Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Review

December 6, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD is an excellent update of Tamron's very popular 90mm lens, with the new optical construction offering great image quality and lovely smooth bokeh, and the built-in image stabilisation increasing its versatility to include hand-held as well as tripod-mounted photography. The auto-focus system is fast and accurate enough to also make the lens useful as a short telephoto for portraits when used on a full-frame camera.

Image quality is generally excellent, with fantastic center sharpness throughout the aperture range. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled and flare is only ever an issue when shooting directly into the sun. The only real optical issues are obvious corner shading at the maximum aperture and a lack of critical edge sharpness until you stop down to f/8.

The SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD is one of the few Tamron lenses that's actually more expensive than the Canon and Nikon alternatives (especially true in the UK), with Sigma currently offering the cheapest macro lens with built-in image stabilisation. So while we do really like the new Tamron offering, you might want to wait until street prices have settled down before purchasing.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3.5