Looking at Macro Options: Tamron’s 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens

by | Jan 17, 2019

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Camera lenses are traditionally optimized to focus at infinity, not within close-up range but the best macro lenses, such as Tamron’s 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens let you focus to life-size (1:1) magnification. The lens also has built-in image stabilization and that’s a big help for handheld macro photography.

The 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens is designed to works with full-frame DSLRs and while some macro lenses have a 50-60mm focal length, others have longer focal lengths. The advantage being that the longer focal length provides extra working space and you won’t shadow or startle a tiny subject.

To minimize chromatic aberrations and color fringing throughout the magnification range, the lens uses one Low Dispersion and two Extra Low Dispersion glass elements in its optical design. BBAR (Broad Band Anti-Reflectio) and Tamron’s eBAND coatings are applied to minimize flare and ghosting.

For fast, precise and quiet AF, a Ring-type USD motor with an optimized USD actuator are used enabling full-time manual focus control without having to shift into a dedicated MF mode. This is important because when striving for critical focus sometimes you’ll prefer doing it manually rather than have the camera do it. In addition to on/off switches for AF and VC, there’s a three position switch for focus limiting —1.6 ft-infinity, 11.8 inches-1.6 ft, and 11.8 inches-infinity— to minimize time hunting  focus. The lens also has an internal focusing system, which focuses without moving the front lens group.

Front filter size is 62mm. A rounded nine-blade diaphragm produces excellent bokeh.The lens has moisture-resistant construction, weighs 1.34 lbs. and is available in Canon and Nikon mounts.

How I made this shot: Camera was an Canon EOS 60 with an exposure of 1/500 sec at f/8 and ISO 400.


Note: The 90mm focal length range has long been popular for portraiture and I also use this lens for portraits especially with LED lighting setups where the fast f/2.8 aperture is a big help.