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Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a ...
  
 
jasonkuo
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


Hi all,

So I'm taking a look at fast 35mm lenses for FX. On paper, the Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP seems to hit every single thing I'm looking for:

- f/1.8 or faster
- Weighs a pound or less (~16 oz.)
- close focus to 20cm
- Weather sealed
- Solid metal construction
- 9 blade diaphragm and seemingly good bokeh for environmental portraits
- VC/VR for those certain situations
- around $500 ($570 right now with rebates plus various rewards at different online shops)

No other 35mm on the market has this combo of features. The reviews I've read sing its praises. The only thing it doesn't have is this:

- "Nikon" written on it.

I've only bought third party once, a Tamron 28-105 consumer lens back in 2001. It was ok. Not spectacular, but ok. Ever since then, I've always bought Nikon, for (1) guaranteed long term compatibility and (2) higher relative resale value to new prices.

It seems like things have changed with the SP lenses and the Art lenses from Sigma. Is my aversion to third-party lenses irrational, and should I jump in with this Tamron 35mm? Or should I still stay Nikon and grab the 35mm 1.8G, which has a lesser build, busier bokeh, longer minimum focus distance, but lighter weight, just as sharp, and possibly better resale value and long-term compatibility?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

(Just to note, I've also considered the 1.4G and the Sigma Art, I'd love 1.4 and even better bokeh, but the added weight and cost gives me pause)



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:56 AM
tdlavigne
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I don't have any experience with either the Nikkor or the Art, so take what I say with a grain of salt. That being said, I bought the Tamron 35mm hoping for something that was good (not expecting great) with decent AF performance and the benefit of the VC. What I got was great, in every way. It's easily the sharpest lens I've ever used, which can be a plus or minus depending on what you're shooting at the time. The color fringing is there in certain situations, but it's not super bad...nothing that wasn't fixable or would ruin a shot. The AF is accurate, and fairly quick...but not blazing fast. It's as fast or slightly faster than the Nikon 50's but nowhere near the 24-70/70-200's for example. AF on mine required +1 fine-tune and now it's extremely accurate, even in low-ish light (ie. situations that would require f2.8, ISO 400, 1/60 with VC on) it attains focus and doesn't seem to hunt very often.

You can't really compare the old Tamron stuff to the new though; I had a couple of their older lenses, and while IQ wise in a perfect situation they were pretty darn good...their build (I've had them literally fall apart in my hands, or have switches fall off) and AF performance (absolute crap) were all pitiful. The new stuff is liek they're a completely different brand. Same with Sigma, but for some reason people seem to be more open to considering Sigma "pro" level glass based on half a dozen primes, while Tamron still seems to get overlooked despite just as many quality lenses this past 5-6 years.

All in all, I think it's a good buy, and I'm considering selling my old version Sigma 85mm for the Tamron just based on my experience with this lens. That being said, I've read a lot that would suggest that some of them aren't nearly as good as my copy so I'd definitely buy from a place that would allow you to exchange if necessary. Also, if weight is a major concern the Nikon might be better at 10.76oz vs the 16.5oz of the Tamron. It's not huge (compared to the Sigma), but it's a chunky lens.

The resale is another thing to consider if you tend to sell your stuff often. I'm seeing the Tamron's refurbed for $400 already, so I'd imagine used (if you can find them...they're not likely to be as popular as the OEM) would be just as much if not less whereas the Nikon 35's I see go for just as much (ie. a smaller resale loss).



Oct 23, 2016 at 03:45 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


Tamron & Sigma have come a long long way from the cheapo 3rd party manufacturers they used to be. Having had 3 ART lenses and the superb Tamron 15-30 in the past 2-3 years I wouldn't think twice about buying lenses from these brands today.

Re-sale is an issue but not if you buy Used to begin with (though sample variance is a greater issue than with a Nikon so it could be someone dumping a lens with an issue - try to buy from FM and a reputable seller if going the Used route).



Oct 23, 2016 at 04:39 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


Nikon HQ is having many sleepless nights as Sigma, Tamron and Tokina put large holes in their sales figures.


Oct 23, 2016 at 04:45 AM
jrscls
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I have and really like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED FX; however, I wouldn't mind trying the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC based on the reviews. The Nikon version is very lightweight and handles well on my D750. I tried the Sigma 35 Art, but wasn't impressed with the inconsistent focusing.


Oct 23, 2016 at 05:04 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


jrscls wrote:
I have and really like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED FX; however, I wouldn't mind trying the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC based on the reviews. The Nikon version is very lightweight and handles well on my D750. I tried the Sigma 35 Art, but wasn't impressed with the inconsistent focusing.

And yet that was one of my favourite lenses and I didn't have any focus issues. There may be sample variation with this lens but find a good one and it's wow ! The people that have (a good copy) swear by it.



Oct 23, 2016 at 05:08 AM
jtra
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


On thing not to like on Tamron 35 (45 too) is strong LoCA as visible here:
f/1.8 https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasrubach/21737742723/in/album-72157659587918056/
Still visible at f/4 https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasrubach/22346629612/in/album-72157659587918056/

These samples are part of CameraLabs review http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Tamron_SP_35mm_f1-8_Di_VC_USD/sharpness.shtml

Last year I was in to buy 35mm or 24mm prime. I tried Sigma 35/1.4, Tamron 35/1.8, Nikon 24/1.8G and Sigma 24/1.4. Out of these I got Sigma 24/1.4. I'm very happy with it.



Oct 23, 2016 at 07:08 AM
ayjayy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


im a huge fan of the Tamron 35. it rarely leaves my camera.


Oct 23, 2016 at 02:43 PM
jrscls
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I would like to see how the Tamron compares with the Nikon f/1.8 G, but I'm content with the Nikon version.

