View Full Version : Better for macro: Tamron 90 or Nikkon 105 (NOT the AF-S VR version, the older one!!!)

10-15-2008, 10:05 AM
Just as the title says, I am wondering which is better between those 2. Not sure if any of you have any experience with both, but I would love to hear if you do. I can't afford the AF-S Nikkor version so that is out.

From what I have read (not sure how accurate it is), the AF-S version has a few improvements over the AF-D, but none that are terribly important to me (faster focus, VR, non-extending barrel, slightly sharper). The general consensus is that the Nikkor AF-S is a little better than the Tamron 90, so I am curious how the Tamron and AF-D Nikkor compare.

Thanks! :D

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-15-2008, 08:13 PM
Here's the thread where Ssil and I asked a similar question


Dread Pirate Roberts
10-26-2008, 12:38 AM
Just wanting to be unbiased here. I've raved a lot about my 90mm Tammie because I do genuinely love it.

However it's not perfect and I'd like to make that clear.

Taking portraits with it is a pain. They sure look beaut but I can't get auto focus with it reliably. It hunts like a bugger (particularly if spot focussed on a face) and being a macro lens it's got a long way to hunt through it's focus range.

Basically to shoot my kids I have to use manual focus with this lens.

Also when I'm using the lens for bugs I don't like using my nice $500 tripod. Sounds strange I know but since it's got a moving front element my magnification changes with changing focus. So I end up shooting bugs by setting the lens to 1:1 and then moving the camera forward and back till I get focus. Sounds stupid but thats what I do.

I don't know if other lens' change focus and magnification (working distance) dependently like this since I'm relatively new to this. I think maybe the Nikkor with the internal focussing may be different.

10-26-2008, 01:39 AM
sounds like what you have to do with an extension tube. i cant recall ever doing that with the tamron. wierd. how do you know when its not 1:1 ??

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-26-2008, 02:32 AM
There's only 1 ring to turn and it adjusts focus and magnification at once.

So put the lens all the way out and then that is your focus point. Or move the ring to focus and realise that magnification is reducing as you do it. In fact the bug noticibly shrinks in size in the viewfinder.

10-26-2008, 02:58 AM
dayum...i never knew that. when i was using it i must have thought it was just my dumb ass not finding focus ! lmao.

10-26-2008, 05:12 AM
dread, there is a focus limiter, i find that it works quite well for portraits... let me know if you have tried it

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-26-2008, 05:14 AM
Here's a Nikkor review and comparison to the Tammie by Thom.

Turns out the Nikkor doesn't extend forward when focussing but the Tammie does.

I gather in both cases focus and magnification are interdependant. Put differently as you change focus you change magnification for both the Nikkor and Tammie.


Dread Pirate Roberts
10-26-2008, 05:19 AM
dread, there is a focus limiter, i find that it works quite well for portraits... let me know if you have tried it

Yeah I use the F/L to stop the lens going to macro. It doesn't stop the lens hunting like a bastard in portraiture though.

I think because it's a macro lens a minute turn of the focus ring changes portrait focus heaps. With that much "leverage or amplification" the electronics just can't pick up when it's focussed on something relatively smooth like a face, hair etc.