Tamron SP AF 24-135mm F3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 49    1 2 >>
reviewer#11841 date: May-22-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-135 'Secret Handshake'
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality is very nice, though not perfect.
Good colors.
Fairly sharp.
Comes with a nice storage pouch.
72mm filter size is common.
Handsome lens, with a professional look.
Very useful focal range on FF and apsc.
Zoom lock.
negative:Worthless in low light!
Auto-Focus moves VERY SLOW!
Hood is flimsy.
Not a D lens.
Zoom is a little stiff.
comment:This is a lens I wanted so badly to like, but in the end could not.

A very nice looking lens and well built. The focal range is what grabbed my interest initially. After buying it, the look and feel of this lens made me very happy. It is a solid lens. The weight and feel instantly convey quality in the build. My only build complaint is the zoom is abit harder to turn than I prefer.

Unfortunately the performance is not as nice as the build. This is a slow lens. It is only f3.5 to about 28mm, and climbs steadily throught the range. It is pitiful in low light. If you buy this lens, know that for optimal results, outdoor use will be limited to sunny days. Not only do images suffer, but AF in low light is quite painful to tolerate. It hunts terribly and refuses to focus often.

In good lighting, the lens takes nice photos. Not quite Minolta colors, but nice. Sharpness is good, but don't expect G results.

Perhaps a bigger complaint than the low-light performance, the AF is annoyingly slow. This lens just was not built with a fast AF system. I can't understand why Tamron put the SP label on a lens so damn slow. I swear I could read a book in the time it takes to travel from one end of focus to the other end. For this reason alone, I refuse to recommend this lens. It left me very frustrated.

There are things to like about the Tamron, but the Minolta 28-135 is a better lens. Aside from resisting zoom creep, the Tamron doesn't do anything better than the Minolta. Buy the Tamron below market value and live with its shortcomings, or don't buy it at all.
reviewer#11808 date: May-3-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24-135mm F2.8-4.5
Sigma 28-135mm F3.8-5.6
Sony 24-105mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 28-105mm F3.5-4.5
price paid:Euro 175 (new)
positive:- very solidly built
- excellent range for a standard zoom
- good colors
- good sharpness
- zoom lock
negative:- vignetting at wide and long end (at long end visible even at F8)
- significant distortion at both ends - but can easily be removed in PP (barrel/pincushion - nothing more complex)
comment:Bought this as an alternative to the Sigma 24-135mm because it is solid like a rock - despite the fact that most parts of the body are made of plastic, but of a sturdy kind. Compact size, not to heavy and definitely no zoom creep (in case it would begin: there is a zoom lock as is typical for a number of Tamron lenses). The lens is not as sharp as the Sigma 24-135mm, particularly at the long end. Flare control could be better - but this is a construction dating back to film days. So CA wide open can be a bit problematic - but usually this can be undone in PP.
As the Sigma of the same zoom range this is neither a professional nor a semi-professional lens. It is a precursor of today's 18-200mm designs from the days of film bodies. But it is reliable and solid piece that can master a wide range of photographic tasks.
reviewer#11147 date: May-31-2013
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-105
Minolta 35-105
price paid:140.00 GBP(s/h)
positive:Build
Nice colour but not Minolta
negative:Only acceptably sharp 24-50
Slow AF
Prone to flare
comment:Awful lens - returned it.

Lack of sharpness may be due to front/ backfocus problems but I couldn't detect this in my test shots.

Not recommended.

