Lens review

Tamron SP AF 60 mm f/2.0 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1

Tamron SP AF 60 mm f/2.0 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1
25 March 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2010-12-30 on Optyczne.pl

A sensor smaller than full frame gives you an ability to construct lenses with either small dimensions or similar to their full frame equivalents but with better parameters. Olympus has persuaded us it is possible several times so far, producing such interesting instruments as the ZD 14–35 mm f/2.0, the ZD 35–100 mm f/2.0 or the ZD 2/150.

What’s interesting, the APS-C/DX format sensor has similar possibilities but, unfortunately, here optics constructors didn’t try hard enough to make the grade. Sometimes we even observed an opposite situation – for example a journalistic full frame zoom features the 24-70 mm range whereas its Canon and Nikon equivalents for a smaller sensor had 17-55 mm parameters, giving a smaller range of angles of view. I really can’t think of one single example of a lens which would be designed for the APS-C/DX digital detector and would be also an optical gem so to speak – either faster than its full frame equivalents or much smaller than them or/and optically better.

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Although one swallow doesn’t make a summer in such a situation the launch of the Tamron SP AF 60 mm f/2.0 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1, which took place in the middle of 2009, I greeted with real joy. Typical macro lenses, designed for full frame, have f/2.8 aperture. When an APS-C/DX sensor lens was launched on the market, it usually wasn’t faster. That’s why the Tamron with the aperture of f/2.0 is such a nice and interesting exception. Its parameters make it not only a classic macro photography lens but also a quite well-done portrait device – after all it is an equivalent of full frame 90 mm lenses. In such a situation the f/2.0 aperture gives you plenty of possibilities. We have here everything you can expect from a good amateur lens: a versatility, combining macro and portrait usages, good fastness and small dimensions. Will the quality of images be equally good? This question and many others we will try to answer in this review.

We were able to borrow the lens for our tests courtesy of the Foto-Technika company.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Tamron SP AF 60 mm f/2.0 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1 - Introduction

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