This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Tamron.

When Sean surprised me with a proper grown-up camera for my 30th birthday earlier this year—thus cementing my status as a proper grown-up myself—I was smitten. (With the camera, I mean. Although sure, he’s alright too.) But after taking it out of the box, I....well, I didn’t think outside the box, I guess you could say, and I do mean that quite literally. Yes, I fiddled around with it enough to figure out which buttons did what, dimly calling upon my knowledge of F-stops from a photography class I’d taken back when grunge was still in fashion, but it never even occurred to me to buy any accessories for my new camera. A lens? Why ever would I need a lens? It comes with a lens, doesn’t it? Oh, you mean a better lens? Those exist?

Well, apparently they do. I was recently sent the Tamron AF18-270 to play around with and if you stick around for a little bit longer, I’ve got one to give away to you too. One’s life becomes rather different when one realizes there is a world outside the standard oh-it-just-came-with-the-camera lenses. One could even say that a dark side is revealed: a gorgeous, expensive, crisp and clear and perfectly-zoomed-in dark side. Damn it: another thing to want.

As lenses go, the Tamron AF18-270 is pretty standard-looking, by which I mean it’s not hot pink or covered in Ed Hardy tattoos or shaped like an aardvark or anything , a small mercy upon which I think we can all agree. It resembles, in fact, a beefier, buffed-up version of the standard lens on my Canon Digital Rebel. It is, however, the world’s first 15X optical zoom lens and boy howdy, does it zoom. The first time I used it, I briefly considered a career in the paparazzi. Oh alright then, it wasn’t exactly briefly. I actually looked into rolling over my 401k.

While I use my camera for a lot of different things, it gets most of its mileage as my travel companion, and so I decided to take my new lens on a couple of different trips. First, it accompanied me to the wine country of Northern California, where I freaked out my husband by sticking it right in his face.

Actually, that’s a lie: this wasn’t right in his face at all. When I took this—on a rainy, cloudy, totally gray day in Healdsburg—I was standing a good ten feet away from Sean. Had he been a stranger and I a particularly zealous stalker, I could have got all up in his business like this without him even knowing. While my standard lens would’ve zoomed in to a decent degree, this bad boy got right up in there into every single crease and pore---all while I could have pretended to be taking a picture of the tree behind him. Great news for creepy people!

Another thing I liked about the lens was the built-in vibration compensation; I don’t have the steadiest hand, per se, even when I haven’t been sampling wine country’s finest. When I took super zoomed-in shots like the one below, I liked how the picture still turned out clear. What’s the use of seeing each individual chocolate chip in a mint chocolate chip milkshake if those chocolate chips don’t look crisp and sharp and good enough to eat, you know?

My favorite thing about the Tamron AF18-270 was its versatility. Nothing pleases me more than streamlined solutions, and as I am fundamentally lazy and probably not the ideal candidate for changing out lenses as the situation requires---let us please remember that I’ve just been using the one that came with my camera for close to a year---I do appreciate a good multi-tasker. This lens takes nice zoomed-in shots, as I mentioned, but has enough of a range that you’re not stuck taking super close-up pictures of everything you come across. Any time I can adjust a product to give me a different result without switching out the product itself, I’m happy. Even I’m not so lazy that I won’t even twist a lens.

Check out this shot I snapped from my hotel room on a recent work trip to Las Vegas, for example.

Now check out me going all paparazzi on it with a swivel of my wrist. Boom! Up close and personal! In your face, Vegas!

For a while before we took off for that trip to Vegas, I was taking pictures of my co-worker, who was sitting across the aisle from me and several seats away. Then I realized that taking multiple pictures of a girl I didn’t appear to be traveling with---many of them with a zoomed-out telescopic lens---probably looked a little suspect. So I stopped. Probably best for everyone; the last thing I needed was to be escorted off the flight.

Because I often have to take pictures in hotel rooms as part of my job, I tested out the new lens for this as well. I’m pleased to say that it did very nicely. Very nicely indeed.