Even my cheap Min 28-100D is way sharper stopped down by a couple of stops.
reviewer#11126 date: May-20-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:275 (nos)
positive:Really good range perfect for me as a walk around lens.
negative:none for the price or at least not after it was sent in for repair under warranty which is another story. Tamron was very difficult to say the least but in the end they did repair it.
comment:I love this lens buy one and you'll love it to. It's not meant to be a low light lens so don't expect that. Pick one up for the range and sharpness
reviewer#10850 date: Jan-14-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 24-105mm 3.5-4.5
price paid:250 Euro (new)
positive:colours
range on both ff and aps-c
sharp when stopped down a little
compact size
negative:not very bright
af could be faster
comment:This is a nice compact walkaround for both ff and aps-c. The image quality is comparable to the Sony 24-105mm. The colours are nice, but different from classic Minolta.
reviewer#10430 date: Aug-5-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-125/3,8-5,6 DC HSM
price paid:200 EUR (used)
positive:Focus
Picture quality
Usability
negative:Zoomring a bit sticky
Low contrats in light areas
comment:Goos picture quality.
Good colors, although not as outstanding as "old Minolta".
Contrast a bit week sometimes especially in light areas.
Wish it was shorter than 24 mm!
Focus seems to work well with very little hunting.
Perfect as walkabout lens.
Weight balances well on my A550 but on less heavy cameras not so well.
Difficult to compare to my Sigma 18-125, the Sigma feels a bit more "solid" and has the advantegae of 18 mm, but the picture quality is not noticably different.
reviewer#10364 date: Jul-7-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 24-70 F2.8
price paid:180 €
positive:Sharp on 24 mm
Zoom range on FF
Light
Price
negative:Sharpness at wide open
comment:I love this lens for its zoom coverage. If I go for travelling, I just bought only this lens.
reviewer#9832 date: Jan-22-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:carl zeiss 16-80mm
Sony 18-250mm
price paid:£160
positive:great range
decent sharpness
value
negative:SLOW AF
nervous bokeh
pincushion distortion
impossible to get ideal micro adjustment
comment:Since getting a A850 i was looking for a FF equivalent to the CZ 16-80mm and sadly i don't think there's quite a match on FF but this tamron does a reasonable job but ultimately (other than build) the CZ out classes this lens in everyway (sharp wide open, faster AF, better bokeh etc). That said the CZ is at least double the price 2nd hand so long as you can live with the slow AF and image quality closer to the 18-250mm then you'll be happy with this lens.

One of the problem with this is there's focus shift so it's impossible to set a micro adjustment that's ideal throughout the zoom range, squeezing the best out of this lens at the long end can mean you get softer results at the short end and vice versa. The issue is most pronounced when you're shooting wide open so in the end I've decided to optimise this lens for shooting at f5.6 which in my case needed a -13 micro adjustment.

Despite all these buts I still think it's a worthwhile FF lens, or rather all the alternative walkabout lenses have their own share of drawbacks such as long MFD, CA, worse range etc in the case of the minolta 28-135mm/35-105mm.
reviewer#9765 date: Jan-8-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Leica D-Lux 2
price paid:199 USD (new)
positive:Takes good photos
negative:Heavy
Can't figure out how to use it
comment:Several reviewers have said this lens is their "walk-around" "travel" lens.

For the past 5 years, my walk-around/travel/everything has been my Leica D-Lux 2 point and shoot. So far as I'm concerned, if that's the category, then the Leica is the competition.

How does this lens stack up? First of all, it cost a LOT less than the Leica. But the lens by itself weighs more and takes up more room. (Remember: walk-around/travel lens) The Tamron is also slower than the Leica. I think of it as an out-door lens. I can't imagine trying to use it in a museum or historic building. Even if it would work, the af hunts and hunts in low light, whereas the Leica just takes the picture.

The Tamron takes nice photos, better photos than the Leica. Much better. They're sharper with a lot less flare. It also has a longer focal length. However, the Leica will shoot much broader, which can be useful, too.

If I had to choose between taking this lens and my battered up old Leica on a long-distance (i.e., ocean-crossing) trip, I would be flummoxed.
I don't see this as either a walk-around or a travel lens for me and the things I like to do. If was going to be outdoors all the time, it would be different, but I'm a restaurant/museum/historic building kind of traveler, not a hiking/camping/mountain climber kind.

I'm going to keep the lens because it does take nice photos. I'll figure out what to do with it as time goes by.

Correction: On the off-chance that some lost soul might actually take my review seriously, I feel I must correct what I said above. First, I'm new to the world of slt; bought a Sony a55 last fall, and have been trying to figure it out ever since.

I've been unhappy with the low-light colors I've gotten right along. The faster the lens, the better it did, but still unhappy. This lens in particular made low-light photos that were orangey, grainy and blotchy. I would be embarrassed to show them to my cat. Tonight, I figured out that I can change the white balance in the camera. (I still don't really know what white balance IS, btw.) It turns out, that meddling with the white balance can really improve the way your camera handles light.

