I was struggling if I should get the Nikon 16-35mm (F/4) or the Tamron 15-30mm (F/2.8) recently and came across a friend of mine in North Carolina that was not using the Tamron because of its weight. Once you get this lens on a full frame body, it can be a little heavy….especially for a small woman.
We talked a little about the price and came to a point that we should agree and a week later, I had the Tamron 15-30mm (F/2.8) in my hands and on the Nikon D800. Being 6’3″ and 255 pounds, the extra weight is not an issue. I care more about the quality of images that I can get than anything. If weight was an issue, I would go fully mirrorless!
Before someone gets it twisted, I did not care about the extra stop of light over the Nikon nor did I care about the extra little reach that I would have had with the Nikon. Most shooting is done between F/7.1 and F/13 anyways. The 5mm in reach is one step forward. I could also go into DX mode and make it basically 45mm if I wanted to give up some area on the sensor. (Basically would turn the Nikon D800 into the Nikon D7200)
Tamron 15-30mm doing Street Photography
Most street photography is done at 50mm or even 85mm so what does it look at like shooting at 15mm to 30mm. I like the wide shoots and in most cases, I feel like I have to shoot from a mile away using a 50mm. It is true that you will miss many shots because of the wide angle. However, there is many wide shots you will get that you could not pull off with the 50mm.
One thing I like to get a lot of pictures when doing street photography is buildings. You can forget it getting people shot up close with a 15mm. You would have to get so close that it would be rude to even try it. Getting wide building shots is perfect though. It would take a lot of merging images to get them a lens that is not this wide.
The above picture has made it possible. It was shot low to the ground and you can see the landscape work in the front and still see the Kansas City Union Station in the background. The bottom line is the Tamron 15-30mm (F2.8) has its place in street photography.
What about Real Estate Photography?
One of the things that I do in a photography setting is real estate. This is why I got this lens if I want to be honest. You need a very wide lens for homes and this is perfect. I would recommend this lens for all real estate photographers.
Because of the Vibration Compensation (VC) offered by Tamron on a lens this wide (Nikon does not put VR on wide lens), you can realistically shoot hand held if you have a decent amount of light. While they say you have three stops of light because of it, I would say it is really about two. While I would never shoot a house without a tripod, I think you could if really needed to do it.
In fact, the image above was shoot in the afternoon and it was five shots taken with Bracketing. I did not have the tripod with me so I just shoot off using Ch mode or Continuous High. If shooting five shots, it is a little over a second. While not recommended, it is possible to make happen!
Some thoughts on Tamron 15-30mm (F/2.8)
While I have not broke it is doing landscape photography yet, (Winter suck for that in Missouri) I am overall very happy with the lens. It is a professional lens and it does amazing work. It was not cheap but you will pay for good glass once you go full frame. The days of “all in one” (Nikon 18-200mm) are history!
In the future, I am sure I will do a break down of using this lens in several types of photography. How I would use it for landscape is very different than street photography for example. Could this be used for portrait images at 30mm and F/2.8? Is it still too wide to do some food photography? These are questions that I am sure will be answered in the coming articles at HDR School.
For now, I am just playing with it and seeing how I can use it to make amazing images and be a professional photographer.