Just before Xmas I decided I was going to buy a 35mm lens.
I had read a lot of stuff on the internet (tests, diagrams and MTF charts) and I was sure I was going to end up buying the Canon 35mm 2.0 IS.
I went to (in my opinion) one of the best shops near to me to check the Canon out and maybe have a look at some of the competitors also.
I had a preferred list in my mind like:
1: Sigma 35mm 1.4
2: Canon 35mm 2.0 IS
3: Tamron 35mm 1.8 VC
Due to the price tag I wanted to go for the Canon.
But anyway, here is what happened in the store.
The shop assistant gave me the opportunity to test all the three lenses.
At fist I tested the Sigma and was extremely disappointed somehow. I had read a lot of good stuff about it. The first thing I noticed was a back focus which could be solved with a fine adjustment of -9 (!!).
After that it appears to be sharp on the point.
The center of the Image was very crips but the edges and 1.4 up to 2.0 … hmm… I had hoped for more sharpness there. I also noticed a strong vignetting at 1.4 which did not disappear before 2.8.
At this point I have to mention that I use a APS-C Canon Sensor.
Second was the Canon lens which was simply perfect. Sharp also in the edges. No adjustments were needed. Maybe a bit of like +1 or two. The autofocus speed is incredible, really super fast.
I noticed a slight vignetting but nothing to worry about.
The big benefit was the stabilization which worked perfectly.
Keep in mind that I had no test charts to fine tune the focus perfect. It was all done on the fly.
The last try was the Tamron 35mm 1.8 VC.
The handling and the quality feeling are superb and I liked the appearance of the new design.
After the fist test shots my first words were “What the hell !!!”
It is super sharp from the center up to the edges, the colours are perfect with almost no vignetting even at 1.8.
The Autofocus is fast, not the fastest but it’s quick enough for my puroses.
In summary, the Tamron clearly won the contest and I bought it.
I am super happy with it.
The autofocus needs a little adjusting in my opinion (my feeling a +3 fine tuning).
The only thing I noticed (and this is also mentioned in most lab tests conclusions on the internet) is a little purple fringing.
If you have chrome or shiny metal parts you will notice a huge amount of purple fringing at 1.8.
This is not a problem for Adobe Lightroom or other developing tools. This “issue” disappears by stopping down and at 2.0 it more or less disappears.
The VC (vibration control) stabilizer does a really good job but to be honest I tend to say it’s not smooth enough for filmmakers. However, I am just taking pictures so I don’t care about the smoothness or the noise of it.
I can highly recommend this lens.
I have read so many tests on the internet and was convinced I would not buy this lens, but as you can see I did and I am super happy with it.