Tamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di USD A-mount lens review by waldo_posth

reviewer#26543 date: Apr-4-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-Samyang F/2.8 14mm
-Carl Zeiss Distagon F/2.8 21mm (ZF.2)
-Minolta AF F/2.8 24mm
-Carl Zeiss Distagon F/2.8 28mm (Contax)
price paid:Euro 1000 (new)
positive:-very good colors
-only minimal distortion, vignetting and CAs
-amazingly flare resistant
-very sharp, even at F/2.8 (center and mid-field)
-weather-sealed
-silent and fast AF
negative:-very bulky (but not as heavy as one would expect)
-no filter thread - needs expensive filter solutions (but they are available)
comment:This lens has an amazing IQ - it has pleasing colors, it is sharp on a level getting close to the Zeiss WAs, it shows almost no distortion and vignetting. Whereas distortion may be negligible for landscape photography even a low level of it will be obvious in architecture photography. This lens is a perfect tool for architecture photography - even without using lens profiles.
The strength of the lens lies between 15 and 24mm, images at 30mm loose a bit of crispness (but are still very good).
The body is made of some new type of plastic that feels quite solid - the same type that is used in all more recent Tamron designs, but it is certainly not as solid as the 21mm Distagon (which is built like a tank).
The real disadvantage of this lens is its size - it's really bulky! But the plastic certainly helps to keep its weight down - it's still a balanced combo with the A99. That the protruding front element does not allow for a filter thread is certainly another negative element - but I think the positive side of it is the amazing IQ (on par with the Nikkor F/2.8 14-24mm which also has no filter thread). There are very good work-arounds like the filter holder offered by Haida for this lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.90
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