First Impressions: Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC (Canon EF)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC product photos (3 of 4)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 3.5

Today, Tamron is announcing a major update to their SP lineup of lenses–and it’s partially starting with the new 45mm f1.8 Di VC. Why not 50mm? In our meeting yesterday, Tamron stated that the original true normal focal length was around 43mm; so they wanted something a bit closer to that. Like the 35mm also announced, this lens is priced at $599 and aimed at the advanced amateur. It incorporates weather sealing, has a very close focusing distance, and is very lightweight.

Tech Specs

Model : F013

Focal Length : 45mm

Maximum Aperture : F/1.8

Angle of View (diagonal) : 51°21′ (for full-frame format)

: 34°28′ (for APS-C format)

Optical Construction : 10 elements in 8 groups

Minimum Object Distance : 11.4 in

Maximum Magnification Ratio : 1:3.4

Filter Size : Ø67mm

Maximum Diameter : Ø 80.4mm

Length[1] : for Canon 3.6 in

: for Nikon 3.5 in

Weight : for Canon 19 oz

: for Nikon 18.3 oz

Aperture Blades     : 9 (circular diaphragm[2])

Minimum Aperture : F/16

Standard Accessories : Flower-shaped lens hood, Lens caps

Compatible Mounts : Canon, Nikon, Sony[3]

Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.

[1] Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face. [2] The circular diaphragm stays almost perfectly circular up to two stops down from maximum aperture. [3] The Sony mount model does not include VC, since the bodies of Sony DSLR cameras include built-in image stabilization functionality.

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC product photos (1 of 4)ISO 1001-100 sec at f - 4.0

The Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC is a lens with a very matte finish and made of metal. Here we see the distance scale, focusing right and a bit of Tamron branding. Near the side, you can spot focusing controls that are raised up from the lens body much more than those from other manufacturers.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC product photos (4 of 4)ISO 1001-250 sec at f - 3.5

 

On the side, you’ll find a bit of new branding. This is an SP lens and so you’ll see the SP badge pop up a bit.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC product photos (2 of 4)ISO 1001-250 sec at f - 2.2

On the front, you’ll find a 67mm filter thread; and of course the lens hood is removeable.

Build Quality

Like the 35mm lens also being announced today, there is weather sealing in the mount contact and around the focusing ring. What’s really nice is the design of the finish and uniform color scheme. In the hand, this feels like a large lens for what it is, but a very nice one.

Ease of Use

Using this lens is as simple as attaching it to your DSLR, focusing and shooting. It’s fun and a rather nice lens to use; but it doesn’t seem as fun as the 35mm though it surely is simple to use.

Autofocus

Like the 35mm also being announced today, this lens has a close focusing distance and is rather snappy to focus in all lighting scenarios. But when it comes to the outer focusing points, it can be a bit more hit or miss at around 85%. Perhaps our Canon 6D needs the contacts cleaned.

Image Quality

We’ve only spent a couple of hours with this lens so far, but we’re in love with the bokeh and the colors. Here are some of our samples.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (6 of 8)ISO 1001-2500 sec at f - 8.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (3 of 8)ISO 1001-1000 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (8 of 8)ISO 1001-800 sec at f - 1.8

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (7 of 8)ISO 1001-1000 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (5 of 8)ISO 4001-4000 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (4 of 8)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (1 of 8)ISO 8001-50 sec at f - 1.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC first impressions photos (2 of 8)ISO 1001-800 sec at f - 1.8

First Impressions

There is very little to complain about with this lens so far, but we’re not so hot about the 45mm focal length. A true 50mm would have been nicer to play with, but we’ll have to wait until we’ve spent lots of time with it to get a full sense of working with a focal length like this.