Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Review

April 27, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is an affordable alternative to the OEM offerings from Nikon and Canon, with the added benefits of an effective image stabilisation system and greater focal range. Tamron's lens doesn't have quite the same build-quality as the Big Two, but the USM focusing is fast enough and quiet, the construction is shower-proof and most importantly the overall image quality is excellent.

The Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD's build quality is reassuringly good, and although big and bulky at over a kilo in weight, it makes an ideal partner to a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that we tested it with. The only proviso from a desgin point of view is the inability to use traditional screw-on filters.

Image quality is excellent, with fantastic center and edge sharpness throughout almost the entire zoom and aperture range. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled, geometric distortion is quite obvious but to be expected for an ultrawide lens, and flare is only ever an issue when shooting directly into the sun. The only real optical issues are obvious corner shading at the maximum aperture, something that every full-frame shooter has to put up with especially when using wide angles, and a slight lack of edge sharpness when shooting wide-open at f/2.8 and stopped-down at f/16 and f/22.

If you don't mind the lack of of a big-brand name and value the effective image stabilisation, then we can heartily recommend the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD as an attractively priced, excellent quality ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for full-frame DSLR owners.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 5