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

reviewer#21445 date: Dec-3-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 30 F2.8 SAM Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro + Extension
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
Sigma 60 F2.8 DN Art
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
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
In-body Lens Compensation Support (A68)
negative:Right side mushy
Softens at f/11
Feels like focus-by-wire
Not as sharp as the DT 55-x zooms
Fairly heavy CA
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.

The built-in AF motor seems like a more advanced SAM, not quite as quiet as the HSM lens I've tried, but much quieter than any of the SAM lenses I have. It is much quieter than the DT 18-135 SAM. It is 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 and 50/3.5.

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.

I am surprised to find this lens has Lens Compensation support in the A68 and the lens profile is embedded into the A68 raw files. The Tamron 70-300 USD also has this ability.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 28
  • sharpness: 4.88
  • color: 4.89
  • build: 4.32
  • distortion: 4.89
  • flare control: 4.93
  • overall: 4.78
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