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Old 12th of August 2008 (Tue)   #1
beepclick
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Default Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Macro

You don't hear much about this lens. I bought one today. I have the Canon 60 and 100 macros, but I wanted this lens for one reason only - butterflies. I went to the local butterfly exhibit several times this summer, and found the 60 got too close, often disturbing the butterflies. And the 300L with 1.4x needed too much room in a very cramped setting.

Then, on my 3rd or 4th trip there, I saw another guy shooting, and he looked like he knew what he was doing. He had those knee pads you slip one, a 5D, a big lens and a macro ring lite. As I approached him, I recognized the Tamron design of his lens. It was the 180 Macro. I asked him if he would be posting his images on the internet (in hopes of getting a link so I could see the results), but he was rather vague about it, so I didn't press it. Anyway, I've been thinking of getting this lens ever since, and finally pulled the trigger this week.

No butterflies around, but thought I'd share some images of the lens, since many here are probably not familiar with it. It got good reviews at photozone except for the micro-motor AF and no limit switch. Over at fredmiranda, many users complained of AF noise/hunting. For my first shots today, I used manual, set the distance window close to 1:1, moved in with my 40D till the focus hit, then set up my tripod.

Based on the size of today's subject, and dried sunflower, I think it may work out OK for butterflies - need to get over there soon before the exhibit closes for the year.

The build on this lens is very nice, IMO. There seems to be some conflict on the weight of this lens. I get 1020g on my postal scale with the tripod ring. The lens has a nice finish, and the case is about on a level of the case for my 300 4L, though not as good-looking.

























A couple quick shots. I didn't even see the fine hairs in the viewfinder (my vision's not so good). I will need some practice, no doubt.




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Old 13th of August 2008 (Wed)   #2
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

Congrats on the new lens. Looks good.
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Old 13th of August 2008 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

Yea, looks like a nice lens. I'm thinking one reason for it not being as popular is that Sigma also has a 150mm macro for a bit less with HSM AF to boot.

I think both are nice lenses.
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Old 13th of August 2008 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

If I ever bought another macro lens, the Tamron 180mm and Sigma 150mm would be the two biggest contenders. Reason why you don't hear too much about the Tamron 180mm is because as a macro lens, it's starting to get long and fairly specialized. Bearing in mind that most people are using APS-C cameras such as the likes of the 40D, 180mm is very long indeed.
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Old 13th of August 2008 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

The Tamron 180 is probably one of the "prettiest" looking lenses around, IMO. I've been lusting for one ever since I started shooting long macro, even though I never actually had the need for one (the Sigma 150 treated me well for years).
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Old 13th of August 2008 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

must be a better deal than canon
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Old 13th of August 2008 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

One from today. SOOC, sharpness bumped in DPP, convert/resize JPG.
STill getting the hang of it.
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Old 18th of August 2008 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

I got to shoot with one of these this weekend at the Tamron workshop in OKC. NICE lens!

Did great with butterflies and flowers and did a great job on caged birds. Really well with the birds. Nice DOF. I was pleasantly surprised that it handled both situations nicely.

The fixed length takes some getting used to and the AF is klugy and loud, especially coming off of L glass, but once it's found it's focus it's not as annoying.
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Old 28th of October 2008 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

figured i would bump this thread. i've been an owner of the Tamron 180mm for Canon for a few months now. I was out in the field a couple of days ago, and a friend let me try his 180mm Canon L 1:1.

The autofocus on the Canon definitely blows the Tamron out of the water. It is much smoother. My Tamron hunts fairly often even with good lighting. The autofocus on the Tamron is also rather noisy compared to the silent motor on the Canon. I didn't run any controlled test shows so I'm not qualified to compare IQ's. However, I'd imagine both are very acceptable.

Don't get me wrong, I do like my Tamron 180mm. But right now I am autofocusing 99% of the time for macros (wrongly?) and was amazed at the difference. I haven't seen anyone else post here with first-hand experience with both lenses before so I figured I'd report back. I haven't gotten my hands on the Sigma 180mm, but would like to try some test shots with that also.

anyways, here's one of my better insects shot... Tamron 180mm on an Xti w/ Kenko tubes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidraymond/2715582999/
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Old 28th of October 2008 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

I like my Tamron 180 a lot, however I find the autofocus to be just slightly better than useless. I personally manually focus all my macro work anyway.
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Old 28th of October 2008 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
I like my Tamron 180 a lot, however I find the autofocus to be just slightly better than useless. I personally manually focus all my macro work anyway.

any samples you'd like to share?

was this your first macro lens?
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Old 31st of October 2008 (Fri)   #12
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

davebreal: I agree with you on the AF shortcomings of the Tamron. I did a lot of research beforehand, and a vast majority of Canon 180 users lauded it's AF performance. What sold me was resolving power - the Tamron had better numbers at photozone.de. You just have to work a lot harder for them.

Moneywise, I'm glad I went with the Tamron, because I've gotten away from macro and close-up shooting, so don't use it much these days. Still, the Tamron has very fine optics, but it's mechanicals aren't the best. Built very solid though.
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Old 1st of November 2008 (Sat)   #13
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by fWord View Post
If I ever bought another macro lens, the Tamron 180mm and Sigma 150mm would be the two biggest contenders. Reason why you don't hear too much about the Tamron 180mm is because as a macro lens, it's starting to get long and fairly specialized. Bearing in mind that most people are using APS-C cameras such as the likes of the 40D, 180mm is very long indeed.

Sigma's 180 is a stellar lens as well, with slightly higher MTF numbers than the 150. However, the 150's AF is really good for a macro lens. I wouldn't hesitate to say that it is the best lens that I've ever worked with.
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Old 1st of November 2008 (Sat)   #14
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Default Re: Tamron 180 Macro..under the radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by beepclick View Post
Moneywise, I'm glad I went with the Tamron, because I've gotten away from macro and close-up shooting, so don't use it much these days. Still, the Tamron has very fine optics, but it's mechanicals aren't the best. Built very solid though.
I'm outside taking wildlife pics all the time (long lens), so I lug around a 2nd body with the Tamron Macro attached to handle all incidental butterflies and dragonflies. I'm always happy with the end results and I personally do need the "long" length of the 180mm for these critters. Thus I'm not tossing mine in the dumpster just yet

However, if someone offered to straight up trade my a good copy of the Canon 180mm macro I may not resist! Sigma, not sure, I haven't tried it yet.

Another shot from the Tamron:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidra...7600985744723/
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Old 4th of February 2009 (Wed)   #15
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Macro

Just got my lens the other day. gotta say I love it. That sharpness is absolutely 1:st class.... Hereīs a sample. Absolutely nothing done with the picīs. Just cropping. Canon 5D, still going strong...



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