If you’re a photographer working in the areas of portrait, fashion and wedding photography – basically any genre that involves people – then an 85mm prime lens is an absolute must-have. Prized for the working distance they provide between the photographer and subject, which as a result creates natural-looking distortion-free images, 85mm lenses are perfect for both studio and location shoots.
The Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD was the world’s first fast aperture 85mm lens to feature Image stabilisation, under Tamron’s name Vibration Control (VC), and marked a serious shift in how this type of lens would be developed in the future. Traditionally, fast prime lenses didn’t feature Image Stabilisation because the fast aperture was considered a significant feature in itself. But now, you can take advantage of the large aperture and Image Stabilisation to shoot at even slower shutter speeds than before, while keeping ISO as low as possible in low light conditions.
Released in 2016, the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD followed hot on the heels of the SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD. Another two fast aperture prime lenses featuring image stabilisation and offering something uniquely different to the competition. And while f/1.8 isn’t the fastest aperture possible for this type of lens, opting for this rather than f/1.4, for instance, helps to keep the size and weight of the lenses down. Generally speaking, the faster the lens the bigger and heavier it will be.
Whether you’re a full-frame or APS-C DLSR owner the Tamron SP 85mm should be a serious consideration if you shoot portraits. While on a full-frame DSLR you’ll get the advertised focal length of 85mm, you’ll get an equivalent of between 127mm and 136mm depending on the APS-C DSLR you’re using. And let’s not forget, 135mm is another classic portraiture focal length.