Tamron’s SP AF60mm F/2 Di II; A 1:1 “True” Macro For APS-C D-SLRs Page 2

(Note: A common technique in working without a tripod is to set focus and then “breathe into” the shot, if you will, perhaps using Continuous Shooting mode as a form of focus bracketing as you work. When aperture is wide and subjects in the frame are inches apart, a 1⁄2” difference in focusing distance can be profound. Using this technique with narrow apertures makes this setup somewhat less critical.)

Here I got up close and personal with a morning glory. I exposed at f/5 at 1⁄500 sec at ISO 1000 to get a bit more depth of field, though working this close means that depth of field is necessarily very shallow.

During my testing period it did nothing but rain, which was fine with me, as raindrops on leaves and flowers add to the delight of doing macro work. The lens responded to every situation and delivered very crisp images, all made with a Canon EOS 30D test camera.

I did check out vignetting at all apertures, as I do with all lenses by using a blank wall and even lighting, and found no discernible problem. Likewise, the lens and camera worked in excellent fashion hand-in-hand in terms of exposure and matching chosen focusing points. In fact, I found few if any faults with the lens, although changing focus from 1:1 to infinity was not what I’d call a speedy response. Indeed, the lens seemed almost startled by the request and would pause momentarily until it got its bearings. Going from a more moderate focusing distance to infinity posed no such dilemma. Indeed, one of the benefits of a 60mm macro lens (a.k.a. 90mm in APS-C terms) is that it does double duty as an excellent portrait focal length, and even as a moderate tele for general work. One suggestion: on the next manifestation include VC (Tamron’s vibration reduction) as that could come in handy for critical handheld work.

(Left): When you work close part of the challenge is figuring out what will be in and what will be out of focus, and that juxtaposition is what makes it such a creative game. Exposure here at ISO 400 is f/7.1 at 1⁄800 sec. (Right): As you narrow the aperture you gain more sharpness from foreground to back. Not every shot with this lens need be done at the widest aperture and the crisp edges of this rose show what the lens can deliver. At ISO 200, f/11 at 1⁄200 sec.

Tamron certainly has a long tradition of making fast, quality macro lenses, and the f/2 manifestation here is the first at that speed, and a very fine addition to their line-up. Every photographer should have a few fast “prime” (fixed focal length) lenses in their kit because of the benefits of the aforementioned speed, optimized optical formula, and decided point of view they proffer, indeed impose. For me, those with APS-C sensor D-SLRs (Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts only as of this writing) would do well to consider the versatile Tamron 60mm f/2 as a worthy contender to start or build a prime lens collection.

For more information, contact Tamron USA, Inc. at: www.tamron.com.

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