Other things I liked about this lens were the handy lock feature—though perhaps I’m rougher than most with my camera, but I didn’t find it always held so well—and the fact that when I zoomed in on something, I really zoomed in on it; there wasn’t much background blur because of the tight depth of field. All in all, I found it a pretty nice improvement over the standard built-in lens that came with my Rebel, and it certainly made me feel a whole lot fancier when I was using it. Yep, "a whole lot fancier": that’s some technical camera speak right there.

So here's the deal: would you like a new camera lens of your own? The Tamron AF18-270 is valued at $629 and is designed for Canon or Nikon Di II DSLR cameras. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be the key to your most successful holiday card picture yet (if past experience is anything to go by, the law of averages dictates that no five pairs of eyes can ever be open at the same time) but I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. I did.

Since I'm going with a whole paparazzi theme here, to enter just leave a comment telling me which celebrity you'd like to get up close and personal with, if you know what I'm saying, and I think you do. The contest will end on November 30, 2010, at which point I will randomly select a winner and notify them by email with OMG YOU WON A LENS in the subject line. For a second entry, you can tweet or blog about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet or blog URL in a separate comment below). You can read the official rules here and read what other bloggers thought of their new lens right here. Good luck! And if you choose Tim Riggins, I will cut you.

1052 Comments

1
Kari
Nov 04, 2010

George Clooney, obviously.

2
Camels And Chocolate
Nov 04, 2010

Like I would ever say no to a new lens! I only have one decent zoom lens in my repertoire of lenses at present...I definitely need this one, too =)

3
Camels And Chocolate
Nov 04, 2010

Tweet, Tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/LunaticAtLarge/status/326345225674752

4
Karen Reeds
Nov 04, 2010

Choosing one from my laminated list of 5, Kevin Costner.

I've actually been dreaming of a new lens, which I cannot purchase until after the wedding. Le sigh. This would solve that problem!

Hmm... my celebrity of choice would probably be Daniel Craig. At least, for today.

6
alimartell
Nov 04, 2010

JON HAMM.

7
Meghan
Nov 04, 2010

Alexander Skarsgard. I have been watching way too much True Blood.

8
Lisa
Nov 04, 2010

James McAvoy for sure!

9
Martha
Nov 04, 2010

Right now, probably Jon Hamm because Don Draper is sooo hot.

10
Andrea
Nov 04, 2010

George Clooney, definitely.

11
Julia
Nov 04, 2010

Yes, please. Brad Pitt. (Yes, please on that, too!)

12
Keely
Nov 04, 2010

Ohhh Leo DiCaprio, I'm not ashamed to admit it!

13
Laura S
Nov 04, 2010

George Clooney, most definitely.

14
Tara
Nov 04, 2010

Since Tim Riggins is spoken for...Johnny Depp.

15
simon
Nov 04, 2010

I'd like to get up close and personal with celebrity blogger Leah from www.agirlandaboy.com.

I think that she is super cute, she seems very intelligent, and I think that she has a very honest style of blogging. If I had the chance to hang with this celebrity blogger, I'd use the opportunity to try to get her to go out with me. I'd turn up the charm, impress her with my sense of culture and style, and seduce her with my pale, doughy physique.

16
Cortney M.
Nov 04, 2010

Alton Brown, but ONLY BECAUSE I'm PMSing and he's featuring pecan pie. Cut upside down with an electric serrated knife! Swoon.

17
Tracy
Nov 04, 2010

Jon Hamm

or Jon Stewart. It depends on my mood.

18
Patsy
Nov 04, 2010

Can it be a celeb from the past? If so, totally Jared Leto, only from the My So Called Life era. Swoon.

19
Donna Turner
Nov 04, 2010

hmmmmmm.....Aidan Quinn

20
Melissa
Nov 04, 2010

paul walker. hope i win

21
Tracy
Nov 04, 2010

I'm all a twitter!!
http://twitter.com/twoodruffstl

22
Kate
Nov 04, 2010

Norman Reedus, all day.

23
Katy
Nov 04, 2010

Ooohhh.... Michael Rosenbaum. Yum!

24
Far
Nov 04, 2010

mmmm Chase Crawford <3

25
Hairy Farmer Family
Nov 04, 2010

This week?! Johnny Depp, please!

26
Lisa~~
Nov 04, 2010

The biggest celebrity in my life is my daughter and I could photograph her all the time. TV & movie celebrities, no interest.

