Nikon 105 VR "macro" VS Tamron SP90 ?

Started Jun 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
Contributing MemberPosts: 826
I have the 105/VR and SP Di
In reply to JP Scherrer, Jun 21, 2012

I have both the Tamron 90/2.8 SP Di and the Nikon 105/2.8 VR. I bought the Tamron when I moved to Nikon system. Because I was building out the kit, Tamron was a very attractive lens. Relatively inexpensive and served as a dual purpose lens, macro of course and also as a decent portrait. Then I decided to "upgrade" to the 105/2.8 VR with the intent to sell the Tamron to offset the cost... I still have both.

Why? Because the Tamron outperforms the Nikon at all apertures for resolution. I couldn't believe it. In fact, if you read the reviews at SLRgear, they came to the same conclusion, stating that if the VR was unimportant, the older Nikons were better.

To top it off, my copy has a serious front focus problem. I sent it back to Nikon but even after their repairs, I have to max out the AF compensation on my D300 and it is still not spot on. I read another posting earlier where an AF problem was mentioned, also.

You've already read the positives on both the Nikon and the Tamron so no need to repeat. The thought I would like to share is that one of the main reasons for this lens is the VR which should allow you to work without tripod if not shooting extreme macro. Because of the AF problems with mine, this capability is just about rendered useless. Granted it is probably the luck of the draw and every manufacturer has a lemon. The point is, if you don't need the VR, then save your money because you are not going to see any differences in the images from what your Tamron can produce.

To wrap this up, the Nikon is a beautifully made lens but it doesn't deliver. I regret the $$ I have put in this lens. Setting aside the focus problems on my copy, the Tamron is sharper across the board. Yes, the Tamron is slow to focus, front elements extends, etc., etc. but it produces great images...if I do my part.

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