Monday, December 19, 2016

Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 Review


Background

I'm trying to get a full, yet functional set of lenses for my camera systems.  At the moment, I'm looking at getting a pro use setup as well as an everyday or casual use setup.   To that end, I really did not have a wide angle option for my Nikon kit.     The widest option I have is 24mm.  While wide, sometimes when shooting indoors or large vistas, 24mm may not be enough.  I looked at wider options but cost can be high for a rectilinear option wider than 24mm.

After doing much research I found a great deal online for a Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5.  Used it was delivered for $99.

Before pulling the trigger, I did quite a lot of research on the lens and while the reviews out there are few, thye are mostly good.

When I looked at that price against, say the price for a used Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 prime, or the Nikon 20-35/2.8 zoom...$99 is an outright steal....if the lens performs.    Let's see if it does.

Handling/Weight/Size

On the size front, it is not really that big of a lens.  It definitely is heavier than it looks, though.    It is an older design, so there is no manual focus override just by turning the focus ring.   Flip those manual focus switches people!!   lol

The zoom ring is smooth, but is tighter than any of my other f-mount lenses.   Not sure if this is normal for this lens or not as I have no frame of reference.  It is not a deal breaker, but something that you have to be mindful of when using it.

Image Quality

This is the big thing...does the lens deliver enough to make it a keeper?  Yes.  There are caveats, but for the most part, the lens is very good optically.

Wide open at f/2.7 it can be a little fuzzy.  Stopped down to f/4 the blur goes away and from there to f/11 the lens is very, very sharp for its AGE.

*** UPDATE ***
Jan. 7, 2017
I performed an auto us fine tune on this lens at 20mm @ f/2.7 on the Nikon DF.
Turns out a +12 fixed a lot of the haze this lens was exhibiting.  Lesson being, I will always make sure to calibrate all my lenses prior to doing any further reviews on them.

Nikon Df, 1/125, f/11, ISO 4500 @ 40mm

Nikon Df, 1/125, f/11, ISO 2500 @ 20mm

Auto Focus

This is not a blazing fast focuser, but for what I want it doesn't need to be.   It works adequately and is accurate.

Bottom Line:
The lens is definitely worth the price I paid.  It provides the wide angle that I was looking for at a price that was worth the risk.

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