Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Review

You are planning to go photograph people, but struggling to decide which lens to take and you want to take only one lens, for both speed and convenience reasons. Your photo scenarios are going to be varied, ranging from groups and full body images to tight head shot portraits. Reasonably wide apertures are needed for stopping movement in low light and for blurring the background distractions away. Your budget is limited, but you want full frame imaging sensor coverage. Again, for both speed and convenience reasons, you want to leave the tripod behind, meaning that image stabilization is important.

If the situation above seems familiar, the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens might be the right choice for you. The most unique feature of this lens is the focal length range, featuring 35-150mm in a single lens. This range is the perfect solution to the problem posed and the features of this lens check the other requirement boxes as well.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Angle View

Focal Length Range

The focal length range determines the angle of view taken in and should always be a primary consideration for a lens purchase or selection for use.

For those with needs primarily favoring longer focal lengths, the 35-150mm range may be perfect for general-purpose use. For those with strong wide-angle needs, the 35-150mm focal length range may be considered the perfect complement to a more primarily used wide-angle zoom lens. While some focal length overlap is not a bad thing, starting at 35mm on the wide end very efficiently matches this lens with the ultra-wide to-35mm class lenses and Tamron would like your complementing lens to be their Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD Lens.

As you've already figured out, one of the top uses for a 35-150mm lens is portrait photography and Tamron touts this use heavily in their marketing literature. The portrait focal length range typically considered optimal is from 85mm through 135mm (after FOVCF is factored in). An APS-C format camera of course requires a longer working distance to get the same framing as a full frame camera (and therefore will have more depth of field and a less-strongly blurred background at the same aperture), but this lens' resulting 56-240mm full frame angle of view equivalent still solidly contains the classically preferred range. Use wider angles of view for environmental and full body portraits as well as for large group portraits while narrower angles of views are ideal for tightly framed portraits including head shots that retain a pleasing perspective.

The "portrait photography" designation is a broad one that covers a wide variety of potential still and video uses at both indoor and outdoor venues. Engagements, weddings, parties, events, theater, stage performances including concerts and recitals, families, small groups, senior adults, fashion, documentary, lifestyle ... all are great uses for this focal length range.

Capturing people in action, including while participating in sports, is on this focal length range's capabilities list as long as sufficient light levels are present.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Fawn Sample Picture

With tolerant animals, their portraits can also be captured with this focal length range.

This is an inviting angle of view range for street photography and this focal length range can work very well for products, commercial, general studio photography applications, and a wide range of other subjects.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Sample Landscape Picture

Regardless of the camera format being used, most focal lengths can be useful for landscape photography. Telephoto focal lengths are especially good for filling the frame with the color of a sunset.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Sample Vertical Landscape Picture

Following is an example of what this focal length range looks like:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Focal Length Range Example

Match the focal lengths of your current lens(es) with those illustrated above, then see what you are missing, or at least what you are missing in a single lens.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Front View

Max Aperture

The aperture value (f-stop) is the ratio of the focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. Thus, longer focal lengths require wider physical openings to reach the same aperture opening as a wider focal length. Want a compact, lightweight, and affordable lens with reasonably wide apertures? You are likely looking at a variable max aperture lens and, with an f/2.8-4 designation, this lens is such.

A wide aperture makes stopping motion, both camera shake and a subject in action, more readily possible in low light and/or with lower ISO settings. A wide aperture also permits a shallow depth of field, enabling a stronger, subject-isolating background blur.

The advantages of a narrow aperture, because the lens elements can be reduced significantly in size, include lighter weight and lower cost, two things that we can all appreciate.

The variable max aperture lens attempts to efficiently merge all of the just-mentioned benefits, but one downside is that the same max aperture cannot be used over the entire focal length range. Your camera will automatically account for the change in auto exposure modes, but making use of the widest-available aperture in manual exposure mode becomes complicated somewhat.

At 35mm, few full frame zoom lenses have an aperture wider than this lens' f/2.8. Zoom out and that advantage is decreased as follows:

35-49mm = f/2.8
50-63mm = f/3.2
64-104mm = f/3.5
105-150mm = f/4.0

While the max f/4 aperture available in the last 45mm of range is not wide relative to the f/2.8 zoom lens alternatives available, this opening is very wide compared to many kit zoom lenses.

