Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro A-mount lens review by RDoe

reviewer#5616 date: Jul-1-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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:- Sony 50mmF1.4
- Minolta 85mmF1.4
price paid:350E (new)
positive:- Nice feel of the lens
- Good MF ring
- Good colors, neutral
- Sharp, sharp!
- Front element deep in lens (no hood needed)
- Focus Limiter, fast AF (with limiter)
- Light weight
- Decent size
negative:- CA can be a problem wide open
- Build is ok, could be better (old minolta)
- Slow focus without limiter
- Inconsistent focus beyond 3m
- Extends when focussing
comment:Sharpness
Well it is a macro lens and it is sharp! Even at F2.8 it is sharp, good for portraits. But there lays the problem, the AF beyond 2-3m till infinity is inconsistent and anoying sometimes. Couple that with a portrait with small DoF MF is a bit of a hassle.

Color
Color is good, neutral to warm. I like the color, more than the new sony lenses that are a bit more neutral to cold. But we all post process right? So no real problem.

Build
Build is ok, could be better. Compare this lens to old minolta lenses and it seems flimsy, but all in all it is light weight and sturdy. I don't know if this lens will survive 20 years as the beercan did for many people

Distortion
Well ... fixed lens so no distortion!

Flare
Haven't really tested it. In some occasions it can be better, but for now it is more than capable.

All in all a good lens, especially for the price around 350E as now a sony is around 650E (rip off). The only drawback is the AF (many macro lenses problems) it could do better at medium to infinity distance. Second the CA is sometimes a dealbreaker, but with true macro you would go to F8 or higher and then CA is no problem.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 109
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 4.76
  • build: 4.08
  • distortion: 4.79
  • flare control: 4.71
  • overall: 4.65
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