Macro (1:1)/

Tamron SP AF 180mm F3.5 Di LD IF Macro Review

General information

This is a prime lens manufactured by Tamron and the lens was released 2003.
The lens belongs to the category telephoto prime lenses, a telephoto lens where you do not have the possibility to zoom in and out.

The lens has macro-capabilities and is able to reproduce things in their true size (1:1) which is good, it tends to be the rule for calling a lens a 'true' macro lens.

Product description from Tamron

At launch 2003 Tamron wrote this regarding Tamron SP AF 180mm F3.5 Di LD IF Macro:

"The Tamron SP designation is reserved for lenses developed with special emphasis on extraordinary photographic performance. Engineers are free to innovate in an uncommon atmosphere where optical performance comes before price, resulting in lenses that satisfy the demands of discerning photographers.

A focal length of 180mm, 1:1 (life-size) macro reproduction, a fast, constant F3.5 maximum aperture and an optical formula featuring two LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements combine in a lens perfectly suited for extreme close-up shooting with an extended front element-to-subject working distance. The SP 180mm F/3.5 Dis characteristics also lend themselves to indoor, close-range sports shooting and beautiful environmental portraiture. A special FEC (Filter Effect Control) function reintroduces ease to the use of a polarizing filter. Canon and Nikon mount-variants feature a focus ring with instantaneous switching between auto and manual focus for fine-focus adjustment.

As a super performance ( SP) lens, this lens belongs to the best macro lenses in the world. It has very good resolution ability, strongly decreased light fall-off up to the edges, minimized chromatic aberration and excellent stray light behavior making this lens the first choice for digital APS-C and full frame cameras. This lens was constructed for macro functionality; however, it also makes an excellent figure with medium-tele shots and shines with its extremely sharp, high contrast and high brilliant results. This lens stands in the tradition of the legendary 90 mm 1:1 macro.

Apart from the long focal length the lens also offers a big working distance, which is often required for capturing images of small creatures. Furthermore, the so-called FEC (filter Effect Control) allows the rotation of a polarization filter while the hood is attached. * SP ( Super Performance) - This lens belongs to the Super performance ( SP) class of Tamron lenses distinguished by ultra high optical and mechanical quality. The designation Di (Digitally Integrated Design) marks a generation of lenses, which have been specially adapted to the higher requirements of digital SLR cameras (APS-C and full frame). "


Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

The lens is available for both Canon and Nikon cameras, but there are two different versions of this lens (one for each brand and mount) so it is important that you ask for and choose the right version when bying the lens.

This lens is constructed to fit all models of Canon and Nikon cameras, regardless of camera model or type of sensor.

Here it is the only Canon version of the lens that has a built-in autofocus (AF) motor. The possibility to use autofocus (AF) is available for Nikon cameras but only if the camera itself has a built-in autofocus (AF) motor. Some cheaper and budget camera models from Nikon lacks a built-in autofocus motor, and we at Lensora appreciate autofocus, so in the list of compatible cameras we have chosen to display only the cameras that you can get autofocus with.

The lens has a focal length of 180 mm. Depending on which camera the lens is used, the experienced and perceived focal length will be different. Please visit the list of compatible cameras below, it will provide the equivalent focal length you get on each camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/3,5.

The lens is to considered fairly bright.  This will make it so much easier shooting in darker environments where you do not want or can use flash lighting, for example in churches or at different sports venues. Lenses with good aperture values and longer focal lengths, such as this lens, tend to be popular amongs sports and nature photographers.

The lens lacks image stabilization, which otherwise os good for avoiding the blur that can occur when using slow shutter speeds. 

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 72 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

Together with the lens there is a lens hood included but we have unfortunately no further information on model etc so feel free to contact us if you know more.

Tripod Mount

This lens is equipped with a tripod mount, which makes use of a tripod easier and more stable.

Images of Tamron SP AF 180mm F3.5 Di LD IF Macro

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • Manages to reproduce things at 1:1 (Macro)
  • Works on all sensor types
  • A lens hood is included
  • A tripod mount is included
  • No built-in autofocus motor (the Nikon version)
  • No built-in image stabilizer
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Tamron SP AF 180mm F3.5 Di LD IF Macro.

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Autofocus     
Sharpness     
Versatility     
Value     
Overall rating 3 of 5

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