Tamron AF 20-40mm F2.7-3.5 Aspherical IF A-mount lens review by fulford

reviewer#3853 date: Jul-14-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 20-35mm, Sigma 24mm/2.8, Sigma 10-20mm,kit 18-70mm, Minolta 28-135mm, minolta 50mm 1.7, Tamron 90mm macro.
price paid:
positive:Sharpness +++
Colour and contrast
f2.8 to 28mm
Full Frame
Slight front focus at wide end
comment:This is review is for the gold ring version which is the later version.

Either mine is an exceptional copy or the previous poster must have go a subpar copy ???

I have to say, WOW! What a surprise lens. I had been looking for a good wide angle prime for a while that would fit on a ff camera. After getting and using this lens I no longer wanted or needed a wide primes.

This les is sharper than all of the above listed lenses except for the tamron 90mm macro, even when compaired macro lens there is not that much in it. It is sharper than my copys of the sigma 20mm 2.8 and the Minolta 50mm 1.7. Oh by the way it is very sharp off the bat from its widest apeture. Yes it is that good.

Colour is very natural and displays skin tones nicely as well giving good colour for landscape work. Actually the colour is very close to the Tamron 90mm macro.

The lens displays excellent micro contrast. Images from it do actually display that 3d look that some very sharp high quality lenses give.

CA is well controled.

Bokeh is very good nice and buttery. IMO possibly better than the Minolta 50mm 1.7.

If was I to sum this lens up from a image quality perspective is that it is very much like the Tamron 90mm macro but in a wide angle zoom lens.

Distortion seems well controled on APS, havent explored distortion that much on film/FF though.

Build is very good with only one slight negative is that the focus ring could do with dampening. My copy has a slight front focus issue, however it only a minor bother as it is only effects the wide end, which I manly use for landscape work. From what I have researched about this lens, is that it was an expensive lens when it was available in the mid nineties and the build quality reflects this. A 4.5 score woud have been more appropiate for this but not option

The main concern with this lens is the flair control. However, I do use this lens without a lens hood as my copy was bought without one. I usualy shade with my hand it when becomes an issue and therefore I don't find it that much of a bother. IMO lens flair and wide angle lenses usually go hand in hand anyway.

20-40mm on a FF is a good range IMO wide enough on wide end and coming out to near 50mm which is all I need for landscape work. This on the wide and a good telezoom would cover most of my walk around stuff.

So if you want a fast, very sharp wide angle Zoom that will fit on a FF and likely to resolve 24mp for most of the frame and you would happy with 20-40mm, this lens is really worth a serious look.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.75
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 3.75
  • flare control: 3.50
  • overall: 4.35
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