Tamron SP AF 60mm F2 Di II LD (IF) A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#21445 date: Dec-3-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro
Sony A 50 F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Sigma 60 F2.8 DN Art
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
price paid:200 USD (used)
positive:Color identical to Sony DT lenses
AF accuracy/effectiveness at macro distances
AF quieter than SAM
Nice smooth bokeh
Mostly covers full-frame
negative:Minor tilt
Softens at f/11
Feels like focus-by-wire
Fairly heavy CA
Uses the Lens ID of the DT 1.8/50 SAM
comment:"Made in Japan"

This lens has an impressively large front element for a small macro lens. The front element is nearly flush with the front of the body. The included plastic hood is small for the focal length, but probably generous for the working distance. The hood bayonet is a larger diameter than the similar ones on the Sony 55 mm filter size lenses.

At close focus the 60/2 has a tighter field-of-view than the 18-55 at 55 mm, but is slightly wider than the short end of the 55-200 and considerably wider than the short end of the 55-300. The Minolta 35-105 and 28-105 report the focal length as 60 mm. The 16-105 reports 70 mm.

Image quality is great except some minor CA at the edges of the frame and some softness on the right side. It seems to be nearly as sharp and have as much contrast as the 30/2.8, but the much narrower depth of field makes precise focus more difficult. Rendering at non-macro distances is also very nice.

The slop in the manual focus mechanism is much worse than the similar amount of slop in the 16-105 because the feel is extremely masked. The manual focus ring has little feeling of being attached to anything, like it is focus-by-wire setup, which it isn't. The manual focus grip continue to rotate with the same resistance after the mechanism has hit the stops.

This seems to have been the first Tamron A-mount lens with a built-in motor. It came out the same year as the Sony DT 1.8/50 SAM and used the same Lens ID. This caused a problem a couple of years later when Sony added in-body Lens Compensation. It works more like and SSM lens with full-time manual focus. It is much quieter than the SAM lenses even than the 18-135. It focuses just as fast as the SAM lenses. It is a bit prone to hunting. AF actually works quite well at macro distances unlike the 30/2.8.

Mounting the 30/2.8 reversed using a 49 mm to 55 mm coupler on the front of this lens results in a decent 2:1 macro.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 28
  • sharpness: 4.89
  • color: 4.89
  • build: 4.32
  • distortion: 4.89
  • flare control: 4.93
  • overall: 4.79
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