Edited on Oct 23, 2016 at 07:03 PM · View previous versions



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:55 PM
sjms
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


runamuck wrote:
Nikon HQ is having many sleepless nights as Sigma, Tamron and Tokina put large holes in their sales figures.


Large holes, sleepless nights? interesting. more like needing to up the game. you do understand that if T,S and T put real large holes in Nikons sales figures is like choking and possibly killing a golden goose. neither Tamron nor Tokina make camera bodies and Sigma seems to still be in the highly experimental stage in that endeavor.



Oct 23, 2016 at 03:17 PM
 

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Mark_L
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


runamuck wrote:
Nikon HQ is having many sleepless nights as Sigma, Tamron and Tokina put large holes in their sales figures.


So sleepless, they slapped another 1k on the new 70-200

Nikon are so arrogant they don't care sure people will buy just because it has 'nikon' on it.



Oct 23, 2016 at 03:56 PM
Two23
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


Ten years ago Nikon was clearly the best. Twenty years ago the "other" brands were mostly junk. Today, companies like Zeiss, Sigma, and Tamron are surpassing Nikon. I have the Sigma 35 & 50mm ART lenses, and they're the sharpest I've ever owned. My most used lenses right now are Nikon 20mm f1.8G & 24mm PCE, Sigma 35 & 50mm. Also have the Nikon 85mm f1.8G. I can see the day coming when the only Nikon I have is the 24mm PCE. I've handled some Tamrons recently and was quite impressed.


Kent in SD



Oct 23, 2016 at 08:10 PM
lorac
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


Only half my lenses are Nikon and I have many. I starting getting Sigma and Tokina years ago, but have held off on Tamron because of the build quality. That has changed the past two or three years and I wouldn't hesitate to get Tamron. The 35mm f1.8 is highly rated and there is no equivalent with Nikon especially in terms of close focus, a great feature.


Oct 23, 2016 at 10:03 PM
Awasos23
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I've shot with a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 for years. I bought it as a stop gap until I could afford either the 28-70 or the 24-70 and frankly I haven't really found it wanting enough to buy either lens. If I need higher quality I have my 17-35 and 70-200 VRII that I can switch to and cover most of the range (my 50mm f1.4 fills in the rest, haha). I've also owned MF tamron adaptall lenses; again I've never had a client complain. The 90mm f2.5 macro in particular was spectacular.


Oct 23, 2016 at 10:14 PM
MrBurger
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I don't actually own any Nikon lenses anymore... Tamron, Sigma and Zeiss are in my kit


Oct 24, 2016 at 12:42 AM
Brev00
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I have had the Tamron 28-300 since film days, added the Tamron 70-300 vc 6 years ago and recently got a used Tamron 180 3.5. No hesitation. The 70-300 lives on my camera now more than ever. And, I have yet to buy a lens from their new lineup! While Sigma lenses can have compatibility issues with new bodies, my Tamron lenses did not blink when I upgraded bodies. So, yes, avoiding third party lenses is irrational if you are depriving yourself of pleasure.


Oct 24, 2016 at 03:03 AM
SouthwestS2K
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?



Well, I owned a Tamron 45mm 1.8 VC for a week and I can say its opticals were sharp BUT its quality was average. The lens could NOT focus to save its life. Blurred pictures with VC on. Literally 2 out 10 shots were usable. Thanks Adorama for sending me a pre-owned unit without testing it. First time photographers could have noticed the issues with that lens.

Otherwise, the 45mm was a great lens for sharpness. Build quality? Not so much.



Oct 24, 2016 at 03:22 AM
Helen Oster
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


SouthwestS2K wrote:
Well, I owned a Tamron 45mm 1.8 VC for a week and I can say its opticals were sharp BUT its quality was average. The lens could NOT focus to save its life. Blurred pictures with VC on. Literally 2 out 10 shots were usable. Thanks Adorama for sending me a pre-owned unit without testing it. First time photographers could have noticed the issues with that lens.

Otherwise, the 45mm was a great lens for sharpness. Build quality? Not so much.


We do check all used units before they are shipped; please email me: [email protected] with your order number so I can help you and understand what went wrong on this occasion.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
[email protected]




Oct 24, 2016 at 07:21 PM
VetraLens
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


I've been using the Tamron VC since February. It's my primary workhorse for a weekly recurring gig I have, and it spends most of its time at f1.8-2.2. Focuses quickly and accurately on my D750 even at -1EV. Quite sharp wide open and very sharp stopped down. Bokeh might leave a little bit to be desired—it's not bad, but it's not 58G level, but I don't expect it to be. Oh, and it's built quite solidly. Feels more solid than the only Nikkor prime I have, the 85 1.8G.

I wouldn't hand-wring over it being a 3rd party lens. IMO, it punches above its weight. Overall I'm very happy.



Oct 24, 2016 at 09:10 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Tamron 35mm 1.8 SP? Rational or irrational aversion to a non-Nikon lens?


sjms wrote:
Large holes, sleepless nights? interesting. more like needing to up the game. you do understand that if T,S and T put real large holes in Nikons sales figures is like choking and possibly killing a golden goose. neither Tamron nor Tokina make camera bodies and Sigma seems to still be in the highly experimental stage in that endeavor.


When you offer equal (in some cases better) performance at a loler price it does draw sales away. Nikon has responded with their usual arrogance. Lenses far higher in price to make their profits off the few able to afford nikon's prices. Meanwhile the rest of us sing the praises of lower priced, highly capable lenses from Sigma, Tokina and Tamron.

It could be that nikon is paying no attention. That just gives the competition an even greater edge Tamron's 15-3o is 700 bucks cheaper than the nikon 14-24. That makes it affordable to me where the nikon is needless extravagance.



Oct 24, 2016 at 09:35 PM
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