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  1. #1

    *REVIEW* Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD

    New year, new review!

    Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 VC USD by headshotzx, on Flickr

    Here's a treat of a lens that I loved to test - the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens.

    Yes, I don't know why, but third-party lens manufacturers keep lengthening their lens model names. Let's just call it the Tamron 90mm Stabilised Macro for short, because that's what it is that's important.

    So let's just get right in, and I'll present it quickly for you:

    It's sharp corner to corner much like many other macro lenses, and keeps it's vignetting at a minimum.
    Background blurring when you're close to the subject is just awesome - creamy and buttery. At normal distances such as when shooting headshots and portraits, there seems to be some kind of highlighted edges in out-of-focus areas to my eye.

    It's slightly cheaper than Canon's 100mm f/2.8L HIS (hybrid image stabilisation - google it!)
    Unlike the older non-stabilised version, this one is stabilised, internal quiet focus with manual override, and more expensive.

    Tamron Lens Insect Test 2 by headshotzx, on Flickr

    Tamron Lens Insect Test 1 by headshotzx, on Flickr

    Build quality is mostly hard plastics and metal. Very light lens, and the focus ring is a pleasure to use, especially for video applications. The focus ring has a very long throw, means critical focusing is easy. And now that there's the manual override because of USD (ultrasonic drive), the focus ring is even more important for accuracy.

    Tamron Lens Portrait Test 2 by headshotzx, on Flickr

    Tamron Lens Portrait Test 1 by headshotzx, on Flickr

    Switches on the lens are to toggle between AF/MF, VC (vibration control) ON/OFF, and focus limiters - which limit the lens to either macro use, normal use, or no limitation. It's very helpful especially if the AF starts hunting.

    Talking about the AF, yes it's still a little slower than the Canon 100mm f/2.8 *non stabilised* lens that I've tried before in similar situations (restaurant environments with low light). Not that much slower, but you can feel and see through the viewfinder that it is. Focus accuracy is not an issue - just make sure to put your camera's AF points on a contrasty spot if you're going to use AF.

    But one thing that lens doesn't have is the amazing vibration control that the Tamron has. That helped a ton in the low light environments I tested the lens in. I haven't tested the Canon 100mm L HIS, but if this is anything like that, stabilised macro lenses are the way to go!

    Tamron Lens Food Test 1 by headshotzx, on Flickr

    Tamron Lens Food Test 2 by headshotzx, on Flickr

    One thing that I realised when I picked up the lens was that the vibration control module seems to be a little loose / free-to-move in the lens itself. Perhaps there's a very good reason for this - that because of the high magnification of the lens. It rattles a bit when the lens is in my hand, but it's just a quirk that I noticed.

    Would I buy it? Well, considering the Canon lens isn't that much more expensive, it really is a hard choice. The 10mm difference isn't much of a difference for your consideration, so compare the price and performance of the lens, and see if image stabilisation / vibration control is your cup of tea. If you're someone that uses a tripod all the time, I'd say just save the money and buy the non-stabilised lenses. They're still available out there.

    But if you're someone who appreciates IS / VC like me, be prepared to pay quite a bit more for that feature. It might save you one day, too.

    So this is the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD review. Over and out!

    Pandamonium by headshotzx, on Flickr

    - Zexun

  2. #2
    The Panda toy is cute! Where is it from?

  3. #3
    what's the price of the Tamron 90mm?

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