It made all my lenses better, but it REALLY turned this one around ! It still has a firm hold on last place in my affections. But it will give you a usable low-light photo is you just know how to use the camera.

Now, I'll have to learn how to adjust it for other lighting. But I've found a pretty good recipe for my living room.

Summary: I think this lens is a lot better in more capable hands than it is in mine.
reviewer#9734 date: Dec-31-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-200
price paid:199.00
positive:Sharp lens with great color. great range from telephoto to wide angle.
negative:Tends to be a tad on the contrast side. Zoom is tight to handle. Sticks.
comment:This lens is bulky but solid. it also offers a great range and will be my main lens for everyday uses. It is quite sharp throughout and the color and contrast is great. The contrast is a bit high as some light areas almost too over exposed. The weight does not rally bother me as it is well balanced and feels rugged. Came with sturdy case also. Better color than the Sony 55-200 but is not a D lens for flash.

After more use, I adjusted the camera so the contrast is much better.
Very pleasing results. The only irritation is that the lock button sticks occasionally to free up the zoom.
reviewer#9355 date: Aug-25-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-70 kit lens
Minolta 70-210 "beercan"
Sigma 18-125 F3.5-5.6 DC
price paid:225 USD new
positive:Great range for a walkaround lens
Extremely good value

negative:A bit on the heavy side!
Lens hood is very good but could be a bit more sturdy
AF can be a bit slow
comment:I had trouble finding one of these at a good price so when I was able to get it NEW at around 225 USD on eBay I grabbed it!! I am very happy with this lens.

I have had this lens since January 2009 and I use this on my camera pretty much all the time when I'm at home. It produces pictures with very good colour and sharpness. I have not noticed any distortion.

It's just a bit big and heavy to take on overseas trips for my liking. I have a Sigma 18-125 which I use as a travel lens as this is much smaller and lighter. Although the Tamron produces nicer images than the Sigma.

This is my favourite lens.

November 2011: Just updated my camera to the A580 and this lens just gets better! Focusing seems a lot quicker on the A580 than I had become used to on my old A100.
reviewer#9343 date: Aug-18-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MI 24-85/3.5-4.5
KM 28-75/2.8
price paid:€ 145 (nos)
positive:range
mfd
color
sharpness
negative:slowish autofocus.
a bit heavier then I would like for backpacking
comment:I was looking for something with extended zoom on my A850 (like 16-80 on my A700) for backpacking. I stumbled over this one.
I have been using it for a months now under several conditions. Focus can be slowish. Not a problem for static subjects but sports will be challenging (understatement).
Image quality is pretty good.
Color is satisfactory to good (I would say on par with 24-85; better then Sigma 17-70 and 16-80).
Sharpness is pretty good for this older zoom. As expected stopping down improves things. I shot in low light with high ISO (1250) and was not dissapointed at all.
No experience with flare so far.
Distortions is decent (indoor shots from groups in confined spaces). Have not checked on lines in the border area though.

A850 with lens fits in a Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50AW.
With its 530 grams and A850 I carry a bit more weight in my backpack. However range and image quality justify the load (for me).

Updated info on sharpness (all open aperture):
@24 mm Mi 24-85 is better then Tamron 24-135.
@28 mm Mi24-85 is best, Tamron 24-135 is close and KM28-75 is worst.
@75 mm KM 28-75 and T 24-135 are best and Mi 24-85 is worst.
@85 mm and beyond no competition for Tammy but IQ is good to very good.

Updated on flare:
Used during a bicycle trip through France. The lens showed somewhat more flare then I expected. Reduced the rating to a 4.

Nevertheless: very much recommended.
If one is looking for a lens with an extended range starting @ 24mm, this is definitely one to consider.
I have no info on sample variation and use it solely on A850 (micro-adjust). There is no obtrusive vignetting (far less then 24-105).

Unfortunately not manufactured anymore.

Shaprness reduced to 3.5 because of corners. Stopping down gives only little improvement.
reviewer#9304 date: Aug-6-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 24/2.8RS
Min 24-135
KM 24-105
Sony 135/1.8 ZA
price paid:235 usd new
positive:Handy size
True colors
Light weight
72mm filters
negative:Fiddly shade
comment:I think I prefer this lens to my imperfect Min 28-135. I really dislike my KM 24105.

