Tamron 150-600mm G2 soft? Paleeaseee!

Started Mar 7, 2017 | Discussions thread
gear1box Senior Member • Posts: 1,524
Re: Tamron 150-600mm G2 soft? Paleeaseee!
5

MartyRL wrote:

Can anyone share experiences fine tuning with the tap-in console?

Marty / all --

I have both the 24-70 f2.8 G2 and 150-600 f6.3 G2 *and* the Tap-In console.  
Before addressing my experience with same, let me offer all of you a suggestion to try *before* returning the lenses to Tamron/etc.   First, go outside and shoot an infinity shot with both Live View and viewfinder phase-detect.   If Live View is sharp but phase detect is not . . . you do not have a problem with optics: you have a microfocus adjust (MFA) issue.  If LiveView isn't sharp, yes, send lens back.
And, honestly, i have some sympathy for the manufacturers here:  the tolerances for lens mounts with sub-five micron pixel sensors (my d810) are ghastly.   If a lens-body pair doesn't work together apportioning blame between body and lens maker is impossible.

So the thing to do is adjust your lens.   A $60 Tap-In console lets you do just that and -- unlike Canon or Nikon body MFA -- not just at one or two points for each lens either:  you may do it at several focal lengths and three distances.   For my 24-70 that would be as many as a dozen measurements, but yields a lens that optically works as well as it possibly can.  Is that worth it to you?  You paid for the optics after all, why leave resolution sitting on the table (which is what focus errors do)?

Sooo that is the good news, what is the bad news?   The bad news is that it can be awfully frustrating to adjust primarily (in my tests) because phase detect AF is pretty unstable.  PAF gives different readings each time so you must make many readings and "average" them.  We hardly notice this instability in actual use but it shows up when trying to make precise readings.   Live View/contrast AF, on the other hand, is quite reliable and accurate.

Another thing to be aware of is that the MAF "units" in your camera body adjustments are NOT the same ones Tamron uses in their lenses:  they are the same direction -- negative is front focus; positive is back focus -- but the units aren't the same magnitude.

There is a bunch of options in terms of methods BUT i must say that my experience with the tele is that they are all frustrating in their own way.  i have yet to find the one that works best for me.  Even the mid-zoom is tedious to do.

So it is a journey.   Yes the Tap-In (and Sigma equiv) works and works well, but the measurement is tedious.   Still i strongly suspect that it is the price of admission for higher resolution imagining in future.  Also i think that measurement methods and tools will improve.

In the end i conclude that it is like monitor and printer color calibration:  "yes" in a perfect world you wouldn't have to worry about it.   As a practical matter if you wish your images to look as good as they can you have to address it.

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gary ray
Semi-professional in early 1970s; just a putzer since then. interests: historical sites, virginia, motorcycle racing. A nikon user more by habit than choice; still, nikon seems to work well for me.

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