27
Tracy
Nov 04, 2010

I'm going with Jon Hamm too. Yum.

28
Mandy
Nov 04, 2010

Neil Patrick Harris...if he was straight ;)

29
agirlandaboy
Nov 04, 2010

I went four years before getting a second lens for my Rebel. FOUR YEARS. I'd love another to add to the family.

Oh, and I'd totally paparazzidate(?) Ewan MacGregor. Hard.

30
Sarah Rice
Nov 04, 2010

Want. My #1 celebrity would be Shakira (I celebrate her entire collection), although Madonna is a close second. Just to see, in Shakira's case, if her hips truly in fact don't lie, and in Madonna's case, what the heck happened, lady?!? With such a lense, documenting said meetings would be a snap.

31
Jessica Kinsey
Nov 04, 2010

Benjamin Cumberbatch at the moment, take me away, Mr. Holmes!

32
Kayla
Nov 04, 2010

Leighton Meester. I just really want her hair.

33
meghanlowery
Nov 04, 2010

CLIVE OWENS CLIVE OWENS CLIVE OWENS CLIVE OWENS...

Phew. I think I just got a little blushed. ;)

34
Kate
Nov 04, 2010

Tim Limcecum... he is "the freak" and all :)

35
Jamie
Nov 04, 2010

Jon Hamm, George Clooney, John Krasinski, Jake Gyllenhaal ... you're not really going to make me pick just one are you?

36
Jessica
Nov 04, 2010

definitely john stewart. then afterwards we could do the crossword puzzle together.

37
Beth Fish
Nov 04, 2010

Everybody better just back off Clive Owen, because I claimed him as my Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend years ago. That totally counts, right?

38
Tiki
Nov 04, 2010

Hmmm .... I'll take Gilles Marini :)

39
sarah
Nov 04, 2010

I'm going to go with a Clive Owen and George Clooney sandwich--with me as the filling, please.

40
Melissa
Nov 04, 2010

Oh, jeez...is it bad that I also have a laminated list of 5 (ha) and CAN'T THINK OF ANY OF THEM? So, I'm going to have to go with David Tennant. Hello, Doctor.

41
KRG
Nov 04, 2010

I would love this lens and would take pics of anyone who would let me!

42
Lyne
Nov 04, 2010

Cole from Scrubs... I don't know his name (I could imdb it, sure, but then I'd swoon too much), he's James Franco's little brother. and wow. *ahem*

43
Anna
Nov 04, 2010

Jon Hamm or Christian Bale

44
eileen
Nov 04, 2010

Definitely Adrien Brody. Just recently purchased a Canon Rebel and this would be terrific.

45
Lori
Nov 04, 2010

Keven Spacey - he's just plain fascinating!

46
Emily
Nov 04, 2010

Woooo weeeee that's quite a giveaway! I'm entering on behalf of my sister so I'll say Shakira!

47
Janet
Nov 04, 2010

Adrian Grenier! OMG, swoon.

48
Bethany
Nov 04, 2010

Hmm, that would be Richard Armitage.

49
Alicia
Nov 04, 2010

Harry Connick Jr.!!!!! And I too want to be a grown up with a GUL (grown up lady) camera...

50
Susan
Nov 04, 2010

Ohh this is a hard one...it's a toss between Anthony Bourdain and Killer's front man Brandon Flowers.

51
Chris
Nov 04, 2010

I have a secret (obviously not so secret anymore) desire to be BFFs with Taylor Swift. She just seems so fun and nice!

52
Amanda
Nov 04, 2010

When this popped up in my reader I totally thought it said "Sponsored post from BlogHer and Tampon" Glad to see I was mistaken.

And I'd pick Jake Gyllenhaal, for sure.

53
Amy
Nov 04, 2010

Jon Hamm or Joel McHale's abs.

I'm not picky!

54
Rebecca
Nov 04, 2010

Johnny Depp? Robert Downey, Jr.? So many bad boys, so little time. :)

55
margot
Nov 04, 2010

Oy vay, c'mon luck don't fail me now! I pick...at the moment...That hotsy British dude in Inception.

