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Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Review: Tasty prime for Nikon FX

By Paul Carroll - Monday December 21 2015

Lens Review
Introduction | Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di Measurement: Raising the bar for resolution | Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Conclusion: Superior performance for sharpness
Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Review: Tasty prime for Nikon FX

Announced in September 2015, the $599 Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8) is a standard focal length prime lens for Nikon, Canon, and Sony full-frame cameras. Offering a fixed focal length with a field of view similar to human vision (excluding peripheral vision) and a large maximum aperture, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 is a good option for a range of uses, including street photography, portraits, low-light and all-round general shooting.

The Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 features Tamron’s Vibration Compensation (VC) system that offers up to 3.5 stops of image stabilization — enabling, in theory, sharp shots of relatively static subjects using shutter speeds as slow as ¼ second. Note that VC is only available in the Nikon and Canon versions of this lens, as it’s not needed in the Sony version (as Sony cameras offer camera-based image stabilization).

Other features include Tamron’s USD autofocus motor for quick and quiet AF, as well as a minimum focus distance of just 29cm, with a maximum magnification of 1:3.4 at this setting. There’s also a focus distance window on the lens barrel, a minimum aperture of f/16, and 67mm filter thread. The Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 weighs in at 540g.

Optical construction utilizes 10 elements in 8 groups, including a low-dispersion element and two aspherical elements for enhanced image quality. We’ve put the Nikon version of this lens through the rigors of a DxOMark Lab test, so let’s see how it shapes up.

Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di Measurement: Raising the bar for resolution

Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Conclusion: Superior performance for sharpness