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09-16-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
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Tamron adaptall-2 zoom comparison: 70-210mm 19AH vs 80-210mm 103A

Righto, so digging around through the bag and decided to do a bit of a comparison between a 70-210mm adaptall-2 f/3.5 model 19AH and the decidedly less expensive 80-210mm f/3.8 model 103A.

Below are two images taken with these two lenses, in fairly the same conditions (light shifted a bit between the two, angles aren't exactly the same) taken hand-held.

Both are at the maximum zoom of 210mm. Both are at f/8, 1/250 second, ISO 800. Both are exported to jpeg from RAW in LR, with no adjustments made to either file.

Anybody want to guess which lens is which? I could always put up some 100% crops if anybody thinks it will help.

Here's the images:


#1


#2




09-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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Second one kinda looks clearer judging by the webbing... But that might be difference in focusing...
So, anyway, I'd guess second one is 19AH
09-16-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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I see better detail and sharpness on the 2nd. It is kind of weird that the lighting seem different. There are green spots on the left side as well as on the right side of the 2nd pictures.

I love my copy of Tamron SP 70-210mm f/3.5 adaptall-2 19AH. I am contemplating in upgrading my copy to AF. It is the best manual zoom for the money, I am very sure about it.

Thanks,
Hin
09-17-2009, 05:03 AM   #4
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You guys are right: #1 is the 103A, #2 is the 19AH.

I was a bit suprised, though, that for a budget zoom, the 103A renders quite nicely- and it's a super-budget zoom on the resale market!

09-17-2009, 06:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
You guys are right: #1 is the 103A, #2 is the 19AH.

I was a bit suprised, though, that for a budget zoom, the 103A renders quite nicely- and it's a super-budget zoom on the resale market!
both pictures show quite a lot of detail, but the sharpness goes to the 2nd one. I will be if the the 2nd one is from 103A. As far as I know, the 103A is not well sought after but the 19AH is. And there is the version with 60-300mm and that one has 1:2 close up even better than the 19AH with 1:2.6 in close up. I like the focusing and zoom ring the most in the 19AH. It is a difficult lens to use due to its long length at full extension, but it grows on usage and it has taken me some time to really like it. I like it better than all the first three versions of Vivitar Series 1 Zoom 70-210mm.

For the 19AH, you can still buy it brand new for about $249 in b&h last when I checked few months ago. The used market really varies on price. I saw as high as $250 and as low as below $100. The lens hood Tamron 49FH is very difficult to find in the 19AH, I hope your copy comes with a detachable lens hood that works with the half built-in lens hood.

Thanks for sharing the 103A, it is non-SP adaptall-2 lens. For the 19AH in adaptall-2.com link, here is a quote

QuoteOriginally posted by adaptall-2.com:
In terms of overall optical performance, solid construction, ease of handling, zero zoom creep, and optimized variable shading when the lens is used with its lens hood, you can see why I think that this is the best 70-210 zoom lens ever produced by any manufacturer. In short, Tamron achieved the optimal balance of the overall optical and mechanical design features which Tamron wished to incorporate into this lens.
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-17-2009 at 06:36 AM.
09-17-2009, 07:35 AM   #6
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hinman-

I've read your review and seen your samples of the 19AH. Helped me tons to make my decision to pick up the lens.

Yes, the copy I have did come with the bayonet lens hood!

I also understand the 103A wasn't an SP lens. I just thought it interesting that it performs quite admirably for it's current price point.

I do notice more PF with the 19AH- I have a feeling it's due to the emphasis put on contrast in the lens design. Of course I'm shooting on a K100D super, so I'm wondering, do you shoot on a K20D or K7? I've heard that PF issues are not nearly as pronounced with the sensors in these camera models due to better gating and other technology advances. As far as PF goes, I have to stop down to f/13 to get it more under control when shooting outside, high contrast scenes (bright sky/dark leaves, etc).

I also agree with the weight issue of the 19AH: I don't have any type of grip on my K100DS, so at 210mm, this thing is very front heavy! That's the one thing that is nice with the 103A, it balances nicely. If find my right hand that fires the shutter gets rather sore between fingers where I'm trying to balance the weight, and with the sensitivity of the focus ring on the 19AH I can't counter-balance with my left hand as I'll F up the focus if I do. Takes a bit of getting used to!

Anyways, thanks for your insight!
09-17-2009, 09:37 AM   #7
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Yes, I also noted of subtle PF/CA and I shot with Pentax K20D. It varies with scenes. My test shots range from f/5.6 to f/11 as my normal range and yet I see subtle, not major, PF. Not as bad as the purple monster in my best acclaimed value lens with Tamron 70-300mm Di LD. The PF is subtle but when you look closer it is all there. I was surprised as I thought the review in adaptall-2 mention about spherical aberration design which I thought would help better in PF control, I need to re-read it to be sure.

But PF does happen to many lens, I still remember a lot of PF in my Vivitar Series 1 zoom especially the most popular one with the Komine.

You would think having a grip will help. It works to some degree as the weight seem to balance on both ends better. But the added weight from the grip put the load in walk-around. Negatives aside, the lens perform best in fast focusing for action shot such as those with candid shots with kids and sport pictures. As the zoom and focusing ring design is the best that I have handled. I prefer it over any of the Vivitar Series 1 zooms.

If you look at the MTF numbers of the 19AH, you will know that the lens perform quite evenly with good numbers across the zoom range from 70 to 210mm. Corner sharpness and contrast will win a lot of pixel peepers, but yes, the subtle PF is there to whine about. I also found the close up is a mixed bag of outstanding results and occasional shots with ghosting images at wide aperture at minimal focusing distance.

Another lens to look after that people often praise about is the Tamron SP 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 23A. Some adaptall-2 are easier to handle than others, the 19AH is the harder one to use but one will grow with more usage and experience.

[update]: I noted you have Tamron 90mm f/2.5 1:2 adaptall-2 52BB on your signature. Many members would try to tell you that it is the same as 52B. Perhaps in design. I don't have the link but I read the original price in yens, the 52BB was higher by a noticeable margin, something like a 8% higher, when it got out in the market initially. When I found the link (google translation, search for 52B), I would refer you to the price sheet for reference. Make sure that you kept your 52BB and don't treat it like a 52B as many would want to buy it from you like a 52B price. Learn it from MY mistakes, I sold mine already.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-17-2009 at 05:24 PM.
09-17-2009, 04:39 PM   #8
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I have been a fan of Adaptalls for a long time and the 19H is my favorite zoom. I picked up a new-in-box old stock one for $99 on eBay a couple of years ago and never travel without it. It will even take a teleconverter (including the 1.7 x AF) at a pinch.

Mike

09-17-2009, 07:29 PM   #9
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Hey Virgil, It would be nice to see this test under better controlled conditions. Angles are a little different as is light. If you look at the area that is dead on focus wise those are pretty darn close in IQ with only a slight edge to the 19AH.
Just got a 104A 75-250 f3.8-4.5 in the mail today will post some test shots after the weekend.
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