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LENS HACK: Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)... Fixing the Gummy Focusing Helicoid

Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)
Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)




May 6, 2017

The Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B) is a short telephoto prime lens that was made for macro photography and for portraiture. It's one of my all-time favorite lenses. On DX, it becomes 135mm, and is still a useful lens for portraiture and general use.

Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)



This lens cannot be faulted for image quality or build quality. It's simply a dream lens. It's my favorite lens for product photography, and I've also used for portraiture.

Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)



The focusing helicoid feels 'gummy'. Maybe it's meant to be that way as a macro lens, and maybe people like it. My preference is something very very buttery loose because I want to shoot fast action scenes with this lens (or else I will miss my focus). 

Not happy with my first try weeks ago, this lens was opened for the second time today to fully remove the remaining grease that they put there. It's very viscous, which makes the focusing very damped.

Inside the lens is a double helicoid. It is extra hard to put back so you have to remember the precise in-out of each part. Even so, some parts moved during the process and I had to do some guesswork as a consequence.

Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)



It took me two days to put the lens back together, but here's a funny recollection: It was already 5am and thought it would be pointless to go on. So I went to sleep and in my dreams, the solution presented itself to me. I did exactly what I saw upon waking up, and the problem was solved.

I'm happy with the new loose feeling of the focusing helicoid!




Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (52B)












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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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