Excellent Lens for the Price!
April 01, 2011
I purchased this lens a few weeks ago. The first copy had some back-focusing issues on my D90 body. Exchange was quick and easy!
This is a fantastic lens for crop-format cameras. It has quickly become my full-time walkabout lens.
The lens is very sharp - my copy is nearly equivalent (in sharpness) to my Nikkor 35mm 1.8 prime. THAT is saying a lot! When you add the low light capabilities offered by the f2.8 aperture AND Vibration Compensation, you have a real winner.
The zoom and focus rings on the lens are quite stiff - not to the point of being hard to turn, but stiff enough to give the lens a "proper" feeling. Additionally, there is a lock available to keep the lens retracted when pointing downward - I don't think I'll need to use this.
The VC seems to provide the advertised 3-4 stops of compensation. Users of Nikon VR lenses will require a bit of time to get used to the Tamron implementation - the VC kicks in immediately when you half-press the shutter button, unlike Nikon which only kicks in during the actual shot. Due to this, when you attempt to focus, the image will jump in your viewfinder as the VC takes over. After a few minutes, you'll get used to it. The plus of this implementation is that you will be framing a fully stabilized shot, rather than framing and hoping the stabilizer doesn't ruin the actual shot. Also, the Tamron VC provides 3 axes of stabilization all at once, rather than the Nikon version which requires you to select "normal" or "active (panning)" mode.
Zoom is fairly quick on my lens. No, it's not the USM that we've gotten used to recently, but it's decent and usable. I haven't found the AF hunting much either. It's pretty much a point-focus-shoot lens, which is great.
Did I mention that Tamron provides a 6 year warranty?
Add everything together, and we've got one heck of a lens here. Highly recommended. I'd give it 4.5 stars if I was allowed to. The only knock I can give this lens, is the sound the VC makes. It's odd. Not bad, not annoying... just odd.
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