The Tam 24135 has a lens shade -- as small and useless as the Min 24 shade. But if you've ever dropped your camera to find the shade sacrificed itself and saved your camera, mount and lens, you'll never go without a shade again. The Min 28135 doesn't have a shade.

It's the same length as the Min 28135 when extended, but much smaller, and lighter than the Min when closed. It's not ADI fitted, but neither is the 28135, and I scarcely use flash. It is half a stop slower at the long end, but again I often set my camera to ISO 400 so don't notice it.

It has a zoom lock. The Min 28135 does not.

Like the 28135, it uses 72mm filters, which I like (since I've got the Tok 17, Min 85G, 200G and 100400, which all take 72s.)

The colors are excellent, almost as good as the Min 28135, and slightly better than the Min 24 (which lacks contrast.) This lens of course is not as clear as the Zeiss 135 -- but I like its colors better.

The quality of the image is very high. It is necessary to be very careful in focussing, otherwise there is blur or wobble or a poor result. The Min 28135 is more robust in focussing. The Zeiss is instant. But, when focus is on, there is almost nothing to discern in images from the 28135 and the 24135. The Tam has a useful quasi-macro range (a MFD of half a meter) which autofocusses. I like the Min 28135's blue macro switch, but it's far less convenient.

My Min 28135 clunks when put onto the camera, has the focus ring in the wrong place for me, is noisy generally, creeps, has no shade and shows the signs of hard use (which it has had!) The Tam 24135 has a slightly wider reach (which I don't use much,) is silent, stable, shaded, with utterly satisfactory colors and quite acceptable image quality. For me, it is better overall, and it's going to pair with my Min 100400.

reviewer#9260 date: Jul-26-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 Kit
Minolta 35-105
price paid:$400 USD (new 2002)
positive:Build
Ease of use
Zoom Range
negative:Not quite wide enough for inside shots, have to switch to 18-70
comment:I purchased a used 800SI in 2002 with a really terrible Min 80-200 zoom. After exhaustive research I chose the Tamron 24-135, and have never regretted it.
2 years ago I purchased an A300 with the kit lens. Again, the 24-135 may as well have been glued to the A300, because it almost never came off. I have extended my used lens collection, and now have a larger variety of good Min glass, but the Tammy is still one of my favorites.
UPDATE: I now have an A580, and as another reviewer reported, it just gets better. Only complaint is that 24MM on APS-C just isn't wide enough indoors.
reviewer#8977 date: Apr-30-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 28-105 3.5-4.5
sigma 24-70 2.8 DG EX HHSM
price paid:120,00
positive:Zoom range FF
Detail captured
Size/weight
negative:No D lens
Slow AF (f4 at 30mm, f5.6 at 70-135mm)
Noisy AF
Visable distortion at 24 mm
comment:I had one, some years a go on my a-100 and sold it after purchasing better gear. But on my A900 a really missed a good ff walk-about lens. I tried the minolta 28-105 but missed a few mm wide angle. The sony 24-105 3.5-4.5 had a lot of vignette on the A900. With no crop factor, more zoom is also nice. So when a tamron 24-135 was offered to me good as new for a great price i was very happy to own one again. It is now my primary day-trip lens. On my A900 without the vertical grip, fitting in a small camera bag, looks like a mid range DSLR but it delivers professional grade pictures.
reviewer#8681 date: Feb-20-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-75/2.8
Tamron 35-105/2.8
Minolta 28-70G
Sony 24/2ZA
Sony 35/1.4G
Sony 50/1.4
Minolta 85/1.4
Sony 135/1.8ZA
Minolta 28-135/4-4.5
Big beercan
price paid:350 USD
positive:Good colors
Acceptable sharpness at any aperture (for zoom)
Very good build
Perfect range for FF
negative:Collecting dust while zooming
Bokeh at long end
comment:Now its my main travel zoom (for summer, when and where much light or I don`t want to take any other lens). Perfect range (among any other zoom I knew about), acceptable sharpness at any aperture, neutral colors (comparing to other Tamrons).
(Now I bought Oldman - Minolta 28-135/4-4.5, and see now only one point pro Oldman - it has a little faster aperture at long end).
Certainly, this Tamron does not replace all my primes, but for summer travel photo I don`t want to take any other lens (if I go for a walk with one lens).
And replace it only when Sony start to produce something like 24-120/4G (or ZA).
reviewer#8021 date: Sep-24-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-135
Minolta 28-105
Tamron 28-75
price paid:$288 USD (new)
positive:useful focal range for full frame, low cost, relatively small size and weight
negative:image quality isn't very good
comment:I considered this lens as an everyday replacement for the much bigger, heavier Minolta 28-135. My bottom line - I think this lens is over rated and there are better choices. On either APSC or full frame, this lens isn't bad at the short end, but suffers by comparison at 35mm and above. The f/3.5 spec is appealing, but by the time it reaches 50mm it is slower than either of the Minolta lenses I compared it to. Instead, for full frame, I'd go with either the Tamron 28-75 or Minolta 28-105 and then switch over to a telephoto lens. The zoom ring is really stiff on this lens, but maybe because it's new.
UPDATE for full frame digital. -7 micro adjustment for focus needed to achieve a good balance between 24mm f/3.5 and 135mm f/5.6. Conclusions above still stand; there are better choices than this for the same money, or less.
reviewer#7818 date: Aug-16-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-125/3.5-5.6 DC IF
Tamron 28-105/4-5.6
price paid:220 USD (Used)
positive:-Heavy, well built, professional grade glass
-Great focal range
-Great IQ
-Nice colors and contrast
-Full Frame
negative:-3.5-5.6
-Screw-driven AF (as opposed to SSM)
-Hood could be sturdier
-Full frame construction takes out wide end on APS-C
comment:Sharpness:

