Tamron SP 90mm macro for Leica R

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I am considering to buy a Tamron SP 90mm macro for general use and macro works. I understand that this lens has received a high lens testing result and goes down to 1:1 without the aid of an adaptor. Does anyone have experience with this lens ? How do you compare this lens with the set of a used 90mm/2.8 and close-up lens for the similar purposes ?

-- S.Park (catena_park@yahoo.com), September 29, 2001


I have used this lens extensively for the last few years, first on an Olympus, and now on my Leica. I purchased it because according to a number of magazine and internet tests it was the best macro available after the Leica 100mm. If found it indeed to be incredibly sharp, to the point that you can't really use it for portraits unless you've got a Nikon #1 Soft or some such filter on it. It is not as well made as the Leica (especially the current version, which has A LOT of plastic in its construction), but at 1/4 the price it is, IMO, a great lens.

-- Bob Todrick (bobtodrick@yahoo.com), September 30, 2001.

I personally think there's even less reason to use 3rd-party lenses with the R system than any other. The only reason in my mind that mitigates dealing with the R bodies is the Leica glass. I've also heard great things about the 90 Tamron macro. If I didn't already have a 105 Micro-Nikkor I might consider it seriously. I own the 60 Macro-Elmarit, which for me suffices due to the fact that I use Nikon for my nature photography. But if I were only into Leica R, I would own the 100 APO.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), September 30, 2001.

Dear Mr Park,

The Tamron 90mm macro is a fantastic lens, and will serve as a very high quality "portrait" lens, w/great smooth bokeh, as well as an extremely able macro lens.

I personally favour the 2nd generation Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 adaptall- 2: it needs a tube to go down to 1:1 (1:2 without tube) but it is lighter and smoother in usage (and slightly improved in optical design) compared with the 1st generation. The tube may be the Tamron one (fits between lens and adaptall mount) or any tube that fits your body's bayonet. Filter ring is 55mm. The lens comes with a sturdy bayonet fix shade, and is highly flare resistant.

The latest generation Tamron macro is a f2.8 lens that goes down to 1:1 unaided, but it is larger and more "plasticky". Less fun to use, in my opinion.

That 2nd generation Tamron will follow you as you change body systems, and never put any of these systems to shame. It balances very well on a R4/5/6 body (a bit like the 90 elmarit, albeit not as luxurious), and, for any practical purposes (beyond onanist MTF benchmarking), will provide you w/images every bit as good as those provided by equivalent focal length Leica lenses.

A great great lens that deserves to be much more expensive !

-- Alan (alan.ball@yucom.be), October 01, 2001.

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