Tamron 60mm Macro Lens
Tamron 60mm Macro Lens
Tamron 60mm Macro in Action
It was bound to happen. A macro lens with a huge aperture and a not so huge price tag. Tamron has introduced macro photography to the world with the Tamron 60mm Macro Lens.
That's right, the Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD[IF] Macro 1:1 lens is available for your purchase and photography pleasure.
But, check out that name. That's a name deserving of notice, right?
What's with all those letters? Are they really important?
In fact, the letters hold the key to the greatness of this macro lens. They are quite purposeful:
- SP = High performance specifications (I know, pretty obscure, but the performance really is terrific as you will see)
- AF = stands for auto focus
- F/2 = the widest aperture is F/2.0
- Di II = digital images only, not film images
- LD = Low Dispersion glass
- IF = Internal focusing
As you can see, the letters indicate lots of technical jargon. But are they really important? You bet they are!
The features available in the Tamron 60mm Macro lens are what make it a fantastic lens.
The only letters missing that would make this a better lens are VC and USD. VC stands for Vibration Compensation, and USD stands for Ultrasonic Silent Drive. This would add something similar to Image Stabilization and Fast Focus. Even though they would add great value to this lens, they would also add a lot to the price. Unfortunately, they would push the price of the lens beyond a reasonable limit and make it unavailable for its intended users.
Intended users? It's intended for those who have APS-C cameras... Oh, no, not more letters. But APS-C cameras are those digital SLR cameras with a modified sensor that is less than "full frame". APS-C cameras include the likes of the Digital Rebels in the Canon line and the D5000 and D90 in the Nikon line.
The really good part about being for APS-C cameras is that those cameras now have a really GREAT macro lens readily available to them.
Two Outstanding Features Set the Tamron 60mm Macro Lens Apart From the Others
Don't believe the price listed here - the actual price is less than half that.
This Canon 100mm F/2.8 L Macro lens is the "Cadillac" of lenses, but it is also the most expensive one listed.
Two things stand out about the Tamron 60mm Macro lens.
- Super quality images. The excellent image quality was acknowledged, and a few even mentioned that the image quality was a pleasant surprise to them. It must be mentioned that using a prime (or single focal length) lens does give a much better chance for high image quality than a zoom lens.
- Depth of Field. Bokeh is a term bandied about by photographers referring to the blurring of the background of a photograph. It happens when the depth of the focal plane is not very deep. This is true of this macro lens. It has a very shallow focal plane allowing for a nice blurring effect that helps the main part of the photo stand out even more.
This declaration by the manufacturer is major: The Tamron 60mm Macro lens is the only lens in the World that can boast an F/2.0 aperture at that focal length. There are a number of lenses that have an aperture of F/2.8, but none have F/2.0.
It is a macro lens, but that is not the only type of photography you can do with this lens. Portraits are also produced with excellent results using the 60mm lens. Many photographers use a 50mm lens for portraits, but this one performed admirably for taking sharp portraits.
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Yes, there actually is one feature that has caused some negative comments. The lens has auto focus with a manual override. That means that you can use the camera to get the focus automatically, but if you feel that you can tweak the focus manually to get it sharper, you can do that.
Having explained that, the reviewing photographers seemed to have trouble with this feature, because the lens would try to auto focus while they were using the manual override.
If you are familiar with macro lenses, you will know that focusing issues are common with other macro models, as well. Because you are so close to the subject, and the plane of focus is so narrow, it is sometimes difficult for the auto focus feature to get a tack-sharp focus.
Even though this was mentioned as a problem area, each of the reviewers said that they were able to conquer the issue with some patience, but it remained as a negative with respect to the Tamron 60mm Macro lens.
This lens has been widely acclaimed as a great lens for entry level and mid level digital slr cameras. Photographers who are looking for a really good macro lens without having to break the bank are able to pick up this one for a fairly sensible price.