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Tamron's new fast primes: Affordable but not cheap (pictures and photo samples)

Taking a leaf out of Sigma's book, Tamron's first standard primes have metal bodies and an upscale feel. All but one of the product shots were taken with one of these two lenses.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

Tamron SP 35mm f1.8 Di VC USD (Model F012)

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2 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

Tamron SP 45mm f1.8 Di VC USD (Model F013)

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3 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

45mm lens

The two lenses look identical except for the fact that the 45mm is a bit longer. The gold ring is the SP series' new signature look.

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4 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

Nine-blade aperture

Both lenses have a nine-blade aperture, though it doesn't look like the blades themselves are rounded.

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5 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

Well thought-out switches

Both lenses support image stabilization -- not enough wide-ish-angle lenses do for systems from Canon and Nikon that don't have in-body stabilization. As with Sigma's recent designs, the switches are very big and easy to feel without looking.

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6 of 17 Sarah Tew/CNET

Relatively big and heavy

The lenses weigh at least a pound, but the 35mm at least is about the same size as Sigma's equivalent.

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7 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

A little barrel...

...distortion, that is, with the 35mm lens. That's not atypical, though.

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8 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

45mm f2.2

Note that the sample photos are ones that I quickly shot in our offices. I couldn't take the lenses outside until they were announced. Check back for a wider range of samples post-launch. They were all shot with the Nikon D810.

You can see a little fringing on the high-contrast edges.

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9 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

45mm bokeh

You can see some rings on the edges of the out-of-focus highlights, but overall they're round and pleasing.

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10 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

35mm f3.5

The lens is quite sharp.

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11 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

35mm f1.8

The 35mm lens also produces nice out-of-focus highlights.

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12 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

35mm f1.8

Here you can see the quality of the focus transitions.

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13 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

35mm f11

I have no complaints about the lens' sharpness at middle apertures.

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14 of 17 Lori Grunin/CNET

35mm f5.6

Both lenses can focus quite close.

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