56
Nina
Nov 04, 2010

Alas and alack, my choice is long gone. Cary Grant. LE SIGH.

57
Chelle
Nov 04, 2010

Ryan Reynolds! Scarlett be damned :)

58
Patty
Nov 04, 2010

Casey Affleck. Or Don Cheadle. That's a weird combination.

59
Jennifer
Nov 04, 2010

Timothy Olyphant

60
EBR
Nov 04, 2010

Elijah Wood. Hands down. With or without Frodo costume.

61
Heather
Nov 04, 2010

Ira Glass. He's just a bowl of sweet, hot, nerdy hotness.

62
Tina
Nov 04, 2010

I'm having a hard time picking...how about I go with Matt Damon since I just drooled over him in watching our Borne Movie Marathon a few weeks ago. Drama + his comedy in other shows and I'm sold. Sorry, you didn't need an essay here, did you?

63
Leah
Nov 04, 2010

Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice!

64
Wendy
Nov 04, 2010

Gary Cooper. It's not weird that he's dead, right?

65
Tracy D
Nov 04, 2010

Lady Gaga. Love her.

66
Michelle T
Nov 04, 2010

Too hard to chose! But that lens...now that's an easy choice

67
Pamela
Nov 04, 2010

Ummm....lovely lovely lens...let's see George Clooney for sure, and also Brad Pitt and Matt Damon if we could all get together for drinks cause I think they would totally make me laugh....

68
Melanie
Nov 04, 2010

I have a Trifecta of Hotness, and the top spot rotates on whose movie I've seen most recently. Current standings are:

1. Leonardo DiCaprio (a classic)
2. Matt Damon (in the Bourne movies, not in the one where he plays that guy who works for the corn syrup industry or something)
3. Joshua Jackson (any Fringe watchers with me on this one?)

Obviously I've given this entirely too much thought. My husband thinks it's cute, btw :)

69
Annie
Nov 04, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal, please...

70
caitie
Nov 04, 2010

hugh jackman for the win.

71
Adrienne
Nov 04, 2010

Oh man. You know, there are a couple of celebs that I would really love to get 'up close and personal with' if you know what I mean *exaggerated wink*. Like... George Cloony... AND oh man. Whatshisbutt... That one smexiness off of Letters to Juliet... Yeah. You know who I am talking about!!

I seriously... This lens would help me with my photography SO much!! My hubbers and I are currently stationed in S.Korea (Army) and... it would definitely come in handy!!

72
Marisa
Nov 04, 2010

Eric Dane. Yummy.

73
Alisa
Nov 04, 2010

Matt Damon sounds good to me...

74
cathy
Nov 04, 2010

Clive Owen, obviously!

75
Kelley
Nov 04, 2010

Robert Downey Jr. So dreamy.

76
becca
Nov 04, 2010

Um yummy dermot mulroney!

77
katie
Nov 04, 2010

I choose Taylor Kitsch! That works, right? ;)
HOORAY FOR A NEW LENS!

78
Porter
Nov 04, 2010

Decisions, decisions… I think I'll have to go with Hugh Jackman.

79
Amy
Nov 04, 2010

Um, David Tennant. Because I am a huge geek.

80
eleanor
Nov 04, 2010

Dimitri Martin

81
Joanie
Nov 04, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal. :)

82
Leigh
Nov 04, 2010

I'm going to have to go with Jon Hamm. Or Julia Roberts, just because I have kind of a girl crush on her.

83
Kyle
Nov 04, 2010

Probably Lady Gaga.

84
Julie Barr
Nov 04, 2010

Josh Duhamel!

85
Amy
Nov 04, 2010

Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson, I'm going for the wild cards here.

86
Ariel
Nov 04, 2010

I'd zoom in on Ewan McGregor any day. Hopefully my husband wouldn't mind, You know, life list and all. :)

87
Chanel
Nov 04, 2010

I get all up in Idris Ebla's face. REALLY CLOSE :)

88
Liz
Nov 04, 2010

I'm feeling Hugh Grant right now!

89
Summer
Nov 04, 2010

Robert Downey Jr. is pretty hot...

90
Katie
Nov 04, 2010

Jon Hamm

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