Tamron AF 180mm f/3.5 SP Di LD [IF] macro (Canon) Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Lens kindly provided by Tamron Europe!
The AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di may be the more popular macro lens made by Tamron but it
is not their only offering in this segment. The Tamron AF 180mm f/3.5 SP Di LD [IF] macro
has certainly a lesser visibility due to its double price tag (~700€/US$) but
apart from the longer focal length (equivalent to 270mm when used on APS-C DSLRs)
it offers a significant advantage - a bigger minimal working distance (25cm vs 9cm)
which can make life a little easier when it comes to shooting rather nervous critters.
In absolute terms the Tamron is a fairly big lens but within its class it is actually
comparatively compact and light-weight. Fortunately the weight reduction measurement
don't seem to come at cost of build quality - it is obviously a pretty sturdy lens
also thanks to a constant physical length regardless of the focus setting.
The very broad, rubberized focus ring operates very smooth. An nice feature
is FEC (Filter Effect Control), is a dedicated control ring to rotate
the filter thread even with attached lens hood - a quite interesting and efficient
The 180mm f/3.5 has a conventional AF micro-motor which is moderately noisy and very slow
when focusing throughout the extensive focus range. This can happen quite frequently because
Tamron did not implement a focus limiter - in the middle of focus nowhere there's a good
chance that the AF focuses towards the wrong direction before hunting back again. If the
focus is well off it makes sense to do a coarse manual pre-focusing prior of activating the AF.
You change between AF and MF by pushing/pulling the focus ring so there's no need to fiddle
around with the small AF/MF switch on the camera. A side effect of this focus clutch design
is the decoupling of the focus ring from the AF gears so it does not rotate in AF mode.
|Optical construction||14 elements in 11 groups inc. 2x LD elements|
|Number of aperture blades||7|
|min. focus distance||0.47m (max. magnification ratio 1:1, 25cm min. working distance)|
|Filter size||72mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||barrel-shaped (included), snap-on type|
|Other features||floating system, detachable tripod-mount, FEC (Filter Effect Control)|