Gear of the Year: Tamron 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017
Regular readers of the site have seen more photos from this lens than they might realize.
The new Tamron 90mm arrived on our doorstep at some point in the early spring. I admit at first I wasn't very excited, it just seemed like a run-of-the-mill 'check that box' lens for Tamron to round out their SP lineup. I also wasn't excited because its EF mount meant getting out a beast: the Canon EOS 5DS R.
I took it along for my first trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip festival. Part of me was excited for this as-close-to-Holland-as-you-can-get-in-the-USA experience, but I wasn't very happy about the fact that I was going to be doing tripod work.
With families around.
I'm a bit of a grump.
This isn't to say I don't see the value in using a tripod. Believe me, I do. However, most units readily available to me aren't exactly easy to use when it comes to getting way down low to flower level. Most of them stood slightly taller than a tulip when at their shortest, and the tripods with the ability to turn the center column sideways to get low don't work well with geared heads (my preference).
So, I was going in to battle with damaged morale, cumbersome equipment and a bit of apathy towards the entire scenario.
My opinions shifted as the day progressed.
Turns out, I really like 1:1 macro lenses, and the latest Tamron 90mm was the first to really help me realize that. Image stabilization, which isn't new for this type of lens, was a huge assist for handheld shooting, especially with a camera that loves to highlight when you get it wrong.
Autofocus also worked better than I'm used to with macro lenses. The lens' AF motor is quite quick, even at the closer focal lengths. Moving from minimum focus distance to infinity happens quick enough that it isn't the end of the world if the lens suddenly decides to do a full hunt – although I rarely encountered that problem with the 5DS R. In fact, I took quite a few shots through the OVF and they came out perfectly sharp, which isn't always the case when using the 5DS R.
Okay, so I shot tulips with it, who cares?
Sometimes in our articles you'll see what we call 'beauty' shots of cameras headlining pages of our reviews. These images are typically shot outside somewhere pretty around the office, done by various members of the team.
After my positive experience shooting the Tulip Festival with the Tamron 90mm Macro, I started grabbing the lens and the 5DS R any time I went outdoors for product photography. From then on until we had to return the lens, I ended up bringing it with me any time I went to take beauty shots.
The focal length and focus capabilities are great for photographing all cameras, and the VC system means I can stop down for greater depth of field while still shooting handheld. It made the task quick and easy, allowing me to experiment and be creative.
So when I say you've seen more images from the Tamron 90mm than you might think, it's because they've been hero images, or 'beauty' shots as they're affectionately called in the office, for our reviews. Professional results, moderate price tag. That is what we've seen a few times now in Tamron's SP series, and the 90 is no exception.
To see our beauty shots without any retouching check out our sample gallery.
|High Altitude Rocky Mountain Railroad by cjf2|
from On the Rails...
|Evening at the lake. by Murat ÜNSAL|