First Impressions: Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD (Canon EF)

We got to spend some hands-on time with Tamron’s 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD prototype in Las Vegas last week while we were at WPPI.

It’s always exciting when we get to spend some hands-on time with lenses that are still under development, and we got to do just that when we met with Tamron last week at WPPI. One of the three new lenses that Tamron showed off at WPPI, the Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD was the only one of the trio with a functional prototype available. The Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 is a lightweight and compact variable aperture zoom lens that covers most of the focal lengths popular for portraiture work. In fact, these focal lengths (35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, and 150mm) are clearly marked on the lens barrel itself, giving you an idea as to who Tamron’s intended market for the lens is. 

Gear Used

We tested the Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-f Di VC OSD with Tamron’s own Canon EOS 5D Mk IV.

 

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD are subject to change as the lens is still under development.

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Maximum aperture of f2.8 when wide open
  • 4 stops of image stabilization
  • OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) motor keeps operational noise to a minimum
  • Dual MPU (micro processing unit) for fast autofocus performance
  • Lens barrel feature markings for most popular portraiture focal lengths (35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, and 150mm)
  • Moisture resistant construction
  • Available for Canon EF mount and Nikon F mount, compatible with native RF mount and Z mount adapters
  • Pricing:  TBD
  • Shipping Date: TBD

 

Ergonomics

The Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD is very lightweight and compact. You’ll find a manual focus ring up front, followed by a much larger zoom ring to adjust your focal length.

Both the manual focus ring and zoom ring are made of rubber and feature grippy ridges, with the zoom ring being lockable. You’ll also notice the signature silver ring found on many of Tamron’s latest lenses just before the mount and rubber gasket.

Notice the markings on the zoom ring for all of the popular portraiture focal lengths (35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, and 150mm). You’ll also find the toggle switches for Vibration Compensation (what Tamron calls their Image Stabilization tech) and Autofocus/Manual Focus towards the side of the lens.

The lens almost doubles in length when zoomed all the way out to 150mm, but due to its lightweight nature, I didn’t find it to become unbalanced at all when shooting it with a Canon EOS 5D Mk IV.

 

Build Quality

While we only got to spend about 15 minutes with a Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD prototype, it felt well put together despite its lightweight and compact nature. Having only used it inside a convention center, we didn’t get a chance to put the moisture resistance to the test. Rest assured, however, that we will be putting the production model of this lens through its paces once they are available for review.

 

Ease of Use

Again, we must stress that we only got to spend a short period of time with the Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD, and that it was pre-production prototype. With that said, however, the Tamron 35-150 performed as expected for a compact lightweight zoom that covers many of the favored focal lengths commonly sought after by portrait photographers. The Manual Focus and Zoom rings had just the right amount of resistance when turning, and the lightweight nature of the lens meant that the balance didn’t feel thrown off even when the lens was fully extended to 150mm. Stay tuned for our upcoming full review where we’ll be thoroughly testing a final production model of this lens.

 

Autofocus

Having spent a grand total of about 15 minutes with the Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD, the autofocus mechanism acquired focus quickly and consistently throughout our brief time with the pre-production prototype. Please keep an eye out for our upcoming full review where we will put the autofocus system in the final production version of this lens to an extensive battery of tests.

 

Image Quality

All sample images seen within this First Impressions article were captured using an early pre-production sample Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD lens mated to Tamron’s own Canon EOS 5D Mk IV. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images have been retouched so that you can judge the quality of the images for yourself.

 

First Impressions

For portrait photographers on the go (and photographers specializing in other genres like street photography or travel photography for that matter) wanting to keep their kit as lightweight and compact as possible, the Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD presents a compelling solution that definitely checks off both requirements. Having spent a very limited amount of time with the Tamron 35-105mm f2.8-4 prototype in a portable studio setup at Tamron’s booth on the WPPI show floor, we found the images produced by this lens to be rather beautiful. In-focus areas appear to be razor sharp, while the fall off in out-of-focus areas are very pleasing. This is true even when zooming into longer focal lengths, causing the maximum aperture to increase to f4. We will have to test the final production version of the lens on our own terms before we can render a more comprehensive verdict. The Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 Di VC OSD will be available for both Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, pricing and availability remain to be determined as of press time.