Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2 Di II LD Macro
TestCentre
TestCentre
MACRO LENS WITH LIFE-SIZE REPRODUCTION
ONLY Suitable for DSLRs with APS-C sensors
This image of a young (and
very small) garden frog, reveals
the close-up capabilities of the
Tamron lens and the extremely
limited depth-of-field when
shooting at f/2. Inset below
is the same scene at f/13.
Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2 Di II LD Macro
The latest macro lens from Tamron is designed for use with APS-C sensors
and boasts life-size reproduction and a fast f/2 maximum aperture
Guide price: £540 Street price: £540
Contact: Tamron: 01628 674411; www.intro2020.co.uk
IF YOU'VE BEEN using SLRS as long
as I have, then you'll know that the
Specifications
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens
Maximum aperture: f/2
has long been held in high
Minimum aperture: f/22
regard as a classic. This
Minimum focus: 0.23m
means that the release of a
Maximum magnification: 1:1 (life-size)
close-up companion, in the
Filter thread: 55mm
form of the SP AF 60mm f/2
Lens construction: 14 elements in ten groups
Di II LD is one that is sure to
(includes two Low Dispersion glass elements)
Filter thread: 55mm
attract widespread interest
Number of diaphragm blades: Seven
from dedicated macro
Diameter x Length: 73x80mm
photographers, especially
Weight: 400g
when word gets around that
Supplied accessory: Lens hood
it's an absolute beauty to use.
AF fittings: Canon,
Designed for use exclusively
Nikon AF-D & Sony
with DSLRs with APS-C sensors,
the latest Tamron has an effective focal
length of 90mm on Nikon and Sony models and 96mm on
Canon's EOS range. This is the most popular focal length for
macro photography, but the 60mm holds an ace card in the
form of its maximum aperture of f/2, which gives it a couple of
big advantages over its rivals. The first is that a wider maximum
aperture means a brighter viewfinder image, which is especially
important for macro photography, as it's generally
recommended that you use manual focus for critical sharpness.
The second is that a wider aperture allows you to capture
images with incredibly shallow depth-of-field, for allowing part
of a subject to appear pin-sharp while the areas around it
rapidly falls out of focus.
The Tamron 60mm lens is incredibly compact and
lightweight, especially in view of its fast maximum aperture, so it
won't take up much space in your kit bag. It's nicely designed,
Image quality is excellent, with very high sharpness and good
with a focus window at the centre of the barrel and a large
contrast throughout the image frame. In fact, the lens resolution
manual focus ring that has a textured finish that makes it easy to
is arguably higher than many image sensors can reveal, so
grip. While the lens offers an AF/M switch, it also offers electronic
producing sharp images shouldn't be an issue so long as you
manual focusing, so you can quickly fine-tune focus manually
focus correctly. One area to take care with is with your choice of
even if the lens is set to AF. Our Canon-fit lens, tested on a Canon
aperture, as selecting the maximum aperture produces an
EOS 400D and EOS 450D, delivered fast and accurate AF when
unbelievably shallow depth-of-field. There is little doubt that
shooting portraits and close-ups. However, on the occasions it
selecting f/2 will allow for very creative results, but ensure you
needs to hunt, as with all macro lenses, you'll wait longer than
check images on your LCD monitor, as with close-ups the limited
you would have to with standard lenses, due to the extended
depth-of-field is extreme to say the least! Daniel Lezano
focusing range it has to cover.
Verdict
The Tamron 60mm lens proves
to be a very tidy package that
continues the tradition for highquality optics set by its 90mm stablemate.
In terms of handling and performance,
there is little to fault. While it does cost
slightly more than rivals like Sigma's
70mm and Tamron's 90mm, I do think that
the benefits offered by the maximum
aperture of f/2 warrant the cost and this
lens offers a unique proposition that you
can't find elsewhere. If you disagree, one of
its three main rivals probably represent
better value for you. However, give this lens
a try and you won't be disappointed!
Closest rivals to the Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2 Di II LD Macro
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
DG Macro £320
Small, compact and high
quality lens offering 1:1
reproduction ratio and
closest focus of 18.9cm.
Minimum aperture of f/45
is useful. As part of the DG
range, it can be used with
full-frame or APS-C lenses
and is available in Canon,
Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and
Sony fittings.
140 Digital SLR Photography October 2009
Sigma 70mm f/2.8
DG Macro £500
Another excellent macro
lens in the Sigma range,
that doubles as a great
portrait lens. Offers a good
working distance of 25cm
for 1:1 reproduction and
high quality optics. But
maximum aperture can't
match the new Tamron.
Available for Canon, Nikon,
Pentax, Sigma and Sony.
tamron SP AF 90mm
f/2.8 Di Macro £460
The latest version of
Tamron's classic macro
lens has been optically
refined for digital and film
users. It has a minimum
focus of 29cm and acts as
a useful medium telephoto
when used on DSLRs with
APS-C sensors. Available
in Canon, Nikon, Pentax
and Sony fittings.
The short minimum focus allows you to get
close for frame-filling shots of subjects where
your standard zoom may struggle.
The level of detail that the Tamron can
capture is incredible, but focusing is critical to
ensure the maximum possible sharpness.
Handling
Features
Performance
Value for money
★★★★★
★★★★★
★★★★★
★★★★★
Overall rating HHHHH
October 2009 Digital SLR Photography 141
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