Lens review

Tamron SP 15-30 mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

17 March 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

  • solid casing,
  • sensational image quality in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • acceptable image quality on the edge of full frame,
  • negligible longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • properly corrected lateral chromatic aberration,
  • slight spherical aberration,
  • lack of distortion problems on the smaller detector,
  • low vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • lack of serious coma problems,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • fast, silent and accurate autofocus,
  • better price than that of the rivals,
  • 5-year guarantee period


  • significant distortion on the wide angle of full frame,
  • work against bright light could have been better.

You can argue long and loudly whether it is easier to design a 15-30 mm or a 14-24 mm lens. You can also discuss passionately what is more important: one millimeter at the wide end or six millimeters at the long one. One thing is true: both the Tamron 15-30 mm and the Nikkor 14-24 mm are lenses difficult to produce and they got in our tests similarly high results. If I had to choose a winner of that duel I would point at the Tamron but I have to say it was only slightly better. Its advantages consist not only of the good test results; its price, compared to that of the Nikkor, is better, it features optical stabilization and it comes with a five-year long warranty period.

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When it comes to the duel with the Canon EF 16–35 mm f/2.8L USM II the Tamron wins hands down. The Canon was able to compete successfully only in the frame centre, on the edge of the frame it was definitely worse. Still it is possible to use filters with it, a quite important asset in this class of parameters.

To sum up the boasting of Tamron about the superior quality of their new lens proved to be true. The company managed to present a device which compares favourably with its rivals, is cheaper, has optical stabilization and a 5-year warranty period - it would be difficult not to recommend it. Independent producers have been proving for some time that they are no longer specializing in cheap equivalents of brand name lenses. The Tamron 15-30 mm is an excellent example of that strategy.