“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” 

– Anais Nin

Tamron has been a dabbling in optical manufacturing for 70 years and their technologies have improved through superb R&D, Acquisitions, and Strategic Partnerships. They’ve made lenses not just for cameras, but optics for binoculars, cell phones, telescopes, CCTV and surveillance cameras, and lenses for automobile applications (does that mean Tesla? Not sure.) You name it, they got glass for it.

But let’s stick to photography. That’s what I’m familiar with. Tamron is known for their affordable 3rd party lens options. Fifteen years ago, you could get a comparable alterative to some of your brand selections. If you bought a Canon Camera but bristled at expensive lens options, then you could find a quality Tamron equivalent to get the job done for half the cost, especially for crop-sensor cameras.

Then Tamron upped the ante and began competing for the full-frame market. I can tell you that when I switched to Nikon, their 24-70mm lens did not resolve well enough for their new high resolution D800e DSLR. I tried different copies of the lens and was not satisfied. I can’t say what made me try the Tamron, but it was an instant improvement. It beat Nikon’s own lens!

So when I heard about Tamron’s new 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens, it definitely got me curious. An f/2 wide-angle zooming out to 150mm telephoto and only losing one stop? Really? Granted 35mm is on the cusp of being called wide angle. But 150mm is definitely telephoto. And Tamron is known for their odd focal length zooms. 

The reviews are great on this thing. I’d be anxious to try it! But even so, a few things hold me back on it being a definite buy for me:

1. I’ve been strictly prime for 4 years! I’ve been served well using a 24mm prime and a 55mm prime. All I’m truly missing is my 90mm macro.

2. I’ve hardly ever done telephoto work in all my years shooting. Most everything has been up close preferring to shoot normal to wide-angle, or macro.

3. The weight! This thing is every bit of 2 and a half pounds (1165g)! I don’t know if I can swing that as a traveler who has to carry everything I own on my back or in a camera bag slung across my shoulder. It’s not the heaviest lens I’ve ever owned. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II was 3 and a quarter pounds but I carried it in a Pelican hard case that had rollers and a handle which I put in the pack seat of my car! 

4. That hefty price! The lens is $1,900. It’s not much for what you are asking it to do. That’s about $600 more than I’ve paid for any Tamron lens I’ve owned, however. 

Why even consider it? I mean… DANG! My travel plans have become far different from what I imagined when I initially set out. When I set out, I imagined 18 months. That’s it. It’s been 52 months! And I’m not even done in Vietnam yet! And in that time, YES… I have run across a FEW situations when I wished I had some longer reach! Not often, but enough to where my imaginations took me to the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS… or Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6.

I wish I could just put it behind me! But it seems like every dog gone week, there’s another review about how surprisingly impressive the Tamron 35-150mm is. But I may as well dispense with any notion of this lens until I get back stateside. When will that be? I’m working on it!