Tamron AF Telemacro 90-300 4.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by transiently

reviewer#45714 date: Jun-3-2021
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 2.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:At 90 to about 140mm, it's at least as sharp as the 70-210 beercan and much better than the 70-210 3.5-4.5 or 100-300 4.5-5.6 regular or APO. Much after that...forget this one; it's poor. The performance seems broadly similar to the 70-300 and 75-300 Tamrons which succeeded it, yet if anything this is better at short focal lengths and worse at long ones.
price paid:very, very little
positive:Remarkably sharp, even wide open, at 90mm and 135mm...I mean it is really pin sharp across the 1.5 crop frame, and with good contrast and nice rendering. Nice bokeh. Probably the first Tamron with a 9 bladed aperture, which effectively means you don't need to shoot it wide open to get nice bokeh. Reasonably small and light considering its focal length range.
negative:Unfortunately only the lower third of the focal length range is actually usable, since sharpness rapidly declines above 135mm. When shooting near infinity, I'd tend to forget about anything much over 180mm - it really is that bad. For closer focus shots, you can use up to about 250mm and still have enough sharpness. There is a lot of purple fringing near 300mm; it starts to become generally noticeable at around 160mm and increases thereafter.
comment:I'm tempted to try to jam mine at around 150mm, although it is OK for close-ups at greater focal lengths than that.

This is a schizophrenic lens, perhaps the least consistent telephoto zoom of all!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 3.25
  • color: 3.00
  • build: 3.00
  • distortion: 3.50
  • flare control: 2.50
  • overall: 3.05
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