Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro – Nikon Mount

As usual, these are my personal views and some information from the manufacturers site(s).

From the Tamron Canada site:

Tamron’s 90mm macro lens, often referred to as “the portrait macro” and loved by photographers all over the world, is now reborn as a Di lens that is perfect for use with both film and digital cameras.

This is a true 1:1 macro lens, meaning  the image on the sensor is the same size as the object being photographed.

The Tamron 90mm macro lens utilizes a focus ring push/pull motion to engage/disengage the AF clutch – making it simple to change to manual focus without taking your eye off your subject. (no tiny button to search for).
The Nikon mount version has now been upgraded to include the internal focusing motor for new Nikon models.


  • SP – Better build quality compared to standard Tamron lens.
  • AF – Autofocus. Allows the lens to focus automatically on your subject.
  • Di – Specially made for Digital Sensor. You can use this lens with a full frame camera or cropped sensor camera.
  • 1:1 Macro – A “true” macro lens. The image on the sensor will be the same size as the subject being photographed.

Full Technical Specs:

  • Lens Construction (groups/elements) – 9/10
  • Angle of View – 27 degrees
  • Diaphragm blade number – 9
  • Minimum Aperture – f32
  • Maximum Aperture – f2.8
  • Minimum focus distance – 11.4 in (0.29m)
  • Filter diameter – 55mm
  • Weight – 405g (14.3oz)
  • Diameter x Length – 2.8 x 3.8in (71.5 x 97mm)
  • Supplied accessories – Front and rear caps, Lens hood, lens bag
  • Focus limiter switch

I don’t use this lens for true macro, as that type of photography doesn’t interest me, aside from the occasional flower shot.  I use this for some portraits, ring shots and detail shots at weddings. Because I don’t use this for ‘true’ macro most of the time, please take these comments as a grain of salt.


  • Very sharp, perhaps my sharpest lens I own, but that is the nature of a macro lens.
  • Sharp from center to corners.
  • Vignetting is virtually nonexistent
  • Chromatic aberration is also virtually nonexistent
  • Excellent bokeh.
  • Very light and compact.
  • Focus limiter
  • Distance scale window
  • Works with full frame or crop frame sensor cameras.


  • The front element of the lens is deep inside, which makes it difficult for cleaning (buy on the flip side I don’t use the lens hood often) This is a minor complaint, but irritating at times, non the less.
  • The quality of the lens feels cheap.  This doesn’t bother me, but I thought it needs to be said.  The performance speaks otherwise.
  • Some don’t like the AF/MF switch on the Tamron lenses, by pulling the focusing ring toward you for MF and pushing it away to put it into AF.
  • Can be slow to focus and hunt at times.


I’ve read some people have had problems with CA.  I haven’t noticed this, but as I mentioned I don’t use this as a macro very often.

The other thing commented on is that this lens is very slow and it hunts a lot during low light situations.  I haven’t had too many  issues with this, however, I use the limiter a lot.  I switch to MF and put the focus to infinity then turn on the limiter when I’m using it for portraits.  Then I put it back on AF and shoot away.  I do the reverse when I’m shooting close up, switch to MF, focus to closest distance, put the limiter on and put it back into AF.

Overall, this is a good lens for the price.  The complaints that come up sometimes on Tamron and Sigma lenses bother me.  Yes, these lenses may not be on exact ground with the OEM lenses in the same category and focal length.  But they are better than the consumer or kit lenses that are out there as well.  This is what drew me to the Tamron lenses to begin with and I’ve just stayed with them for a while.  You can get a lens such as the 70-200 f2.8 for a fraction of the cost of the OEM lenses and still get good images.

Would my images be better if I had the OEM lenses, such as the 105VR Nikon?  I’m sure there would be improvements, but I’ve always been of the mindset that it’s not the equipment, it’s the photographer that makes the image.

I’m going to go back and add some images to my reviews in the next couple of days.



About covesphotography

I have loved photography since I was a child. I always had a camera with me, although it was usually an old Kodak 110 Instamatic. When I was older, I used to take (with permission) my fathers Konica SLR with a 50mm Sigma lens. I was always disappointed that I had to wait for the film to be developed to see what it looked like. I have about two large containers full of pictures in my bedroom closet even now, mostly mine from that time. I don't know exactly how old I was, but I was able to take a picture of a sunset over Lake Superior with a heavy cloud cover above and the water below, the sun just broke through. My parents took it and blew it up to a very large image and I had it hanging on my wall for years. As a lot of teenagers are now, I was impatient and didn't stay with my love of photography, however when digital became more popular, and because I double exposed an important roll of film, I purchased my first digital camera, about 2004. I loved it so much that it went everywhere with me. Now I want to turn that passion for photography to something that can bring joyful moments to other people. From elegant weddings, to family portraits, from infants and pregnancy photos to corporate head shots, from pets to product photography. I travel to you, either to your home or a location you specify. If needed I can help in location scouting as well.
This entry was posted in Macro, Nikon, Photography, Tamron. Bookmark the permalink.

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