Opteka 15mm f/4 vs Tamron 15-30mm

I picked up a Opteka 15mm lens online to use as a lightweight backup lens for Real Estate Photography and also landscapes.  Unfortunately the Opteka 15mm f/4 LD UNC AL 1:1 Macro Wide Angle Full Frame Lens comes nowhere near filling the shoes of my Tamron SP 15-30mm VC F/2.8 lens.  As such, I can’t rely on the Opteka for any serious work.

Comparison test images below.  All shots taken on my tripod mounted full-framed Sony A7R I (using the Fotodiox Pro Canon EF adapter).  2 second delay and manual focus techniques were employed for both shots.  Exposure information – ISO 400, F/16.  0.3 second shutter speed with the Tamron and 1/10th second shutter on the Opteka yielded a similar brightness to the frame.

The upper left corners of the Opteka 15mm lens are fairly soft.  The upper right corners of the Opteka 15mm are extremely soft.  Center sharpness is surprisingly not bad.

See below to reach your own conclusion:

Tamron 15-30mm + Sony A7R Landscape Photography

Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R

Opteka 15mm + Sony A7R Landscape Photography

Opteka 15mm F/4 + Sony A7R


Tamron Upper Left Crop

Tamron SP 15-30mm Upper Left Crop

Opteka Upper Left

Opteka 15mm Upper Left Crop


Tamron Lower Left Crop

Tamron SP 15-30mm VC Lower Left Crop

Opteka Lower Left Crop

Opteka 15mm F/4 Lower Left Crop

Tamron Upper Right Crop 15mm

Tamron SP 15-30mm Upper Right Crop

Opteka Upper Right Crop

Opteka 15mm Upper Right Crop

Tamron Lower Right Crop

Tamron Lower Left Crop

Opteka Lower Right Crop

Opteka Lower Left Crop

Tamron Focal Point Crop 15mm

Tamron Focal Point Crop

Opteka Focal Point Crop 15mm

Opteka Focal Point Crop


Do you need digital photography lenses, cameras, or accessories reviewed and tested?  Send me an email at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com to get started


Tamron 14-150mm + Olympus PEN E-PL2 sharpness

Since having my Olympus PEN converted to infrared (IR + UV spectrum to be precise), I’ve noticed a really great amount of sharpness in my photos.  The Tamron 14-150mm Di III lens natively takes very nice photos, and I also believe that IR photos may have greater clarity than our typical visible light spectrum.  Below is a 200% crop of a nature photo I took today with the Tamron 14-150mm Di III, infrared-converted PEN E-PL2, and my Benro carbon fiber tripod.  No filter on the lens.

Infrared photo detail

Photo taken with #Tamron 14-150mm Di III lens and #infrared converted #Olympus PEN E-PL2 micro four thirds camera.

Below is a view of my full-sized web photo:

NJ Fine Art Photo

A #monotone image captured with the #Tamron 14-150mm Di III and infrared converted #Olympus PEN E-PL2 micro four thirds camera.

Exposure notes – 150mm (300mm in 35mm terms), F/9.0, 0.6s, tripod, manual white balance (kelvin).

The effects of a circular polarizing filter on a superzoom lens

I’d been recently caught off guard by the lack of sharpness on the long end of my 16-300mm VC lens so I performed a brief test with and without my frequently used 67mm circular polarizing filter. The drop off in sharpness is completely the fault of the filter. At 16mm with my polarizing filter mounted I do get a very sharp image, but at 300mm with the polarizing filter the photos become very hazy. There is no noticeable loss of sharpness from wide to telephoto end without the filter.  The filter used is a 67mm slim Zomei filter.

Remember to always conduct sharpness tests on lenses without filters, and if you want to test the sharpness of the filters themselves you must do so in controlled exposures.

*Note that none of these photos are intended to be flattering shots, these are uncorrected jpegs in harsh backlighting.

Sharpness check with filter

Upper left – 16mm F/8 ISO 100, no filter. Upper right – 16mm F/8 ISO 100, slim 67mm CPL filter. Lower left – 300mm F/8 ISO 100, no filter. Lower right – 300mm F/8 ISO 100, slim 67mm CPL filter.