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Tamron Adaptall-2 (44A) 28-70mm F3.5-4.5 Review RSS Feed

Tamron Adaptall-2 (44A) 28-70mm F3.5-4.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
10 65,840 Sun November 1, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $34.00 8.20
Tamron Adaptall-2 (44A) 28-70mm F3.5-4.5

This lens, like its telephoto zoom sibling 46A, incorporates high strength plastic instead of metal wherever possible. The focus and zoom collars are made of plastic and feature integral knurled plastic grips.
The 28-70's optical design borrows heavily from the SP 35-80 F/2.8-3.8 and incorporates the same basic features. Like the SP 35-80, this lens features a maximum macro magnification at the telephoto focal length and incorporates the Minimum Object Distance (M.O.D.) selector system whereby turning the focus ring to the minimum focus distance causes the zoom ring to automatically move to the telephoto position.

Lens Model 44A
Focal Length 28 70mm
Aperture Range f/3.5~4.5 22, AE
Angle of View 75~34
Optical Groups / Elements 8 / 8
Min. Focus from Film Plane 11.8" (0.3m)
Macro Mag. Ratio 1:3.15 [?]
Filter Size 62mm
Diameter 2.7" (69mm)
Length w/o adapter 2.7" (70.4mm)
Weight 12.8 oz. (361g)
Lens Hood Bayonet type #86FH, optional.

Accepts both 01F and 014F tc's.
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 (44A) 28-70mm F3.5-4.5
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Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 892
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Camera Used: K-5   

Bought this lens with Pentax adaptall along with a 70-150mm also equipped with mount for only $16 including p&p.
I bought this to replace another 44A lens that I had for a short while before the lens locked solid.
I was rather pleased with it's performance from 50mm to 70mm telephoto end but not so much with the wider angle end.
The lens is gritty and for some reason my PK-A mount does not lock on it, other PK mounts do so perfectly.
I suspect this lens will also lock up solid at some time in the future.
I cannot suggest the lens is a good buy at anything more than a few dollars if others will also suffer from my problems but from say 35mm to 70mm it can compare well with legacy 35-70mm lenses like Pentax own.
So I am going to recommend it at the price I paid.
amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 34,835

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 15, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $28.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: close-focusing, color rendition, soap-bubble bokeh
Cons: needs a hood to help control flare/loss of contrast, barrel distortion, some CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3, K-50   

my review of the Tamron Adaptall-2 44A (28-70mm f3.5-4.5)

I bought this lens essentially because I had a spare Adaptall mount laying about and I was curious if the AD-2 zooms are as good as the primes... simple answer: yes, they are...

I picked my copy from eBay, along with an NOS OEM hood for the lens - total cost was $40 for both... the 44A is a composite lens; the body, aperture, and focus rings are all composite and the focus/aperture rings are molded into the body, not a separate layer. Overall, the lens does not feel cheap, but you definitely miss the rubber/plastic tactile feel in the focus ring when using the lens...

I used the 44A as an 'A' lens, since the AD-2 adapter I have is a PK-A mount, so never used the aperture ring... additionally, I have never really had an issue with Adaptall lenses, as far as the whole fiddly-ness of the mounts, probably because I normally buy a mount for a lens and never remove it...

a second note about the 44A - supposedly, it is an f3.5 - 4.5 lens, but my copy reads at a maximum f3.5 in all focal lengths - in fact, I shot a large majority of the month at 70mm and f3.5 - copy variation or down to the mount/adapter itself?

on to the lens' performance...

a very strong showing for the 44A, I'd say, especially since this was supposed to be just a middling, consumer-oriented manual zoom...

I found the close-focusing (it is not a macro lens) ability very useful - the minimum-focusing distance of 1' to be quite satisfying; an interesting aspect of this lens is Tamron's engineering of the close-focus: the Minimum Object Distance (M.O.D.) selector system whereby turning the focus ring to the minimum focus distance causes the zoom ring to automatically move to the telephoto position (from - pretty slick...

strong color rendering and soap-bubble bokeh are also here in the 44A; I found the bokeh to be a bit busy/distracting at times, but if you move away from f3.5, it smooths out nicely..

on the negative side - the lens' coatings are not up to strong light, especially in sunlight, as you'll find a loss of contrast, hazing, and ghosting are all to be had by being careless with stray light sources... additionally, it can be prone to CA in strong, contrasting light. the lens does also suffer from barrel distortion, which I discovered in my shots at the Nelson-Atkins museum...

some of my faves with this lens:

purple iris and raindrops by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr new yarn by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

purple coneflower by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr ladybug by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

sunrise through fog by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and the album for this lens:

while I recommend the lens, I really cannot suggest that you go out of your way to hunt one down - if you come across a 44A, are curious, and the price is right - do it...
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: March 3, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: price!, small, strong build, razor sharp ( from f8 ), universal, bright, fast infinity ( easy to focus ) no CA noticed
Cons: little soft at f/3.5-4, it's hard to reach aparature ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-70   

Well it's very useful universal focal lenght lense. From portraits to wide angle and macro.
It's razor sharp from f6 and further. It's good at f5.6 and little soft at f3.5-5.
Nice colors and build - just another tamron cool lense

Here are samples. Sorry they're made throught dirty window :/






After f/8 sharpness look's the same imho.
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: January 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good contrast, sharp, images very different to Pentax AF zooms of similar range
Cons: Build quality?
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I have three of these; the price is the average of the three. Notice the notch in the the focus ring in the picture of the lens above? There is supposed to be a plug in it. All of my copies are missing their plugs also. The plugs give access to screws you would need to get at to dismantle the lens. One of my copies won't focus anywhere near infinity whilst the zoom ring on the second is almost impossible to move. My review relates to the third copy, which looks great, apart from its missing plugs, and which can be zoomed without needing two hands and the strength of ten.

