Tamron SP 45mm F1.8 Di USD A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44175 date: Nov-17-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Touit 32 F1.8
Neewer 35 F1.2
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 35 F2
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta MD 45 F2
Minolta MD & AF & Sony 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 RS & RS
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike 50 F2
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
price paid:DT 18-135 (trade)
positive:Sharp wide-open
Flat focus plane
Quiet Focusing
Sealing
negative:Size and weight
Veiling glare
Axial CA/focus shift
Purple fringing
No VC
Dim as F2 lenses
comment:A like new copy with original retail packaging and all accessories. The original list price was $599, but Tamron lowered it to $399 a year ago. The Sony 50 F1.4 has been stuck at $448 during this time, but used copies have been selling for less than $175. "MADE IN JAPAN"

This is a large lens, slightly larger than the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX Macro. Maybe the size was needed for the optical stabilization system which is not enabled in the the A-mount version. The little Minolta MD 45mm F2 is actually brighter than this lens. This lens is sharper than my copy of the Minolta. The focus plane is much flatter than the Minolta 45, but not as flat as the Minolta/Sony 50mm F1.4. It has worse veiling glare than the 28 F1.8, 35 F1.8, 50 F1.7, and F1.4. The contrast gets a generous bump when stopping down.

The sharpest focus wide-open has a lot of purple fringing and is not the sharpest focus at f/2.8. For sharp results stopped down it is better to minimize the purple fringing when focusing. Like the Minolta 50 F1.4 this lens would benefit from stopped down focusing which is not possible on Sony cameras without using a third-party adapter that has a manual aperture control.

The first reviewer below misstated that it is focus-by-wire, but it uses a normal focus clutch mechanism just like other SSM lenses. It can be manually focused off of a camera--no wires used or needed.

The plastic HF012 petal hood is shared with the SP 35mm F1.8 lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.50
  • color: 4.33
  • build: 4.67
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.43
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