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

reviewer#9343 date: Aug-18-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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 used to own this lens
compared to:MI 24-85/3.5-4.5
KM 28-75/2.8
price paid:€ 145 (nos)
negative:slowish autofocus.
a bit heavier then I would like for backpacking
comment:I was looking for something with extended zoom on my A850 (like 16-80 on my A700) for backpacking. I stumbled over this one.
I have been using it for a months now under several conditions. Focus can be slowish. Not a problem for static subjects but sports will be challenging (understatement).
Image quality is pretty good.
Color is satisfactory to good (I would say on par with 24-85; better then Sigma 17-70 and 16-80).
Sharpness is pretty good for this older zoom. As expected stopping down improves things. I shot in low light with high ISO (1250) and was not dissapointed at all.
No experience with flare so far.
Distortions is decent (indoor shots from groups in confined spaces). Have not checked on lines in the border area though.

A850 with lens fits in a Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50AW.
With its 530 grams and A850 I carry a bit more weight in my backpack. However range and image quality justify the load (for me).

Updated info on sharpness (all open aperture):
@24 mm Mi 24-85 is better then Tamron 24-135.
@28 mm Mi24-85 is best, Tamron 24-135 is close and KM28-75 is worst.
@75 mm KM 28-75 and T 24-135 are best and Mi 24-85 is worst.
@85 mm and beyond no competition for Tammy but IQ is good to very good.

Updated on flare:
Used during a bicycle trip through France. The lens showed somewhat more flare then I expected. Reduced the rating to a 4.

Nevertheless: very much recommended.
If one is looking for a lens with an extended range starting @ 24mm, this is definitely one to consider.
I have no info on sample variation and use it solely on A850 (micro-adjust). There is no obtrusive vignetting (far less then 24-105).

Unfortunately not manufactured anymore.

Shaprness reduced to 3.5 because of corners. Stopping down gives only little improvement.

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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