Here is a look at the maximum background blur this lens can produce at a selection of focal lengths:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Maximum Blur Example

35mm   35mm | 85mm | 150mm

Notice how the longer focal length can create a stronger background blur despite its narrower max aperture.

Image Stabilization

There are few zoom lenses reaching into the telephoto range being introduced at review time without image stabilization and those not having IS have ultra-wide apertures. This lens joins the crowd in this regard, having this versatility-increasing feature, referred to by Tamron as Vibration Compensation (VC).

What is vibration compensation good for? It corrects camera shake, creating a sharper image. When you need to leave the tripod behind, VC is there for you, helping to ensure sharp images can be captured even in low light scenarios and potentially allowing a higher number of images to be captured in a shorter amount of time vs. the alternative of setting up a tripod for each image.

Powered by a dedicated MPU (Micro-Processing Unit), the VC system in this lens is rated for 5-stops of correction using the CIPA standard based on Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D810 cameras being used. The real-world performance of this system is quite impressive.

In my tests at 35mm, a high percentage of handheld (no elbows-against-body aiding in steadiness) images were sharp with 0.6-second exposures and the taper off in sharpness rate at longer exposures was slow. I have sharp handheld 35mm images at exposures as long as 1.3 seconds. I would want to capture a lot of images if I needed to count on that extreme exposure length, but this lens can make that success happen.

At 150mm, 1/8 or 1/6 second was about my limit for a solid sharpness rate with a moderately sharp drop in the keeper rate at longer exposures. Still, these are very good results.

Keep in mind that these tests were conducted under ideal (repeatable) conditions. Photographing outside, perhaps in the wind or on unstable footing? Expect to need faster exposures than those I reported. Still, expect a similar amount of assistance from VC as it is still similarly and significantly compensating for shake.

While VC is great for reducing camera shake in images, it is also very helpful for framing subjects while taking photos. Having the viewfinder view stabilized aids in timing the shutter release with the just-right composition.

In this system, the image in the viewfinder remains very stable when VC starts and overall, it is very quiet. A quick series of faint clicks is audible on startup and again at shutdown with a quiet hum heard while active. Drifting of the subject framing while VC is active is very well-controlled — except when this lens is tripod mounted. Turn off VC when using this lens on a tripod.

Handheld video recording is nicely assisted by VC. VC also provides a still subject to the camera's AF system, permitting it to do its job better.

No mode options are provided for this VC implementation. With the optional accessory Tamron TAP-in Console (more about this later), you can customize the configuration of VC for this lens. Choose between "Standard" (balanced), "Viewfinder image-stabilization priority" (stabilization of viewfinder image prioritized) or "Capturing image-stabilization" (stabilization of captured photograph prioritized).

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Top View

Image Quality

While getting the focal length range right is always critical for lens selection, the image quality a lens delivers is often the next critical factor. How sharp is the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens?

With a wide-open aperture, this lens turns in slightly soft center of the frame results at the two focal length extremes, 35mm and 150mm, with the 150mm results being slightly sharper than the 35mm results. Not unusual for a zoom lens is for the mid focal lengths to be sharper and in this lens, they are. Center of the frame results are improved to sharp by 50mm and to very sharp by 85mm where sharpness peaks. Results from 105mm are still quite sharp and 135mm results are nearly as sharp as 105mm results.

Stopping down the lens to f/4 brings about a substantial sharpness improvement at 35mm and 50mm, essentially matching the excellent 85mm wide open (f/3.5) results. Don't expect to see a sharpness increase at f/5.6 at 105mm and wider focal lengths — and none is needed. The 135mm and 150mm results take on excellent sharpness at f/5.6 and only a very slight sharpness improvement is seen at 150mm at f/8.

Lens image quality often degrades as the image circle's radius is traversed, meaning that corners are seldom rendered as sharply as the center of the frame. At wide-open apertures, this lens performs reasonably well in the mid and periphery areas of the frame at 35mm, but that is not the case at the longer focal lengths where this lens turns in rather soft results. Stopping down to f/5.6 brings about minor improvements, but the 85mm through 150mm corners remain somewhat soft.