Image quality seems almost identical to the 35-70mm 17A. The 17A, being a constant f3.5 and not quite parfocal, is easier to focus, but the 44A goes to 28mm.

Wide open, the 44A seems to me to be superior to the 28-80mm SP 27A.

The 35-80mm SP 01A image quality seems to be better than that of the 44A. Certainly the 01A being faster (f2.8-3.8) is easier for me to focus, but note that:
  • The 01A images seem to resemble Pentax lens output rather than the other Adaptalls
  • The 44A goes to 28mm.
The 44A seems to be a bit ahead of the 28-70mm 59A and the 35-70mm 09A, which are both also f3.5-4.5.

In terms of sharpness, and subject to the limitations of my manual focusing abilities, the 44A offers nothing over the Pentax F 28-80mm f3.5-4.5, or the Pentax FA 28-70mm f4, or the Pentax FA-J 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, which all benefit from Autofocus. However, the images from the 44A look completely different.

So, recommended if you want to try a manual zoom that gives you at least equivalent image quality, but a very different picture, to what you would get from one of the Pentax Autofocus kit lenses.
New Member

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: solid, multipurpose usage
Cons: not a constant aperture
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

Found this lens in a box of my uncle's old film equipment, then I started using it with a Canon AE-1.

It's a very solid lens and although it doesn't do very good in low light, I'd DEFINITELY recommend it for outdoor shoots.
Especially for anyone that is looking to save money on a zoom lens, it does the job well.

Junior Member

Registered: October, 2012
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: June 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and solidly built
Cons: none
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I bought this lens last year while trying to build up a reasonable collection of different lenses.and at the time didn't use it much. However, I decided to use it for macro shots of flowers and was amazed at the sharp and control it gave. So despite having other macro lenses the 28-70mm is the first one I pick up when taking macro shots of flowers and insect. Being able to pick up a second hand lens of the quality this is and for the price I did I haven't got the gall to complain. I would recommend this lens to anyone interested in taking fine shots and using a second hand lens.
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 47
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: good built, sharp, good contrast
Cons: Purple fringe
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I bought this lens with the PKA adapter for $50.
The lens is sharp with good resolution if optimally focused. Good contrast
If you like cool and saturated images then this lens is a candidate.
May produce purplish images

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 18,044

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 22, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, "macro" or close focus possibilities, reasonable size, build is good enough
Cons: Feeds more fuel into my Adaptall-2 addiction ...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   


I think that pacerr's review cannot be topped, thus I won't try ... it's spot on for me and helped me to choose this lens, as opposed to other AD-2's in a similar focal range.

Also, like fanfaron, I just acquired a Pentax SMC F 35-70, but cannot really yet compare the two (yet) ... at first glance and/or impressions, I'd give the nod to the Pentax (IMHO) for its color rendering ... plus the AF bonus on the Pentax makes it more convenient to use in many a circumstance, i.e. trying to shoot my sometimes "feral" daughters. (3, 6 & 10). The shortcoming of the Pentax is the 35mm low end as opposed to 28mm for the 44A.

The 44A is a good AD-2 lens that won't dent the pocketbook. Worthwhile and feels solid despite the plastic. I am using it with a PK/A mount plus a rubber hood.

I will put some samples shots either here or in a dedicated PF album and/or gallery.

Allez et salut, John le Frog
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: November 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, it's really sharp
Cons: distortion in wide angle

I didn't expect much from this lens, but after using a while and going through the picture taken with this lens, I can say this lens is sharp and contrasty. A real bargain. I also have the pentax smc-f 35-70mm, I can say this tamron lens is sharper than the pentax zoom. It is a world sharper than the 18-55mm(1st gen) kit lens.

I also use this lens on film and I have the 28mm AIS and 24mm AI nikkor lens. I find that this lens is sharper than the nikon prime!??? How can this be?? Two bad luck with copy variation with nikon I guess.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Paris, TN
Posts: 3,289

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $36.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, versatile, sharp
Cons: Cosmetics not on par with optical quality

This is a bargain lens that doesn't get the respect it warrants.

In the mid-'80's Tamron was faced with competing against OEM lenses with auto-focus systems that couldn't be economically incorporated into the Adaptall mounts. Marketing strategy was to continue to provide excellent optics while using cost-saving polycarbonate bodies to offer manual focus lenses at lower prices. Aside from the use of "plastics", the molded in knurling on the focus and aperture rings looked and felt "cheap". Today, this class of economical, non-SP lenses often sells used for less than $30 but offers optical quality on par with the SP-class Adaptall-2 lenses.

I've owned this lens since 1991 and also have the respected Adaptall-2 SP 35-80. I recently had the opportunity to compare them with an SP 28-80 in casual outdoor use.

Beginning at f 5.6 there wasn't 2-cents worth of difference among the three lenses. The SP 28-80 has the advantage at 28mm wide open but IQ is very even beginning about 50mm and the 28-70 may even have a little better contrast in the higher FL's. The SP 35-80, with the additional optical element, is noticeably sharper and more contrasty in the close-focus role but the 28-70 does incorporate the MOD continuous focusing arrangement and is easy to use for casual close-ups.

I was always pleased with this len's performance and versatility on film and its light weight was a perfect fit on a P3n or ZX-M for travel and walk-abouts. The smaller filter size compared to the SP's is welcome as well.

Available for as little as $20 (plus a PK or PK/A adapter) on eBay today, this is a perfect answer for someone wanting to try out manual focus Adaptall lenses on a DSLR and/or explore the 28-75mm focal length range before moving up to a Tamron or Sigma 28-75/2.8.

The price listed is intended to reflect the present day used prices on common re-sale sites.

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