Image Quality & Autofocus
This is one of the best lenses that Tamron has ever made. Across its range, it has the best image quality of any Tamron lens. This lens is comparable in terms of sharpness, color reproduction, and contrast to many Sony prime lenses. I’ve run it against a Sony 20mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 and the results are super impressive. The Tamron holds its own, I don’t think you’ll see a difference in performance. Any time you can get prime-like performance in a lens that covers 35-150mm, you take the 35-150mm. Honestly, though, I think that’s an important feature of this lens – fantastic performance throughout its range, and it makes me question why I carry those Sony primes when a single lens can replace them. Granted it is larger, and not quite as fast, but it also offers me more than a fixed 20mm and 85mm perspective.
Tamron has come a long way with autofocus too. This is one of the best autofocusing lenses on the Sony E-mount system. It’s fast, quick, and responsive, with no problems with subject detection. This could just be because we’re entering a period where AF systems on cameras are so advanced, but this Tamron is also as efficient as those Sony primes that I mentioned. I tested against the 20mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8. Neither are G-Master lenses, but the AF systems work great. They are two of my favorite Sony lenses. The Tamron performs on par, which is great. I think the AF of the Tamron and almost all Sony lenses are so good that it’s almost a non-factor these days outside of very specific work like bird photography or fast-action sports.
The sharpness, bokeh, and color are also quite impressive from the lens. Again, comparing against my Sony primes, I actually find the color to be a bit better from the Tamron lens. Although with quick adjustments, the color can be matched, it’s nice to get colors so good right out of the camera.