In addition to our standard lab tests, I like to share some real-world examples. The images below are 100% resolution center of the frame crops from images captured in RAW format using a Canon EOS 5Ds R. The images were processed in Canon's Digital Photo Professional using the Standard Picture Style with sharpness set to "1" (keep in mind that even modestly-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the true characteristics of a lens).

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

35mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0
85mm: f/3.5 | f/5.6   f/3.5 | f/5.6
150mm: f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/4.0   f/4.0

The 85mm wide-open results are remarkable and the other two focal lengths shared here become similarly remarkable with a 1-stop narrower aperture in use.

Focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration, or RSA), is not an issue with this lens.

Next we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme-top-left-corner crops captured and processed identically to the above-shared images. These images were manually focused in the corner of the frame.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

35mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0 | f/5.6
85mm: f/3.5 | f/5.6 | f/8.0
150mm: f/4.0 | f/5.6 | f/8.0

The 35mm results are very nice. Even with manual focusing accounting for any field curvature, the 85mm and 150mm results are only mediocre for a lens design in this era.

Does corner sharpness matter? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Landscape photography is one photographic discipline that frequently requires sharp corners and this lens is not a great choice for this use, at least not at the longer focal lengths. Especially when shooting at wide apertures at closer distances such as with portrait photography, depth of field is often shallow and the plane of sharp focus less-frequently includes a corner that should be sharp and that makes corner sharpness far less important. Tamron strongly promotes this lens model as a portrait lens. Still, a subject positioned in the periphery may be found slightly soft. I always prefer my lenses to be razor sharp in the corners in case that feature is needed, but each of us must consider our own applications to answer this paragraph's initial question.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens' entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. The about-3.5-stops of shading in this lens' 35mm corners is strong, comes to strength rather abruptly, and you are going to notice it in images. Wide-open shading is about 1.6-stops throughout the mid focal lengths and increases modestly to about 2-stops at 150mm. At f/4, the 35mm shading drops to about 2-stops and a seldom noticeable about-0.7-stops remains through the balance of the aperture range. Vignetting at the longer focal lengths decreases to a rarely noticeable about-0.4-stops.

APS-C format cameras utilize the center of the image circle and avoid this lens' vignetting. Vignetting can be corrected during post processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame.

The effect of different colors of the spectrum being magnified differently is referred to as lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration). Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the greatest amount as this is where the greatest difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide, though it is always better to not have the problem in the first place. Any color misalignment present can easily be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a set of worst-case examples, 100% crops from the extreme top left corner of ultra-high-resolution EOS 5Ds R frames showing diagonal black and white lines. These images were manually focused in the corner of the frame being shown.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

There should be only black and white colors in these images and the additional colors illustrate the presence of lateral CA. It is not unusual for a zoom lens to show lateral CA most strongly at its focal length extents as this one does and it is also not unusual for the colors to switch sides as also revealed here. The lateral CA is moderately strong at 35mm. By 85mm, the color alignment is looking very good. The amount of color separation then increases through the rest of the range, becoming modest at 150mm.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light, or more simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to look for. Axial CA remains at least somewhat persistent when stopping down with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing while the spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

In the examples below, look at the fringing colors in the out of focus specular highlights created by the neutrally-colored subjects. Any color difference is being introduced by the lens.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

At 35mm, a modest amount of color difference is showing, but the other two examples look good.

"Tamron’s proprietary anti-reflecting BBAR Coating significantly reduces ghosting and flare that might otherwise occur under backlight conditions, where portraits are often shot." [Tamron]

Flare is caused by bright light reflecting off of the surfaces of lens elements, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes-interesting artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare in an image is variable and depends on the position and nature of the light source (or sources) as well as on the selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades and quality of the lens elements and their coatings. The more lens elements there are in a design, the more likely flare is going to visible. This lens' rather high 19 elements in 14 groups count seems to be a disadvantage, but the results do not show that. Even at f/16 with the sun in the corner of the frame, this lens shows a very low amount of flare effects. Flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality, but this lens has flare under control.

There are two lens aberrations that are particularly evident when photographing stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point, instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma), or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either meridional (radiating from the center of the image) or sagittal (perpendicular to meridional). Remember that lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The images below are 100% crops taken from the extreme top-right corner of EOS 5Ds R frames.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Coma Example

While the effects seen at 35mm are not unusual, they are not good either. The results at 85mm are rounder, but not issue-free. Some star stretching is seen at 150mm.

