Tamron AF 20-40mm F2.7-3.5 Aspherical IF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 5   
reviewer#44378 date: Oct-7-2019
sharpness: 2.5
color: 2
build: 3
distortion: 2
flare control: 2
overall: 2.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:none
price paid:170
positive:20 mm that can zoom to 40 quicker than changing lenses. similar price to 20mm. Is awesome at 20mm for a non rangefinder wide if you manage to avoid flare. It may perform like a heavy prime 20 with too many elements to resist flare. I have the lens for Canon and Nikon. Nikon version compatible with Nikon F; not a Gtarded gelded lens. I have not scanned negatives to compare so on film it might perform better and match MTF tests (some negstive results may be sensor reflectivety or, may be sensor angle limitations rather than the lens's MTF) it has low distortion and chromatic aberration. May perform better at 40 at closer focus. Durable; might survive self defense use.
negative:it weighs more than a 20mm prime. It is prone to flare, at least on digital and can even pick up reflections of the surrounding material between the filter ring and the glass 180 flare angle. I don't know if the 40 mm isn't designed for digital sensor angels, or just to prone to flare. Many times I can tell the difference zoomed to 40, compared to Nikon and Canon 50mm. It has not replaced my 35mm F2. Flare can affect the lens so much that it either lower the contrast significantly, or effects auto focus. Flare can cause one picture to be disappointingly soft while the next picture is impressively sharp, and resolves the individual threads on clothing. The minimum focus distance is greater than most wide primes.
comment:I have the Canon mount version of this lens. I wanted something that wasn't too expensive yet very sharp. I almost bought a used 20-35 2.8L but was put off by some of the negative comments and mixed reviews. After reading the reviews on this lens and the fact I decided to take a chance on it. The fact that it was almost $200.00 cheaper new than the used Canon was a nice plus. I am very happy with this lens. The build quality is very good and feels solid in your hands. It has a metal mount though most of the lens is a well finished plastic. As with all wide angle lenses the filter size is large and will cost extra dollars for them. This is because it requires a large filter to prevent vignetting caused by a filter. However, I still recommend a thin filter for this lens. On a DSLR it is only barely wide enough but it does the job. It is very sharp and even the edges are good by f4 at all focal lenghts. It is quick focusing but noisy and is not prone to hunting under normal lighting. Also, it is fast with 2.8 being the maximum aperture out to about 28mm retaining its speed through most of the focal length. There is some barrel distortion at 20mm but clears up by 28mm. Since most lenses at this length are prone to distortion this isn't much of a problem (and this lens is better than most). Vignetting is present at 20mm as well but is gone by f5.6. At 40mm it was not noticeable. I also took some "test" shots of the sky and dark edges (for a worst case scenario) and chromatic aberration was virtually non-existent at any focal length. There is a slight tendency towards the warm side but not objectionable in the way it renders color. If you don't like it though just change the white balance. Just as an aside, most probably wouldn't notice this unless two pics of the same scene with different lenses are used. Lastly, flare is bad. You will have to avoid shooting into any bright light sources and the included hood isn't much help. If you can find one of these lenses BUY IT.

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reviewer#44367 date: Sep-3-2019
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 21-35
price paid:£100 GBP used
positive:Sharp
Minolta like colour
Inexpensive
negative:Range on cropped sensor - 30-60
comment:Very sharp lens across the range

Colours more saturated than the Sigma with similar sharpness

Nice lens for street photography.
reviewer#11434 date: Nov-5-2013
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 kit lens, Min O 28-85,Min O 35-70 f4.
price paid:280USD (new)
positive:Colors seem to be very accurate. I have little PP to do when I use this lens. It is quite sharp throughout its' range. It autofocuses very fast on both my A300 and A700. Build quality is superb, I see no problems with this lens. Manual focusing is very smooth on my lens.
negative:It's a little heavy at 515g, but not too bad for walking around. Without the hood you may experience some flare; since the first element is spherical.There is a little bit of distortion when I shoot too close to a building at 20mm.It is correctable in PP.
comment:My lens is the gold ring version (266D). I bought it new in the box at my local camera shop.It has performed admirably in all situations. I needed a lens with a wide end similar to the kit lens, but with better sharpness and color. This lens fits the need perfectly. It has wider aperture at the wide end (f2.7) which helps with some of the indoor shots. The colors are very close to the Minolta colors of my beercan lenses. My kit lens was a little cold and not especially sharp.

update Mar 2017: This lens is really performing even better on my A6000. I use it in conjunction with the LA-AE2.I also found a profile for Lightroom which corrects distortion at it's short end.
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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:
missing
positive:Sharpness +++
Build
Ballance-weight/size
Colour and contrast
Bokeh
f2.8 to 28mm
Full Frame
Price
negative:Flair
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.
reviewer#994 date: Jul-7-2006
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Min 35-70 f/4
price paid:
missing
positive:Relatively sharp at the wide end, compared to other wide zooms.
negative:Prone to flare, and not wide enough on digital
comment:I loved the range of this lens on film, but its not quite wide enough on digital, and it's older design makes it more prone to flare. Until I see something definitively better and wider though, I'm not giving up on it.
reviews found: 5   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 4.30
  • color: 4.20
  • build: 4.60
  • distortion: 3.40
  • flare control: 3.20
  • overall: 3.94

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