Follow Up: Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD. In one word, versatile.

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Recently reviewed this lens.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

Repeating what I said then, I had great expectations for this lens. This was based on my previous Tamron lens experiences back into the DSLR days. Even included a walk down Tamron memory lane.

  1. I had already made peace with the lower-priced, great performing 70-180mm sacrifice of not reaching 200mm so 150mm would do.
  2. Here is a lens that could potentially replace two lenses if I am willing to make the further sacrifice of 35mm instead of 28mm at the wide end. This would cover 35mm to 150mm with one camera.
  3. Two lenses, two bodies covering 17mm to 150mm without having to switch lenses. I would have loved to have had that extra width during the wedding shoot I did in last days of the before times.

And the 35-150mm not only met but exceeded all of my expectations.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

After a little more time I can still report that the 35-150mm was everything the previous Tamron lenses were, but better. Better how?

I already listed the usual suspects in the last post so I will list my user experience addendums below.

Size and Weight

In the last post my focus was on comparing the 35-150mm to the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 and Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8, but that only tells half the story. As I walked about with the 35-150mm recently it dawned on me. I have never done this with either of those other lenses. While they were versatile for portraiture they were limited in everyday use due not only to their size, but from starting at 70mm. I do enjoy that focal length, but it is nearly useless in tight confines. 50mm would be needed at least. Well in a package not much heavier than one and considerably lighter than the other I not only had 50mm available to me but 35mm as well.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
35mm

And then you can in the next moment make full use of the 150mm focal length.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
150mm

This additional flexibility is very useful and easily makes up for the added weight compared to the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 and a no-brainer compared to the Sony 70200mm f/2.8.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXDTamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di IIISony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II
Optical Design21 Elements in 15 Groups19 Elements in 14 Groups17 Elements in 14 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded9, Rounded11, Rounded
Image StabilizationNoNoYes
Filter Size82 mm (Front)67 mm (Front)77 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.5 x 6.2″ / 89 x 158 mm3.19 x 5.87″ / 81 x 149 mm3.5 x 7.8″ / 88 x 200mm
Weight2.57 lb / 1166 g1.78 lb / 810 g4.13 lb / 1873g

Minimum Focus Distance

While not macro level more than acceptable compared to the others.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXDTamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di IIISony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II
Minimum Focus Distance13″ / 33 cm10.63″ / 27 cm15.7″ / 40 cm

For close focus I would be happy taking a shot at the closest focus distance at 35mm followed by a bit of cropping.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8

So what of the downsides mentioned previously that were not quite downsides?

150mm vs. 180mm vs. 200mm

As stated before a non-issue in actual use. That is about it.

Flare

Same. Shooting directly into the sun there can be a bit of haze in my experience so far. But this is something I rarely do and it is easily avoided. Non-issue all things considered.

No image stabilization.

Non issue in actual use. Here is a shot taken on the fly at 150mm, the most challenging focal length for IBIS with terrible hand holding technique. In other words worst care scenario.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8

Extends on zoom

Again. Not only a non-issue in actual use, but quite handy out and about. Much preferable to the larger Sony 70-200mm f/2.8.

UP SIDES

Switches/Buttons

Again. Well done.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

Build

This lens has a better build than I gave it credit for previously. I tested this by accident. I sat this lens on a hard surface in a vehicle. I did not realize it but while driving around there was enough movement to potentially scratch the surface of the lens. What I first thought was a mark just brushed off without a trace left behind. I can ask no better than this.

Price

This lens can serve as a replacement for many primes (35mm, 45mm or 50mm, 75mm, 85mm, and 135mm). Many prime lenses in this range are no faster than the 35-150mm. And for those that are I would happily accept a less bright aperture for the flexibility. Even a collection of less expensive lenses at these focal lengths would cost more than the 35-150mm. It is comparable in price to the more expensive 135mm lenses on the market.

Smaller size and lower weight.

WIll simply restate: Why would I say this when it weighs more than the 70-180mm? Simple. In my book it saves a great deal of size and weight since it also displaces the need for a second body and lens. With that it also takes up barely any more space in my camera bag than the Tamron 70-180mm. Will add that it is also comparable in size to the three 135mm lenses on the market.