Very few zoom lenses are void of geometric distortion over their entire focal length range and most often zoom lenses have barrel distortion at the wide end that transitions into negligible distortion at some point before heading into pincushion distortion at the long end. This zoom lens is normal. The amount of barrel distortion at 35mm is modest/not bad and by 50mm, pincushion distortion is present. The amount of pincushion distortion at 85mm through 150mm is moderate.

Linear distortion can increase the challenge of careful framing of subjects with straight lines and when those straight lines are along the edge of the frame, the distortion can become obvious in the image. Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available for the popular image processing software and distortion can be easily removed using these. However, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level because some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions must be reduced.

The blur and quality of blur seen in the out of focus portions of an image are referred to as bokeh. The amount of blur this lens can create, especially at the longer focal lengths, is strong. The quality of the Tamron 35-150's bokeh is nice, but relatively normal for a zoom lens in this class.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Bokeh Example

35mm | 85mm | 150mm   35mm
Full: 85mm | 85mm | 150mm

The first set of examples shown are 100% crops. Captured at f/8, these examples primarily show how this lens handles defocused specular highlights. The second set of results are full images reduced in size. These were also captured at f/8.

Typical is for wide-open apertures to render defocused specular highlights not round in the periphery of the image. Here is a look at those results from this lens:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

As the aperture becomes narrower, strong light sources take on a starburst effect and this lens' 9-blade aperture produces 18-point stars that look like this:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Starburst Effect Example

The shape of each point on this star is somewhat flared. If that is the effect you like, this lens has you covered.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Design

I seldom go into a deep discussion about a lens' design, preferring to let the quality of the design speak for itself in the image quality segment of the review, but as seen above, there are some premium elements in this lens.

Overall, if the center of the frame image quality is of primary importance, this lens delivers remarkably over most of its focal length range at f/4, and f/5.6 brings on superb 150mm center of the frame sharpness. If critical sharpness in the periphery of the frame is important, this is not the right lens for you.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Extended Top View

Focusing

The "OSD" acronym in the model name indicates that this lens' AF is powered by an "Optimized Silent Drive" motor and a Dual Micro-Processing Unit (MPU) system facilitates AF computations. Overall, this lens autofocuses somewhat slowly (smoothly sounds better) and tends to glide in for a landing, slowing focus adjustment as the selected focus distance is approached.

Short focus distance changes happen reasonably quickly with only a light click being heard when the motor starts and stops. Long distance adjustments make the slowness more obvious and these adjustments are accompanied by a low growl from the motor.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Top View with Hood

Focusing is internal, but full-time manual focusing is not available and the focus ring rotates during autofocus (avoid holding it during AF).

Unless one is primarily using manual focusing, a lens' autofocus accuracy is very important for realizing the ultimate image quality a lens is capable of producing. In this testing, consistency is especially important as consistency can be calibrated into accuracy if necessary, either in-camera or via the Tamron TAP-in Console. Usually, third party lens manufacturers are required to reverse engineer camera autofocus algorithms and the result is commonly the weakest performance aspect of these lenses.

At 150mm, the center AF point on my EOS 5Ds R test camera focused accurately with good consistency. The peripheral AF points proved only slightly less accurate yet still quite reliable at 150mm. At 35mm, the center AF point was still reliable, though perhaps very slightly less so than at 150mm. At 35mm, some of the peripheral AF points simply did not work, leaving every image extremely blurred. Here are some examples:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens AF Consistency Example

L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | R5 | R6

The L-designated images were captured using the second down, third from the left AF point and the R-designated examples were from the same point on the right side. While only one image is shared from each test scenario, every image in each approximately 15-shot test was identically blurred. These are cross-sensitive AF points.

The miss-focusing was obvious in the viewfinder, meaning that if I was paying attention, I would be able to change AF points and reattempt to capture the image, such as using a focus-and-recompose technique with the typically reliable center AF point. There are other camera models out there and not all may exhibit this problem.

Most lenses focus very accurately on mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs) and those autofocusing using DSLRs' sensor-based AF systems typically experience stellar AF accuracy from all lenses. However, note that I experienced multiple miss-focuses while using the 5Ds R's live view AF.

