View Full Version : Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro

21-04-2010, 10:36am

i got this lens a while ago as i wanted to get into macro photography. I still really like to take macros but do not have the opportunity that often.

I mostly use this lens now for normal portraits and walkaround lens and find that it makes really good pictures.

Do you have any experience using a macro lens as a "normal" lens?

Are there any disadvantages in that comparing to if i would use a normal 90mm prime lens?

Thank you,


21-04-2010, 10:48am
what's a normal 90mm prime ?

21-04-2010, 11:17am
Probably a total beginners question, but whats is a 'macro' lens, and how is it different from a regular lens?

21-04-2010, 12:24pm
with normal i mean not a macro lens (for instance the Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM would be something similar ).... I am actually not quite sure what exactly the internal differences are between a macro and a non macro lens.

linden, basically a macro lens allows you to zoom in really close to take photos of insects and other small things. A normal lens is not able to focus on things which are too close.



21-04-2010, 1:30pm
Ah ok, so the main difference is the minimum focus distance.
Does that also mean that a macro lens can't focus on something that is a long way away?

21-04-2010, 1:50pm
I jest a bit

a macro lens is just fine to use as a everyday mid telephoto prime. Beware it can be too sharp at times on faces

In fact the Tammy is known as "the portrait macro"

21-04-2010, 2:00pm
Macro lenses function exactly the same way as a 'normal' prime lens of the same focal length, ie autofocus, focus to infinity etc. Its just that a macro lens will allow a much closer focus distance, allowing magnification of the subject at 1:1 (ie 1cm subject covers 1cm of your camera's sensor).

There are a few exceptions to the statement above - for example the very specialised (and brilliant) Canon MPE-65mm which doesn't focus to infinity and is manual focus only (you focus by moving it closer/further from the subject). This lens goes up to 5:1 magnification, ie the subject is magnified 5 times on your sensor compared to its actual size.

Using macro lenses for general photography brings a lot of benefits: they're usually very sharp, suffer no/negligible distortion and are usually relatively fast (f/2.8 is common). Almost all the popular macro lenses offer excellent image quality from a 'lab test' perspective.

Typical macro focal lengths such as 60mm and 90mm are also good portrait lenses as the effective length on a cropped sensor (1.6x) is 96mm and 144mm, which is around the 100mm-135mm range often advocated as ideal for portraits (gives a pleasing and realistic compression of features in a human face).

23-04-2010, 10:37pm
is the tamron the 'bang for your buck' winner? ive been looking at it and the sigma 105mm myself.

I @ M
24-04-2010, 11:53am
Note that all third party lenses for macro don't have internal focusing.

I am thinking that the Sigma 150mm must be an exception then?

24-04-2010, 12:06pm
I am thinking that the Sigma 150mm must be an exception then?

Ditto for the Tamron 180mm Macro

27-04-2010, 5:05pm
I have recently purchased the 90mm Tammy, i have not found the issue with the lens extending for focus a real issue as i am usually using manual focus and at 1:1 so the lens itself is already extened fully. If i were using auto focus i could see how this would be an issue.

28-04-2010, 3:30pm
I find that the problem is more that the AF is really slow....especially when not using it for macro but for other pictures.

28-04-2010, 6:48pm

I bought the Tamron 90 to do some macro photography - like you! I have found it good for this but the fact that it is f2.8 also means that you can use it for some nice low light photography as well. Not as good as some primes, but better than many standard zoom lenses. Also the bokeh is good as well when it is wide!