Tamron Adaptall-2 24-48mm f/3.5-3.8 might sound like an average vintage lens with unamusing focal range, especially on a Super35 camera, but it’s actually not your average zoom. The 24-48mm is actually a respected lens which performs beautifully on full frame cameras, making it a great wide-to-mid range zoom. When used on a full frame camera at 24mm it’s about as wide as you need for most video work and 48mm provides a nice, natural looking mid- shot. While it’s not the fastest lens out there, it’s still faster than my former “go to” lens, the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L. I’ve actually compared these 2 lenses (see below) and the Tamron stacks up against the popular (and much more expensive) Canon really well. I actually found it to be sharper than Canon at 24mm which is very impressive considering the difference in price. While doesn’t offer auto-focusing, image stabilization and a great focal range of the 24-105mm, there is no denying that it’s great wide to mid range lens with plenty of character that modern lenses often lack.
The build quality of these Tamron Adaptall-II lenses is quite amazing. In fact it’s much better than that of most modern Tamron lenses (I guess back then they took a bit more care and plastic contraction was not acceptable standard for them). This lens is rock solid and even quite heavy (fully metal construction and a lot of glass inside). Focusing barrel is very smooth (modern Canon L lenses are nowhere near as good for manual focusing). You also have hard stops on the focusing ring (unlike modern Canon glass) and manual aperture adjustment allows you to adapt this lens to just about any camera. Tamron’s Adaptall-2 mount is probably the most versatile mount system out there, so very easy adaptable to literally all the modern large sensor cameras using a cheap adapters that can be found on Adaptall-2 adapters on ebay.
Coming back to image quality, I was really impressed with the sharpens, contrast and colors produced by this lens. It flares beautifully when pointed towards the sun, but thanks to its multi-coating, the flaring is not overwhelming, which is what you want for most shooting situations.
I can surely recommend this lens to anyone looking to buy a wide zoom for their full frame camera. It will of course work S35 and S16 cameras too, but will you loose the what I think is the best thing about the lens, a lovely 24mm focal length. On a plus side, 48mm will get you further, but for me the wide end of this lens is the best thing about it.
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