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Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Review

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Review - John Riley reviews Tamron's new 35mm f/1.4 lens, designed to be Tamron's best ever lens, does it deliver the goods? Find out in our review.

| Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD in Interchangeable Lenses

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Review: Tamron 35mm F1,4 Front Oblique View

It would seem that Tamron have been on a bit of a roll, with some very desirable new lenses; the recent 17-28mm and 35-150mm both gaining the accolade of Editor's Choice. This new lens celebrates the 40th Anniversary of their premium SP range and is the result of Tamron's instructions to the design team to produce “the best possible lens”. This is ambitious indeed, in a world that has many superb lenses already in existence, so let's see how it performs and handles using the 50MP Canon EOS 5DS R. Will this lens complete a hat trick of Editor's Choices and live up to being the best lens Tamron have ever produced?


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Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Handling and Features

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Review: Tamron 35mm F1,4 On Canon 5DSR With Hood

The initial impression is of a large lens for a 35mm f/1.4 prime, even a full frame one, and it duly weighs in at 815g for the Canon version and 805g for the Nikon. Canon have been using electromagnetic diaphragms for some time and this new lens also uses this for the Nikon version. This means that some older Nikon bodies will not be compatible. The lens is clearly well made and gives excellent balance with the Canon EOS 5DS R.

A substantial petal lens hood is provided. This has a secure locking catch that stays secure and has no tendency to work loose. The bayonet fit is smooth. Within this is a standard 72mm filter thread. The front element is coated with a fluorine compound to repel grease, water and dirt. The anti reflection coatings are described as BBAR G2, meaning a second generation of Tamron's Broad Band Anti Reflection multi-coating.

The broad manual focusing ring is also active during AF, so immediate fine tuning can be made whilst AF is being used. The action is smooth and precise and is mechanical, so focusing can be adjusted whilst the camera is switched off. Focusing is down to 0.3m, or 11.8 inches, a maximum magnification of 1:5. This is what we would expect from a 35mm lens.

Behind the focusing ring is a transparent window that reveals the distance scale, marked clearly in feet and metres. There is no depth of field scale. Finally there is just the one AF/MF switch.

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Review: Tamron 35mm F1,4 Front Element View

Optical construction is 14 elements in 10 groups. There are 4 LD (Low Dispersion) and 3 GM (Glass Moulded Aspherical) elements. The focusing group is quite heavy, so a new heavy duty Dynamic Rolling Cam Mechanism has been designed to ensure efficient and fast AF. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades which offer a circular aperture, even up to 2 stops down.

The lens is also moisture resistant thanks to the inclusion of various seals at key points, always a welcome feature.

The lens is also compatible with Tamron's TAP-in console (TAP-01), via which updates and some fine adjustments of lens parameters can be made. For example, the AF can be fine tuned to suit.

It is a compliment to the lens that there is very little else that can be said about it. It is truly unobtrusive in operation. Of course this is ideal for the classic applications for a 35mm optic, such as street photography or group portraits, as well as architecture or landscape. The lens becomes an almost invisible extension of our eyes and for many this has been seen as an ideal standard lens, wider than the usual 50mm but still offering realistic imaging without distortion.

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045) Review: Tamron 35mm F1,4 Rear Oblique View

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Oxygenum Avatar
Oxygenum 10 6 Poland
11 Sep 2019 1:56PM
No Pentax mount ? Bu... :-(
Offertonhatter Avatar
11 Sep 2019 8:05PM

Quote:No Pentax mount ? Bu... :-(

I know. and with Sigma stopping production of K-mount lenses. (not a big one now, as the only FF lens was the 35mm F1.4 Art), it means that the only option for an AF 35mm is Pentax themselves, and that is "only" F2.
Having said that, it is a rather wonderful small sharp F2 lens. I recently got the SMC-FA version for not a lot of money, and I love it.
Still, if you want F1.4, the only option now is the Samyang and that is not AF
But.......Will Pentax/Ricoh have a deal with Tamron to make this lens in Pentax branded K-mount? Or go down the shared engineering route and Tokina? Either way, there is the elephant in the room and the wonderful but expensive 31mm F1.8 Limited.

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