As a portrait photographer who primarily works with families and children, I’m always looking for the lightest and most versatile gear possible. I prefer to shoot in natural light and carry a maximum of two lenses to a photo shoot. I carry my equipment in a backpack camera bag that is usually strapped to my back as I’m shooting, so it’s imperative that my gear is light. I’m also running after kids and doing silly dances to make them laugh so I just can’t be weighed down.
The Tamron 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC lens is the ultimate portrait zoom for my photography business.
When I want to carry just one lens, the Tamron 35-150mm is a convenient substitute for my favorite prime lenses, the Tamron SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC, the Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC, as well as my favorite portrait zoom, the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC. If you are a fan of the 24-70 zoom range, then this lens will be your new favorite. The quality is superb and the focal range is even sweeter.
My first impression of this lens would be compared to love at first sight. From that first click, I knew I loved this focal range, the fast autofocus across the entire zoom range, and the versatility that this lens could bring to my workflow.
I take two different approaches at my family shoots: I like to get close up to get the details and intimate moments, and then I like to back up and get those beautiful portraits with the creamy backgrounds. In the past, I’ve had to change lenses for these two different approaches, but now I can shoot a full session without having to swap lenses.
One lens does it all.
The core benefit of this lens is the incredible range in focal lengths. I can’t even explain how freeing it feels to just zoom in and out to capture the moments that are unfolding before my eyes. Here are my favorite focal lengths to use with this lens:
35mm – This focal range is where I like to capture lifestyle moments such as sweet giggles, intimate moments like hands on the face, hugs, and tight connections. These are the un-posed moments that unfold as the family members interact.
85mm – The longer focal range is where I begin to direct my clients a bit more and capture more posed portraits. I still incorporate lifestyle moments but this is where I can create images with a creamier background. This lens creates the bokeh that I crave.
150mm – This focal range is brand new to me in my portrait sessions. Prior to the 35-150mm, I could never find a satisfactory zoom at this focal length and didn’t want to be burdened with carrying and swapping to yet another prime during a session. I am in love with the look this lens creates at this focal range. I love the fast aperture across the zoom range. I’m able to back up and create portraits where the family can interact with each other and evoke emotions from each other. It also creates a strong bokeh effect that you just can’t get from wider focal lengths.
The Tamron 35-150mm is loaded with features I love.
Not all lenses can handle the strong backlighting I prefer to shoot with at the beach. There are not a lot of environmental features, such as tall trees, that I can use to filter or block light, so I need a lens that can handle direct backlighting. Luckily, this lens stands up to that challenge. I can seamlessly shoot my clients in any light that I prefer and have confidence in the results. I love that I can use the light to make my images even stronger and this lens doesn’t hold me back.
Tamron continues to include features such as fluorine coating to add protection to your glass when you are shooting outside. This protection gives me great peace of mind and the freedom to be as creative as I can on the beach without having to worry about damaging my equipment with sand and salt. It also includes VC (vibration compensation) to help create sharp images even when you have a little extra unwanted camera movement. The size and weight of this lens is much smaller than you’d imagine for the wide focal range – I’d compare it to the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC in terms of size.
The versatility of this lens is a game changer.
I not only love to photograph my clients at the beach, I love to capture landscape shots as well. I was eager to see what this focal range could offer me at a sunrise shoot. Using a tripod, I slowed my shutter speed way down to create those creamy waves. At the focal range of 35mm it blew my mind how easy this lens was to use and how sharp my images came out at such a slow shutter speed. I was able to create images that remind me of how relaxed these waves can make me feel at the beach.
Not only is the versatility of this lens a game changer for me, so is the image quality. There is usually a lot of movement in my family sessions, and not many chances for a redo when working with small children. When your little subject runs into mom’s arms and gives her a big kiss, there is only one chance to capture this moment and I know this lens is reliable and can produce a sharp image with all the quality I expect to deliver to my clients.
The price point of $799 might just be the cherry on top. I honestly find it too good to be true that you can get all of this at this price point. I was able to use this lens for a sunrise landscape shoot and in the very same day use it exclusively for a family session. I’m excited for the new opportunities this lens will bring me.
Video demo: watch me in action with the Tamron 35-150mm zoom lens at a family photo session.
Photos and video by Marcie Reif
This is a sponsored post but opinions are those of the author.