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

reviewer#9765 date: Jan-8-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:Leica D-Lux 2
price paid:199 USD (new)
positive:Takes good photos
negative:Heavy
Can't figure out how to use it
comment:Several reviewers have said this lens is their "walk-around" "travel" lens.

For the past 5 years, my walk-around/travel/everything has been my Leica D-Lux 2 point and shoot. So far as I'm concerned, if that's the category, then the Leica is the competition.

How does this lens stack up? First of all, it cost a LOT less than the Leica. But the lens by itself weighs more and takes up more room. (Remember: walk-around/travel lens) The Tamron is also slower than the Leica. I think of it as an out-door lens. I can't imagine trying to use it in a museum or historic building. Even if it would work, the af hunts and hunts in low light, whereas the Leica just takes the picture.

The Tamron takes nice photos, better photos than the Leica. Much better. They're sharper with a lot less flare. It also has a longer focal length. However, the Leica will shoot much broader, which can be useful, too.

If I had to choose between taking this lens and my battered up old Leica on a long-distance (i.e., ocean-crossing) trip, I would be flummoxed.
I don't see this as either a walk-around or a travel lens for me and the things I like to do. If was going to be outdoors all the time, it would be different, but I'm a restaurant/museum/historic building kind of traveler, not a hiking/camping/mountain climber kind.

I'm going to keep the lens because it does take nice photos. I'll figure out what to do with it as time goes by.

Correction: On the off-chance that some lost soul might actually take my review seriously, I feel I must correct what I said above. First, I'm new to the world of slt; bought a Sony a55 last fall, and have been trying to figure it out ever since.

I've been unhappy with the low-light colors I've gotten right along. The faster the lens, the better it did, but still unhappy. This lens in particular made low-light photos that were orangey, grainy and blotchy. I would be embarrassed to show them to my cat. Tonight, I figured out that I can change the white balance in the camera. (I still don't really know what white balance IS, btw.) It turns out, that meddling with the white balance can really improve the way your camera handles light.

It made all my lenses better, but it REALLY turned this one around ! It still has a firm hold on last place in my affections. But it will give you a usable low-light photo is you just know how to use the camera.

Now, I'll have to learn how to adjust it for other lighting. But I've found a pretty good recipe for my living room.

Summary: I think this lens is a lot better in more capable hands than it is in mine.

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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