Test Drive: Tamron 45mm/f1.8 VC SP Lens

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After so many years of zoom lenses holding sway over the market, I’m happy to see more and more people interested in the value of prime lenses. Zoom lenses are usually lenses of convenience and reasonable quality, while primes are lenses for people who want to work within limits, but value lens quality over convenience. Prime lenses are usually recognized for the greater sharpness they deliver, and the shallow d.o.f. that accompanies their fast apertures (f1-f2.8 commonly).

The Tamron 45mm/f1.8 VC SP is a quality lens – a swell “normal” angle of view, and a fast aperture that still allows for a relatively shallow d.o.f. even when not close up! The VC – vibration control – seems to work very well, and while the auto-focus may seem a touch slower than a similar Nikon lens, the AF is still quick, accurate, and quiet.

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Using this lens on a full-frame Nikon D750, I was able to see the advantages of fast-glass on a “normal” lens. The d.o.f. was nice and narrow and the field-of-view exhibited minimal distortions. The close-focus ability of the lens really impressed me. The lens can focus down to under a foot – very close for a 45/50 mm lens.

You can see from the above photo that the 45mm is a pretty big lens. That photo is the 45mm on a Nikon D750, versus an equivalent angle-of-view 25mm/f1.4 lens on an Olympus E-M1 body (which tends to be smaller than most cameras – full-frame or cropped sensor).

You can find this lens, and the other VC SP lenses from Tamron – a 35mm/1.8 and 85mm/1.8 in stock at Mike Crivello’s Cameras in Brookfield!

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