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Author Topic: Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di OSD M 1:2 - semi-macro shooting  (Read 327 times)

shadowblade

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Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di OSD M 1:2 - semi-macro shooting
« on: March 26, 2020, 06:36:19 pm »

Just got the Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di OSD M 1:2, as part of a sale (lots of camera stores having virus-related sales at the moment - some people binge eat when they can't do anything, but I seem to binge buy lenses...).

Now, it's not the fastest prime in its focal length. The optics are great. AF is slow-ish, isn't silent, but is accurate. Construction is adequate - better than a kit lens, not as good as a Canon L or Sony GM (or high-end G) lens, but is weather-sealed. It weighs very little in an absolute sense, but isn't a lightweight considering its focal length and aperture - the Sony 35/1.8 is the same weight but is over a stop faster, better-built and with faster AF, although not better optics. It has some focus-shift and significant focus-breathing - at close focus distances, its magnification is significantly greater than at infinity.

So, why did I get it? It has a maximum magnification of 0.5x. Normally, you'd rarely use a 35mm for macro, especially for wildlife. But the purpose of this lens isn't to shoot bugs from 5cm. Rather, it's for shooting frogs, small lizards, larger flowers and the like from 20-25cm - subjects calling for a magnification of 0.25-0.5, where a more typical lens wouldn't provide sufficient magnification, but a typical 90-105mm macro would require far too great a working distance to illuminate with off-camera flash that's still attached to your macro rig (requiring a separate light stand or assistant to hold it).

And, in this role, it seems to do a fantastic job. AF is slow, but this is almost universal with macros. It may be noisy and have focus breathing, but I'm not shooting video. AF accuracy is good. It takes up little weight and space in the pack, as a companion to the 90/2.8 for macro-shooting night hikes. I can shoot a semi-macro subject at 20-25cm while illuminating it with flash units attached to my macro rig, whereas, with the 90mm, I'd have to stand further back and set up a light stand - not always convenient in the field. And it's sharp. (It also works as a sharper alternative to the 24-70/2.8 for stitching panoramas, but that's besides the point)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 08:14:08 am by shadowblade »
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kers

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Re: Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di OSD M 1:2 - semi-macro shooting
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 02:32:23 pm »

1:2 is very close indeed.

Just saw a review of the 20mm lens of that trinity on Lenstip.com
https://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=580
In contrast with my expectations it was not very postitive. I guess the 35mm is a lot better.
BTW: A lot of new 20mm lenses: Jim Kasson tests the sony against the Nikkor at the moment.
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shadowblade

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Re: Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di OSD M 1:2 - semi-macro shooting
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 10:03:10 pm »

It's an optically very good lens with consumer-grade construction and AF.

If they re-made it with similar optics (same formula, perhaps higher-grade finish and coatings) but better construction and AF motors, it'd be a great lens as part of a 'light and sharp' prime setup (although I'd still prefer high-grade f/4 zooms for a 'light and sharp' kit, adding a fast prime at 85mm or so).

As it is, I'm using it as a single-purpose lens - to shoot semi-macro subjects at a similar (20-25cm) distance I'd shoot a normal macro at, so as to be able to keep flash units and other gear attached to the camera on a macro rig rather than having to set up separate light stands. In that role, it does very well.

20mm doesn't do the same job. Your working distance for 0.25-0.5x magnification is only a few centimetres. At 20cm or so, the magnification is so low that you can just use a normal lens. 24mm isn't much better.
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Kiwi Paul

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Re: Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di OSD M 1:2 - semi-macro shooting
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 10:29:33 am »

I also bought this lens a month or so ago and am quite impressed with it. I use it as 35mm walkabout lens and I'm not too bothered about macro use.
I wanted a good quality lightweight 35mm lens as this is my preferred focal length for a walkabout prime lens and this lens was the best compromise considering the cost 250 compared to the Sony 35 f1,8 costing 500). I agree the focus isn't blinding fast but certainly adequate and as you said accurate. The image quality is excellent, I'm well pleased.

The size and weight are also OK, it's not that big nor particularly heavy.

Overall it's a great lens for the purpose I bought it for and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a lens of this focal length.
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