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Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon F(FX) Cameras
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- Vibration Compensation for sharper images
- Maximum diameter: 98.4mm.Minimum Focus Distance : 11 in(028m), Focal Length : 15-30 mm
- USD Ultrasonic Silent Motor for quick and quiet focusing
- 9 blade round aperture for ideal bokeh effects, Works with full frame DSLR cameras
- Fast 28 maximum Aperture Angle of View : 110 degree 32 minutes - 71 degree 35 minutes
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||PORTABLE GUY||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Compatible Camera Mount||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F||—||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)|
|Item Dimensions||4 x 5.6 x 4 in||3.43 x 3.78 x 3.43 in||3.87 x 5.71 x 2.76 in||3.5 x 4.3 x 3.5 in||3.27 x 4.92 x 3.27 in||3.86 x 5.2 x 3.86 in|
|Item Weight||2.5 lbs||1.22 lbs||2.43 lbs||1.98 lbs||1.5 lbs||2.14 lbs|
|Lens Type||wide-angle||Wide-angle||—||standard-zoom||Zoom lens||Zoom lens|
|Maximum Focal Length||30 millimeters||14 millimeters||30 millimeters||70||35 millimeters||24 millimeters|
|Minimum Focal Length||15 millimeters||14 millimeters||15 millimeters||24||16 millimeters||14 millimeters|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||—||87 millimeters||—||—||77 millimeters||—|
The Tamron SP 15-30MM F/2.8 DI VC USD (MODEL A012) offers superb image quality and performance. Able to cover modern full frame DSLRs, the 15-30 zoom range offers great versatility in all photographic situations. With an optical construction of 18 elements in 13 groups and XGM (expanded Glass Molded Spherical) element placed at the front group and several LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements in the system, aberrations such as geometrical distortion and lateral color are efficiently compensated for enabling the zoom lens to deliver outstanding image quality throughout the entire range from corner to corner. Due to the large diameter and the prominent convex profile of the front element, it is not practical to use a protective filter. For the first time, a fluorine coating is applied to the front element, which repels water or any type of dirt, while making it easier to remove such smudge when contaminated. Tamron’s Ultrasonic Silent Drive delivers tack-sharp images due to the high torque and fast response speed with least amount of lag time, yet with extremely low acoustic noise. Equipped with a full-time manual focus mechanism, fine focus adjustments are enabled without exiting from the AF mode. Natural and smooth blur on the subject background enhances depictive capabilities of wide-angle photography when a subject is located in the close distance. The 9-blade diaphragm construction retains a near-circular aperture opening even when stopped down by two steps from its full open position and delivers ideal bokeh effects. Recognizing the needs for image stabilization capability on a wide-angle lens voiced by a number of photographers, especially for a full-frame, fast F/2.8 ultra-wide-angle zoom lens category, VC is tuned for providing discernible competence throughout the entire zoom range. The feature enhances image depicting capabilities for shooting night scenes and under low light conditions.
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Ergonomically, this lens is a beast. It is heavy and huge--bigger in fact than both the Nikon 14-24 and Tokina. Not long ago, I would have rejected it due to its size alone. However, it balances nicely at the end of my D800E, and both the zoom and focus rings, though somewhat stiff, move smoothly and precisely. The lens has markings for 15, 18, 20, 24, and 30mm, so it's easy to dial in your desired focal length. Impressively, the EXIF data is consistent with the external markings, so there's no need to hunt (unlike with the 18-35 or the Sigma 24-105) for a specific FL. Interestingly, the fields of view (FOV) for given focal lengths were very close between the three tested lenses. None of the lenses were extra wide or extra long for a given focal length. I found this reassuring. I did not test the vibration control (VC). All shutter speeds were kept high enough not to make a difference. All shots taken were handheld.
As stated before, the IQ is very close between the lenses. I really had to pixel peep to see differences, but there were indeed differences. The Tamron did dominate in the area of chromatic aberration. It was much better controlled than either of the other two lenses. The Tamron also seems to handle distortion better (some barrel distortion at 15mm), although my distortion test was hardly rigorous. For IQ, the Tamron is much better than the Tokina at f/2.8. The Tamron has very good sharpness and contrast wide open and gets better stopped down. The Tokina is weak wide open but gets real sharp and contrasty stopped down. Arguably, the Tokina is sharper in the center at f/4 and f/5.6 under 24mm, but there's hardly a sheet of paper between the two lenses. However, the Tokina's advantage/similarity dissipates rapidly away from the center where the Tamron is much better. The Tokina is just soft near the edges, and the Tamron is better here. By f/8, the Tokina has acceptable edges, but the Tamron is still better. This pattern is true throughout the FL range. However, the Tokina's center IQ falls off noticeably at 24 and above. It's not bad, but again the Tamron is better.
