Photography News Issue 25 absolutephoto.com
Tamron lenses The promise of superior performance To qualify for inclusion in Tamron’s SP range a lens has to achieve staggeringly high-quality levels, and the brand-new 35mm and 45mm do exactly that
Theymay just be two seemingly innocuous characters – SP – but when they’re used in conjunction with a Tamron lens they’re the ultimate guarantee that the optic is one of the very best around. Shorthand for Superior Performance, the SP range was first introduced in 1979, and now the line has been reinvented to deliver the ultimate experience to match the advancements made in imaging technology over the past quarter of a century. To provide this experience to photographers,
Tamron went back to the basics, revisiting aspects such as functions, manoeuvrability and ease of use. The new SP line is the result of an entirely new approach to optical and electro-mechanical design. The first two lenses in this exciting line-up are the SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD, and two top photographers took them out on assignment prior to launch to find out exactly what they were capable of. Here’s what they came back with…
“When I checked the bokeh I was delighted. It was beautiful and creamy and exactly what I was looking for, and that helped to give me an exceptional series of pictures.” Another big plus point was the Vibration Compensation (VC). “Most of the time I didn’t have any issues with lack of light,” says Christian, “because Majorca is a very sunny place and I was working fully open. However, there was one situation later in the day in a dark alley when I was walking backwards with the model coming towards me. My assistant was guiding me and there was a lot of potential for camera shake and yet everything came out pin-sharp. The extra help from VC undoubtedly contributed.” And his verdict on the lenses? He responds with a smile: “If I tell you that after a couple of days I had told Tamron that I wanted to buy the lenses that should tell you all you need to know!”
super efficient. This, combined with a very fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 meant I was able to work in all kinds of conditions and still achieve the results I was after.” Another big plus point for Martin was the light weight of the lenses, useful when serious amounts of trekking might be called for, and their weather resistance also came in handy in the challenging environment. “A lot of time it was raining or there was a lot of dust around,” he says, “but both lenses ultimately stood up to everything the weather could throw at them.” Overall it was a really successful trip, and Martin and Marc returned with a set of pictures to be proud of. “The image quality these lenses offer is astonishing,” he says, “and the combination of all the features they’re packed withmeans that both these new optics have now officially become my all-time favourite lenses.”
For the past 20 years Christian Altengarten has been shooting pictures of people, both in the studio and on location, and he’s servicing a sizeable list of blue- chip clients who love his style.
A professional photographer, Martin Krolop primarily works alongside fellow photographer Marc Gerst. The two mainly focus on portraits, but they also shoot landscapes.
A fashion-focused shoot in Majorca to test out the new SP 35mm and 45mm lenses was an unmissable opportunity, and Christian relished the opportunity to get hands on with new optics. “Usually I work with longer lenses when I’m shooting fashion,” he says, “because I’m aiming for a very narrow depth-of-field and a lot of bokeh. To achieve this with wider lenses I knew that I would have to work with them wide open, which is something I don’t normally like to do: I usually have to close the aperture down by one or two stops to get the best optical performance. However, I quickly discovered that both of these lenses were so good that working at f/1.8 was entirely feasible. The results were outstanding.
“I was given the opportunity to take both of the new Tamron lenses on a two-week trip to Iceland,” he says. “In total we shot more than 7000 images in 14 days all around Iceland, and it was a great opportunity to really test themout. “I really love the two new lenses. In my work I tend to use fixed focal length lenses in any case, so these were ideal. The killer features for me are image quality combined with excellent image stabilisation. I shoot with a Canon EOS 5DS R, and the ultra-high resolution this offers will show up any shake if I’m shooting below 1/200sec. It will be the same for any photographer working with a high-megapixel camera: stability becomes all-important and the VC on the lenses was
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