Tamron 90mm (Model 272E)


Tamron 90mm macro

Tamron 90mm

Tamron 90mm macro
Official name

Tamron Af 90mm f/2.8 Sp di Macro

Sp – super performance
Di – digital (Digitally integrated)

Lens versions

The lens has an upgraded Tamron 90mm Vc USD version. Which version to choose: for portrait perhaps the newer USD is better, because of the vibration control and better autofocus mechanism. For macro I would buy the cheaper and also excellent original version. On a tight budget perhaps reasonably buy the original lens in used version for the fraction of the price.

Vc – vibration control
USD – ultrasonic drive similar to Canon‘s USM


Tamron 90mm is an excellent lens. Let’s say this is a legend lens. Feels small, and light with small front element.


Optical formual:12/9
Focal length:90mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Aperture blades:9
Magnification: 1:1
Close focus distance:0,29m
Weight: 405g
Filter size:55mm
Compatibility: Full frame
Available mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax

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Optical quality

There is not too much to add to this lens’s optical abilities. This lens is sharp at f2.8 already, and there is not really a room for being sharper. It become a little more sharp up to f5.6 and after diffraction is limiting the small apertures. Vignetting and chromatic aberration on Aps-C sensored cameras are very low. See the pictures below I see no chromatic aberration even at high contrast situations, see the picture at 100%.
Tamron 90mm f/2.8
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 at f/2.8 No sharpening iso 400 Canon 30D overcast weather
Tamron 90mm 100%crop
100% crop of the above picture
Tamron 90mm4
Tamron 90mm at f2.8 1/250s iso 400 Canon 30d
Tamron 90mm f9
Tamron 90mm f/9
Tamron 90mm7

Mechanical quality

The lens has an interesting push pull Af-Mf switch handy for macro usage: doesn’t need to change the handling of the lens to switch to manual focusing(Canon and Nikon mounts). The lens extends significantly (4-5cm) during focusing, in close distances. The lens is quite small and light. The look of this lens is different from any lens I know, I like it how it looks, others perhaps not. The lens made of plastic, but doesn’t feel cheap. The manual focus ring is very nice in operation, it is a joy to use.
Tamron 90mm side

Autofocus speed and sound

The autofocus speed is not bad, but not very fast either. For general usage the autofocus speed is quite acceptable. The sound of the autofocus is quiter and more cool sounding, than the autofocus sound of the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for example.

Focus limiter

The focus limiter divides the router from 0.29m to 0.45m or 0.45m to infinity. Only works in Autofocus mode. If the lens is in the close region, stays there or it is in the far region stays there. It is designed to helps in focusing speed in portrait for example.

Focal length

For portraits the 90mm is better than 100mm according to my preference. For macro the difference is not significant, perhaps better as well for little better field of view.

Compare to:

The competition in macro land is extremely high. For Canon mounts there is a 50mm f2.5 compact macro(1:2 magnification), 60mm f2.8 Macro, 100mm f/2.8 USM macro, 100/2.8 is usm macro, and the 180mm f/3.5 macro. Sigma has a 70mm, 105mm, 150mm, 180mm with or without OS. Tamron also has a 180mm. Nikon has 40,65,85,105,200mm macro lenses. None of this lenses are bad actually. The difference between this lenses are not huge. One lens is sharper, the other has better contrast, the third has nicer colours. Optically the Tamron is not worse than the others, perhaps little better in some respect.
Tamron 90mm f/2.8

Why is the Tamron 90mm:

The 90mm is cheaper, the most of the alternatives and extremely good optically, small and light while most Canon lenses has much better Usm focusing for portraits. For macro usage the usm doesn’t add much because mostly focusing is manually in macro photography. If longer focal length is preferred (longer distance from the front element) than the Sigma 150mm perhaps the best value, together with the Sigma and Tamron 180mm. This longer lenses are perhaps not so useful for portraits than the 90 or 100mm.


The Tamron is a very nice lens, real question if someone ok with the screwdrive autofocusing or not. For Macro one of the best price/performance lens available today.


Excellent optics, sharp at f2.8, fast(f/2.8), amazing sharpness, small and light. More budget frienly than the Canon and Nikon counterparts.


Autofocus is not usm. Much quiter than the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, but not silent. Also not so quick as the usm. The lens has an updated version with Vc(vibration control) and Usd drive, for more money. The lens extends during focusing.


If you need this focal length the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro is Highly recommended ! Excellent lens. For portaits preference perhaps a usm lens is preferred if budget is not tight( Tamron’s new USD VC version of the 90mm, or Canon 85/1.8 USM or Canon 60/2.8 USM or Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM or Canon 100/2.8L macro is USM)

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