photos are a little soft wide open, stopped down to f/6.3-10, they become almost 3 dimensional. Detail resolved is excellent, IQ is well above regular consumer lenses, definitely worth of Tamron's SP designation. Sure, it's not the same quality as the most expensive G or CZ lenses, but it's also a fraction of the cost.

Color:

the color coming from this lens is very nice. Contrast benefits from a slight boost in PP, color from a very slight vibrancy increase in Aperture 3, though this will be more to individual photographer's tastes, IMO. Either way, colors are accurate and well saturated.

Build:

Build is very good. Plenty of metal, nice weight and heavily damped zoom and focus rings. Zoom creep is non-existent. The only thing that irks me about the build is that the second zoom extension is plastic, while the first is metal. Still, it's better built than cheaper lenses. Front and rear elements are very obviously coated, as shown by the conspicuous bright green tint.

Distortion & Flare:

Distortion is well controlled. Flare appeared when pointing directly into the sun with the sun near the edge of the frame. Also, i had no issues with vignetting on my A200 at any focal length/aperture

Overall:

a great lens, worth of being called professional grade. I would've paid the current new asking price of 399.99, but getting it for only 220 makes the whole deal even sweeter. A great walk around lens for FF and APS-C alike, though APS users will need something wider, as 24 becomes an equivalent 36mm.

With my own review system, it scored a 97/120, while the Sigma 18-125 scored 65/120 and the Tamron 28-105 scored 56/120. For comparison, the Sony 18-70 scored a 37/120.
reviewer#7121 date: Mar-19-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-200/2.8
Minolta 35-70/4.0
CZ 24-70/2.8
price paid:400 USD (new)
positive:Zoom range on FF
Light
Price
Build
negative:Sharpness at wide open
comment:Before, I use CZ 24-70/2.8 as walk-around, but CZ has small range, 1kg weight, huge size - useless in outdoor, in nature shooting.

I take this lens as walk-around for A850. Excellent range for FF, good quality (at F7.1-9), well build. In good light situation, at F8, I cannot see difference (without microscope) between CZ and this Tamron.

You could see some compare tests with
Tamron 70-200/2.8
Minolta 35-70/4.0
CZ 24-70/2.8
http://picasaweb.google.ru/ilipin01/MyqJTH#
reviewer#6941 date: Feb-21-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Small Beercan
Beercan
Large Beercan
Minolta 85mm 1.4 G
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Tamron 20mm 1.8
Sigma 90mm 2.8 macro
Minolta 24-105
Tamron 24-105 f/2.8
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8
Sigma 28-70 f/2.8
price paid:299 USD (new)
positive:Zoom Range
Size
Price
negative:Discontinued
Vignette at 24mm
comment:This is a great walk-around/vacation lens. The zoom range is quite usable, and the image quality is much better than expected. The lens is on the heavy size, but reasonable, given its zoom range and build quality. The Minolta 24-105 had failed to impress me, and I had been using the small beercan as my walk-around lens for some time. This lens has taken over that spot (I do miss the "macro" feature of the small beercan, but for casual shooting, this lens's range is more useful.)

