When presented with the opportunity to test the Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro lens, I jumped on it. I’ve been really interested in finding a good, reasonably fast 85-90mm equivalent for my Nikon D7000, as I’ve been looking for something to use primarily for portraits. The Tamron 60mm seemed like an excellent and affordable solution, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I will be doing a few different write-ups on this lens, and using it in different scenarios, but first I’d like to go over my first impressions and show some sample macro shots.
This lens is built very well, and while the body is made of plastic, it certainly doesn’t feel cheap. It has a solid weight to it and the focus ring is very smooth and well weighted. Focusing is very quiet and smooth, but it seems to often have difficulty locking, particularly at close distances, and tends to hunt quite a bit before committing to a focus point. The D7000 traditionally has an excellent AF system with other lenses, so I have to put the blame on this particular one.
My copy of this lens also tends to overexpose by .5-1 stop. Not sure if this is true of all copies of this lens, but it’s definitely apparent in mine. Setting exposure compensation to -.5 is a quick and easy fix, but something that I wish I didn’t have to double-check when changing lenses. This combined with a somewhat archaic focusing experience can lead to early frustrations when attempting to shoot macro with this lens.
All that said, the image quality has proven to be pretty impressive. At f/2, it seems to stay sharp, and as you stop down things get even better. The lens is not a constant f/2 as it may be implied. It will begin to stop down when focusing closely, and is at a widest aperture of f/4 when focused at it’s closest distance. Even at f/4 though, when focused that close, the DoF is razor thin, and the bokeh is very smooth and pleasing.
This lens has a wonderful ability to make mundane things look interesting. Seeing things in 1:1 macro world is a lot of fun, and I look forward to shooting more with this lens in the coming weeks. Be sure to check back soon for my other posts about this and other products I’m testing!
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