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03-29-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5 52BB with PKA adapter- good deal?

I've really been wanting to find a fast prime lens in the 70-85mm for indoor available light portrait shooting, but obviously a super tak 85 1.8 is very expensive and hard to find at this point. I was thinking about a Jupiter-9 85mm 2.0 for the affordability factor, but it seems that good copies with coatings are difficult to establish- and the cost of a shipping to return a not-so-good copy to Russia seems like a long, icky process. So, I was going to wait for spring and yard sales and a camera show here in MTL in April to "go see" what I could find.

So yesterday I get a call from a small local camera shop where there is a great guy who I've known for a couple of years now- he sold me my K30 for next to nothing!- and he tells me they have gotten a consignment lens: A Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5 with an adapter and lens hood.

I do a quick bit of research, and call back: no extension tube. Looks to be a good lens. They're asking 100.00 CAD. So I hop in the car and run to take a look.

Get into the shop and they pull out the lens- low and behold, it's the PKA adaptall mount with aperture contacts. Glass is pristine, I can't even see any dust inside the lens after careful scrutinizing, and comsetically there are no problems: this being a BB model, there is the little window for the focus scale, and there seems to be a bit of dust inside the plastic window, but that's it.

I throw the lens on and after some prodding about figure out how to get the lens in AE mode. No feedback from the contacts in my viewfinder as to aperture, so I'm confused, but use the aperture ring and do some quick stop-down test shots. Very pleased, seems like a sharp lens.

Pull the trigger, hand over the 100.00. Get home and I'm thinking that in AE mode, you have to use the aperture ring. This is weird, by the way: if you push the little side lever and put the lens in AE mode, you can then still use the aperture ring on the lens and get metering information in Av or Tv modes, but you can't turn the aperture ring to a setting less than f/11.

So I shoot a bit more, and realize this is a winner of a lens, then do some prodding around here on the forums, and discover the "gook on the screw" fix for the adapter- scrape off a few times all the little screw ends and yep! Aperture information in the viewfinder!

So, did I do well at this price? Right now 100.00 CAD is roughly 80.00 USD. It seems I did do OK given the fact that the adaptall mount is the PKA mount.

Anybody else with experience with this lens? Seems like a great sharp lens, and it's filling a need in my shooting style that I find very attractive- I'm just hoping I wouldn't have been happier with a Jupiter-9.

03-29-2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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Yes you got indeed a good deal! The lens without adapter goes for 80-120 and the adapter alone around 80-100 (totally overpriced, though).

This is one of my favorite lenses, it is relatively small and compact has beautiful bokeh and color and is great for both macro and portrait. If I want a light walk-around kit I take this one as tele and the 16-45/4 zoom.

I like it some much I recently got a second one as back-up.
03-29-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
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I think you did very well. I recently got this lens in the Marketplace for about what you paid, and it has rarely left my K10D since. I love the way focus "snaps" in.

The hood is the most difficult accessory to find. The 18F 1:1 extension tube comes up on eBay once or twice a month and the 01F 2x TC more often.
03-29-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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Thank you both- it did come with the hood! That made me supremely happy. I think I'll try and find some felt and line the inside of the hood, though- I'd really like to handle IR a bit more that way.

Really enjoying this- nice to have others confirm and makes things more fun!

I'll look into finding the extension tube at some point- I'm not a bug shooter, really.

Here's some samples:


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