Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6

A flying sinking start

After I had I bought this lens, for a while it felt like an overindulgent luxury, and nearly a waste of money. I was using the 35mm Dynax 5 and -7 and had the 24-105mm Minolta lens to go with either of them. At the wide end, they were equal; at the far end, 135mm isn’t really that much better than 105mm. The Tamron was, however, bigger and heavier – in particular too big and too heavy to use on the deminutive Dynax 5. All in all, I didn’t use the Tamron much these days apart from the occasional outing on the Dynax 7.

I had bought the Tamron on the spur of the moment – I believe it was discounted 50% and only cost me Hfl 250, although this now seems too cheap to be true. Anyway, It was discounted massively, I read some good reviews, and bought it.And hardly used it.

The times they are a-…

Fast forward three years and behold! It has suddenly become a staple lens! First off, the bulk of the α700 means it actually balances quite well with this lens, and also the lens doesn’t dwarf the camera. Secondly, what I previously hardly noticed because I only looked at 15×10 cm prints from a mediocre print service, is that this lens really produces quality photos. Sharp as anything, nice contrast (sometimes it’s a bit off though), saturated colours as far as I can tell. Thirdly, the range is now excellent for what I call “single object photography”, i.e. planes, people, sculptures and like works of art, animals in zoos, &c. the 35mm equivalent ranges from 36mm all the way to 200mm, that’s pretty handy!

As a bonus, I never really used the ‘macro’ ability of this lens with my 35mm film cameras; but now, aided by a 1.5x crop factor and image stabilisation, this lens doubles as a “pseudo-macro”, doing a fine substitute job in those cases where I don’t have my macro lens with me.


Image quality
Compact and light for such a zoom range
Build quality


Not very fast
Not nearly as flare-resistant as the CZ16-80mm

Sample images: