It’s that time of year again. Time for one to sit down, reflect, take a look at what lenses were released during the previous year, and take stock of what deserves the end of the year honors.

Today, I wanted to take a minute and talk about some of my top lens releases of the past year. This is not our official SLR Lounge year end awards (those will come later); this is just my opinion regarding lenses that stood out to me during the 2015 calendar year, including my favorite one.

Top Lens Release – Tamron 35mm F/1.8 VC


I was lucky enough to be in NYC when Tamron first unveiled its newest SP lenses, the 35mm F/1.8 VC, and the 45mm F/1.8 VC. You can take a look at my initial impressions on these two lenses here, but today I wanted to specifically speak about the 35mm.

The 35mm, assuming you get a good copy (there have been reports of some QA issues, though both copies I have used worked flawlessly), offers users stellar optical performance, minimal distortion, a close working distance, and image stabilization in a single package for just $600.

It also looks about as sexy as a lens can look. I am a big fan of this Tamron lens – so much so I have greatly considered picking one up and adapting it to my A7R II. There are faster 35mm lenses out there, from Sigma, Sony, Nikon, and Canon – but this Tamron lens offers a level of quality at F/1.8 to a degree that I don’t miss the extra light one bit.



This lens, in my opinion, is the clear price to performance king in the 35mm focal length category right now. If you are interested, you can pick one of these bad boys up at B&H, here.

**We’ve also partnered with Tamron to this lens away! Enter here.**

My Runner-Up – Sony FE 35mm F/1.4


Interesting that out of my top 9 lenses of the year, three are new 35mm lenses (in wildly different price points). But yes, my runner-up for 2015 is also a 35mm prime lens, though this one mounts to my A7R II with no adapters needed – the Sony FE 35mm F/1.4.

Just as the Tamron above, the optical quality of this lens is just spectacular and its performance from center to corner on my A7R II is brilliant. Though not the killer deal like the Tamron, the Sony FE 35mm comes in at a fair price of just under $1600.

If you are shooting on Sony’s A7 series, there is no better 35mm lens available to you right now. (Though as I mentioned above, that adapted Tamron is very tempting to me and my wallet). Get it here.

Other Notable Lenses of 2015

So that is what I think, what about you guys?

There you have it ladies and gents. Those are some of my picks for the lens releases that stood out to me the most here in 2015. You may agree on some, you may disagree on some, and that is what the comment section is for!

Leave a comment below, let me know what you think! What lenses stood out to you in 2015?