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

reviewer#6941 date: Feb-21-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Small Beercan
Beercan
Large Beercan
Minolta 85mm 1.4 G
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Tamron 20mm 1.8
Sigma 90mm 2.8 macro
Minolta 24-105
Tamron 24-105 f/2.8
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8
Sigma 28-70 f/2.8
price paid:299 USD (new)
positive:Zoom Range
Size
Price
negative:Discontinued
Vignette at 24mm
comment:This is a great walk-around/vacation lens. The zoom range is quite usable, and the image quality is much better than expected. The lens is on the heavy size, but reasonable, given its zoom range and build quality. The Minolta 24-105 had failed to impress me, and I had been using the small beercan as my walk-around lens for some time. This lens has taken over that spot (I do miss the "macro" feature of the small beercan, but for casual shooting, this lens's range is more useful.)

On FF, at 24mm this lens does vignette quite a bit, especially wide open. The vignetting at 24mm does get much better by f/7.1, but never completely goes away. At 35mm and longer, there is very little vignette even wide open.

There is some barrel distortion at the wider end, but on a lens with this much zoom, some distortion is to be expected, and this lens does control the distortion very well. There is some CA in the corners, especially when wide open, but again, well controlled, and much better than I've seen in many lenses...an amount easily corrected in post processing.

Where this lens really shines is the IQ. No, its not a CZ prime lens, but for a zoom of this range, I was quite surprised by the IQ, much sharper than you would think at all the zoom lengths.

Focus speed is also good, taking a little over a second to zoom from closest to infinity and back. And, as noted by the reviewer before me, the front element does not rotate.

Edit: I should note, I'm using this lens on an a900, and have adjusted the Micro Focus, the lens back-focuses quite a bit (more than any other lens I own). Once corrected, the lens is very sharp, but on a camera body that does not have micro-focus-adjust, this lens would probably be unusable.

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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