On FF, at 24mm this lens does vignette quite a bit, especially wide open. The vignetting at 24mm does get much better by f/7.1, but never completely goes away. At 35mm and longer, there is very little vignette even wide open.

There is some barrel distortion at the wider end, but on a lens with this much zoom, some distortion is to be expected, and this lens does control the distortion very well. There is some CA in the corners, especially when wide open, but again, well controlled, and much better than I've seen in many lenses...an amount easily corrected in post processing.

Where this lens really shines is the IQ. No, its not a CZ prime lens, but for a zoom of this range, I was quite surprised by the IQ, much sharper than you would think at all the zoom lengths.

Focus speed is also good, taking a little over a second to zoom from closest to infinity and back. And, as noted by the reviewer before me, the front element does not rotate.

Edit: I should note, I'm using this lens on an a900, and have adjusted the Micro Focus, the lens back-focuses quite a bit (more than any other lens I own). Once corrected, the lens is very sharp, but on a camera body that does not have micro-focus-adjust, this lens would probably be unusable.
reviewer#6743 date: Jan-14-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-105mm (D)
Minolta 28-135mm
Sony 24-70mm ZA
price paid:$180 (New old stock)
positive:Convenient for daily photography
Excellent sharpness for such focal lengths
Well controlled flare
Well controlled distortion
Fully usable for full frame
Relatively cheap
negative:No new, digitally optimized version
Slightly bulky
No (D) function
Wish to have bigger aperture
comment:There have been several reviews on this lens previously. But I believe I am the first one reviewing it on A900 full frame camera.

This lens will surprise you! It has been discontinued and selling cheap. However, its IQ is almost as good as Sony 24-70mm ZA!

It is a shame that there are currently no good travel lenses available for A900/A850 FF camera. The IQ of Sony 24-70mm is great. But it is expensive, heavy and bulky. It is also not long enough in many occasions. Minolta 24-105mm (D) seems to be a great choice, until you find the terrible light fall off and subpar IQ when aperture is wide open. Minolta 28-135mm is better than 24-105mm in terms of IQ, except that this old lens has disastrous flare control, and does not focus close enough. I tried Tamron 28-300mm Di LD. Its IQ also disappoints!

I finally tried this 24-135mm lens. I am very surprised that it works so well with the FF DSLR! The distortion is small at 24mm. The resolution is good even at wide-open aperture, and really excellent at f5.6~8.0! The color and contrast is vibrant. The performance on the corners is also more than acceptable on FF images. It is not digitally optimized, but flare is controlled very well. To tell the truth, just stopping its aperture down by 1/2~1EV, I already can't tell the differences taken by this lens and 24-70mm ZA in the same focal range!

The previous reviewer says that the focus ring rotates during focusing, which I do not think so. It protrudes out during zooming, but the front thread does not rotate during AF.

I wish this lens could be slightly smaller, and larger apertures (like f2.8-4.0). Maybe I am asking too much! Although it is not a perfect lens, this is the best lens you can get so far for travel or everyday use on Sony FF cameras!
reviewer#6742 date: Jan-14-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50/1.7
Minolta 50/2.8 Macro
Minolta 35-105/3.5-4.5 original
Minolta 70-210/3.5-4.5
price paid:$200 (like new)
positive:Sharp
Contrast
Color
Build
Non-rotating filter during focusing
negative:Zoom lock
Slow AF, especially in low-light
Large filter diameter = expensive filters
Rotating focus ring
Not as contrasty
No D Function
comment:At first sight of this lens I was surprised at how bulky it was. My other lenses pale in comparison in terms of size and weight, and even heavier than the Minolta 35-105 metal version.

