Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di USD VC (FX) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D3x and RAW-converted via CaptureOne.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/80s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/200s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/3200s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Exposure 1/4000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/3200s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1600s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Exposure 1/2500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Exposure 1/5000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/320s

Verdict

The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di USD VC is a bit difficult to judge. Some aspects are really impressive whereas others ... not so much really. The lens does a good job in terms of resolution - mostly. The quality of the center region is great even at f/1.8 but the outer image field is comparably soft here. While this may sound worrisome, you have to balance this with the fact that the corners aren't usually all THAT important in real world situations when using the lens at this setting.

The borders and corners improve by stopping down and are very good at f/4 and beyond. Both image distortion as well as lateral CAs are very well controlled. Bokeh fringing isn't quite as impressive though. There's some light falloff visible at f/1.8 but, to be fair, that's just normal on full format cameras. The quality of the bokeh left some mixed impressions. The general blur is quite smooth but out-of-focus highlights are downright unpleasant.

Tamron made a substantial step forward in terms of build quality. In the past we weren't all that impressed really but the new design feels much more sturdy and reassuring. Thumbs up here for sure. The AF is both fast and silent. The VC (Vibration Control) is a more than welcome feature although it's not overly efficient based on our experience with the lens.

So where does this leave the lens in the grand scheme of things ? The main competition is Nikon's AF-S 35mm f/1.8, which provides similar sharpness in the image center, but better border and corner resolution. This comes at the price of higher distortion and vignetting, though, but the Nikkor is also more affordable. Taking the the Tamron's price into account, it also competes with the faster Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 DG, which retails for roughly 100 EUR more while offering a larger aperture, better sharpness and much smoother bokeh.

Honestly we'd probably pick the Nikon for price and the Sigma for speed so the room for the Tamron is shallow. It is good optically but not an obvious choice regarding some of its weaknesses.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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