Thank you for joining me for this Tamron 35-150 lens review. Recently Tamron released a new lens for the Sony E-Mount system that had the photography world on their toes. Companies release new lenses all the time but what was so special about this new Tamron offering was the focal length, a 35-150 f2-2.8 lens. This focal length and aperture range really had wedding photographers eager to get their hands on this lens as it could possibly be the ultimate wedding lens. Over the past few weeks I was able to get a copy of the lens to use at a few of my weddings. It is important for you the reader to know that Tamron lended me the lens to use and try out. The lens was not given to me, I was not paid to write this review, and I am not sponsored by Tamron. This review is completely unbiased and fair. In fact if you look at my camera gear for a wedding day you will see Sony lenses, Sigma lenses, and Tamron lenses. I am not married to any one company in the industry. It’s always been important for me to get the gear that I love that best suits my work.
Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of this review, its important for me to tell you what this review is not. What you’re not going to see in this article is a bunch of photos of me shooting images up against a sharpness chart to check out the edge to edge sharpness. I will not be dissecting what kind of auto-focus motors that are inside the lens and how they compare to the competition. You will also not find me talking about how many aperture blades are inside this lens. I’ve never bought a lens based on how many aperture blades it has and neither should you. This article is an assessment of this lens used in the field during my weddings, a true real world review. This review is meant to tell you about how the lens performs at weddings which most likely translates to all other shoots as weddings cover a wide arrange of photography genres. I will just go ahead and tell you now that this is the best lens ever made for weddings. The following are the areas I’m going to focus on to show you why: build quality, autofocus performance, image quality, Innovation, and Intangibles. Let’s jump right in.
The second you pic up the lens you know immediately that it will stand the test of time. The lens has some heft to it coming in at a little over 2 and a half pounds, which is comparable in weight to most 70-200mm lenses on the market. The lens survived with no blemishes with me even after being banged around on a few weddings as I’m not the most gentle with my gear. This lens is also weather sealed which is very important for wedding photographers as we are often subject to the elements. Mid way through this past weekends wedding ceremony in St. Augustine Florida it started raining. The lens got water all over it while I continued to shoot and zoom in and zoom out and there were no issues at all. There is no vibration control inside the lens itself which on the surface sounds like a bad thing but for me its not. I already have in body stabilization in my Sony bodies so I’m covered there, plus if they were to have added it in, it would increase the weight of the lens and increase the price, so I’m happy that it wasn’t included. Thank you for tuning into this Tamron 35-150 lens review.
This is easily one of the most important factors that go into purchasing any lens on the market, how does its autofocus perform. Even though this is a third party lens, it focuses like a native lens. I didn’t perform any scientific tests or speed tests for you in coming up with this conclusion. I have a bunch of native Sony glass and have shot with them for years, and when I shot with this Tamron I saw no difference. I never had any issues acquiring focus and never experienced any hunting. The eye Autofocus also worked amazingly with this lens. If you’re on the fence of wether or not you should get this lens, its autofocus performance will definitely be in you pro’s list on why you should pull the trigger.
From 35mm to 150mm the images produced with this lens are amazing. The lens is tack sharp even when shooting wide open at f2. What’s special about this lens compared to any of its competing zoom lens offerings is the aperture range. At its widest at 35mm you’re getting f2 speed versus the competitions 2.8. Which means you’re getting more light and more bokeh than the competitors. I had no issues with distortion and the chromatic aberration is basically non existent. The colors from this Tamron are beautiful and really pop in post production. Straight out of the raw file they appear to be a bit more muted and less punchy than they would out of native Sony lenses, but I actually prefer that. As far as lens character goes, I love that Tamron didn’t try to eliminate lens flare all together from the glass. I love lens flare and if properly composed, photos can really stand out. You will find no issues in image quality with this lens and it performs like it needs to. I hope I’m giving you all the info you need in this Tamron 35-150 lens review.
Something Tamron did with this lens that I really love is that they have a usb-c port on the lens itself. What’s so awesome about this, is when it comes to firmware updates and customizing the lens, you no longer need to buy an Adapter of any sort to plug the lens up to, and then plugging it up to your computer. The lens can plug into a usb-c chord and go straight to your computer. You can then download free Tamron software to do firmware updates and do customizations. This lens comes with buttons and switches that you can program for your shooting needs. You can even customize the manual focus ring. As a shooter who always relies on auto-focus, I programmed my manual focus ring to adjust my iso settings. You can do all of these with ease using Tamrons free downloadable software when you plug the lens into your computer.
Let’s get to the most important bit of business to this review, the intangibles. The following are the reasons why this lens is the ultimate wedding photographers lens. This lens basically removes every other lens from your bag with exceptions for specialty lenses(ultra wide, macro). In the wedding industry I’ve noticed that there are a big group of photographer that shoot with zoom lenses solely, and another group that seem to only shoot with primes. When shooting weddings, you need to have the gear that can cover every aspect of the wedding day such as, details, getting ready, group portraits, bride and groom, ceremony, reception/dancing, and exits. If you’re a zoom shooter, this lens allows you to drop a 24-70 and a 70-200/70-180 and only need to shoot with this one lens. If you shoot with primes, this basically will replace your entire load out, like in my case my 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and the 135mm I have. That’s me basically being able to sub out 4 lenses for one, that’s incredible. The only other lens I need on a wedding day is an ultra wide which helps me in tight spaces or for creative shots. This lens has allowed me to go from bringing 5-6 lenses to a wedding, to only needing 2. Just think about all the time you will spend on a wedding day, not going to and from your bag changing lenses. That also translates to more time with your couples and more images.
Final Verdict, as a shooter that is not married to Tamron, this is without a doubt the best lens on the market for wedding photographers. From someone who was used to using his primes and constantly changing them in and out, this made my day so much easier and the results were amazing. This lens paired with an ultra wide in my opinion is the best combination you could have for your weddings. Below I’ve included an array of images from all the different portions of the day that were all shot with the 35-150.