Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot

  • 90mm Macro Full-Frame Lens
  • Upgraded VC image stabilization (3.5 stops)
  • USD AF motor
  • Manual Focus adjustments during AF
  • f/2.8-32
  • 1:1 Magnification
  • Canon, Nikon and Sony mount systems
  • One Low Dispertion and Two Extra Low Dispersion glass elements
  • Focus Limiter
  • eBand, BBAR and Fluorine lens coatings
  • Lens Hood
  • Large focus ring is easy to find while shooting
  • Excellent quality from lens
  • Fast and accurate AF motor
  • Outstanding VC stabilization
  • Manual focus override is always active
  • Great Price
  • Moisture and Dust resistant allows for use in almost all shooting conditions
  • No aperture control on the lens
  • No option for most interchangeable lens camera mounts
Bottom Line
The new Tamron 90mm Macro is a fantastic Macro lens that allows for easy handheld shooting. It is fun for getting up close and personal with your subjects, no matter how small. With a MSRP of US $649.00, it is an option yo must see if you are in the market for a macro lens.
The 10th installment of the iconic Tamron 90mm Macro lens adds a few upgrades that really puts this lens at the top of the category. A faster AF system and improved VC (Vibration Compensation) lead the way in making this redesigned lens even easier to use. The faster and more accurate AF system also combines with a few state-of-the-art lens coatings that go a long way to increase image quality by reducing image flaws that are common with macro shooting. Finally we get to the new look of the all-metallic barrel with new larger switches and typeface. They have even stepped away from the gold ring on the lens, which we also noticed on the SP 15-30mm lens we reviewed earlier this year.

Handling the lens is a pleasure, as the new design makes it very comfortable to hold and very easy to operate and make changes when needed. With all of the great controls on the lens, the lack of an aperture ring slows down your manual shooting a little as you have rely on changing the setting on the camera. Other than that, the new shape fits nicely and the focus ring with manual over-ride offers a great deal of control while shooting in any situation. Handheld macro photography also becomes much easier with the updated VC that now incorporates Shift-Compensation.

Shooting with the new Tamron 90mm Macro lens is not only easy, its fun as well. It really allows you to get close to your subjects, whether shooting objects up close or people. The fast AF, combined with a camera that also has a great AF system, like the Canon 80D for our tests, allows the continuous AF system to make handheld shooting a breeze.

The lens produces awesome quality, eliminating most flaws (aberrations etc.) that are caused by the lens. The long macro lens with the big aperture also provides you with beautiful bokeh (foreground and background blurring), and in close situations a lot more than you will get from standard lenses. This is definitely a lens that any portrait or nature photographer should consider keeping in their bag.

Bottom Line - Tamron's newest addition to its 90mm Macro line of lenses is a fantastic photographic tool. Its fast AF and upgraded VC image stabilization combine with great glass and a huge maximum aperture to give you an easy-to-use macro lens for any situation. With a MSRP of US $649.00, this is a fantastic buy for macro and portrait shooters alike.

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