Tamron SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD wide-angle full-frame lens Review

A full-frame wide-angle lens that is available in Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts, the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is manufactured by Tamron. In August 2015, it was launched with its twin lens with a greater focal length, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD wide-angle full-frame lenses 

On the market today, these lenses are among the very few stabilized short primes that are available. A significant step that represents the evolution of sensors with ever-increasing mega-pixel counts is the introduction of stabilized prime lenses with focal lengths that are less than 100mm.

With full-frame sensors that have 36MP, 42MP, and 50MP as well as APS-C/DX sensors that have 24MP, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get truly crisp photos that are free of (micro-)blur. The traditional 1/focal-length guideline for shutter speeds that are on the safe side no longer applies for the pixel densities of newer sensors: today, we are more talking about utilizing 1/70 sec on a 35mm lens or 1/100 sec on a 50mm lens. This is because the 1/focal-length rule no longer applies.

However, because of Tamron’s implementation of image stabilization, which it refers to as “Vibration Control” (VC), in its 35mm and 45mm prime lenses, there is now a chance that handheld exposures of around 1/10 second will be crisp. This would be a huge help in conditions when there is not a lot of light available or when you had to stop down your lens in order to acquire enough depth of field.

However, the incorporation of stabilization necessitates modifications to the optical design, as well as the insertion of new lens components. Would this have an effect on the image’s quality?

To find out, I put the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 VC and the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 VC through their paces (for more information, check out my review of the Tamron 45/1.8 VC), and then I compared the results to those of Nikon’s AF-S 35mm f/1.8G and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 “Art.” Continue reading to find out which option is most suitable for you!

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Information is taken from the catalog

As is my custom, I will begin by reviewing the supplementary technical information. I have given the features a rating of [+] (or [++]) when it is superior to the average or even state of the art; I have given it a rating of [0] if it is standard or merely average; and I have given it a rating of [-] if there is a drawback. I’m going to contrast it with the Sigma Art AF 35mm 1.4 DG HSM lens, also known simply as the “Sigma 35/1.4.”

Size (diam. x length): 80 x 78mm (3.1 x 3.1in). Not exactly what you’d call a compact lens. However, the Sigma 35/1.4 is even somewhat longer, measuring 77 x 94 millimeters in length. [0]

Weight: 450g (15.9 oz). This weighs less than Sigma’s 35/1.4 lens, which has a total mass of 665 grams. [+]

Ten different elements are categorized into nine different categories in optics. Despite the fact that the Tamron has image stabilization, this is a lower number than the Sigma 35/1.4, which has 13 elements in 11 groups. The construction of the lens consists of two elements with (extra-)low dispersion, two elements with molded glass aspherical surfaces, and a coating with a nano-structured layer. [+]

Closest focus distance/max. magnification: 0.2m (7.9in) / 1:2.5. That is pretty incredible, and it offers a very good value for folks who are attempting to photograph tiny things. despite the fact that there is only a 7 cm working space between the front element and the subject when the magnification is at its highest. At 0.3 meters, the Sigma 35/1.4 achieves a ratio of 1:5.2. [+]

67 millimeters on the filter thread That is equivalent to the Sigma in that regard. These filters are more affordable than the 77mm filters that are the professional standard, but you might need to buy new ones. [0]

Image Stabilization: Yes, but not if you purchase the Sony version of the product. There are none aboard the Sigma. [+]

Auto Focus: USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), which means that it is also compatible with bodies that do not have a built-in AF drive, such as the Nikon D3000/5000. To override the autofocus system and switch to manual focus, just rotate the focus ring. The same may be said of our rivals. [+]

If it covers the entire frame/FX or is smaller, then it is excellent. The same may be said of our rivals. [+]

The Sigma 35/1.4 can be purchased for 740 EUR, whereas the new model costs around 760 EUR (with 19% VAT). [0]

The lens hood is included and reversible for transport, and the lens caps are comparable to the pincer type that Nikon uses. However, the product does not come with a case. The Sigma comes with a better and more well-padded casing than standard equipment. [-]

With this lens, distance information is transmitted to the camera, allowing the Nikon body to do all of the sophisticated exposure-related tasks that are possible. The same may be said of our rivals. [+]

Aperture ring: no. In the same vein as all the other options. [0]

As a means of sealing, there is a rubber grommet located at the lens mount. [+]

A score of 1 [-]/4 [0]/8 [+] was given for the “features department.” When compared side-by-side with the Sigma 35/1.4 Art, the newly released Tamron 35/1.8 VC has three distinct advantages: it is stabilized, it has a magnification ratio of 1:2.5, and it weighs 200g less than the Sigma lens.

However, this comes at the expense of the build quality of the Sigma as well as a two-thirds stop reduction in maximum aperture (f1.8 vs. f1.4). On paper, the one disadvantage of the Tamron is that it does not come with a lens case. I don’t see why Tamron would choose to sell a lens that costs over 700 euros without a case.


