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Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro w/LAEA4 adapter or Sony FE 90mm?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Tony Burns, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Tony Burns

    Tony Burns TalkEmount Rookie

    19
    Jan 7, 2016
    Delaware, United States of America
    Tony Burns
    Hi all,

    Hopefully this is the right forum to post this, figured it could go either here or the E-mount lenses forum. I'm currently in the market for a 90mm macro lens for my A6000 that I can use for 144mm FOV general closeups and 1:1 macro in my little home studio, and alternatively function as a 144mm-equivalent portrait lens (so it needs to have halfway-decent AF). Any macro work I'll be doing will be MF on a focusing rail, and I have about a 9'5" x 11'6" space to work with in my tiny studio where I do most of my shooting.

    I've narrowed it down so far to the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di with the LAEA4 adapter and the Sony FE 90mm.

    In either case, I plan to buy the lens used, and also get the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 to go with whatever I end up choosing.

    So far the pros/cons I can see are:

    Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di
    Pros: Highly rated, having the LAEA4 adapter will open up my range of lens options in the future, f/32, saves me ~$200 in the long run
    Cons: Secondary usage for portraits may not be as good, bulkier with the adapter, no contrast AF from my understanding, may not be as good handheld outside

    Sony FE 90mm
    Pros: Highly rated, good native AF, no adapter needed
    Cons: f/22 vs. f/32 on the Tamron

    Any advice on this, or are there other good options I'm not considering? Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  2. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    I think 90mm will be 135mm on 1.5x Sony apsc, 144mm on Canon:)

    I have the older Tamron (canon fe version before the di released) and kept it since it is small w/o adapter and don't shoot that much macro. I like its manual focus setup with one push. I don't know if you can shoot f/22 vs f32 or that much difference due to diffraction. It might be better to stack with macro. Yes, LAEA4 will give you more options with Sony/Minolta glass if you want to expand. You will loose 1/3 stops with the adapter and the focus points are centered and are carrying the af from Sony A65, not the latest A77 cameras. It works for me, eg better for low light af compared to LAEA3.

    Sony 90mm macro has got good reviews, might be a better lens. You will also have eye af with the Sony 90mm which is a great feature for portraits.
     
  3. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    The a6000 has eye AF?
     
  4. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    The cameras comes and goes, lenses stay... The lenses are longer investments, at least for me... I am sure A6100 will have eye AF...

     
  5. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    The A6000 does have eye AF. Need to set a custom button for it, but it's there.

    I would think since, as you said, you don't really need AF for macro work you could do without the LAEA4 and go even cheaper. Might be easier to find a second hand lens in Canon EF mount, or even try Canon FD / Minolta MD.
     
  6. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    I'm pretty keen on the Sony 90 myself. The only thing holding me back is that $1300aud ouch. Also have read that the Sony doesn't have very saturated colour which is good for portraits but maybe not so good for macro work.
     
  7. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    i've only rented the 90mm Sony. and it was a dream. posted a few shots in the showcase thread. If only i could afford it. Its a no brainer imo it belongs on my a7m2. im not sure what your upgrade path looks like. i'm planning on investing in an a77m2 so a 90mm tamron in A mount might satisfy me doubly
     
  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Agreed. If it was in the $500 range I would have it in a minute

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
  9. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    i think right 1100 is a fair price for this piece of tech. i'm on the prowl for a used one in the 750 price range. There's always greentoe!

