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Tamron Adaptall 1 80-250mm F3.8 (Z250)

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2 10,659 Sat July 6, 2013
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $15.00 7.50
Tamron Adaptall 1 80-250mm F3.8 (Z250)

Tamron Adaptall 1 80-250mm F3.8 (Z250)
Tamron Adaptall 1 80-250mm F3.8 (Z250)

Adaptall-1 (1973-76) constant aperture zoom, probably derived from the Adaptamatic 80-250mm f3.8. Specs of these two lenses are virtually identical: Adaptamatic; adaptall.
These were premium lenses in their day, the nominal mid 1970's yen RRP of 68,0000 loosely equating to around a grand $ in 2011 terms (CPI deflator).

80-250mm f3.8 constant.
f3.8-f22 + EE.
2 ring zoom with tripod collar and ~ 2cm extension hood
72mm filter.
9 blade iris.
CFD: 2m/6.5'
2 slots on aperture collar to accept AD-2 mount.
1.28kg weight
Focus rotates lens end.
Min/max length (without mount): ~20cm/~21.5cm.

M42 style A-M (auto-manual) switch. When using this lens with PK-M mount in manual or PK-A mount in Av mode, make sure this is set to "A". To use Av mode with PK-M mount, set to "M" (flick to "M" to stop down at the moment of taking the picture).
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: July 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Relatively good and fast at long end, well made, good bokeh, good with the Pentax 1.7x AF converter, Tripod Collar
Cons: Lacks contrast relative to the later versions
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

My Z250 looks very like the one pictured, but has a 5 digit rather than a 6 digit serial number, and seems to behave a little differently to the copy reviewed above.

The metal work and glass are beautiful and unmarked, but the rubber zoom and focus rings have utterly perished. Oh for the 'cheap' plastic of the Adaptall-2 46A. The Z250 is heavy (1.25 Kg), but I find this helps dampen out shake. Focus and zoom both feel good. f3.8 is bright in the viewfinder, but the lack of contrast makes it difficult for me to focus on exactly what I want.

The Z250 comes with a useful integral hood and a tripod mount. The tripod mount is at the centre of balance when the lens is attached to the K-X (though I have sadly lost the lock-nut with its Tamron logo). Less stress on the mount, methinks.

I have compared the Z250 with the Adaptall 80-250mm f3.8-4.5 QZ-250M, the Adaptall-2 75-250mm f3.8-4.5 104A, the Adaptall 2 SP 60-300mm f3.8-5.6 23A, the Tokina SX-Z 60-300mm f4-5.6, the Sigma 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 λ-2 (lambda-2), Sigma 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 APO and the Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG.

Compared with all of these other lenses, the Z250 lacks contrast. Colours, however, are good, and compare well with any of the above.

All round, the Z250 is the weakest of them all at the short end.

At the long end, the Z250 holds its own better in this company, bearing in mind it is the fastest of these lenses.

Hand-held at 250mm, my shots do not necessarily improve as I stop the Z250 down; possibly I am losing in extra camera shake what I hope to gain in resolution. However, on a bright sunny day, I can set the thing to f8, and it does well across the entire zoom range.

At 250mm and wide open, my Z250 exhibits smooth bokeh. It handles background highlights better than any of the others.

My Z250 produces little offensive fringing. The lack of fringing surprised me after reading the previous review, but shots of climbing roses against a sunny sky, and a blackbird on a garden branch with leaves and the sky behind, difficult situations both, showed little fringing of any kind.

And the clincher; the Z250 works really well with the Pentax 1.7x AF converter; better even than the QZ-250M. I can discern detail in pictures taken with the converter that isn't there if I simply digitally enlarge an image taken at 250mm, regardless of which of these other lenses I start with, and there is little chromatic aberration anywhere. Thus, the Z250 becomes a 135-425mm f6 semi-autofocus zoom lens. For $15 plus the $80 for the Pentax 1.7x AF converter.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: North Wales
Posts: 1,568
Lens Review Date: December 1, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Relatively fast for longer focal lengths (constant f3.8), more tp range to 250mm, good resolution middling f.
Cons: Focus measurably shifts when zooming; fall off in contrast/IQ wide open; a certain proneness to CA; a very "static" weighty lens
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 9   

(REVISED REVIEW 7/2013 Since I have found that these early adaptalls have similar character I have written a combo review. However all the pics are pertinent to the particular lens.)

Trawling the info on the original Japanese blurb describes the Z250 80-250mm adaptall-1 zoom from the seventies as a "masterpiece". Well I'd better check it out then, I thought, and acquired it fo a price no-one could argue with. Later I acquired the QZ250-M, also 80-250mm, (the original case with this is embossed QZ825-M but I'll stick with the nomenclature) for a look at its macro capabilities, and the Z220 (?PZ370) 70-220mm prompted by some nice pics posted on mflenses forum.

Since the trio share some similar characteristics I shall make some general remarks.

They are all classically (very!) weighty metal'n glass 70's items with impeccable construction (I could say of a more soviet tank kind). All two ring zooms (which for me is a preference). Although I have found hand held use OK these are lenses that really ask for some support, particularly with small modern cameras like my Lumix G1. The tripod mount on the Z250 and Z220 is a plus, then, and I often use a monopod.


PS this lens looks very similar to the adaptamatic version PZ-20Au that also has a review posted. In fact I would guess they are the same optically, this lens being the adaptall continuation post 1973 when adaptamatic was discontinued. Of the two other 80-250's from the AD-1 range, the second (CZ825) is a variable aperture version, and the third QZ250-M has macro/close focus.

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