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Tamron AF 180mm f/3.5 Di SP A/M FEC LD (IF) 1:1 Macro Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Model B01N)
|Price:||$739.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Soft out-of-focus backgrounds and superior optical performance
- Internal focusing system maintains overall length during focusing
- Two low-dispersion glass elements compensate for chromatic aberration
- Autofocus and manual focus one-touch switchover mechanism
- Digitally integrated design for Nikon mount Digital SLR cameras
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|Aperture Control Design||Includes aperture ring|
|Included Components||Lens hood, case & 6 Year USA Warranty|
|Item Dimensions||3.35 x 3.35 x 6.54 inches|
|Item Weight||2.03 pounds|
|Lens Type||Prime lens|
|Maximum Focal Length||180 mm|
|Maximum Format Size||35mm full frame|
|Minimum Focal Length||180 mm|
|Shipping Weight||3.35 pounds|
|Style Name||For Nikon DSLR Cameras|
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This item Tamron AF 180mm f/3.5 Di SP A/M FEC LD (IF) 1:1 Macro Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Model B01N)
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||RitzCamera||Cameta Camera||ProjectorSupercenter!||Amazon.com||Hunts Photo and Video||Photo Savings|
|Compatible Camera Mount||—||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon (DX)||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)|
|Focus Type||Micromotor||Ring-type ultrasonic||automatic_only, manual_only||Ring-type ultrasonic||Ring-type ultrasonic||Screw drive from camera|
|Item Dimensions||3.35 x 6.54 x 3.35 in||3.07 x 5 x 3.07 in||2.87 x 2.87 x 3.74 in||3.27 x 4.57 x 3.27 in||3.15 x 5.91 x 3.15 in||2.99 x 7.6 x 2.99 in|
|Item Weight||2.03 lbs||2.5 lbs||1.26 lbs||1.74 lbs||2.6 lbs||2.62 lbs|
|Lens Type||Prime lens||Prime lens||macro||Prime lens||Prime lens||Prime lens|
|Maximum Aperture||—||f/2.8||32 in||2.8||2.8||4|
|Maximum Focal Length||180 millimeters||105 millimeters||100||105 millimeters||150 millimeters||200 millimeters|
|Minimum Aperture||—||22||2.8 in||32||22||32|
|Minimum Focal Length||180 millimeters||105 millimeters||100||105 millimeters||150 millimeters||200 millimeters|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||—||62 millimeters||55 millimeters||62 millimeters||72 millimeters||62 millimeters|
Emulating the design merits of the Tamron SP 90mm Macro, renowned and trusted by professional and amateur photographers throughout the world, the new SP AF180mm f3.5 LD (IF) Macro 1:1 is a mid-range telephoto lens that gives the user a longer working distance needed for some macro subjects. In addition, to meet the needs of this dual-format world (silver-halide and digital), the optical system of the lens is designed to provide optimum performance when used with the latest digital SLR cameras as well as film cameras.
Digitally Integrated Design, is a designation Tamron puts on lenses featuring optical systems designed to meet the performance characteristics of digital SLR cameras.
This lens employs an IF (internal focusing) system that maintains the overall length of the lens during focusing. Uses two LD (low-dispersion) glass elements that effectively compensate for chromatic aberration. Provides high-contrast, outstanding image quality and a soft out-of-focus background effect. The Super Performance (SP) lens series provides high performance through outstanding design specifications.
FEC (Filter Effect Control): Features the new FEC (Filter Effect Control) function that enhances operational ease of polarizing filter use. The new Filter Effect Control is designed to rotate the filter to the desired position while the hood is attached. This is accomplished by turning the FEC ring that in turn rotates the portion of the filter mount where the filter is mounted.
From the Manufacturer
This unique high-performance telephoto macro lens is equally at home in the field and in the studio, providing outstanding image quality at all distances, plus an extra-long working distance for unsurpassed subject access. An advanced optical design incorporating special LD glass and internal focusing (IF), it has a handy Filter Effect Control (FEC) ring for adjusting polarizing filters and an AF/MF ring for easier switching from manual to auto-focus.
SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di Features
Digitally Integrated Design (Di), is a designation Tamron puts on lenses featuring optical systems designed to meet the performance characteristics of digital SLR cameras.
The Filter Effect Control is designed to rotate the filter to the desired position while the hood is attached. This is accomplished by turning the FEC ring that in turn rotates the portion of the filter mount where the filter is mounted.
