We’ve had the pleasure of testing the Tamron 20-40 lens extensively over the past two to three months, but rather than hastily jumping into a review right after receiving new gear, I prefer to provide a comprehensive assessment based on real-world usage. In this period, we’ve taken the lens through various scenarios, including weddings, engagements, and some light travel. While I didn’t have as much opportunity for landscape photography due to a busy schedule, I’m here to share our experiences and impressions.
Before delving into my practical insights, I want to clarify that I won’t overwhelm you with technical specifications you can readily find in the lens manual. If you wish to explore those details, feel free to request the PDF from me. Instead, I’ll focus on how this lens performs in real-world scenarios.
Tamron provided this lens to us with the intention of using it for vlogging during a trip to Yosemite. While it wasn’t the primary choice for the proposal shoot we had planned, I saw its potential for behind-the-scenes vlogging. However, one limitation I encountered was the Sony A9’s flip screen, which only tilts in one direction. This made vlogging a bit challenging as I couldn’t see what I was recording. Nevertheless, I believe future camera iterations will address this issue, making the Tamron 20-40 an excellent choice for vlogging.
Focal Length Considerations
When it comes to vlogging, it’s crucial to choose the right focal length. The 20-40 strikes a balance that I find ideal for this purpose. Let me explain why. Some ultra-wide lenses, like the Sigma 14-24, can distort the frame too much, leading to undesirable effects. Additionally, such lenses tend to be bulkier and heavier, making them less suitable for vlogging. In contrast, the Tamron 20-40 offers a more practical and lightweight solution for vloggers.
Now, let’s talk about image quality. In our extensive usage, I’ve never found the sharpness of this lens lacking. It consistently delivers sharp images, even when shooting at wider apertures. This reliability is crucial for me as a photographer. I don’t want to worry about soft corners or the need for extensive post-processing adjustments.
Focal Length Preferences
You might wonder why I prefer the 20-40 over, say, a 28-75 or 24-70 lens. Well, it boils down to personal preferences and shooting habits. I’ve never felt the need for focal lengths between 50 and 75, as they don’t align with my shooting style. For longer focal lengths, I typically switch to a 35-150 lens. This makes the 20-40 a more practical choice for me, as it covers the wider angles I desire without sacrificing too much on the longer end.
Regarding flare, I haven’t encountered significant issues, but I always keep the lens hood on. This protective measure can help prevent flare and, more importantly, safeguard the lens itself.
Versatility at Receptions
One pleasant surprise I’ve experienced with this lens is its performance at receptions. It’s excellent for capturing dance floor moments without excessive distortion, which can occur with wider lenses. Its lightweight build also enhances my ability to move around and get dynamic shots. Additionally, the lens is weather-sealed, adding to its versatility and reliability.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
In terms of build quality, the lens appears sturdy, but I’ll provide a long-term update in a few years to assess its durability. One small ergonomic quirk I noticed is that the zoom direction is opposite to some other lenses I use, which can momentarily throw me off.
Finally, let’s talk about price. At $699, the Tamron 20-40 offers an attractive balance between affordability and performance. It competes favorably with lenses in its class, such as the Tamron 28-75 and the Sigma 14-24, which are priced higher.
If I were to recommend a lens combination for someone starting in photography, the Tamron 20-40 would certainly be a strong contender. Pair it with a 35-150 lens, and you have a versatile duo that covers a wide range of shooting scenarios. Its affordability and balanced focal length make it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced photographers.
Thank you for joining us today! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or share your own experiences with this lens. We’re always here to assist you. Stay tuned for more videos coming up on our YouTube channel, and let us know your preferences so we can create videos that cater to your interests.