Red Hot Out Of The Courier Van - Tamron 85mm

on July 31, 2016

Tamron is a bit of a dark horse to me - I have never owned one of their lenses, though we have sold hundreds through the shop. Golly - you could probably make that thousands if you look back over the decades - the firm appears as far back as I can trace in the Photo Equipment Directories that used to be the mainstay of the trade.

And they were an imaginative and innovative lot even way back in the 60's. There are lenses and components still sitting in the Camera Electronic spare parts drawers that Tamron made with an eye to converting one design to fit many mounts. It looks as though you could purchase a basic lens structure and then switch it over if you changed cameras. The mechanical linkages at the time are complex and I wonder if it was all that good an idea...

Modern Tamron lenses, of course are available in mounts to suit a number of the major cameras - I count Nikon, Canon, and Sony in their advertisement. I took out a new Nikon-mount Tamron SP 85mm f:1.8 Di VC USD lens from the receiving desk today and put it under the studio light.

It's beautifully finished, but not light. I didn't suppose it would be with that much big glass in there. The back end has a fine mount and a rubber moisture seal - apparently that is also the case on the other areas of entry. I think this is easier to do with modern designs as many of them are internal focusing and do not have to pump backward and forward.

It is a VC lens, which means it is made from captured Russian cannon...Nonononono that was joke. Tell the RSL to stand down. The VC signifies it has vibration control. Should improve it by 3 shutter divisions.

The drive is USD silent and the lens is Fluorine coated - all the best of modern tech.

One design feature - well I guess it is more a decoration feature - intrigued me, as it opens up a number of questions about human thinking. The side of the lens is emblazoned brightly: "Designed In Japan". This is right next to humbler printing that shows a CE emblem, a 10X recycling symbol, a wheelie bin with a cross through it, and "Made In China".

None of this is surprising, but it is interesting to see that the Japanese firm thinks it has to reassure you or sell you something on nationality. The 2 year warranty that the makers give for their products would seem to be pretty reassuring in itself, and the shooting reviews back that up. I know people are funny here in Australia but maybe they're funny in Japan and China as well.

Any road, I have decided to try the lens - via adapter - on my own mirrorless and let you see what it does. Can't vouch for the Af or the VC 'cause it don't work on an adapter, but the light should still flood in...

Silly me. The Nikon mount version has an electromagnetic aperture control so all I can shoot is wide open. Ah well, that'll show you that you can't do everything with an adapter.