Lens review

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

16 October 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

  • solid, stylish and moisture resistant casing,
  • minimum focusing distance already from 0.20 of a meter,
  • very good image quality in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the APS-C sensor,
  • acceptable image quality on the edge of full frame,
  • moderate longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • very low lateral chromatic aberration,
  • no issues connected to spherical aberration,
  • very low distortion,
  • sensibly nice out-of-focus areas
  • slight astigmatism
  • vignetting noticeably lower than in the case of rivals
  • silent and rather accurate autofocus
  • efficient image stabilization
  • five-year warranty


  • weak performance against bright light,
  • autofocus should have been faster.

When you start comparing the tests of two new Tamrons you can notice a very important thing: the list of pros and cons is not enough if you want to know the real value of a given lens. The Tamron SP 1.8/45 has officially less cons and more strong points but, in my humble opinion, out of these two the Tamron SP 1.8/35 is a better instrument. It stems from the fact that producing a good 1.8/35 device is more difficult than producing a 1.8/45 lens. Tamron did a splendid job here, offering a construction which is better than its direct rivals, the Canon EF 35 mm f/2 IS USM and the Nikkor AF-S 35 mm f/1.8G ED in almost all categories. What’s more, it is faster than the first one and it is stabilized, contrary to the second one. Apart from that the Tamron has a better minimum focusing distance, a higher build quality and more advantageous warranty conditions than both of them. It is more expensive but you should remember the Canon 2/35 IS cost 2999 PLN after its launch as well.

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Like in the case of the 1.8/45 model once again the biggest problem of the Tamron is called the Sigma. The A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM is a bit more expensive than the tested lens and its warranty conditions are worse but it is faster aperture-wise, it comes with a better accessory kit and it is sharper in the frame centre. Still it should be noticed that the Tamron managed to compete successfully with the Sigma in several categories (e.g. when it came to the sharpness on the edge of the frame, vignetting or distortion).

Say what you might, we live in interesting times. In the journalistic 35 mm class the Tamron and the Sigma vie for the first place and products of Canon and Nikon drop to the bottom of the group. Still their superior autofocus performance might be their most important selling point and I don’t doubt plenty of potential buyers might be swayed by it.