The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro VC is a redesign of their class 90mm macro lens. Featuring a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8, Vibration Compensation, Ultrasonic Focus Motor for fast silent AF and a moisture-sealed construction. Here comes the first review of the three new VC lenses from Tamron.
As mentioned above it’s a fast f/2.8, vibration compensation, ultrasonic focus motor with a moisture-sealed construction. Everything a budding macro photographer would want. It comprises of 14 lens elements in 11 groups, including two Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) glasses, one Low Dispersion (LD) element, and nine rounded aperture blades. On the front element there is a new eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) coating which improves the anti-reflection performance and of course this is a Macro lens so it is a full 1:1 reproduction.
What’s in the box
The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro VC, manuals and a Lens Hood.
|Angle of view (diagonal)||27° 02′ (with full-size SLR cameras) 17° 37′ (with APS-C sized sensor digital SLR cameras)|
|Lens construction||14 elements in 11 groups|
|Minimum focus distance||0.3m (11.8 in.)|
|Maximum magnification ratio||1:1|
|Working distance||139mm (5.5 in.)|
|Length||114.5mm (4.5 in.)|
|Overall length||122.9mm (4.8 in.)|
|Weight||550g (19.4 oz)|
|Diaphragm blades||9 (rounded diaphragm)|
|Standard accessory||Lens hood|
|Mounts available||Canon, Nikon, Sony|
Design & Ergonomics
The lenses itself is pretty big with a nice big rubbery focus ring that you can grab hold of. It’s weighs 550g and is about 13 cm long. Tamron has really upped their game with the new VC series lenses, the build quality is nice and solid in your hand. There is the usual AF/MF switch on the side of the lens, along with the VC on/off and a focus distance limiter with three settings, 0.3-0.5m, 0.5m-infinity, and Full. The idea behind it is you can minimise any focus hunting especially when shooting tiny little critters.
Another nice touch is of course the distance scale and useful magnification scale.
Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro VC featured a USD or Ultrasonic Silent Drive, that allows near-silent auto-focusing. The beauty of the USD is that it allows manual focus override even when the focus mode switch is in the AF position. Focusing seems pretty fast and accurate. The focusing is internal so the length of the lens remains the same.
As a whole the image quality is outstanding. This lens is sharp, the bokeh is creamy and the vibration compensation is very effective. There are also considerably low levels of colour fringing. Tamron has targeted this lens at professionals and I think they’ve produced a pretty decent piece of glass.
For someone who doesn’t necessarily shoot a lot of macro work, I’ve been using it in the studio shooting beauty. It creates stunning super sharp results which I’m completely addicted to at the moment.
The Bosisto’s sharpness test! I needed something to test sharpness of these new Tamron lenses that we are reviewing, and also a test for all future lenses. I went on a mission into the laundry and came across this can of Bosisto’s Eucalyptus spray. That is the origin of the Bosisto’s sharpness test. All images have had just the standard Lightroom 5 sharpening for RAW files and then exported.
Since this is a macro lens I thought I best macro something so I turned the Bosisto’s around and captured the text. Although it looks like there is considerable softening on the right hand side of these images, it is because the can wasn’t square with the lens. Being such a shallow depth of field it through the text out of focus very quickly, this also explains the text tilt that’s going on. . No one said this was a scientific test 🙂
Up until getting my hands on this lenses I had never really shot with a true macro lens before. To be honest it’s not a lens I really would have thought about getting at all, but that has all changed now. I’ve been using the lens more and more, especially in the studio for shooting beauty. The sharpness and detail are crazy and for the price I can highly recommend this lens especially if your someone like me who thought they would never use a macro lens.
The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro VC falls perfectly inline with the Tamron VC series (pro series as I’m calling them) quality. One upon a time, not so long ago third-party lenses were definitely struggling to keep up with the likes of the OEM lenses from Nikon and Canon but with this new series of VC lenses Tamron are kicking back and at the price point they are able to bring these lenses to market it’s hard not to look at them.