01 November 2014

the 90 arrives

We were planning a trip that would be ideal for the Q - more precisely the Q and an 06 telephoto lens.  I bought one at a good price and liked it a lot, but then the trip was called off.  While looking for ways to economize on the larger kit I encountered a trade offer of a Tamron 90 f/2.5 for an 06 zoom.  The deal was made, and now the 90mm macro has arrived!

Since this particular version of the Tamron 90 macro (the model 52E) was unknown to me, I read up on it before making the trade offer. Until now I thought that all f/2.5 models were manual focus, so this must be their first AF model.  I also thought all Tamron 90s were 1:1 macros but this one is 1:2.  So much for my general knowledge of early Tamron macros! :^)  It also lacks the bizarre AF/MF clutch that both Sigma and Tamron think are so clever, which may be true with non-Pentax systems.  That alone makes this appeal to me, as I really dislike the two-step focus change!

So this lens has AF, aperture ring and a limiter switch, and takes 52mm filters.  With the limiter set the lens snaps into focus down to about 1:4 which isn't a bad place to change over.  And it really does snap; focus speed is very fast even with no limit set - but it definitely helps to stop the spinning if it isn't needed.  The image quality is extremely good even wide open so it can be used as a general low-light lens and not merely for good closeups.  And if I feel really bold it can be a 180mm f/5 supermacro with the Vivitar macro/TC attached, though I haven't tried this to say how the results might look.

This serendipitous find allows the 85mm f/2 to find a new home, which will pay off a few items on the lens account.  Like the SMC 17mm before it, I find myself forsaking all-manual lenses for AF/auto-aperture and saving some money in the process.  This along with the F17-28 and DA20-40 are very good lenses so whatever happens I'll be just fine.