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

reviewer#9304 date: Aug-6-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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:Min 24/2.8RS
Min 24-135
KM 24-105
Sony 135/1.8 ZA
price paid:235 usd new
positive:Handy size
True colors
Light weight
72mm filters
negative:Fiddly shade
comment:I think I prefer this lens to my imperfect Min 28-135. I really dislike my KM 24105.

The Tam 24135 has a lens shade -- as small and useless as the Min 24 shade. But if you've ever dropped your camera to find the shade sacrificed itself and saved your camera, mount and lens, you'll never go without a shade again. The Min 28135 doesn't have a shade.

It's the same length as the Min 28135 when extended, but much smaller, and lighter than the Min when closed. It's not ADI fitted, but neither is the 28135, and I scarcely use flash. It is half a stop slower at the long end, but again I often set my camera to ISO 400 so don't notice it.

It has a zoom lock. The Min 28135 does not.

Like the 28135, it uses 72mm filters, which I like (since I've got the Tok 17, Min 85G, 200G and 100400, which all take 72s.)

The colors are excellent, almost as good as the Min 28135, and slightly better than the Min 24 (which lacks contrast.) This lens of course is not as clear as the Zeiss 135 -- but I like its colors better.

The quality of the image is very high. It is necessary to be very careful in focussing, otherwise there is blur or wobble or a poor result. The Min 28135 is more robust in focussing. The Zeiss is instant. But, when focus is on, there is almost nothing to discern in images from the 28135 and the 24135. The Tam has a useful quasi-macro range (a MFD of half a meter) which autofocusses. I like the Min 28135's blue macro switch, but it's far less convenient.

My Min 28135 clunks when put onto the camera, has the focus ring in the wrong place for me, is noisy generally, creeps, has no shade and shows the signs of hard use (which it has had!) The Tam 24135 has a slightly wider reach (which I don't use much,) is silent, stable, shaded, with utterly satisfactory colors and quite acceptable image quality. For me, it is better overall, and it's going to pair with my Min 100400.


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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