Tamron SP AF 24-135mm F3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro A-mount lens review by monte920

reviewer#6743 date: Jan-14-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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 24-105mm (D)
Minolta 28-135mm
Sony 24-70mm ZA
price paid:$180 (New old stock)
positive:Convenient for daily photography
Excellent sharpness for such focal lengths
Well controlled flare
Well controlled distortion
Fully usable for full frame
Relatively cheap
negative:No new, digitally optimized version
Slightly bulky
No (D) function
Wish to have bigger aperture
comment:There have been several reviews on this lens previously. But I believe I am the first one reviewing it on A900 full frame camera.

This lens will surprise you! It has been discontinued and selling cheap. However, its IQ is almost as good as Sony 24-70mm ZA!

It is a shame that there are currently no good travel lenses available for A900/A850 FF camera. The IQ of Sony 24-70mm is great. But it is expensive, heavy and bulky. It is also not long enough in many occasions. Minolta 24-105mm (D) seems to be a great choice, until you find the terrible light fall off and subpar IQ when aperture is wide open. Minolta 28-135mm is better than 24-105mm in terms of IQ, except that this old lens has disastrous flare control, and does not focus close enough. I tried Tamron 28-300mm Di LD. Its IQ also disappoints!

I finally tried this 24-135mm lens. I am very surprised that it works so well with the FF DSLR! The distortion is small at 24mm. The resolution is good even at wide-open aperture, and really excellent at f5.6~8.0! The color and contrast is vibrant. The performance on the corners is also more than acceptable on FF images. It is not digitally optimized, but flare is controlled very well. To tell the truth, just stopping its aperture down by 1/2~1EV, I already can't tell the differences taken by this lens and 24-70mm ZA in the same focal range!

The previous reviewer says that the focus ring rotates during focusing, which I do not think so. It protrudes out during zooming, but the front thread does not rotate during AF.

I wish this lens could be slightly smaller, and larger apertures (like f2.8-4.0). Maybe I am asking too much! Although it is not a perfect lens, this is the best lens you can get so far for travel or everyday use on Sony FF cameras!

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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