USB Port/Firmware

Again, a great solution much preferred over the puck required to update Rokinon/Samyang lenses.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

Tamron has also shown with the 70-180mm f/2.8 that it is willing to put out firmware update improvements in a timely manner and I expect the same here.

Warranty

Tamron lenses have a 6 year warranty. That is pretty awesome.

Autofocus

I will raise my marks here as well. I will now say that I find the AF of this lens as close to flawless as I could expect from a lens. Pint, frame, and you get in focus shots. This is with stills or video. The barn in this photo is in perfect focus with little to no care in techniques. Was trying to to get it to and fully expecting it to miss. But it did not.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8

Bokeh

Again, down two blades from the Sony at 9 which matches the 70-180mm it still puts up an excellent performance.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8

Flexibility

With edit, this lens is capable of a great many things of anything between 35mm and 150mm.

I listed a number of use case in that last post, but I will streamline things here. I say again that this lens is good for anything between 35mm and 150mm.

Instead of a range of photos at every marked focal length like the last post I will now show two photos. They were taken while waiting for take out through the windshield.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
35mm
Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
150mm

A great performance at both extremes and I kept my seat.

Weather resistant

I do not tend to shoot in inclement weather, but nice to have in case I get caught in the rain.

Image Quality/Sharpness/Colors

Once again, every bit a match for the Sony and the previous Tamron lenses I have used.

Why This Post?

So if I simply repeated much of what I said before why an I writing another post?

Before I received this lens a certain phrase came to mind, but I did not want to put the cart before the horse. When I initially used this lens and while creating the initial review I was fairly certain the phrase would apply, and I did mention it, but I was still not 100% sure. What phrase is that?

A Bag of Primes Lens

I recently did an engagement shoot and used three focal lengths.

Alex and Jeremiah Engagement Session
105mm
Alex and Jeremiah Engagement Session
50mm
Alex and Jeremiah Engagement Session
24mm

Was great. I could have asked no better from the lenses. But here is the thing.

After some time with the 35-150mm f/2-2.8 I can honestly say that I could have used the 35-150mm for the whole shoot.

  • 105mm
    • WIth a change in framing, focal length, and distance from subject I could have gotten the look I was after at 100mm, 135mm, or 150mm at f/2.8.
  • 50mm
    • At 50mm the 35-150mm holds onto an f/2.2 aperture for plenty of background blur.
    • Also nice that the 35-150mm could have covered both this and the focal length above with ease.
  • 24mm
    • While not as wide with a change in framing I could have gotten the shots I wanted with 35mm.
    • Having f/2 available at this focal length is nothing but a positive also.
  • So… The third lens.
    • I was fortunate with this outing because my daughter came along and served as my lens caddy. And even with that there was a moment of tension when a solid breeze blew through just as I was about to swap lenses. And one cannot ignore the fact that no matter how careful you are swapping lenses adds risk that I would prefer to avoid.
  • If I wanted to go wider.
    • Since I have the longer focal lengths covered with the 35-150mm on one camera body if I really wanted to go wider I could add a wide prime or zoom lens on a second body.
    • For example the 35-150mm paired with the Tamron 17-28mm would be a perfect pairing that would cover 17mm to 150mm while never having to swap a lens.
Sony

In fact this set up suits me so well that I have let the 24mm prime above go. In all honesty if Tamron had released this lens sooner I am not sure I would have as many primes as I do. It is that good. And that is what I call a:

A Bag of Primes Lens

Lastly, I leave you with all that really matters. Sample images. WIll first keep my favorites from the last post and add a couple taken since. Again, nothing fancy. Ran some errands. Went about my day as usual and took some photos.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Chris at Southeastern Camera as shot by Wilson.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Katherine.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Kait.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Wilson.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Denise at International Styles and Cuts.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
My son.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Function Boutique.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Terry at Function Boutique.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
My son.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Southeastern Camera.
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

Some more recent samples. All taken on the fly going about my day as I would usually do with primes.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8

But unlike the primes I usually use where I need to make do with whatever focal length was chosen that day I now have nearly any focal length I would use at my disposal.

Conclusion?

WIll simplify things this time around.

This is a great lens.

Well done Tamron. Ongoing gallery here.

Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

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