The Nikon 18-35 is much more competitive on the IQ front, but has the 3mm disadvantage at the wide end (hugely significant), and the variable max apertures are non-starters for many (this deficiency does not bother me much). The Nikon has strong edges and corners and wide open is better in the corners than the Tamron. However, the Tamron catches up in the corners when stopped down to f/4 (at FLs of 18-24mm) and is marginally sharper in the center. Note, that due to field curvature and other optical anomalies, the Nikon was sharper in some parts of the image and especially in (some) of the far corners. The Nikon is just that good. But the Tamron over all was sharper especially at and near the center. At 30mm the Tamron is at its weakest. Wide open, the Nikon is much better. However, the Nikon is f/4.5 wide open at 30mm to the Tamron's f/2.8. Stopping the Tamron down to f/4.5 pulls it even with the Nikon. I frankly could not tell the difference in the center, and other parts of the image were mixed.
All-in-all the Tamron won the competition, but it did break a sweat. It's a keeper because I shoot in low light, and it will be great having a usable f/2.8 (I do not consider that aperture usable on the Tokina for anything other than emergencies), and its better CA handling is welcome. The improvement in edge/corner performance relative to the Tokina is also welcome. However, if you are on a budget, and don't really need a strong f/2.8, 15mm and/or VC, the Nikon 18-35mm is a very compelling alternative. You really don't give up much at all in IQ. If you need at least 16mm and/or f/2.8 and can't afford the Tamron, then the Tokina won't disappoint you. However, if you want the best sub-$1500 UWA lens, even if you'll rarely see the difference, then by all means get the Tamron.
Lower price. I'm willing to pay for the gear I use to make money, but I HATE to overpay. The Tamron looked like a suitable alternative to Nikon, for $700 less. That's a value I couldn't ignore.
Image Stabilization. Like many photographers, I lose a high percentage of images in that split second when I press the shutter, due to camera shake. While most of my work is done on a tripod, being able to count on a higher success rate with hand-held shots greatly expands my toolbox, and enables me to benefit from the lowest possible ISO/maximum sharpness.
Zoom Range. While the Nikon is noticeably wider (at 14 mm) than the 15 mm Tamron, the wider Nikon view is usually NOT appropriate for commercial/residential/architectural photograhy, as it maximizes the artificial depth and width characteristic of wide angle lenses. 15 mm is plenty of width for my purposes. At the other end of the zoom range, the 30 mm focal length enables me to get many exterior shots (vehicles, buildings, etc.) that would otherwise require me to swap out the Nikon 14-24 for my 24-70 lens.
Sharpness. While everyone raves about the sharpness of the Nikon, in actual professional use, the Tamron is delivering sharpness that matches the 14-24. I've shot with the Nikon 14-24, and make my judgement based on side-by-side comparisons of actual on-location uses, at 15 to 18 mm, F5.6 to F8, on a tripod-mounted, timer-triggered Nikon D810. BOTH lenses deliver gasp-worthy sharpness, detail, and accuracy on the D810.
The Tamron lens I received appears to be solid, smooth, tight, 'weather resistant,' and well-built. Thankfully, Photoshop Camera Raw has a profile for this lens, so normal barrel distortion and color correction are just a couple of clicks in post processing. It comes with a 6-year warranty, compared to the Nikon 5 yr. The lens barrel is plastic - So time will tell how well it holds up to regular use.
NOTE: The Tamron 15-30 is the only non-Nikon lens that has earned a spot in my camera case.
If your requirements for a wide-angle zoom are anything close to mine, I encourage you to strongly consider the Tamron 15-30 F2.8.
1. sharpness (even at F/2.8)
2. least distortion (for zoom),
3. fine VR (I could click 1/2 second handheld with acceptable results).
4. very useful zoom range.
5. nice cap [100 fold better than nikon fisheye (16mm) cap]
I yet to see a problem with this lens...so I plan to keep it for good.
These pictures will tell you the story..
So, how versatile is this lens in the real world? I shot about 1700 photos on the D750 with 3 different lenses, all of which I love. I usually carried all 3 with me and swapped as I pleased. I kept 478 pictures after culling. Of the surviving shots, the breakdown of the 3 lenses:
Tamron 15-30: 110/478 = 23%
Sigma 35 1.4 Art: 65/478 = 13%
Nikon 24-120 F4: 303/478 = 63%
So, roughly a quarter of my 'keepers' were on this lens. Everyone is different, so of course YMMV. I'll be bringing the Tamron on my next trip without hesitation.