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

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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 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.

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
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania