Tamron has come out with their new 24mm f/2.8 and Tamron 35mm f/2.8 prime lenses, and we’ve paired them with the Sony A7RIV to see how these lenses perform with the 61MP sensor.
The 24mm f/2.8 has the same build quality as the Tamron 17-28mm zoom lens we reviewed last year. It won’t blow your socks off but it’s durable and sturdy. It’s definitely a light lens at 7.6oz or 215g, but it’s surprisingly a little heavier than the 35mm lens at 7.4oz.
The Sony A7RIV is a light camera too, so pairing it with these lenses will result in a pretty lightweight setup which still feels good in the hand.
It’s a little hit and miss though, the Tamron 24mm feels like it would be the perfect lens for a camera with a sensor around 40MP or so. Photos at 61MP still look good, but you can see the lens is at its maximum resolving ability. It’s not that big a dealbreaker considering most of the photos we take nowadays is uploaded onto the web where it’s mostly compressed.
One of the great features of this lens is the close focusing ability. You get really great bokeh and this is one thing that Tamron has really done well on these two lenses.
This is going to be a great lens for videographers and vloggers if a fixed lens is what they’re looking for. It’s a comfortable angle, the weight is good and it performs great on gimbals.
Let’s move on to the 35mm. It’s exactly the same size as the 24mm, and that’s because they’re both at f/2.8 so the lens doesn’t require a lot of elements inside to perform.
As mentioned earlier, the 35mm is slightly heavier than the 24mm, but you won’t be able to notice the difference. Performance-wise, it’s exactly the same as well. It’s sharp, everything looks nice and the colours are great.
There is a bit of an issue with the lenses since they are third party lenses. You’ll be able to notice a bit of lag when focusing. It’s not slow by any means, but there’s a fraction of a millisecond difference between this and first party lenses. Eye focusing and eye tracking are all available, but the slightly delayed focusing is something to take note of.
Tamron can probably fix it in a firmware update, which we’re sure they’ll push out in the future.
Again, videographers and vloggers will love this lens. Using this lens allows the overall weight of the setup to be lower, smaller gimbals can be used and the optical quality will be great on both videos and photos.
We have to admit though, we’re a bit puzzled as to why Tamron decided to come out with two prime lenses at f/2.8. Zoom lenses do well at this aperture since anything below f/2.8 would result in a really heavy lens. We would have liked these prime lenses to be at f/2 instead.
Because of that decision, these lenses struggle a bit in lower light situations. If Tamron had come out with f/2 prime lenses at a reasonable price, that would have been a great selling point and more people would jump on this since that’s something that Sony doesn’t have.
These lenses are also not that sharp at f/2.8, but when stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8, that’s when the lenses comes alive.
All in all, the lenses perform relatively well. They’re sharp when stopped down, lightweight and affordable. Autofocusing isn’t as fast, but we believe it can be fixed in a future firmware update. And although we would prefer a faster lens, f/2.8 works perfectly for some.