Tamron AF SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro (FX) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D3x and RAW-converted via CaptureOne.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/2500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/3.2
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/160s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/160s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 90.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/320s

Verdict

The Tamron AF SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD macro is undoubtedly an impressive lens. It delivers great results on our FX test camera.

Obviously it has been improved in a number of aspects over its predecessor. In terms of resolution, it plays in the top class just like most macro lenses actually. It is already sharp at wide-open aperture and excellent when stopping down a bit.

Glare in high contrast scenes can be a bit of an issue at f/2.8 though. Distortion is mostly irrelevant and lateral CAs are rather 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.

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.

No doubt this is a "highly recommended" lens. The price is also very hot relative to the overall performance.

Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

Click here for an explanation of our star ratings