a hands on review
After my last trip to Walden Pond, I began looking for a macro lens that was longer than the Nikon 60mm I had been using, yet still small and light enough to be tucked easily into my already too-full gadget bag. I have a Nikon 105mm macro which is a superb lens, but it was larger than I cared to lug around on the trips. Sigma makes a 70mm, but that was too close to the 60mm I already had to make a practical difference. I wanted something in the 90mm range, and found it in the Tamron 90mm Macro.
Tamron has two 90mm macro lenses -- a new one with vibration reduction and a fixed length when focusing, and an older model whose barrel extends when focused close. This is the one I settled on. It weighs only 14.29oz (405g) and is a short 3.8" (9.65cm) at infinity focus. This is only a tad larger than the Nikon 60mm I had been carrying with me. Perfect -- if it could perform.
|When focused as close as it can go, which is to say 1:1, then lens barrel extends out to 5.75" (14.6cm).|
|This 1:1 shot was taken at full extension of the lens and aperture at f/5.6, which means wide open when this close.|
|Lens bokeh is very pleasant as can be seen in the roundness in the background blurs. One of the reasons I wanted a longer focal length macro was to obtain shots like this with a softer background.|
|This portrait was directly back lit with soft light from a window, and with the lens aperture wide open. Even in such difficult light, the Tamron provided good contrast and was able to autofocus quickly and accurately.|
|This side by side illustration shows the long throw of the focusing barrel as the lens moves from infinity on the left to its closest 1:1 range on the right.|