Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di Macro USD A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 5   
reviewer#17334 date: Aug-14-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di
price paid:350,00 euro (used)
positive:Relatively fast for a macro lens
Really Sharp!!
Natural colours

negative:none
comment:Bought this lens used and it was in absolute mint condition. My most used Tamron 28 – 75 lens is really sharp but the 90 mm macro is further stretching the limits. Working really well on my Sony A57, I don’t expect that the Sony Zeiss macro lenses will make a big difference. I previously owned the old 90mm Tamron, image quality was also good but the slow autofocus made it nearly un-usable. Beside macro this lens is also perfect for shooting portraits. I would definitely recommend this lens to my photo enthusiastic friends!
reviewer#12163 date: Mar-6-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL50M28
price paid:550 USD New
positive:Everything
negative:CA but easily removed in software
comment:A must have lens. I opted for this lens instead of the Sony/Minolta 100/2.8 after reading many reviews, but the main point for final decision was its internal focusing, unlike the mentioned 100/2.8 Sony or Minolta, and the USD instead of the screw driven one. My Sony 50/2.8 wobbles at macro positions even with the light twin flashes on.
reviewer#11596 date: Jan-9-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300mm SSM G Mk1
Minolta 35-105mm Maxxum (Original Beercan generation)
Sony 18-135mm DT SAM
price paid:£399 GBP new
positive:This lens is incredibly sharp, awe-inspiring sharp in fact, but the large manual focus ring gives a great amount of control when using at macro distances. The lens is very light and is very well made indeed.
negative:None.
comment:WOW!

Before purchasing my first macro lens I did a lot of research before parting with my £399 GBP cash. As I decided I wanted a Sony-Fit modern ~100mm macro lens with modern coatings, this narrowed my choice down to either the latest SP/USD 90mm Tamron, the Sigma 105mm HSM or the Sony 100mm (all f2.8). As the Sony extends when focussing and is a bit older (2006 as opposed to 2011/12) I dropped the Sony from my list of potential macro's.

The Sigma is both 36% heavier and 10% longer than the Tamron! My experience from using the Sony 70-300mm SSM G is that length and weight make a big difference at telephoto focal lengths, so the significant reduction in weight and size were big plusses for me with the Tamron. (No doubt partly due to the lack of stabilisation built into the Tamron.)

SO, given that all other factors were equal (modern piezo focussing, f2.8, sharpness, modern coatings, great bokeh, fantastic image quality, large manual focus ring, etc.) I decided to opt for the Tamron!

Some say that the Sigma build is 'better', but is it? If my measure was that it was 'built like a tank', I would have considered one of the early Minolta's! No, my 'measure' on build quality is whether the lens is built for the job and whether it has been built to last. I am actually very happy with the build quality and in addition you have to consider 2 things: firstly, I take great care with my lenses, and secondly, the Tamron has a 5-Year Guarantee! For me, the reduction in weight and length and the use of modern composite materials is a Virtue, not a disadvantage! (This includes the fact that so-called 'plastic' feels warm to the touch and causes less thermal expansion/contraction issues to the innards.)

A third consideration is that the lens is waterproof. It actually gives a reassuring 'squeak' from the seal as the lens is mounted to the body. In addition the mount is reassuringly made of solid machined metal.

So, having decided on the Tamron, am I happy with my purchase? YOU BET I AM!

The sharpness is so good and the depth of field so small when using at macro distance that unlike any other lens I own, I realise that in most situations 'hand-held' will probably just show up every little movement error and unless the shutter speed is very fast indeed I will definitely need a sturdy tripod to take good sharp shots. (I bought the lens in the depth of winter so perhaps I will be helped here in the summer with the increase in available light.)

The Tamron feels great to handle and is very well balanced on my A580. The manual focus ring is very smooth and accurate. The autofocus is very good indeed. It is not 'lightning' fast, but I can't say I really care or would notice the difference if it takes a quarter second or half a second to auto-focus. Like all macro's, if the light is low and the focus limiter is not applied it can hunt sometimes, but using the lens with the correct focus limiter range applied (Full, 0.5m-Inf or 0.3m-0.5m) the focus is very quick and very accurate. I say 'very accurate', but given we are talking about an excellent macro here the best focus will inevitably be the one that is applied manually!

The IQ Image Quality is just fantastic! Tamron has very cleverly designed this lens so that PICTURES LOOK GOOD! This is not just a function of focussing, contrast and of sharpness, but of colour and bokeh too. The colour is definitely quite different to Minolta and to Sony colours too. Perhaps it is a function of the bokeh, but the colours in the bokeh seem to come out as good 'pastel' shades, however the in-focus colours are very nice indeed; fairly neutral I think, but nice. Given that I am using the lens on APS-C, the bokeh actually astounds me with its beauty. I now know what 'creamy bokeh' means! :-) This effect must be even more amazing on full-frame! I have given both distortion and flare control a 5 in my rating. The Tamron lens has a very nice solid hood and I have not noticed any flare at all. I have not noticed any noticeable distortion (I believe this is almost immeasurable in test) and besides, I process all my pictures now in DxO so this will never be an issue.

So in summary, this lens looks good, feels good and does its job of taking excellent pictures very well indeed! At the end of the day, taking excellent and amazing pictures is what this lens was made for!
reviewer#11373 date: Oct-7-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:EF 100L IS
Sony 100 Macro
Sigma 105 OS HSM
price paid:650 USD new
positive:Weathersealed
Silent
Quick AF
FTM
Price
negative:
missing
comment:I bought this lens because I need a macro. Nice surprise was to find that this one compared to the Sony or the Sigma, this one is sealed. This matches my A99 better.

Optically this is perfect and AF is OK. Not a 24-70Z but hey it is a macro.

Well deserves 5 stars ;-)
reviewer#11290 date: Aug-3-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:The old 90mm Tamron mainly
price paid:€499 (new)
positive:Internal Focusing (the main reason to buy it)
Price (it's not that expensive)
negative:Bokeh is fine, but with strong lights the 9 blade diaphragm shows
comment:My biggest concern when buying this lens was that I wouldn't be able to use my Sony Macro flash (55mm disk, with 58 mm filter on the new Tamron). I bought a step down ring (58->55), it works fine and there is no vignetting (FF)

I have tried it side by side with the old Tamron. I did some comparison. Results in example photos.
reviews found: 5   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.80
  • overall: 4.92

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