Tamron 90mm Macro as a portrait/tele lens?

Started Dec 20, 2005 | Discussions thread
Sophie Wilson Senior Member • Posts: 1,723
Re: Tamron 90mm Macro as a portrait/tele lens?

philzucker wrote:

As recent victim of LSA - Lens Selling Addiction - I have garnered
enough funds to consider buying myself a Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di
Macro 1:1.

As I like the idea of having a bright prime between my 50 and my
135 ones I'd like to know about your experiences with this lens not
used as a macro lens but as a portrait and tele lens, the latter
especially for stage shots. How does it perform with these tasks on
hand? Is AF okay for stage shots, or too slow? If the latter I
might be tempted to renew my search for a FA135/2.8 that supposedly
has pretty fast AF.

Any opinions on this welcome!

Its not optically fast enough for stage shots: I have an SP 90 (non-Di) and used it on only one stage shoot. 77 f1.8 or 85 f1.4 (which I have) are both much nicer for stage work. I think AF is slow on all three of these lenses, so you may need to alter your shooting style to fit, but it may not be possible to get something which focusses quickly in stage work conditions.

I'd also say that the 90 is too sharp to give a flattering portrait. Obviously this is a personal opinion, but although I like its results as a macro lens, as a portrait lens I'm not keen. Whereas Tamron's 28-75 XR Di is wonderful for portraits as is the FA* 85 f1.4 and to a certain extent the FA 50 f1.4. (28-75 is optically fast enough for stage work, although its the same f2.8 as the SP 90, because its a shorter focal length.)

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Sophie

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