8 out of 10 points and recommendedRatio size / weight / price ; Goog IQ given the range and priceNeeds in-body stabilization ; IQ doesn't match HQ zooms or primes
The released version of this lens is without stabilization, then it mainly addresses owners of Olympus or GX7 bodies ...reviewed July 29th, 2014 (purchased for $589)
I suppose Tamron made this choice because of price, size and weight and it makes sense (according to me as an owner of two Olympus bodies !)
My feeling about using the lens :
- wide angle : very sharp in the center, good in the edges, a little soft in the angles, huge CA (one-click to correct on post-production)
- at the best at 35/50mm : sharper in edges / corners, less CA
- remains good at 70/80mm,
- slightly decreases from 100mm to 150mm
You can apply easily moderate sharperning on raw files without degrading too much the IQ
Usual and strong distortion, but corrected by the body (tested on E-PL5 !) or in post-production
AF is excellent, remarkable on video and continuous tracking/shooting (on an Olympus E-PL5 !)
Zoom ring a little hard for video use
Proxy photo is difficult as you must use max focal for max ratio, and it becomes difficult to frame the subject (it moves a lot !). And the lens is not at its sharpest !
Olympus 14-42 IIR and 40-150 have slight better IQ on JPEG (less CA for the 14-42, sharper for the 45-150)
Olympus 14-42 EZ is sharper, but AF is less reliable
I'm curious to see the improvement that the DxO module will bring to sharpness, etc. I made some tries with manual corrections and the results are very close to the IQ of the Olympus 14-42 IIR and 40-150 : distortion and CA is easily corrected and sharpness can be significantly improved on the edges.
I don't have much experience of big zooms, but I think the lens presents the usual compromise for this type of lens. Sharpness is good at the most useful range for street or landscape shots (14-90mm). Above, it remains usable especially outdoors for portraits or family shots, where you generally don't mind for absolute sharpness, especially on the edges. You may be ready to shot RAW and apply automatic software corrections (Hurry up DxO !)
AF performance is above average, so it has very good ratio price/size/performance.
It won't replace my Olympus 12-40 when I want to bring back top IQ (on journeys for example), but for family shots and video, it's just right. It is the lens you can let on your body when you don't know in what context you'll take your next shots.
It can replace without compromise two kit lenses.
Edit on 2015/08/26 :
Now the DxO module is available for this lens.
I have compared the Olympus 12-40 and F5.6 and the Tamron 14-150, as I am a lucky man who owns both lenses.
If you stop down the aperture to have the best IQ (F4 for a Olympus 12-40 and F5.6 for the Tamron 14-150 at 14mm, F6.3 at 40mm and F7.1 at longer focal, the sharpness is the same at the center (which is an excellent result given th IQ of the 12-40).
I would say that, given the JPEG I'm used to see for one year and the price (the third compared the 12-40), the results of the 14-150mm are far better than I could expect ...
Of course there is a price to pay, that is the difference of aperture to have these results : one stop at 14mm and two at 40mm. No problem outdoor on a sunny day, but inside a church, if you were at 800 ISO with the 12-40, it would be 1600 ISO with the 14-150 (at 14mm) and 2000 ISO (at 40mm). If, no luck, you are at the limit with 3200 ISO at 40mm with the 12-40, you are pushed to 8000 ISO with the 14-150, and perhaps more if you have to choose a faster exposure (5-axis IBIS still needs shorter exposure at longer focal ...)
There is also a slight difference of sharpness at the edger of the frame at the wider end, but one should not care, even at larger prints. To be sure, I made some simulations of large prints, format A3 (16,5"x11,7", size of largest photo albums here) and 27,5"x19,7" (the size here for big photos frames, that is 70cmx50cm). At A3 size, the difference of sharpness at the top left corner (the worse one) is indistinguishable. At the bigger size, it is distinguishable only if you examine the print "the nose on the paper", this is not realistic at this size of print.
By the occasion, I could validate that 16Mpxels is enough for very good 70cmx50cm prints. I don't need at the moment a Sony A7R II ... MFT system provides me good gear at affordable price and reasonable size and weight ...
The other point is that the 12-40 is ... wider
As the sharpness is similar on 14-150 and 12-40 for more than 70% of the surface of the prints even at the wide end, the Tamron is an excellent lens for portraits (especially at longer focals outdoor where one can obtain nice bokeh) and family shots in general
I will continue to use the 12-40 on journeys for landscapes, architecture and indoors. But the Tamron 14-150 associated with DxO is an impressive combination, given the price.