Macro Options: Using a Macro Lens
Traditional camera lenses are optimized for focus at infinity and not within close-up range but the best macro lenses, such as Tamron’s 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens let you focus to life-size (1:1) magnification. Since the 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens is one of Tamron’s Di series lenses it works just as well with cameras with full-frame as those with APS-C sized sensors. Some macro lenses have a 50-60mm focal length while others have a longer focal length The advantage of using a longer focal length for close-up work is that the focal length provides extra working space and you won’t shadow or startle a tiny subject.
Tamron’s 90mm Macro lens has built-in Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilization which is a big help for handheld macro photography. Its focus ring has a nice feel and grip, which is important because sometimes when striving for critical focus you’ll prefer doing it manually rather than have the camera do it. In addition to on/off switches for AF and VC, there’s a three position switch for focus limiting—full, macro-only, and 1:3-to-infinity—to minimize time spent hunting for focus.
Tamron’s 90mm Macro lens has two Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) glass elements and one Low Dispersion (LD) element, which combine to correct aberrations. The front filter size is 58mm. A rounded diaphragm produces excellent bokeh. The lens also has an internal focusing system, which focuses without moving the front lens group. The lens has moisture-resistant construction and considering its high build quality, only weighs 14.1 oz. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts; the latter version does not have VC, since Sony digital SLRs have image stabilization built-in.
Note: The 90mm focal length range has long been popular for portraiture and I also use this lens for portraits (see next Thursday’s post) especially with LED lighting setups where the fast f/2.8 aperture is a big help.