When compared to other standard primes on the market, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a very unique offering. It has an unusual focal length of 45mm, which when combined with its close focusing ability, as well as optical image stabilization, certainly makes it stand out. I am personally a big fan of all three. Instead of lugging both 35mm and 50mm primes with me, I would just opt for this one lens, making it a versatile “all-around” lens for street and travel photography needs.
The lens is built very well, and its weather-sealing properties even make it a great candidate for landscape photography needs. Its wide-open sharpness is quite good, and it is able to resolve plenty of detail on 24 to 36 MP sensors, especially when stopped down a little. It might not be as remarkable as the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, especially when using high-resolution 45 MP+ cameras, but not everyone needs that kind of resolution from such a lens in the first place.
Despite its strengths, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD has its list of issues. The biggest problem, which can be a deal-breaker for some photographers out there, is the strong green / purple fringing the lens exhibits as a result of poor longitudinal chromatic aberration performance. As shown in the earlier pages of this review, the effect is quite strong, and something that is quite difficult to address in post-processing software. In addition, the autofocus accuracy of the lens can be a bit of a mixed bag, especially uncalibrated, so I would strongly urge our readers to calibrate it with the Tamron Tap-In Console. Everything else isn’t unexpected from a standard prime lens, and things that I personally have no problems dealing with.
Overall, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a solid lens, as long as you are willing to live with the above-mentioned weaknesses. Tamron priced the lens at $599, which is a reasonable price, considering what this lens is capable of.
Where to Buy
As always, if you would like to support our efforts, you can get your copy of the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD from our trusted partner B&H Photo Video.
It seems like this lens has been selling for $399 at B&H lately (use the link above), which is a steal!
Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
- Optical Performance
- Bokeh Quality
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
- Image Stabilization
- Size and Weight
Photography Life Overall Rating
Table of Contents