TAMRON SP 90MM f2.8 VC macro – Tested

Have been hearing a lot of good things about this lens since my days as a beginner. Some photographers don’t think twice before rating this lens above similar calibre lenses made by Nikon & Canon. Got to test this glass on my recent trip to Agumbe and here’s my take on it…..

Being an engineer, I love to deep dive into technical aspects of almost anything but here I’ll try to keep it simple. I shall avoid using high sounding technical terms like MTF curves, number of elements and their placement, the various glass coatings…etc etc etc which most reviewers talk about and is greek to most of the beginners who are already lost in the maze of photography terms like aperture, iso, shutter speed, camera modes, focus modes, DOF etc. Here’s my take on this lens in a language which I hope most amateurs will understand.

This lens is sharp and the sharpness can be compared with that of a Micro Nikkor 105mm VR. It is considerably sharp even when it is wide open at f2.8. The image of the Lizard shared below was shot at f3.8. It doubles up as a wonderful portrait lens as well. Macro photography is all about manual focus but still, the AF is brilliant even in low light and I won’t think twice before saying that it is faster than the Nikkor 105mm. The Tamron 90mm is about 170gm lighter in weight than the Nikkor 105mm. The Vibration Control (VC) is extremely efficient. The Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 macro is absolute value for money. It comes at almost half the price of a Micro Nikkor 105mm, f2.8 so it is lighter on the pocket as well. Following are a few images shot with this lens with exif data.

Yellow Bush FrogEXIF : f8 | 1/160 | ISO 800 | built in flash fired at 1/4 power | handheld |


EXIF : f11 | 1/160 | ISO 800 | built in flash fired at 1/8 power | handheld |


EXIF : f3.8 | 1/160 | ISO 800 | Handheld |

All the shots where the built in flash was used could have come out even more sharper had i used an external flash (which i forgot to carry on this trip ). External flashes are more powerful and can allow the use of narrower apertures to get a deeper DOF. The quality of light they emit is also much better than that of a built in flash.

I hope this review will be of some help to friends who are planning to buy a macro lens. Happy Clicking !!!