New Tamron lenses with Nikon mounts

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bobatkins, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Tamron just announce a couple of new lenses available in a Nikon mount. They're part of Tamron's new SP series of high quality primes. They have a 35/1.8 and a 45/1.8, both are full frame, both have image stabilization and both have very close focusing ability (with CRC). Both will retail for around $599 and be available by the end of September.
    There's a bit more about them here - http://www.photo.net/equipment/tamron/sp_lenses/firstlook
     
  2. Hmm, I wonder what street prices will look like. The MFD is nice, but the 35mm might be a tough sell if it is not significantly cheaper than the Nikkor. It adds stabilization which is nice, but probably not critical to most 35mm f/1.8 users.
     
  3. The features of stabilization is that (for relatively static subjects) it not only allows shooting at slower shutter speeds (say down to maybe 1/4s with a 35), it also allows full resolution to be reached at "traditional" shutter speeds with very high resolution sensors. It also allows the use of lower ISO settings. I guess it depends on the photographer and image usage whether or not these are critical factors. Canon obviously thought so when they added IS to their 35/2. I'd be quite surprised if Nikon didn't put VR in their next 35/1.8. Of course that won't help the price much.
    At under $200 vs. $600, the Nikon 35/1.8 has a huge price advantage over the Tamron 35/1.8 VC. I seriously doubt that the street price on the Tamron will ever get much lower than $450, and even if it ever does get there it's going to take some time. Canon users already have to pay $550 for a 35/2 IS so the competition there is a lot fiercer.
     
  4. stabilization is a nice feature to have for handheld macros. so combined with the MFD, it could be more useful for flower shots and the like than current 35s. i do have to say that i have the now-discontinued tokina 35/2.8 macro and can get 1/15 handheld with that. what will be interesting is image quality comparisons with the sigma 35 ART. not sure if the tamron is anywhere in that league optically.
     
  5. Bob - I agree not many DX users are likely to go for this Tamron over the $200 DX Nikkor. But 35mm is a nice focal length for DX/FX shooters. The 45mm is interesting. I really like my Sigma 30mm on DX, so I think I would be more likely to go for a 45mm on FX as opposed to a 50mm. I am surprised the 45mm is significantly larger than the 35mm - if anything I would have guessed the other way around.
     
  6. The $200 Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is DX (ASP-C) only, so the ideal comparison. The full frame compatible 35mm f/1.8 is not much cheaper than this new Tamron, and lack VR. But it does generally very well in the tests I've seen, so optically it might be a challenge. Even so, it's good seeing Tamron warming up the competition, as Sigma is doing with the Art range. In the end as customers we can only benefit from it.
     
  7. Tamron commented that they appreciated that there were many APS-C users out there and though these lenses are designed for full frame use, they are also suited for crop sensors, where the 35 becomes close to a "normal" lens and the 45 becomes a short telephoto. If you look at the MTF curves the performance over the APS-C frame is very good indeed, with almost uniform performance across the frame.
    Given an ideal world, where designing lenses was easy and other considerations don't apply, I'd have chosen 28mm and 50mm as the focal length set, given a more clearly defined difference for full frame and a closer to normal APS-C option (28 -> 42) and a slightly longer (50 -> 75) short telephoto APS-C option, but obviously Tamron had their reasons for the 35/45 set of focal lengths.
    There's certainly a comparison to be made with the Sigma ART lenses, though they are larger, heavier and more expensive, don't focus as close and aren't stabilized. I don't know if they have CRC. They are 2/3 stop faster though. Based on published MTF data, the Tamron lenses look quite a bit better, but you have to remember that the Sigma charts are at f1.4 and the Tamron charts are at f1.8. There are no Sigma charts for f1.8 as far as I know. Also, as we all know, MTF charts can be somewhat deceiving. It's how the images actually look that counts.
     
  8. I got a good deal on a rental so I am trying out the Sigma 50mm A. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, when it is on
    it is an excellent lens. Great sharpness and image rendering. On the other hand, focus is very inconsistent and I get a lot
    of misses. It is also extremely heavy, and the image quality isn't really that much better than my Fuji 35. (Which is a lousy
    comparison since it's DX mirrorless but it's the lens I'd use for similar situations.
     
  9. it also allows full resolution to be reached at "traditional" shutter speeds with very high resolution sensors.
    Not really. Since stabilization requires that the equipment measures acceleration (angular velocity) (with finite precision due to noise) and estimates a correction step using the assumed/estimated statistics of the vibration it can never remove all the vibration but makes a "best guess" correction, it doesn't lead to images which show the full resolution of the lens + sensor system. Using a solid tripod and stabilization off, one can get clearly better sharpness than using stabilization hand held. Turning stabilization on is the photographer saying "try to make a decent image even if I shake a lot; I don't care about achieving the best sharpness" to the equipment. If the photographer does care about the best sharpness, they'll use a tripod and/or fast shutter speed and turn off stabilization to prevent it from adding a slight blur to the image.
     
