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Lens review

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD

20 November 2019
Maciej Lata³³o

11. Summary


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Pros:

  • solid, sealed and stylish casing,
  • sensational image quality in the frame centre,
  • excellent image quality on the edge of the APS-C sensor,
  • very good image quality on the edge of full frame,
  • lack of problems with longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • negligible lateral chromatic aberration,
  • moderate distortion
  • good coma correction,
  • sensible correction of astigmatism,
  • low vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • nice appearance of out-of-focus areas,
  • silent and accurate autofocus,
  • 5 year warranty.

Cons:

  • some problems connected with spherical aberration,
  • high vignetting on full frame,
  • performance against bright light could have been at least a tad better.
The Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD is a really sensational lens and I think its most serious flaw is not included in the cons section above. The real problem is that its launch was 5-6 years too late. I really would give anything to see the faces of Sigma top managers if the Tamron, tested here, was an immediate response to their Art 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM model. It would be a real show...

Currently the Tamron, even being an excellent instrument in itself, has to compete with many Sigmas. The Sigma A 1.4/35 seems a sensible alternative, being smaller, lighter and cheaper by more than 1000 PLN. If you are not afraid of heavy lenses and low price is not your priority you can also get interested in the Sigma A 1.4/28 and the 1.4/40. Of course it doesn't change the fact that all prospective buyers of the Tamron, which costs 4700 PLN (a paltry sum of money, compared to the sums you have to spend on optically inferior Canon and Nikon lenses) will be very happy with their purchase.

Anyway, you have to agree we live in interesting times. In the flagship 1.4/35 category Canon, Nikon and Zeiss lenses are defeated by products of Tamron and Sigma and still, somehow, they don't hesitate to ask a lot more for their devices...