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Tamron Adaptall-2 SP (13A) 24-48mm F3.5-3.8 Review RSS Feed

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP (13A) 24-48mm F3.5-3.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
3 36,623 Tue May 27, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $90.00 8.00
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP (13A) 24-48mm F3.5-3.8

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP (13A) 24-48mm F3.5-3.8
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP (13A) 24-48mm F3.5-3.8

"A very wide angle to normal zoom lens which is notable for being extremely compact yet offering very good optical performance... Optical performance is somewhat optimized for the wider angle settings." -

Focal Length: 24-48mm
Aperture Maximum: 3.5-3.8
Aperture Minimum: 32
Field of View : 84-48deg horizontal (full frame); 59-31deg (APSC)
Optical Construction (elements / groups): 10/9
Minimum Focus Distance: 60cm
Filter Diameter: petal end does not easily accept 58mm threaded hoods/rings; some lenses have NO thread. 77mm filter screws into the lens hood if you have one
Length at infinity: 61mm
Maximum Diameter: 64.5mm
Weight: 346g

Alternatives to the difficult to find original hood (pic in review below), which in any case is designed for full frame and is short for crop factor cameras, include:
- a EW-63II hood for a Canon 28-105mm USM - as the pic shows it is a good fit diameter wise on the bayonet, but doesn't quite orient at "12 O'clock";
- a C2FH tamron hood for a 177D 28-80mm, fits well doesn't lock perfectly.
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 17
Review Date: May 27, 2014 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: On APS-C, a traditional walkabout zoom range. Very sharp indeed.
Cons: The proper hood is a bit of pain. Sharpness isn't everything.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7    Camera Used: Samsung GX20, Pentax K-x   

I had thought I would give this lens a miss, since it is relatively expensive for an old manual zoom, and its zoom range is fully covered by my excellent, and faster, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 AF, never mind the 18-55mm kit lens. But it was a gap in my Adaptall collection, so I succumbed to LBA, and lashed out.

My copy looks well used, there is a bit of dust inside and mechanically it all feels a bit loose, but there is no fungus, and there are no marks on the front element.

At 24mm, my 13A is sharper than my Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 AF. Which just goes to show that sharpness isn't the be all and end all, since the pictures from the 17-50mm f2.8 AF, out of the camera, usually look more pleasing. It seems to be down to the colours.

Looking at the pictures I have taken with the 13A, the over-riding impression is ... sharpness. The images draw my eye in, willing me to zoom in further and further. The colours are restrained out of the camera. They don't look bad, exactly, but the Tamron 17-50mm AF produces a more rounded image, with less distortion.

I always use a 58mm screw-in petal hood, branded Casio, that has a lock screw. It is a bit of a faff to get it started on the strange broken thread, I start with the lock screw almost unscrewed to make sure the male thread starts square but once on it stays put, and it doesn't vignette on an APS-C camera. I haven't tried filters; I'm on the lookout for the pukka hood.

Minimum focus is 2 feet, so no macro. By reputation the 13A is better at the short end, but stopped down to f8 I find it excellent at any focal length.

With f3.5 maximum aperture, and my ageing eyes, I usually struggle to focus manually at 24mm, but the lens is so sharp I find it isn't a problem.

I've never noticed the bokeh; if I'm looking for subject isolation, I use a faster lens.

Out of the camera JPEG's show quite a bit of fringing at high contrast image transitions. This is not apparent if I use rawtherapee on the raw images.

Overall, I like the 13A, and use it as a walkaround lens for a change. It is compact and the images it produces are unlike those from any of my autofocus zooms.

UPDATE - I now have the proper hood.

At vast expense (O.K., 10) I managed to procure one of the proper hoods with a bite taken out of one of its petals. On its plus side, I can now use filters, albeit expensive, 77mm filters, but at least for APS-C, my 58mm screw in hood is much more effective at combating stray light.

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 18,052
Review Date: January 5, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, great build, nice range, SP ...
Cons: Hood issues, flare, protection of front element ...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   


I just recently acquired a copy of this AD-2 lens from PF member "Hinman", and I cannot add more to the great review of marcusBMG (below).

Although it's a bit rough cosmetically and with front element issues (rub marks & indentation, which Hin advised me of ... ), I like what I have seen thus far. So, a straight across the board "8" rating until I can get out into better weather to test with a PKA ... today looks like a sunny day, maybe.

This lens did not have a hood, but below you can see Hin's solution to this problem ... a gratuitous "p0rn" shot, but who cares ...

Salut, John le Green Frog

Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,685

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 30, 2013 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Classy, compact wide angle zoom; constant f (more or less); good range of field of view even on apsc; distinctive contrasty rendering, "prime" sharp stopped down at 24mm
Cons: Flat "beercan" design = fumbles, can flare, hood/filter issues, not quite 24mm, IQ not great wide open.
Camera Used: Pentax K-r; K5; Samsung NX20   

Bit surprised there isn't already a review of this lens but its not that common - I see examples crop up on ebay (UK) fairly regularly but infrequently, say once a quarter on average. According to this list it was made from 1980-87 and was one of the more expensive SP lenses. I only had this example in my hands for a short while but here are my impressions.