We discussed the focal length range at the beginning of this review, but this lens' focus ring also acts a lot like a zoom ring. The angle of view changes very significantly over the focus distance range (focus breathing).

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Focus Magnification Example

35mm: Distant | Close   85mm: Distant | Close
150mm: Distant | Close   Distant | Close

Some focus breathing is not uncommon, but photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques involving focus distance adjustment, videographers pulling focus, and anyone very-critically framing a scene should be aware of this attribute.

Parfocal-like behavior is not a characteristic that the reviewed lens exhibits. Interesting is that focusing at 150mm, zooming out to 35mm, and then zooming back to 150mm leaves the image defocused. You will want to refocus after changing the focal length.

I like the forward position of the focus ring, keeping it away from the more frequently used zoom ring, and the size of the focus ring is reasonable. With a rather short 53° of rotation, critical focusing is easy at 35mm but challenging at the 150mm end. This ring has a small amount of play and wobbles slightly.

A focus distance scale is not provided on this lens. You must remember which way to turn the ring (trial and error always works). This lens has hard focus stops at each extent, so marks, if somehow made on the lens, are repeatable. You will find this lens focusing far past infinity at the distant stop for most focal lengths.

With a 17.7" (450mm) minimum focus distance, this lens turns in a strong 0.27x maximum magnification spec.

With a focal length range that covers a significant portion of two typical classes of lenses, a comparison chart can quickly become huge. To keep things manageable, I'll focus on the 70-200mm f/4 lens class in the tables in this review, but the 24-70 lens class could easily be justified for comparison.

ModelMFDMM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens39.4"(1000mm)0.27x
Nikon 70-200mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens39.4"(1000mm)0.27x
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens39.4"(1000mm)0.13x
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens15.0"(381mm)0.20x
Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens17.7"(450mm)0.27x
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens37.4"(950mm)0.32x

At 150mm, a subject measuring approximately 4.5 x 3.0" (114 x 76mm) will fill the frame at the minimum focus distance. This short focus distance capability positions this lens well for capturing details such as a bridal bouquet.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Maximum Magnification Example

However, at maximum magnification, peripheral image quality takes a hit with strong lateral CA becoming obvious. This is a 150mm near-upper-right corner 100% crop illustrating the effect:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Maximum Magnification Example

Want to increase the close-focusing/maximum magnification capabilities of this lens? Add an extension tube. A 12mm extension tube works especially well on this lens at 35mm, providing a solid magnification increase with good image quality. A 25mm extension tube is too strong at 35mm, placing the plane of sharp focus immediately in front of the lens. This length of extension tube offers greater benefits at the longer focal lengths.

This lens is not compatible with Tamron teleconverters.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Angle View Extended with Hood

Build Quality & Features

Tamron's current lens designs, featuring a matte black finish and white printing in a modern font, are visually very attractive.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Product Images

MFD |    MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    MFD |    Rotated        Compare »

The 35-150's exterior construction is of light weight polycarbonate and tolerances, aside from the previously-mentioned focus ring, are tight. The rubber-coated zoom ring, turning in the Nikon and Sony standard direction (opposite of Canon), is ideally sized and is smooth with ideal rotational resistance. Fully extended, there is little play in the inner lens barrel.

Although not an issue on the new evaluation lens, a lock switch is available to prevent gravity zoom extension. The other provided switches, VC ON/OFF and AF/MF, are raised an ideal height above the modestly raised switch bank. These switches are conveniently located and easy to use.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Weather Sealing

Tamron indicates that a moisture-resistant construction has been used and a mount gasket is provided.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Mount

"The front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that is water- and oil-repellant. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture and fingerprints." [Tamron] Oily fingerprints easily wipe away from this lens' front element.

While this is a mid-sized lens, especially from a diameter standpoint, it is reasonably compact and light for its specs.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens28.2(800)3.1 x 6.9(80.0 x 176.0)722018
Nikon 70-200mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens30.0(850)3.1 x 7.0(78.0 x 178.5)672012
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens29.7(840)3.1 x 6.9(80.0 x 175.0)722014
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens31.9(904)3.5 x 4.4(88.4 x 111.8)822017
Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens28.1(796)3.3 x 5.0(84.0 x 126.8)772019
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens30.3(859)3.0 x 6.9(76.0 x 175.3)672018

For many more comparisons, review the complete Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Specifications using the site's Lens Spec tool.

