146.05mm) when fully retracted at 70mm, extending out to approx. 7.6 inches (194mm) when at the 300mm telephoto end. It's also quite "beefy", with a diameter of approx. 3.2 inches (81.5mm), and weighs in at about 1.7 pounds (27 ounces / 765g).
Overall the lens seems to be very well built, and the larger diameter of the barrel is quite comfortable; especially for those with large hands like myself.
Above you can see a close up of the zoom and manual focus controls on the A005. This unit offers rear focusing operation, which may throw some users off at first since the focus ring on many SLR lenses is towards the front. Tamron used nice rubber grips on both controls, with a large grip for the zoom control and a slim unit for focusing. To zoom the lens you rotate the wheel in a clockwise fashion, which is the opposite of Canon's zoom lenses.
The A005 boasts full-time MF (Manual Focus), which means even when the focus switch is in the AF position, you can fine tune the focus by simply rotating the control wheel; without having to fumble for the AF/MF switch.
The AF/MF and VC switches are located in comfortable, and somewhat standard positions. You can also see the red lens mount line-up marking, which is very large and easy to see when swapping lenses.
Tamron has included their VC (Vibratons Compensation) image stabilization system in the A005, which they claim gives you up to a 4 stop advantage over a non-IS lens. On the right you can see an expanded view of the VC system's complex design (photo courtesy of Tamron), which overall helps increase the chances that you'll capture blur free photos when shooting handheld and in lower lighting conditions.
Here we can an extreme close-up of the A005's focus distance scale, which displays the approx. focus distance in both feet and meters.
The A005 filter thread is 62mm, which is a pretty standard thread. This will allow you to attach various filters to the lens, whether a simple UV filter to help protect the front of the lens or a polarizer.
Tamron also includes a large "flower-shaped" lens shade or hood. It measures about 3.75 inches at it's longest point, and has a ribbed interior. This design is used to help reduce any reflections. For storage, you simply reverse the hood and attach it to the lens. However, this blocks the zoom control completely.
The A005 is being offered for both Canon and Nikon cameras, however their is mention of a Sony version without VC for the future; there's no VC because Sony Alpha models have in-body IS. The lens type of this particular model is a Canon EF mount, since we requested the Canon version of the A005 for testing with my EOS 50D. This is a well-built, all metal mount.
Here you can see the A005 next to my Canon EOS 50D with the BG-E2N grip installed. Below are a few more angles with the lens mounted to the camera.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.