SLRGear.com: Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera ReviewsDiscuss lenses in the SLRgear.com Forums (separate login!)



Reviews Views Date of last review
2 24409 10/27/2013
Recommended By Average Purchase
100% of reviewers $599.50
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Readers'
Overall Rating
spacerspacer
8.00
spacerspacer
9.00
spacerspacer
9.00
tamron90f28mvc.jpg


Keywords: Tamron Canon Nikon Sony Tele Prime Macro 35mm Di SP USB VC Stabilized


MediaGuru

Registered: November 2012
Posts: 2
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD SP review by MediaGuru
Review Date: 10/27/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $749.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: solid build, good fit & finish, very sharp at f/2.8-f/3.1 and tack sharp at f/3.5-f/16, no lateral chromatic aberration, no distortion, IF, quiet af, no front/back focus issues, smooth focus ring, moisture resistant, 6 yr warranty
Cons: a-mount connector a bit loose, sharpness declines after f/16, minor bokeh fringing from f/2.8-f/7.1, minor vignetting from f/2.8-f/3.5, lens flair, Sony version lacks VC, AF slower than expected, no case/pouch

I purchased this lens to use with my Sony A57 (16.1 megapixel APS-C, 1.5x crop). I have three other Tamron SP lenses (A16, A005 and B01) and chose them because I felt their image quality was as good, maybe even better than the comparable Sony or Sigma lenses. Also, Tamron lenses are priced reasonably and come with a 6-year warranty.


BUILD QUALITY
This lens is solid and feels like a quality item while holding in your hand. Yes, it is made with mostly plastic, but the plastic seems to be durable and of reasonably high quality. Like all my other Tamron lenses, this one is just a hair loose with the A-mount connector. This is extremely common with Tamron lenses and does not affect the lens' ability to communicate with the camera.


SHARPNESS
This lens is very sharp if the aperture is set between f/2.8 through f/3.1. This lens becomes tack sharp between f/3.5 through f/16. Expect image quality to degrade slowly after f/16 - you don't even have to view your photos at 100% to notice this.


LATERAL CHROMATIC ABERRATION
Lateral chromatic aberration is when all colors are in focus, but do not meet in the same position along the focal plane. This only shows up in the corners of the image in high-contrast areas. I am happy to report that this lens does not suffer from any lateral chromatic aberration during my real-world testing.


LONGITUDINAL CHROMATIC ABERRATION
Longitudinal chromatic aberration (aka LoCA or bokeh fringing) occurs when different wavelengths of color do not meet at the optical axis. This causes red, green or blue fringing around objects throughout the entire photo. Unfortunately, this type of fringing is very common on fast prime lenses and the F004 is no exception. I took multiple photos of different objects and test charts and noticed green fringing above the focus area and red fringing below. I was able to process the images in Lightroom and successfully remove the fringing. The fringing I noticed was not as bad as some photo samples I viewed for other comparable lenses. Any fringing I found was noticeable while viewing these 16 megapixel photo at 25% or higher. I don't see any reason to be concerned about the amount of LoCA with this lens - as I mentioned this is a common issue with fast prime lenses and it is easily corrected with software. The fringing does disappear by f/8.


DISTORTION
Pincushion, barrel and mustache distortion are non-existent.


VIGNETTING
Vignetting is very well controlled on this lens. Stopping down to f/4 will eliminate any visible vignetting.


LENS FLAIR
Lens flair is a problem if the sun is in the frame and your photos will contain green blobs. Definitely use your lens hood while taking photos outside. I did not notice any issues with flair when the sun was out of the frame.


VIBRATION COMPENSATION
The Sony version of this lens does not include VC since this is already built into the Sony DSLR bodies. Even without VC, this lens costs the same as the Canon and Nikon versions. I would like Tamron to adjust their pricing accordingly.


LENS BARREL EXTENSION
This lens does not extend while focusing since this is all done internally. This is a plus since it will offer more protection against dust entering the lens. Also, the Tamron lenses with the IF feature include a non-rotating filter ring, more precise handling since the lens length does not change during focusing and improved optical quality by minimizing illumination loss at the corners of the image field (according to Tamron).


AUTO FOCUS NOISE
This lens features the Tamron USD auto-focus drive mechanism and is probably the most silent Tamron lens I own. The only other lens I have with USD is the 70-300 and that one is very quiet too, but I think this lens is even quieter - most of the time I cannot hear it focusing.


AUTO FOCUS PERFORMANCE
This lens does have a focus limiter switch which you will appreciate in AF mode. I like the limiter switch because it can greatly reduce the time it takes to focus on an object. For the most part, auto focus works well and is accurate. There have been a few times where it hunted and took a second or so to focus on an object. It's safe to say that this lens focuses much faster than my A16 which does not have the USD feature.


FRONT/BACK FOCUS
The copy I received had absolutely no issues with front or back focus.


MANUAL FOCUS
This lens has the smoothest focus ring I've ever used - I wish my 180mm macro was this smooth.


DIMENSIONS
Length with both caps attached: 5-3/8" (13.65cm)
Length with rear cap and hood attached: 7-5/16" (18.57cm)
Width: 3" (7.62cm)
Width of hood: 3-5/8" (9.21cm)


ACCESSORIES
The previous version of this lens (272E) came with a nice lens pouch even though it costs a few hundred dollars less, lacks the ultrasonic silent drive (USD) and is not moisture resistant. Now, I have to out of my way to find a lens case/pouch that will comfortably hold the F004 and probably spend about $20 doing so.


The following cases/pouch should work fine with the F004:


Tamrac MX5341 (600D nylon & closed-cell padding, 4" x 5.5")
Tamrac MX5378 (600D nylon & closed-cell padding, 3.5" x 5.75")
iKan SBSL35 (neoprene, 3.5" x 5")


COST
Let's be real, $750 is a lot for the beginner or enthusiast to spend on a lens. There are other options out there like the Tamron 272E, Sigma 105mm or older Minolta macros that are cheaper. You could spend about $50 more for the Sony SAL100M28, but you might as well save $50 because this lens is just as good - plus it features the USD motor, a 6-year warranty and most of the time Tamron is offering some sort of rebate. Sorry Sony, a 1-year warranty for a lens that costs $800 is unacceptable.


CONCLUSION
Overall I found this lens to be a pleasure to use. I am not sure how much I will actually use auto focus, but it's nice to have since this lens can AF silently and pretty darn quick. It is a little pricey considering no accessories are included, the Sony version lacks VC and there are many other primes around this focal length. I wish the tack level of sharpness was present throughout every aperture, but I realize this is unlikely. It would be nice not to correct any images to remove bokeh fringing, but again this is very common with fast prime lenses and the level of fringing with my copy was less than other 70-135mm primes I looked at.


I feel this lens deserves a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.
lensreporter

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 12
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD SP review by lensreporter
Review Date: 8/2/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: AF silent and quick, bokeh, sharp of course (a little less than the older version), VC
Cons: still a bit plastic-feeling

Nice lens! excellent macrowork, great bokeh, quick AF and fantastic stabilization, nice colours and of course sharp. I paid 450 new, good price for a luxery-macro!


 






This document copyright © 2009-2014, SLRgear.com, all rights reserved.