The market wasn’t exactly short of 35mm lenses before Tamron introduced the second of its new range of fixed-focal-length optics. Damien Demolder investigates whether we need another.
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD – Resolution, Shading & Curvilinear Distortion
You can see from the graph below that this lens keeps its best performance for wider apertures, making it ideal for handheld shooting. Our Applied Imaging tests reveal very impressive results in the centre – remarkably it’s as sharp wide open as it is at f/8. The corners aren’t quite as sharp, but that’s expected from a 35mm prime. The very best results overall are seen from f/4 to f/11.
Some darkening of the corners is definitely noticeable at f/1.8, but it’s not excessive. The fall-off profile is also rather gradual, which makes it relatively unobjectionable in most shots. The level of vignetting fades quickly on stopping down, and is almost non-existent by f/4 for non-technical applications. Overall, this is a good performance.
As you can see below, distortion is low, with only slight curvature of lines that should be straight. This barrelling will likely be most noticeable in close-up subjects of a particularly square nature that sit close to the edges of the frame, but in most cases distortion doesn’t play much of a role.