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09-13-2017, 11:19 AM   #1
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Adaptall noob: Tamron 90mm 52BB w/o dedicated 1:1 converter or tube. Hints and tips?

Hi all;

I'll soon be taking delivery of a Tamron 90mm f2.5 macro lens, the 52BB (without the 1:1 tube or converter). This will be my first Adaptall lens. I've had a NIB PK mount for years, keeping it on the off chance I would eventually have lenses to use it on. Well, the time has come!

I'm always looking for things that will expand my macro capabilities. I play around with tubes and reversed lenses in various combinations for higher than 1:1 magnification. These work well for smaller subjects, but not always so well for larger ones where a greater standoff distance is better. I've got 100mm and 50mm Macro Takumars, but they only go to 1:2 and of course lack auto aperture. Adding tubes or TC to them for 1:1 makes for a dim view at shooting apertures. This seems to give me more problems at longer focal lengths and working distances than the dark image I get when I'm working with higher magnifications without auto aperture. Go figure.

For 1:1 I've already got the Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, which is great, but I thought I'd try something with a bit longer reach. I had thought something in the 100-105mm range with native 1:1, but this 52BB came up at a really good price, so I got it. Unlike the Macro Taks, the Tamron will have auto aperture, though, until such time as I get a PK-A adapter, no in-body aperture control. I can live with that for now.

I recall coming across something, somewhere, that suggested that results using the dedicated tube were ever so slightly sharper than with the dedicated converter, neither of which I've got in any case. I've got both extension tubes and the Vivitar 2X Macro Focusing Teleconverter, either one of which, if I'm correct in my thinking, should allow me to get to 1:1. I'm assuming a tube is a tube is a tube, and that any one will do, but has anyone here used the V2XMFTC with this lens? I know I can test all this stuff out once my lens shows up, but I thought if I can draw on the experience of people here, then that might ease the learning curve. Any other hints, tips or pointers that anyone can offer in the use of the Tamron would be most helpful and greatly appreciated. I'm aware of the potential for the purple spot from sensor reflection off the flat rear element, but if there are any other quirks that might await me, with this lens in particular or Adaptalls in general, that would be good to know too.

09-13-2017, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Tamron SP 90mm + teleconverter + extension tube: comparisons

unfortunately the original test pics have been lost (server crash), but there are interesting comments.
09-13-2017, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I have the 52BB and it is a fabulous lens. Finding the 1:1 macro tube is extremely difficult and when found, crazy expensive. I would suggest just getting the Tamron 01-F 2x converter (readily found / relatively cheap) and removing the glass. It has been reported that the specs on a de-glassed 01-F is identical to the native macro extension tube and renders 1:1 macro. That's what I did and it works quite well.
09-13-2017, 05:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripper2860 Quote
It has been reported that the specs on a de-glassed 01-F is identical to the native macro extension tube and renders 1:1 macro. That's what I did and it works quite well.
Thanks for the de-glassing tip. I'll have to try it. Though my copy doesn't get much use since I picked up a Phoenix AF 100mm F3.5. The Tamron is a great lens IMO. Doesn't carry the premium price of a Bokina either.

09-13-2017, 06:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripper2860 Quote
I have the 52BB and it is a fabulous lens. Finding the 1:1 macro tube is extremely difficult and when found, crazy expensive. I would suggest just getting the Tamron 01-F 2x converter (readily found / relatively cheap) and removing the glass. It has been reported that the specs on a de-glassed 01-F is identical to the native macro extension tube and renders 1:1 macro. That's what I did and it works quite well.
I picked up a hazy copy of the TC. If I fail in dehazing it, deglassing it might be a good option. It you like being able to go from close-up to infinity, however, the extension tube route is a pain in the butt. Shooting close-up to macro only, of course, it's not a problem.
09-13-2017, 07:01 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the input. I look forward to my new lens's arrival!
09-13-2017, 09:37 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have Tamron 52BB with dedicated extension tube 18F and Pentax-A Adaptall mounted on it. The lens is sharp and have an amazing bokeh. I do not know about teleconverter but with original extension tube I am still having total control over the aperture in body and full metering that is very useful if flash is used. I am original owner and have the manuals also if someone needs some info also have manual for ext. tube 18F as well. The dedicated hood (98FH) helps a lot and wouldn't use that lens without. The depth of field on that lens is very shallow and you have to be careful with focusing to achieve excellent results.





This is how depth of field is sallow on this one...


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