Looking for a portrait lens but torn between focal lengths? The Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD (Model A043) looks like it might save you the hassle of making a decision.
Described by its manufacturer as a portrait zoom, the new full-frame-friendly optic takes in all the focal lengths commonly called upon by portrait photographers.
These run from the 35-50mm range that’s suited to environmental portraiture, through to the 60-85mm range for classic head-and-shoulder framing, and culminating in the low three-figure focal length region that’s ideal for tighter crops.
While its maximum f/2.8-4 aperture may be a little narrower than portrait photographers might prefer for good background separation and pleasing rendition of out-of-focus areas, Tamron promises that the nine aperture blades will help to keep the diaphragm “almost perfectly circular” for up to two stops down from the maximum aperture.
Optically, the 19-element, 14-group lens employs three Low Dispersion elements and three hybrid aspherical lenses to help banish various aberrations, while the company’s BBAR (Broad-Brand Anti-Reflection) coating is also applied to keep light transmission high, reflections low and contrast pleasing.
Tamron also states that the optics have been optimized for exceptional performance around the 85mm focal length, which is arguably the most desirable length for standard portraiture.
Fast and quiet focusing
As the name indicates, the optic also employs an OSD focusing motor, and this is said to reduce drive noise significantly over previous DC-equipped lenses, while also being fast enough to provide better focus tracking when the subject is moving.
The new lens also employs a Vibration Compensation (VC) system to help keep things stable. According to CIPA testing, this works to the tune of a maximum five stops of compensation over an non-stabilized lens, and both this and the autofocus system are driven by a High-speed Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) control system.
The barrel has been crafted with a moisture-resistant design, and this is augmented by a fluorine coating on the front element to help repel water and grease. The lens is also compatible with the Tamron TAP-In console for performance adjustment and firmware upgrades.
Other features include a minimum object distance of 17.7 inches across the whole focal range and a filter diameter of 77mm. A petal-shaped hood will ship with the lens as standard.
The lens will be available in May for Nikon F-mount users, before a Canon EF-fit option follows in June. Tamron expects the lens to retail at around $800 in the US; pricing for other territories is yet to be confirmed, but that US price converts to around £620 or AU$1,140.