The AF-S Nikkor 35/1.8G ED is one of the lenses that Nikon sells. The price is around 470 EUR and it is not stable. In my evaluation of the Nikon 35/1.8G, it received the recommendation. Additionally, there is the AF-S DX 35/1.8G lens; however, this lens is only designed to cover the DX picture circle. Additionally, there is the more mature AF 35/2.0D, which is a very tiny lens that is not stabilized and retails for close to 300 EUR.

There is a stabilized version of the EF 35/2.0 IS USM lens that retails for less than 500 euros and is compatible with Canon full-frame bodies.

If you don’t mind purchasing a larger piece of glass, you may as well check at 35/1.4 lenses. The primary option to the Tamron is Sigma’s 35/1.4 Art, which sells for around the same price as the Tamron and performed convincingly (see my review of the Sigma 35/1.4 Art). Then there is Nikon’s very own 35/1.4G, which retails for more than twice as much (for my evaluation of the Nikon 35/1.4G, click here).

You have the option of purchasing Canon’s brand-new EF 35mm 1.4 L II USM for around 2,000 Euros or opting for the company’s more established EF 35mm 1.4 USM (around 1200 EUR). All of those primes do not have image stabilization, but their apertures are 1/3 stop quicker. And lastly, there is the Samyang/Walimex 35/1.4 lens, which is available for less than 500 Euros but can only be focused manually and does not have image stabilization either.

You might also choose a wide-angle full-frame zoom that has a focal length equivalent to 35 millimeters and provides you with the ability to cover a wider range of shooting chances as a result of its changing focal length. Only one of these, the Sigma AF 24-35mm 2.0 DG HSM Art (about 1,100 EUR), has a maximum aperture that is faster than f/2.8; nevertheless, it does not have image stabilization.

Or, you could go with a stabilized f/2.8 zoom, of which there are two options: the Tamron SP AF 24-70mm 2.8 Di VC USD (which costs 800 EUR; for more information, check my review of the Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC), or Nikon’s brand-new AF-S VR 24-70mm 2.8E ED. However, at 2500 EUR, this is the most pricey option available (for more information, check my review of the Nikon 24-70/2.8E VR).

Optical and mechanical image stabilization

It is essential to have an accurate focus that can be repeated in order to create consistently crisp photographs. The repeatability of this lens is extremely high (measured at 99.0% in FoCal), and there were no outliers in a series of 40 images. Repeatability refers to the precision of focus on the same subject after repeated focus acquisition.

There is also no difference in the lens’ performance regardless of whether the infinity focus is used or a closer focusing distance. Unfortunately, in order for the lens to function properly, it needed to be serviced.

It takes the lens around half a second to focus from infinity to 0.35 meters, which is a very quick time. There is no slack or play between the movement of the 25mm broad focus ring and the focus action, and the movement itself has a smoothness level that is somewhere in the middle. Because of its long throw of 185 degrees, it is simple to focus manually even when the aperture is wide open.

It rotates in the same manner that photographers who use Canon are accustomed to, but for Nikon cameras, it is the opposite of how it should spin. The AF operation is so quiet that it can hardly be heard from the outside. When you are recording video with the built-in microphone, every focus movement begins with only a very little “clack,” and the AF drive is incredibly silent. Both when it is turned on and while it is taking video, the virtual reality device is almost completely quiet.

I took a total of one hundred hand-held test photos to evaluate the performance of the image stabilization feature. There was a range of shutter speeds from 1/130 of a second to 1/4 of a second. I was able to determine that the VR provides 2 stops of image stabilization by comparing the photos taken with the VC setting to ON with a reference sample of 20 shots taken at 1/30 sec with the VC setting to OFF.

In comparison to non-stabilized primes, this is a positive outcome and a significant advantage. It indicates that you may shoot at a shutter speed of 1/8 second and still achieve a very good keep-rate for your photos.


In my testing, the new Tamron 35/1.8 VC is a highly adaptable and intriguing lens. It combines a fast f/1.8 aperture with image stabilization that is effective for two stops, making it a really interesting and versatile lens. Because of this, the lens may function more effectively in low-light settings. It is capable of producing clear photos all the way into the corner of a full-frame sensor, and it can focus as closely as 1:2.5, making it an excellent choice for photographing things that are rather tiny.

In addition to that, it is not too big and it is not too heavy. The color aberrations of this lens, which can at times be rather unpleasant, are the sole factor preventing it from receiving our highest recommendation. However, the Tamron 35/1.8 VC is unequivocally deserving of the recommendation. The price of this lens appears to be reasonable taking into consideration how well it performs, despite the fact that when compared to the Sigma 35/1.4 Art and Tamron’s own 24-70/2.8 VC, it appears to be on the more expensive side.

Sample images

Tamron test

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD Price