It's a sleekly compact (significantly smaller than eg the Kiron/Vivitar Series 1 24-48mm) wide angle zoom, similar dimensions but longer than the 01B 24mm (pic). 2 ring zoom, the rings have different rubber but I think I might have found it easier to operate by touch if the rings were a little more prominent/raised. Otherwise its handling, and mechanics, are typically tamron excellent. It comes with a bayonet fitting cap and normally a hood too I think. If you are lacking this cap then the end thread size is 58mm, and at this point I have a gripe about the petal shaped front end. I spent a good 20 minutes trying to screw on a 58-62mm step up ring without crossing the threads (I did eventually get this on sufficiently to stay put) but the gaps in the circumference due to the petal shape defeated me. (update: a second example of this lens was not threaded internally at the front end so no possibility of attaching screw on hood or ring). It's not clear to me why it was made like this, its 24mm not a fisheye, I really can't see that there might be vignetting issues (but I could be wrong).

My walkaround snaps were pleasing: sharp, strong colours, good contrast. Not as sharp, IME, as my recently acquired Sigma Superwide II 24mm buts thats really sharp. I did experience flare and reading online I think thats an issue, which makes my gripe above, given the desirability of attaching a hood, a bit more pertinent. Perhaps a bit of modding of a 62mm petal hood from China would do the trick, the specific hood is pretty wide (pic above pulled off ebay) but designed for FF, vignetting probably not a problem on crop factor dslr's. Abberrations wise I didn't suffer any purple fringing but did notice a smidgen of complementary fringing (pic) on a couple of shots of the castle (whose turrets are always backlit in the middle of the day).

100% crop, a rear turret slightly OoF

Its CFD of 60cm is a lot larger than the Sigma, or the 01B, so close focus isn't a forte of this lens.

I took quite a few pics with catch-in focus, with slightly mixed results. But my impression is that CIF works best with fast primes like my SMC fifties. With zooms the slower apertures and corespondingly larger DoF wide open means its not too surprising, I think, that I get some OoF results, with significant discrepancy between focusing in and focusing out. Also significant; this lens is not accurately parfocal so focus can't be set more accurately at 48mm, and then zoom out. I tend to think that 2 ring zooms work better if they are parfocal.

Although my usage was limited, I saw enough to say this lens made a strongly favourable impression: a worthy member of the Tamron SP pantheon. Although you might think it's "only" a 2x zoom, in terms of field of view this still covers a very useful approx 28deg of zoom span on APSC. For comparison a 3x 70-210m covers just 15deg of zoom span (nice demo and slider calculator here).

I'll pencil in a 8/10 and refer you to these other assessments/pics:

(Hin Man, pentax user and blogger in California).

Note: the price cited is not an actual one but reflects my impression of average ebay price FYI.

UPDATES 4/15. 9/15

I have acquired another example of this lens and have been using it on my K5 and most recently on a Samsung NX20. General usage has reinforced the quality impression at 24mm end. However it came up a bit short when I compared it at 48mm to my SMC-A 50mm f1.7. Outdoors I haven't really suffered from flare, though it is nice to have the EW-63II hood see above. However I used this to take some pics of lenses for sale indoors and the bounced flash was producing significant flare.
Handling wise I do find I am fumbling a bit feeling for the zoom ring and, on the mirrorless cameras, the aperture ring.

Latterly I have done a more considered 24mm comparison between this lens, the 24mm 01B and a 24mm Sigma Superwide II. In summary:
  • the superwide was comfortably the best of these, sharpest wide open, most consistent across the frame.
  • 13A was about the weakest wide open, particularly off centre frame, and had more CA.
  • 13A showed the most improvement stopping down, almost matching the Superwide at f8 and had distinctive, high contrast and warmer rendering - contrast is a strength of the lens.
  • 13A wasn't quite 24mm - slightly less field of view in comparison to the 24's. More like 25mm!

Red outline shows crop, red dot is focus point (in practice the lenses were at infinity).

Click on the test strips to see full sized 4928 x 2310px (~2MB).

Marked down a notch.
Sharpness pushing 9/10 stopped down at 24mm end, 7.5/10 48mm end, CA alleviates stopped down, bokeh ok, and the richness of the colour and contrast is what makes the lens IMO. The rarity of full frame zooms that go to 24mm gives this lens a certain cachet and it has real quality to go with.

Update 2. another example of this lens had similar performance. Test crops at 28mm, f3.5, f5.6, f8, f11 click on the composite image to pull up the full size - 3.4MB (actually I suspect focus is slightly off for the 13A in the first 24mm test crop above).

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