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Keywords: Tamron Canon Nikon Sony Tele Prime Macro APS-C Di II SP tested


Registered: May 2010
Posts: 5
Tamron 60mm f/2 Di II LD IF Macro 1:1 SP AF review by PeterB666
Review Date: 1/7/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $380.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, relatively compact, fixed front and rear elements
Cons: Build quality a little light, not f/2 when focussed closer than 1 metre, af performance in low light

I have had this lens for a while. It produces fabulously sharp images and is a joy to use. The internal focussing means that as you focus closer, you don't need to get as close to the object as you do with non-internal focussing lenses.

I use mine with a Nikon D90 and AF performance is fine in good light however a focus limiter would have been nice. As the light levels fall, the lens has difficulty automatically focusing but there is a nice wide range to the manual focus and a lovely big focus ring.

The lens is not perfect, build quality is adequate but could be better. The AF-MF switch is too light, the lens far from robust. I had the lens roll off a desk and had to have it repaired as the follower-arm for the focus jumped out of its guide and jammed the focus. It prevented the lens from auto focusing and manually focusing. The lens was otherwise unscathed.

A depth of field scale would be nice and the lens does have some limitations with portrait and other work as the aperture drops as you focus closer so you wind up with maximum apertures of f/2.2, f/2.4 etc. This is common with macro lenses but you should be able to have maximum aperture with a 60mm lens to at least 1 metre or even 0.7m rather than just 3 metres.

For macro work, simply brilliant and provided you take your time, great for portraits. Very nice bokeh too!

Provided you are not rough with your lenses, highly recommended.

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 6
Tamron 60mm f/2 Di II LD IF Macro 1:1 SP AF review by Toby
Review Date: 3/20/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: large aperture, long working distance, lightweight, compact, nice bokeh
Cons: none, unless you are looking for an FX lens

The lens is a recommendable/preferable alternative to Nikon's 60 mm and 85 mm lenses.

The Nikon 60 mm AF-S changes the focal distance to somthing like 40 mm when focusing closely, in contrast the Tamron appears to be a true 60 mm lens. Result: The Nikon 60 mm AF-S has a working distance of 5 cm at 1:1, whereas the Tamron has about 10 cm (you just need to compare the closest focus distance of the lenses).

Therefore, the Nikon AF-S 60 mm will shield off any natural light at close focus, whereas the Tamron allows for light and a reasonable escape distance for insects.

Therefore, the Nikon is not acceptable to me and I would highly recommend the Tamron over the Nikon - unless it would not significantly underexpose on my D300 body (I have tested three samples now, all do underexpose by about 1 f stop (I have tested only the A exposure mode, I admit)) compared to other lenses.

The issue is also reported on, along with a saddening report about the lack of service in this matter by Tamron Europe.

I have decided to wait until the bug is fixed either by Tamron or by Nikon.

Sharpness even at open aperture and also at normal working distance appears to be excellent. The AF seems to work slightly less smooth and quick than the AF-S of the Nikon 60 mm.

Note added September 2012:

The underexposure issue on Nikon has been resolved.

I have now owned the lens for more than one year. It has become one of my favourites and it has given me many beautiful pictures.

It is compact and lightweight, so the lens gives me company also on mountain tours etc. . Build and image quality are excellent, only the AF could be better.

If you are looking for a DX lens, then I would much prefer this lens over the Nikon 2.8/60, which changes its focal length the closer the focus is (resulting in a ridiculously short working distance).

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 14
Tamron 60mm f/2 Di II LD IF Macro 1:1 SP AF review by Thoppa
Review Date: 8/20/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, working distance, fast aperture, macro/portrait lens
Cons: AF/MF action not quite as good as Nikon AF-S; and some PF CA

EDIT : April 2010. I've been using this lens for five months now and I had a problem with the focusing which I assumed was the lens but has turned out to be the body so I have revised my comments again.

I have seen comments about exposure accuracy problems but this has not been an issue at all with my D90. In fact, I get almost exactly the same exposure using a grey card with this lens as with all my Nikon glass.

My original review :

This is an awesome lens but perhaps a little overpriced.

At f5.6 it is ultra-sharp across the frame and gives amazing resolution even at 100% viewing. At f2 the centre is almost as sharp as f5.6 but the edges are soft - fine for portraits with a shallow dof and blurred background. By f2.8 the edges are sharp again. At f16 it is getting a little soft again, so using this lens from f2-f11 gives great results. f16 is fine for good dof macro. f22 is useable too.

Macro use is great - the front of the lens is about 10cm from the object so there's no shading from the lens. I can use the built-in flash on my D90 without problems, although I don't use the lens hood so I don't know if that would be an issue. I usually use a remote flash but being able to use the built-in is very useful.

There's very little CA for an f2 lens, ( although there is some purple fringing ), mild vignetting wide open, great colours, and good-ish bokeh. The best is at f2.8 where the bokeh is fine - just a blur with no obvious doughnuts or halos or smearing. There's slight distortion in the corners but it isn't distracting at all.

There's no obvious barrel or pincushion distortion.

It displays the true aperture in the viewfinder. Beyond 3 metres it is f2, then focusing closer it goes to f2.2 and smaller and eventually reaches f4 at min focus of 23cm.

It feels light and a bit plasticky but that isn't too bad as it seems quite well made. It is made in Japan. For an F/2 lens, it's very small and light.

The one drawback of this lens is the AF/MF. It isn't as good as the best USM/AF-S but it isn't awful either and much better than any other Tamron lens I've tried. It focuses at a similar speed to the Nikon AF-S 35mm DX. In quiet situations, you hear it whoosh/whirr a little but it isn't loud. Almost 100% of the time it snaps into focus but every once in a while it hunts a couple of times before it locks on. Focus is accurate. I doubt it could do sports but for portraits it is fine. It is certainly a lot better than I expected.

For macro (initially mostly manual adjusting of the auto-focus) it will focus, which I then correct just like a rougher version of an AF-S "instant manual" lens. The rougher (than AF-S) focus action and an occasional refocus are the main detractions of this lens. However, the light switch to MF is very convenient so it is hardly a serious issue and no reason not to strongly recommend this lens.

Here's a review :

and another

and another in Chinese :

Given the choice between the Nikon 60mm f/2.8 af-s micro, the 85mm f/3.5 VR micro and this lens, I'd still choose this lens.

The Nikkor 85 doesn't have the bright max aperture that can defocus the backgrounds for portraits. The VR seems like a good idea but it is mostly ineffective for macro focusing distances (I already owned the 105 VR micro) and the darker aperture and longer focal length make it less versatile for portraits. However, the lens is lighter and the macro working distance is the same so really if the bright max aperture isn't on your wish list I'd get the Nikkor.

The Nikkor AFS 60 is great but the working distance is much shorter so it's hard to capture insects and avoid shading things. Plus it isn't as bright so portrait backgrounds aren't as well blurred.

So all in all, this is a versatile lens with good image quality so I think it is a very good choice, especially if the price comes down.


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