    Or there's this Ebay listing
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  10. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    My primary Macro lens is a MF older Minolta that cost about $60.00

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    I'd be careful buying this lens used as it has been reported that it has a lot of sample variations.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. BrorSvensson

    BrorSvensson TalkEmount Regular

    106
    Feb 6, 2015
    f32 on the tamron is as sharp as a butterknife, not even close usable.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Tony Burns

    Tony Burns TalkEmount Rookie

    19
    Jan 7, 2016
    Delaware, United States of America
    Tony Burns
    Thanks for the advice everyone! After much further deliberation I think I'm going to go with the FE 90mm, although I may just use Greentoe instead of buying it used from Keh or somewhere else. I think this will give me a lot more versatility when it comes to taking portraits as well as my usual closeup shooting in the studio.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Best of luck. I wish I had the funds/desire to spend $1000 on the 90mm.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
  15. Hin Man

    Hin Man TalkEmount Regular

    173
    Jan 18, 2013
    20160126-DSC00211.

    I have the Pentax K version in buy&sell and it is relatively cheap in the two hundred range for a dependable macro lens. The only reason that I list it for sale is due to duplicate lens that I recently get from Pentax with weather resistance and small size with Pentax DA-F 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro

    20160126-DSC00210.

    But adapting the Tamron 90 with LA-EA4 do have limitations besides the obvious plus with less cost to begin with
    • adapter do add bulk
    • LA-EA4 has limited AF points, either 15 or 16 points, though pretty good in PD-AF speed but it is unlike what you have experienced PDAF on A6K due to the much lesser number of AF points.
    • when you upgrade to FF like A7r2, you will want another adapter with LA-EA3 for better PDAF focusing. And now you end up with 2 adapters

    If I were in your shoes, I will go with a totally manual focus lens that does a decent job. Not sure if MF lens will post problems for use with flash. A capable MF macro lens can be had for cheap and not much to add for the plain MF E adapter. Many alternatives can be found on Sony Alpha mount and a Sony alpha to E mount MF adapter is inexpensive to add. I have the LA-EA1 and LA-EA4. I use the LA-EA1 with the baffle removed for FF image circle and it can work quite well as plain A-mount to FE-mount adapter with MF. AF will be unacceptable on LA-EA1 but I got it for cheap buying used.

    I look at your work and I have great admiration on your current setup and your product shots are amazing. I think you deserve the best in the set up but I do think the FE 90 may be an overkill due to the high cost of the lens unless you have a plan for FF upgrade; otherwise, a decent manual focus macro lens will do just as well for your needs.

    Cheers,
    Hin
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Tony Burns

    Tony Burns TalkEmount Rookie

    19
    Jan 7, 2016
    Delaware, United States of America
    Tony Burns
    Thank you for the extra info and the kind words, Hin! I ended up going with the FE 90 because I plan on getting into some portrait stuff here soon so I wanted a lens that would give me a bit more versatility than a dedicated manual macro, and the tradeoffs from both sides in getting the FE 90mm seemed like they wouldn't be too much of a burden to me. Good AF became important to me for this use case mainly for the portrait side of things, as well as using the lens for a lot of non-1:1 closeups that you can see some examples of in my shots so far. Also got a decent offer on Greentoe for it! As you said, I also have some medium-term plans to upgrade to an A7II at some point here, so that was taken into consideration as well.

    Thank you again!

    Tony
     
  17. deejjjaaaa

    deejjjaaaa New to TalkEmount

    1
    Mar 1, 2016
    N/A
    I borrowed LA-EA3 with Tamron 90/2.8 (the version which was recent just before the latest Feb 2016 release)

    cost wise I see it is $100 for LA-EA3 and $400-450 for grey import lens (new)

    http://s26.postimg.org/4bafbsl0n/P1040081.jpg



    P1040081.
     
  18. heymatthew

    heymatthew TalkEmount Regular

    60
    Jul 1, 2013
    Sumter, South Carolina
    Matthew
    I was just in this boat. I currently have the Tamron 90 (the one you were considering with Di, USD designations). It's an amazing little lens. Sharper than it has any right being. But autofocus was atrocious. I'm sending it back tomorrow and the FE90 will be here Tuesday. Sure, the Tamron with LA-EA3 was half the cost of the 90, but focus was slow and erratic and, honestly, if I had wanted to put up with that, I'd have just gone with a full manual lens.

    You made the right choice. The Tamron is wonderful, but that 90 will be hard to beat. And you can continue to use it as you change bodies in the future, move to full frame, etc.