Now back to the review. I like the solid, heavy feel to it as it helps to balance out the body and lens for stabilization. The zoom ring is a bit stiff and heavily damped, so I wonder why the need for the zoom lock as it's not susceptible to zoom creep. The focusing ring rotates during focusing, so hand/finger placement is limited.

The sharpness easily surpasses all my other zoom lenses, but not as sharp as my primes, but not far behind. The colors are nice and vibrant, but not the Minolta colors I'm accustomed to. Photos are nicely saturated and rich, contrast is good too but adding some in PP wouldn't hurt. I was surprised at how nicely my pictures turned out, this has become my walk-around lens.

It hunts a lot in low-light conditions, but outdoors in good lighting conditions it's fairly fast, but not as fast the 35-105. It's my widest lens at the moment, so I end up having to use it for some indoor shooting, in which it doesn't showcase its best abilities. It shines outdoors and with its zoom range you probably won't have to switch between lenses. The bokeh isn't as nice and creamy as my lenses mentioned above. Also, the lack of D function is a drawback for flash users.

This is the most affordable wide-angle to mid-range lens, and the price to performance ratio should rank it at the top, in that regard. I wish it was a little faster, say 2.8-4.5 like its Sigma counterpart, then it'd be a near perfect lens for me. I'm probably gonna sell my 35-105 and 70-210 (been sitting on the sidelines) as this lens reduces the need for those two.
reviewer#6274 date: Oct-27-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Many other Minolta lenses. Sigma 28-105; Sigma 28-200 UC
price paid:
missing
positive:VERY SHARP even wide open.
negative:Slightly creeping zoom
comment:The Lens is very sharp indeed. Compared to some other Minolta lenses (28-85; 28-105; 35-105; 35-70 f4) ... and this one is superior. Highly advised!
reviewer#5789 date: Jul-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70, Sigma 24-60EX, Sigma 70-200EX, Minolta 28-80Xi, Minolta 35-200Xi and all my other lenses....
price paid:100 € second hand
positive:Good range, even on APS-C. (like the old 35-200 Xi lens on FF or film).
Quick autofocus. Can be used on APS-C and FF (my future a800?). Solidly build
negative:Not as fast as the Sigma 24-135. Slightly creeping zoom.
comment:This lens was bought because I could not resist to offer € 100,- on the internet. The guy who sold the lens accepted the offer. It's since then used as the walkaround lens on my 2nd body, the Sony a100.(nowadays the a700) I will only sell it if I can get a Sigma 24-135 for the same money...

Update: has Sigma ever built an 24-135 with the same quality???

Update: Wowww... this lens still is very sharp on my new A77! (Forget the future FF 'cause I own an A77 now).

Update II: sold it because I now own a Sigma 24-135. (And, more important; maybe I do buy a FF once....).
reviewer#5401 date: May-18-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:220 USD New
positive:Price, zoom range, sharpness, close focus
negative:a little distortion wide
comment:A great all around lens, especially in good light. i got some nice results across all focal lengths, nice colors (would have given 4.5). seems to be sharpest around f8. AF was fast in good light. a great looking lens, pretty compact given what it covers. build is good, very sturdy, no zoom creep. there is a small amount of distortion around 24-28mm, but not bad at all. a really nice lens, highly recommended.
reviewer#5370 date: May-11-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 18-70
Minolta 35-105
Tamron 28-75
Tamron 17-35
Minolta 100-300
price paid:150 USD
positive:-fantastic build quality
-very good range
-lens 'feels' and looks very good
-close focusing distance a plus
-inexpensive
negative:-not very sharp, particularly at tele end
-sllloooowwwww AF
-zoom lock too flimsy
comment:This lens is big and imposing, built like a tank, and covers a pretty decent range on APS-C, so what's not to like? Well, for starters, my copy (as always with Tamron lenses, sample variation may breed differing results) not only took ages to focus, but usually would focus on the wrong thing, and also showed a slight degree of backfocus. Sharpness was decent after resizing for the web, but pixel-peeping at full size showed it was one of my softest lenses.

I wasn't a big fan of the handling, either. The zoom ring is stiff, uneven, and clunky, and included is an unneeded zoom lock which tends to fall to the 'lock' position at the slightest nudge.