  10. I didn't say it was as good as a tripod. What I said was it can improve images (possibly to full theoretical resolution) shot at "traditional" shutter speeds for handholding. The old rule of thumb for the lowest shutter speed at which a lens can be handheld is 1/focal length, which suggests you can handhold a 35mm focal length lens at, say, 1/35s. While you certainly can, you cannot simultaneously guarantee that you won't get any camera motion induced blur. It's all a matter of probabilities and percentages. What image stabilization does in increase the probability of no camera motion induced blur and increase the percentage of sharp images.
    So even at 1/35s, and probably even at 1/60s, the number of camera motion blurred shots will decrease when you use a stabilized 35mm lens. By the time you get to maybe 1/125s, unless you've just drunk 5 shots of espresso coffee, stabilization probably isn't going to do much with a 35mm focal length lens for many people because they'll be close to getting 100% sharp shots anyway. Stabilization can take a shot which might be slightly blurred and make it sharp at faster shutter speeds. At slower shutter speeds it can take a shot which might be very blurred and make it much better, even if it can't give you critical sharpness under those slow shutter speed conditions.
    The point is that someone saying "I don't need stabilization on a 35mm lens because I never shoot slower then 1/35s" is almost certainly wrong in assuming that stabilization won't improve the average image sharpness. For almost all of us, it will. It could take a slightly reduced resolution shot all the way to tripod sharp.
    The only time that stabilization doesn't help (and can actually make things worse) is when the camera is mounted on a tripod and shutter speeds get into the ~1/4s or longer range. You can debate the exact number if you want. Then, as everyone knows (I hope), you should turn it off. In fact unless you're shooting with a long telephoto, or a flimsy tripod) it's probably better to turn it off whatever shutter speed you are at (and use mirror lockup and a remote release of course...).
    Yes, I know there are Leica shooters out there who claim to be able to get perfectly sharp handheld images at 1/4s with a 35mm lens, and there may be a few Nikon shooters too. I just don't believe they can do it all the time, even if they can demonstrate having done it once! Even for them image stabilization will be useful.
     
  11. Based on published MTF data, the Tamron lenses look quite a bit better,​
    well, i don't know about that. the Sigma 35 is the reigning king of that focal length and optically better than the nikon equivalent, which costs almost twice as much. maybe a 1.8 is easier to produce than a 1.4, but i've been getting stellar results with the sigma, particularly at f/2-2.2. so it's going to take more than test charts.
     
  12. I'll be posting a full test pretty soon, but here's a 100% crop from the center of a shot with the 35/1.8 wide open using an EOS 6D (20MP full frame, with an anti-aliasing filter). Unfortunately I don't own a Sigma 35/1.4 so I can't do a side by side comparison. I don't expect there would be a lot of difference in the center of the frame though. It's a converted RAW file using a moderate amount of sharpening.
    00dTPq-558313584.jpg
     
  13. Here's a 100% crop from the same image, but this time from the extreme top right corner of the frame
    00dTPs-558313784.jpg
     
  14. Thanks for the samples Bob, looks like the Tamron will be a good option. Can you comment on the size of the 35mm? Also, did you have a favorite between the 35 and 45?
     
  15. The 35 is 3.16" in diameter, 3.1" long and 15.9oz (in Nikon mount). The 45 is also 3.16" diameter, but 3.5" long and weighs 18.3oz.
    Which is the "better" or "preferred" lens has to be purely a personal matter and might depend on what type of subjects you shoot and what lenses you already have. The 35mm has higher magnification for example. The 45mm might make a slightly better portrait lens. If you tend to shoot in tight interiors, you might pick the wider lens. The MTF plots suggest the 45 might be slightly sharper in the corners (lower astigmatism). Both lenses pretty much look and feel the same, take the same filters (67mm) and use the same hood (which is included). When working with a model, I used the 45 most of the time. When wandering around the streets of NY I used the 35 more than the 45. By choosing to make two such very similar lenses with such similar focal lengths and the same price, Tamron have made the choice quite difficult!
    BTW despite the fact that the two lenses are so similar and even share the same number of elements (10) their optical layouts are not the same. Tamron didn't take one design and just tweak the element shapes a bit for the two focal lengths.
     
  16. See full reviews here - http://www.photo.net/equipment/tamron/sp35_sp45_review/
     
  17. My 45mm arrived. I haven't had a lot of opportunity to use it today but the images I'm seeing so far are amazing. Super sharp, loads of fine detail, the rendering is superb and I have to really try to generate any problems e.g. CA. Solid build. Decent close focus. Not huge, but bigger than I expected. Tamron has a winner here.
     

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