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LENS PORN: Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)
Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)




The Tamron Adaptall SP 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro is probably one of the best lenses I've ever used: it has a nice range from 60-300mm, macro that goes down to 1:1.55, and image quality is SUPER. This lens has a designation of 'SP', meaning Superior Performance. Lenses with this marking are of premium quality build and image quality.




I was fortunate to get this as part of a mint Minolta set that included an authentic Tamron Adaptall adapter for Minolta A mount, its original lens hood and cap, a set of genuine 55mm Kenko filters, a Minolta a7700i, and a set of Minolta lenses.




I took the lens out on several occasions and it was especially nice for shooting the sunset in Manila Bay. It wasn't bad for shooting low light night scenes too. And oh, this lens is fucking sharp from 60mm all the way to 300mm. Your twice expensive lens that performs half decently might wince away in shame. It's an old lens, but it's a fierce dragon.







Hover the mouse on the photo below and scroll left/right

Tamron Adaptall SP 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro

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SPECS

Tamron Adaptall SP 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro

Model# 23A

Minimum Focusing Distance:
6.5 feet / 1.9 meters (Normal Mode)

Macro Mode:
Maximum of 1:1.55 at 60 mm

Filter Thread Size: 62 mm

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

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Summary


For

Absolutely no zoom creep, unlike many push-pull zoom lenses

SUPER awesome image quality: clarity, sharpness and contrast are the best!

Performs well in low light even if it's f/3.8-5.4

I love f/32 for shooting macros

Neutral colors, no color shift

Vivid colors

Excellent flare control

It does not not lose contrast with strong backlit subjects (eg. sun)

Macro Mode goes down to 1:1.55 (many dedicated macro lenses go down to only 1:2)

Very sturdy build and it looks like a piece of well crafted art

Diamond textured rubber grip for firm grip and no slip

You can use Adaptall adapters... one lens can be used on many cameras. No need to buy many lenses.

I think this will really perform well for events and sports photography



Neutral

Variable aperture of f/3.8-5.4. One stop of light lost, but I find that images are still brighter and crispier compared to my Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, which looked soft all over.

The size and hefty weight of this beefy lens screams QUALITY BUILD.

Minimum Focusing Distance of 6 feet. It shouldn't be a problem given the nature of where you would use this lens. But if you're a macro shooter like me, macro mode at 60mm is a nice consolation.



Against

To get to Macro Mode, you first need to lock it in 60mm, then twist with some force until you get there. Once in Macro Mode, you focus by push-pull action, not by rotating the focus ring. It's nice if you can just get to macro without any special method, simply by focusing all the way until you get there, like some lenses do.



Conclusion

This is almost the perfect lens that you can get at a reasonable price. It's a variable aperture lens but I'm surprised that it did well for low light night scenes at 300mm (maximum aperture of f/5.4).

If you noticed my points above, all of my complaints had something to do with the way macro mode is operated.

There is no flaw with the mechanical and optical design of this lens. even for its variable aperture it can shoot low light scenes better than kit 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses!

What makes this lens even more awesome is that it is sharp from 60mm all the way to 300mm. You normally don't expect lenses with that much focal range to perform this good.

If you're looking for a telephoto zoom lens with excellent image quality and don't mind the variable aperture or manual focusing, try the Tamron Adaptall SP 60-300mm (23A). It will give you crisp images. Once you try it, you would want to throw your 55-200mm and 70-300mm's to the trash bin.

The best thing here is that you can get this around PhP 5,000 in mint condition. You would spend twice the money on lenses that perform half decently compared to this lens, so if you find this in the market, grab it immediately like I did. Happy hunting!

Note: I recommend that you use genuine Tamron Adaptall adapters. There's nothing wrong with the generic cheap adapters, but I noticed that they have a tendency to unlock, especially since this lens requires some amount of force in twisting to get to macro mode.

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Further Reading



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Samples


Shot with Nikon D5200.
All photos are unedited.
No filters used, most photos no hood used.

Camera Settings:
Size - Basic/Small
White Balance - Preset
Picture Profile - SD (Standard)
HDR/ADL/Flash/Noise Reduction - Off


Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)

Tamron Adaptall 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 Macro (Model 23A)





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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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