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

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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 51
  • sharpness: 4.33
  • color: 4.47
  • build: 4.51
  • distortion: 4.29
  • flare control: 4.22
  • overall: 4.36
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