The closest thing I have to compare it to is the older Minolta 35-105/3.5-4.5 (the metal macro switch version). The Tamron has a better range, better build, and much better minimum focusing distance, but I found the Minolta to have superb color and to be much sharper across the zoom range, and to have much smoother handling.
reviewer#4589 date: Dec-28-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-105
Minolta 75-300
price paid:140 Ł
positive:Impressiv size
Good allround lens
Good pictures 24-135 mm
negative:Hunts a lot in low light!!
Size
comment:I gave 3 in build rating since this lens hunts so desperatly in low light situations. I sold this lens and bought minolta 24-105 insted. What a difference! Minolta lens is smaller, lighter and faster in low light situations.
Don´t missunderstand me. This Tamron lens IS good. If you use it in normal light, it´s wonderful.
I am using it indoor during dance- and gymnastic competions. Using it in dance is like in sports, fast photographing. In dancecompetions they use quite low light. I call it "Bedroomlight". Quite impossible, so I changed from A100 to A700 as well. A100 had some focusing problems in my opinion. A700 is much better. :)
reviewer#4494 date: Dec-8-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-200mm
Sony 18-70mm
Minolta 35-70mm
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Minolta 35-105mm
price paid:130 USD (used)
positive:Sharp
Build quality
Hefty
Looks great - Manly :)
Decent walkabout range
negative:Hunts for focus in low light (especially at the long end)
Focus a bit slow
72mm filters
comment: I have kind of a love/hate relationship with this lens. Most times, I take some photos and I'm really impressed by the sharpness. Other times...not so much. I haven't had the lens that long, so some of the problems with picture quality may very well have to do with me learning the lens. Outside in decent light and the lens really shines. Pictures are clear and sharp with nice contrast. The colors aren't nearly as warm and saturated as those from a Minolta lens, which sometimes is nice. You can always change that in PP. One problem that really drives me nuts however is the lens inability to consistently lock in focus in lower light situations. This is especially an issue when shooting at the longer focal lengths. I was trying to shoot across the width of an ice hockey rink and finally gave up and used manual focus. Fortunately, manual focus works great on this lens. In all fairness, because of the lighting and speed of the sport, taking game shots at local hockey rinks is very difficult for most non-pro lenses. That being said, my Minolta 35-105 does a pretty darn good job compared to any other lens I own. This Tammy however will prove to be a great walkabout lens, especially outside.
I know it's superficial, but I love the way the lens looks. It's a manly looking tool. The 72mm front might make filter users gripe, but boy, it sure looks cool! I personally like the weight and size of the lens, but some women and girly-men may find it to be a bit much. :)

I recommend this lens, if you can get it at a decent price. Just be prepared for the focusing issues in low light.
reviewer#4318 date: Nov-3-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-85 f3.5-4.5
Minolta 75-300 New
price paid:Ł99
positive:Sharpness
Colour
Build
Range
negative:Weight
72mm filters
comment:Like Nabreu I bought this lens because of the price and to reduce number of lens changes. I paid Ł99 in mint condition, I think it was new 'old stock' as it looked completely untouched in its packaging complete with warranty papers, case, and hood. The box says 'for Minolta Autofocus' not Sony. It retails in the UK for about Ł400.

Performance wise the lens is excellent, very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures (except at 135mm where it needs to be stopped down to f8). Colour rendition is very pleasing and I have not seen any CA or PF.
No distortion anf flare is very well controlled with the lens hood.

Only drawback; another set of filters.

At this price, a steal.
reviewer#3999 date: Aug-25-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300
Minolta 135 2.8
Minolta 28-105
Minolta 50 1.7
SONY 18-70
price paid:160 €
positive:Very good color reproduction
Usefull range
Sharp stoped down
Zoom lock
negative:A bit slow focusing
Fat but not big
comment:Got this lens for 2 reasons.
The range and it´s price (it´s sold new for 450€ and i got it mint by 160€)
It really is a usefull range.
The lens is sharp stoped down especially at 24~90 mm
It dosen´t focus very fast, even on the A700.
It´s a bit fat and heavy but i don´t mind espeacilly because it´s Full Frame.
reviews found: 49    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 49
  • sharpness: 4.32
  • color: 4.49
  • build: 4.55
  • distortion: 4.31
  • flare control: 4.20
  • overall: 4.37

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