The following image visually compares the 35-150 with its closest Tamron siblings.

Tamron Zoom Lens Comparison

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens
Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens

Tamron Zoom Lens Comparison with Hoods

Here is the visual comparison with the 70-200 f/4 class lenses:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens
Nikon 70-200mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens to other lenses.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Front View on Camera

Along with a huge number of other lenses, the Tamron 35-150 utilizes 77mm filters. While 77mm filters are not small or inexpensive, this size is easy to find and share.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Side View with Hood

The Tamron HA043 Lens Hood is included in the box. This bayonet mount (sans push-button release), semi-rigid plastic hood has a mold-ribbed interior for reflection avoidance. It offers a good amount of protection from impact and, especially at wide focal lengths, from bright light.

No lens case is included in the box, but finding a case for this common lens form factor is not challenging. Lowepro's Lens Cases are very nice and affordable solutions for single-lens storage, transport, and carry.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Cap

Tamron's lens caps have long been great.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Side View

Tamron TAP-in Console

The Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens is compatible with the Tamron TAP-in Console. The TAP-in Console is a small round device that attaches to the lens mount and via a USB connection, allows communication with a computer.

Tamron TAP-in Console

Once the lens is attached to the dock and the dock attached to the computer, the TAP-in Utility checks for a firmware update for itself and the software app then communicates with the lens and checks for any available lens firmware updates for it. If an update is available, a dialog box is presented, providing the option to update the lens. There have been a number of Tamron lens firmware updates released recently, addressing compatibility and other issues. Having the TAP-in Console makes installing those updates very fast and easy, especially compared to the alternative of shipping a lens to a service center.

Tamron TAP-in Console

Within the TAP-in Utility app, many will find the first tab, Focus Adjustment, to be the most important. Autofocus adjustments can be made at 6 focal lengths with 3 focus distance adjustments available at each focal length for a total of 18 adjustments available. That is enough adjustability to dial in the calibration of the most difficult camera and lens combinations — and enough to drive perfectionists (nearly) crazy. A focus Limiter tab is provided; however, this lens does not offer the ability to customize the autofocus distance range (the full range is always enabled). The last tab, Miscellaneous, provides control of the VC mode.

Price and Value

A modern, highly functional, full frame portrait lens with vibration control only costs this much? The low price is a great start for high value and if the image quality is adequate for your needs, this lens is a very good value.

The Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens is available in Canon EF (reviewed) and Nikon F mounts. Since Tamron reverse engineers (vs. licenses) manufacturer electronics and algorithms, there is always the potential that a DSLR body might not support a (likely older) third party lens. Usually, a lens can be made compatible by the manufacturer via a firmware update. Compatibility with the Tamron TAP-in Console is risk-reducing as Tamron can make lens firmware updates available for easy download. Tamron USA provides an exceptional 6-year limited warranty.

The reviewed Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens was online-retail sourced.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens on Tripod

Summary

Did you ever find it challenging to decide which lens to use for a portrait shoot? Having a range of wide-angle through short and medium telephoto focal lengths is often ideal, but that usually means taking at least two lenses. Tamron just solved that problem with the affordable 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens.

This lens' AF performance, especially its accuracy when using my DSLR's peripheral AF points, left me wanting, and the peripheral image quality was not stellar over the longer end of the focal length range, but the center of the frame performance at f/4 is quite good and the vibration control system performed stellarly.

If this lens' strengths align with your needs, the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens is a good deal.

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My Recommended Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens Retailers

Where you buy your gear matters. You expect to get what you ordered and you want to pay a low price for it. The retailers I recommend below are the ones I trust for my purchases. Get your Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens now from:

B&H Photo
Adorama
Amazon.com
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Rent the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens
Do you need/want the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens for only a short period of time? Or, would you feel more comfortable buying after having a hands-on trial period? Consider renting. Renting is fast and easy. The rental companies I recommend below are excellent to work with. Schedule your rental now:
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