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Lens review

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD

20 November 2019
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of the Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD and its similar reflex camera rivals. As you see, the Tamron with the Canon are physically the biggest and the heaviest; they also feature the biggest filter mount. At the same time they are the most complex devices when it comes to optics.

 In the photo below the Tamron is positioned between two full frame 35 instruments: the Canon EF 35 mm f/2 IS USM and the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, 31 mm in diameter. That element is positioned on the same level as the contacts when you set the focus at infinity; when you pass to the minimum focusing distance, it hides over 1 cm inside the casing, revealing a nicely blackened, matted and ribbed tube. Near the very edge of the element you can notice a slit but, glancing inside through it, you can't see any inner parts of the lens.

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Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality

A rubber gasket joined with a silver, immobile ring made of metal, is the first feature of the proper lens. That ring turns into a black, smooth barrel with a white marker, making an alignment with a camera easier. Behind that marker you see a window with a distance scale, expressed in feet and meters (but without any DOF scale). Looking from above on the right side of that window you find the name and parameters of the lens and a silver badge with SP letters. On the left side you see the focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/FM). Even further on there is information that the lens was designed in Japan but produced in China and it needs filters 72 mm in diameter.

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality

The next part of the lens is a manual focus ring, as wide as 33 mm, completely covered by rubber ribs. It moves evenly and is properly damped and the focus throw amounts to an angle of about 150 degrees. It is a sensible value, allowing you quite precise settings.

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality

Behind the focus ring you also see a hood mount inside which you get a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

The front element is over 4.5 cm in diameter, slightly hidden in the black, ribbed tube. Contrary to the element featured by the Tamron 1.8/35 VC, it doesn't move.

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality

The Tamron SP 35 mm f /1.4 Di USD features rubber gaskets around all unsheltered parts – they are supposed to ward rain and dampness off. The front element is coated with a fluorine compound to repell water and dirt. It also makes the glass easier to clean.

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 14 elements positioned in 10 groups and the producers weren't skimpy with special elements either. You can find as many as four elements made of low dispersion LD glass, and three moulded aspherical ones. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.

The Tamron SP 35 mm f /1.4 Di USD is the first lens of this producer using a new BBAR-G2 antireflection coating, which is supposed to be better than the original BBAR when it comes to dampen down ghosting and flares while providing higher transmission.

Buyers get in the box: both caps, a petal-type hood and a soft storage bag.

Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.4 Di USD - Build quality