Tamron AF SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro (EOS) - APS-C Format Review - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Sample Shots

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/8000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.2
Exposure 1/3200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.2
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.2
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 250
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 250
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/1250s

Verdict

The Tamron AF SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD macro is undoubtedly a highly impressive lens and it has a easy game on an APS-C DSLR. Obviously it has been improved in a number of aspects over its predecessor. In terms of resolution, it is about as good as gets. It is very sharp at wide-open aperture and downright superb when stopping down a bit. Glare in high contrast scenes is a bit of an issue at f/2.8 though. Distortions are mostly irrelevant and lateral CAs are fairly low. Surprisingly, the quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus blur) got somewhat worse but it is, of course, possible to achieve beautiful blur in macro scenes where the focus spread is rather extreme anyway. Bokeh fringing can be visible at f/2.8 but this is normal for such a fast lens and it's not an issue anymore when stopping down.

The build quality of the Tamron lens is on a very high level but it is mostly made of plastics - which is something you may or may not like. Similar to its competitors, it now keeps a constant physical length during focusing. This design is possible by incorporating an inner focusing system which is, in combination with an ultrasonic (USD) motor, also responsible for the high AF speed of the lens. LiveView AF is not a strength though. Tamron's image stabilizer (VC=Vibration Compensation) is, of course, a very welcome new feature. It is pretty efficient at standard focus distances although you shouldn't expect wonders in macro scenes due to the much more pronounced angular shake here.

Given the very high sharpness we stick to the "highly recommended" rating. The price is also very hot relative to the overall performance.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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