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

reviewer#9832 date: Jan-22-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
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:carl zeiss 16-80mm
Sony 18-250mm
price paid:£160
positive:great range
decent sharpness
negative:SLOW AF
nervous bokeh
pincushion distortion
impossible to get ideal micro adjustment
comment:Since getting a A850 i was looking for a FF equivalent to the CZ 16-80mm and sadly i don't think there's quite a match on FF but this tamron does a reasonable job but ultimately (other than build) the CZ out classes this lens in everyway (sharp wide open, faster AF, better bokeh etc). That said the CZ is at least double the price 2nd hand so long as you can live with the slow AF and image quality closer to the 18-250mm then you'll be happy with this lens.

One of the problem with this is there's focus shift so it's impossible to set a micro adjustment that's ideal throughout the zoom range, squeezing the best out of this lens at the long end can mean you get softer results at the short end and vice versa. The issue is most pronounced when you're shooting wide open so in the end I've decided to optimise this lens for shooting at f5.6 which in my case needed a -13 micro adjustment.

Despite all these buts I still think it's a worthwhile FF lens, or rather all the alternative walkabout lenses have their own share of drawbacks such as long MFD, CA, worse range etc in the case of the minolta 28-135mm/35-105mm.

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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