Internal Focusing (IF) System
Internal focusing provides numerous practical benefits to photographers including a non-rotating front filter ring that facilitates the positioning of polarizing and graduated filters, and more predictable handling because the lens length does not change during focusing. Even more important, Tamron’s Internal Focusing (IF) system provides a much closer minimum focusing distance (MFD) throughout its entire focusing range. In addition, IF improves optical performance by minimizing illumination loss at the corners of the image field, and helps to suppress other aberrations that become more troublesome at different focusing positions.
Super Performance (SP) for Discriminating Shooters
Tamron SP (Super Performance) series is a line of ultra-high-performance lenses designed and manufactured to the exacting specifications demanded by professionals and others who require the highest possible image quality. In creating SP lenses Tamron’s optical designers put their foremost priority on achieving superior performance parameters—they are all designed to a higher standard with little regard for cost constraints. As a result, Tamron lenses bearing the SP designation feature impressive and innovative designs that have established an enviable reputation for excellence among those knowledgeable photographers that demand the very best.
Low dispersion (LD) glass elements in a lens help reduce chromatic aberration; the tendency of light of different colors to come to different points of focus at the image plane. Chromatic aberration reduces the sharpness of an image, but glass with an extremely lowdispersion index, has less of a tendency to separate (defract) a ray of light into a rainbow of colors. This characteristic allows the lens designer to effectively compensate for chromatic aberration at the center of the field (on axis), a particular problem at long focal lengths (the telephoto end of the zoom range), and for lateral chromatic aberration (towards the edges of the field) that often occurs at short focal lengths (the wide-angle end of the zoom range.)
Auto-focus/Manual-focus (AF/MF) Switch Mechanism on the Focus Ring
The ability to switch quickly between auto-focus (AF) and manual-focus (MF) is a great asset in many types of shooting, especially sports and nature photography. This is easily accomplished with Tamron’s ingenious AF/MF system. By simply sliding the focus ring back and forth between the two positions you can select either the AF or MF focusing position. In manual-focus mode Tamron lenses provide smooth, precise manual focusing by turning their wide, well-textured focusing rings.
Top customer reviews
The lens arrived wrapped in a plastic bag (with small packet of desiccant) and placed in the provided lens pouch (and in the original box). I was glad to see it packaged this way because Amazon did a poor job filling the shipping box with plastic cargo pillows.
The first thing I noticed immediately upon unboxing is the provided lens pouch is not made of neoprene but seems to be made from high quality nylon (possibly 600D?) and about a 1/4 inch of extra padding was stitched around the entire pouch. I was happy to see this because I really don't think neoprene offers much protection and I can't stand the smell. The case is very well made and has a dual drawstring system to close the lens pouch. Also, it has a nice handle to make carrying easier. Unfortunately, there are no hooks, d-rings or loops to easily attach it to your bag or to attach a shoulder strap.
This lens measures about 7.5 inches long with both end caps attached and about 3.5 inches in diameter. Of course, length and diameter will increase if you have the lens hood or tripod mount attached. BTW, the lens hood is huge (which is a good thing) but it will add an extra 4 inches to the length of the lens.
I am using this lens with my Sony A57 and upon mounting it to the camera body I noticed it's a little loose. This is something I find very common with Tamron lenses and is worth a 0.25 point deduction from the overall rating. No, the lens is not going to fall off and no, it's not going to break any connection between the lens and the camera, but I think this is something that Tamron needs to address. I will say that this lens has much less movement than my 17-50 and 70-300 Tamron SP lenses. For the price, I would expect a more precise and tighter fit.
This lens is made mostly of plastic, but does not feel cheap. The fit and finish is perfect and the large focusing ring is awesome! The focusing ring has a nice rubberized (and textured) band and rotates smoothly in MF mode. One thing I found odd (or at least very different than any other lens I've used) was the absence of a AF/MF switch. Instead, you need to grasp the focusing ring and pull it towards the front of the lens for AF or pull it towards the camera for MF. The ring locks in place nicely and should not move out of AF or MF unless you really want it too. AF performance is definitely lacking (as most reviewers indicated) but it does work and when it locks on, you get a perfect photo. I prefer to use MF because I find controlling the focal point to be much easier and faster. If you switch the lens to AF and the focus is not close, it will cycle through the entire focal range, but if you switch the lens and the focus is close, the lens may focus within a fraction of a second. It really depends on the environment, but overall, I found AF to be lacking and it usually cycles through the entire range which takes a few seconds. This is worth a 0.25 point deduction because it would be nice (in some instances) to have AF that works fast.
