Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions
simonf7
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Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
Apr 26, 2013

Had a bit of an impulse buy and got myself a secondhand Tamron 90mm Macro. Took a few photos during my lunch break and really happy with how they look.

These are jpegs straight from the camera, just cropped a little.

Any handy hints to getting the best from my macro shots?

Si

VirtualMirage
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, Apr 26, 2013

When using a Macro lens as a macro and close to its 1:1 setting, you will need to stop down the lens quite a bit otherwise you will have an extremely shallow depth of field.  While some may desire this razor thin depth of field, others may want a lot of detail while shooting up close.

Of course, when stopping the lens down you will need a longer shutter speed.   This will require the subject to be very still as well as the camera.  Put the camera on a tripod or some kind of support since hand holding may not produce the best results.

Some people get around the two things mentioned above by stacking their photos to increase the depth of field while keeping the aperture close to wide open but slightly changing the focus with each shot taken.  This requires either special software or a photo editor that will allow you to work in layers.

While the Tamron looks nice wide open, it is at its sharpest corner to corner when stopped down around 1 stop +/- at F/4-F/4.5.  The nice thing about the lens is that it still looks great up to around F/8-F/11 (where the sharpness doesn't vary much from its peak) before it starts to soften up again.

The Tamron 90mm also makes for a nice portrait lens.

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Paul

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stan_pustylnik
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, Apr 26, 2013

Congratulations with this lens purchase!

Tamron 90mm is wonderful lens, does very beautifu bokeh. Lens is sharp, and works well as short telephoto for landscape sections, and portraits. In macros it pulls great detail at minimal focussing distance. To get 1:1 - set camera to minimal focussing distance and move camera toward subject till focus is confirmed. CPL filter helps with detail definition a lot if surfaces are too shiny.

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Person is taking photos, not camera. When photograph is bad, it's because photographer doesn't know how to choose settings optimal to "own preferences". Then blames camera for bad IQ.
This is same as blaming car about arriving to wrong destination.
http://stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com

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Calico Jack
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, Apr 26, 2013

The most basic tip is to use it in manual (M) mode.  Also, if you have a static subject, take multiple shots whilst adjusting the focal plane then combine the images as a focal stack which when done will give you a sharp fully focused image of the entire subject (this can be hard hand-held, so best done using a tripod).  Try it for portraits as well.  Super lens BTW as are the Minolta AF 100/2.8 and Sigma AF 105/2.8.  Tokina AT-X 100/2.8 is 1:2 as is the Cosina (or any variant thereof) AF 100/3.5 MC in native form, but still gives superb results at a budget price.

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Mark (aka Pirate!)

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP AF 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +29 more
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andreac75
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, Apr 26, 2013

Great lens! Hop e you'll enjoy it !

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Adam Benn
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to VirtualMirage, Apr 26, 2013

+1

I often put my camera in aperture priority to ensure more depth of field.  And I often end up in manual focus mode to avoid focus-hunting.  When auto focus is working it works well.  But, if it gets confused it starts hunting through the whole range.  Meanwhile, the bug has moved on and you've lost the shot.

I just recently moved from my old KM 5D to an A57, so I am really looking forward to having more latitude with ISO (to maintain fast shutter speeds when the lens is stopped down), and the much higher resolution.

My Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro is my favourite lens.

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Sonyshine
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to andreac75, Apr 26, 2013

Wind up the ISO to at least 400. Stop down to at least f13. Use a monopod at the minimum.

Autofocus is OK or use manual focus if you prefer.

Enjoy!

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Michael Fritzen
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to VirtualMirage, Apr 26, 2013

VirtualMirage wrote:

...

The Tamron 90mm also makes for a nice portrait lens.

Think twice about using macro lenses for portrait, especially for women. Waaay too sharp.

Will need a lot of work for smoothing out "the cruel reality". Just kidding but they are that sharp.

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Michael Fritzen

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Michael Fritzen
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, Apr 26, 2013

Shooting macro with really getting close to the subject, working on the framing, the DOF is a real slow-down-therapy

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Michael Fritzen

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VirtualMirage
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to Michael Fritzen, Apr 26, 2013

Michael Fritzen wrote:

VirtualMirage wrote:

...

The Tamron 90mm also makes for a nice portrait lens.

Think twice about using macro lenses for portrait, especially for women. Waaay too sharp.

Will need a lot of work for smoothing out "the cruel reality". Just kidding but they are that sharp.

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Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

It's not too hard to soften them up, especially if you have layers or a selection brush to work with to do some selective skin softening.

It is a lot easier to soften an image in post processing and remove detail than it is to sharpen it and add detail back in. 

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Paul

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G6u7a1m
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, Apr 27, 2013

Let's not forget the best Sony feature for macro. (Focus peaking)

No crop

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Calico Jack
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Re: Tips for using a Tamron 90mm Macro
In reply to simonf7, May 4, 2013

One great extra is the Delta DRF-14 S ringflash which you can buy on evilBay from Foto-Tip, though this will only work on DSLR and not DSLT.  That said, the combination is superb and using the ringflash really makes macro shooting a more satisfying experience as you generally get shadow-free images (a bit CSI Miami) but well worth the investment.  I'm not going to get into the argument about DSLR v DSLT, but never having owned a 2 digit Alpha, I've never had any issues with 3rd party hardware compatibility on any 3 digit Alpha's or Minolta Dynax 5D or 7D.  The Delta is a re-branded Marumi, and for the price, it's a worthwhile investment if you're a dedicated macro/super close-up or portrait shooter.

I always set my camera to spot focus, ISO 100, A Mode, cRAW or RAW if using AF, though manual shooting macro is the best way to go.

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Mark (aka Pirate!)

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP AF 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +29 more
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