At the font of the lens, there is another ring that allows for FEC (filter effect control). This allows you to very easily rotate a filter with the hood attached (otherwise you would need to remove the hood, rotate your filter and reattach the hood). I really like this feature (even though I don't use filters) and anyone who uses filters can benefit from this quick and easy way to rotate their filter.
The tripod mount is easy to remove/attach due to its hinged design. It fits in a predetermined groove and there are markings on the mount and on the lens itself so you can be sure your camera is square/level. I plan on keeping the mount attached to the lens most of the time because it's comfortable to hold and can rest in the palm of my hand when taking photos without a tripod.
I really enjoy taking photos without a tripod simply because I don't have to lug it around and I almost always have a very steady hand. However, for macro shots, it's nice to utilize the stability of a tripod because the slightest movement could cause your photos to turn out blurry or the area you thought was in focus could shift to another area of the image. This is the first lens I've used where I noticed this happening. I actually thought there was something wrong with the lens because I would MF an object and when I was ready to take the photo I would notice it was out of focus. Now that I know what is happening, I have been able to effectively correct this without a tripod. But by all means, if you have your tripod with you, use it.
Before I forget, I should mention that this lens features internal focus. This means that the lens barrel does not physically extend or contract when focusing (unlike your typical zoom lens). This feature is nice and can greatly reduce the amount of dust that is capable of making its way into the lens.
So far, I've just been able to test the lens on inanimate objects inside my home as we are preparing for winter and it's just too cold outside. I will be taking a trip to the southwest very soon and hope opportunities for some great outdoor macro shots will be presenting themselves.
Overall, this lens is great. Optical quality is top notch and so far I have not experienced any issues such as chromatic aberration, vignetting or distortion. I've added some photos to the product page and plan on adding more in the near future.
0.25 point deduction for the lens mount
0.25 point deduction for the AF performance
Overall rating is 4.5 stars out of 5
Lighter than a Canon L lens (easy to lug around)
Nice rubbery tactile focus ring
Circular polarizer rotator ring
Longer distance for 1:1 macro
Black (doesn't stand out like the Canon)
Has a Lens collar
Versatility (180mm also good for portraits)
Slowest autofocus ever on a lens
Lighter than a Canon L lens (less resistant to impact/mirror slap)
Depth of field 1-2mm!
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. And the cons are really menial in nature, except for DOF. In macro shots, you rarely need autofocus, and the lightness of the lens is both a pro and a con, higher shutter speeds and you won't need to worry about slap. If you can, use a monopod with this lens, or even a tripod, although that's hard when you NEED 1:1 and your subject moves. It's better to use improvised support and breathing techniques for stabilization than a tripod. You never use autofocus really in very close up shots either. DOF is razor thin. Literally, 1-2mm is all that is in focus at f/3.5. Stop down to f12 with a flash for best results on bugs and flowers, otherwise you could have one eye but not the other, or the top of a stamen, but not the root of the stamen stalk.
Now about those pros. This lens is extremely sharp, as with most Tamron lenses. I can pick out a hair on a spider with this thing. That's the end of that. It has very smooth focusing, not gritty in any way. Manual mode rocks so much, but if you really desire to use autofocus, all you do is pull the lens focus ring forward (or pull it back, I don't remember, never use AF). It's a pleasure to hold because it's light and the focus ring has a nice texture to it. If you attach a circular polarizer (72mm btw, they can get expensive, I recommend B+W) then you can rotate it with the lens hood on using the polarizer rotator ring on front, which is amazing if you choose to do so. This thing is 180mm, so it has a longer working distance for 1:1. With my 28mm macro, you have to get 3 inches away for 1:1, with this lens, it's 14 inches, son! No more wasp, bee, hornet, spider fear! It's also black and gets less attention drawn on the street. It has a lens collar like many other long lenses. I also have the option of using the lens collar or the camera mount for a 'pod since it's so light, but I still prefer to use the collar since it could stress my EF mount if I don't. This lens is also good for portraits because it can focus to infinity, and it has a good f/3.5 aperture.
Worth every bit of the cash paid, and though camera bodies switch every year or two, lenses take decades. Put your money into a good lens.
Most recent customer reviews
and it hunts most of the time but I knew this about this lens...Read more