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Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF  - 60B Review RSS Feed

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF - 60B

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 62,748 Sat December 22, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $571.41 8.82
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF  - 60B

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF  - 60B
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF  - 60B

Tamrons' fast 300's were probably their best adaptall lenses, they were certainly the most expensive due to large low dispersion elements.

"This lens has a revised optical design compared to Tamron's earlier Model 107B, features internal focusing (IF), and features two low dispersion (LD) elements. The addition of internal focusing required the addition of three additional internal lens elements for IF plus a redesign of both the front and rear optical groups. This lens is slightly sharper and has significantly higher contrast compared to the earlier Model 107B. Like the earlier 107B, this lens has very slight amounts of off-axis lateral color and coma, but these off-axis aberrations have been greatly reduced. Overall, this is a very sharp lens with performance which was not easily surpassed by similar OEM lenses of the era. " -

Most 60B's are the dark purple/brown paint of the one in pic 1, however pic 2 shows a white one - possibly an early model?

Weight:2096g (79.9oz.)
Length:215mm (8.2"
Filter Diameter: 112mm ,43mm rear
Min. Focus:2.5M (98.4"
Max. Magnification:
Field of view:8deg.
Min. Aperture:32
Optical Construction:10 elements 7 groups

Note that the 43mm filter is a designed part of the optics. If it is absent it may affect image quality, and will affect the infinity focus accuracy: lens won't focus to infinity.

Accepts SP 2X tele-converter #01F and SP 1.4X tele-converter #140F. Note: TC's are reviewed in miscellaneous lenses - TC's.

Review by scott Scheetz.
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF  - 60B
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Registered: January, 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 981
Lens Review Date: May 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, even wide open, good CA control, IF makes for fast focusing
Cons: Weight

I love this lens. A 300/2.8 is in that class of super fast telephotos that deliver images that no other type of lens can. The 60B can hang with the offerings from the Big Boys, too. It's just as good -- if not better! -- for a fraction of the price.

I like to attend motorsports events and airshows whenever I can. And when I do, I always pack my 60B. I'll also try to pack at least a monopod with me because of the weight, although I've taken many shots with this lens offhand.

Sharpness, contrast, color, CA control are all excellent, especially when shooting with a film camera. I've noticed that, with my digitals, the images will sometimes pick up a bit of purple fringing, but this can easily be dealt with in post.

I attended some motorcycle races a couple years ago and got some cool shots with this lens. The following were all shot with the lens wide open at f/2.8. The camera was a Sony NEX 7, set to ISO 100.

I've also taken it to a number of airshows over the years. These first shots were taken with the Sony NEX 7, set to ISO 100.

This next group of airshow shots were recorded on film with an earlier 60B I owned. These shots were recorded back in 1990. The camera was a Nikon F3 and the film was either Kodachrome 64 or Fujichrome 100. These images are dupes of the original slides, shot with my Sony NEX 7 and a 55mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor.

Here's a shot of the moon, taken with my Sony NEX 7 (at ISO 100) and a Tamron 2x dedicated TC. Exposure (indicated) was 1/125 @ f/9 or so.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223
Lens Review Date: March 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Perfect IQ, sharp, sharp, sharp, and fast, a powerful lens
Cons: A bit heavy. However, I can use it handheld for birds
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I just got this lens and am in the process of using it and producing some photographs to post here. The lens is manual focus since it came with an Adaptall-e PKA adapter. Focussing is easy.
More than a month later, I am getting the hang of this heavy lens and I am operating it manually handheld. I also got the front normal filter. It is not normal, it is thicker than any other I have purchased and it is multicoated, and it does make a difference in the sharpness. I am still getting the hang of it, but here are some preview photos, uncropped and without pp (except the last one and the third one, all other have not been cropped).
A year after the initial review, I have come to upgrade my review. This lens is wonderful and with the 1.7xAFA becomes autofocus (AF). The IQ is unsurpassed. Below I just added one more bird.


Few month after the first anniversary, I can tell that I can control this heavy lens very well. Right below is a sample with the 140TC that comes with it (1.4 TC):

TamronSPAdaptall300mmf2.8+1.4xTC-FountainDrinkonTop-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


TamronSPAdpat300mmf2.8-Pajarillo2-2185 by Palenquero, on Flickr

New Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Traditional high quality telephoto lens
Cons: Handling
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 5    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3II   

I use the brown version of the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f2.8 LD IF (60B). It is a lens owned by one of my siblings,
which he purchased new in the 1980's for use as a journalist at Lambeau Field. I occasionally borrow it for birding purposes.
It is no doubt a heavy lens and has a unwieldy lens hood which contributes to length and weight. It can be hand
held for a short time, but a pod of some kind is optimum for use. It is as sharp or sharper than the Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM. It will chew up a cheap Adaptall-2 knock-off adapter in no time.
I found that only high quality or Tamron adapters should be used.
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Wollongong, NSW
Posts: 35
Lens Review Date: February 23, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $596.25 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good colors, solid build
Cons: Weight
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 5    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

Can't add much to previous reviews but just re-enforce the happiness generally associated with using this lens.
Get it cheap and have fun.
New Member

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Fast, Big, Good Price and Built like a Tank
Cons: Heavy, manual focus only (which is not all bad), abberations
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K5 II, and Canon 550D   

A year or two ago, I needed to upgrade to a good lens for shooting mainly birds. This 300mm lens was a good choice.

While the base focal length (300mm) is definitely not enough for most small birds and wildlife, the lens is a fast enough to use in conjunction with the 2x and 1.4x teleconverters that Tamron produced in its Adaptall line. I have used this lens along with Tamron's 2x teleconverter for over a year now, and I have been very pleased with the results.

Performance-wise, the lens is pretty good. For a long time I used it wide open, and the photos were ok, but these days I find that stopping it down a bit results in great sharpness, and very little loss of subject isolation. With the 2x teleconverter on, I usually shoot mid-day at F/8 or F/11 (F/4 or 5.6 without the TC), which seems slow, but at 600mm the background just drops away, and there is usually enough light to go around.

My problems with performance have centered on abberations. I agree that as a 300mm lens the abberations are manageable, but when used along with the teleconverters, the abberations become far more visible. The lens can produce a lot of green and purple fringing when light and dark collide. The lens still gets a 7 from me because those two low dispersion elements do their job pretty well. With post processing in lightroom I can get rid of the vast majority of the abberations, and not too many images are lost.

Now to the elephant in the room. This lens is manual focus. Fortunately for me, I do not care. I find that manually focussing my shots is not only a good exercise, but it makes me work a bit harder for them. I get the feeling that I not only took the photos, but I was an active participant in their success.
ANYBODY LOOKING TO USE THIS LENS IN A PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT SHOULD RECONSIDER. I also work as a concert photographer, and while I may bring this lens along for fun, or in case I need a really long shot, this lens IN NO WAY could substitute the purchase or rental of a modern professional (AUTOFOCUS) lens in any industry that demands speed. Just a tip from me to you.

The lens is heavy. It is pretty huge, and a bit tough to fit into a carry-on bag. That said, it fells fine to focus and its shape is easy to get used to. It absolutely requires a monopod. I would never dream of hand-holding this lens. The front filter of the lens is 112mm which means a protective UV filter (which I highly recommend) will cost you a fair bundle.

After all that complaining, I have to tell you the big picture. I love this lens. It looks great and I get compliments all the time walking along trails in the woods. The images are very good, and I look forward to every opportunity I have to take another. While it may not be a 21st century lens, I get to use it to 100% of its potential, and that is a good feeling. If I bump it into a wall, I don't freak out. The thing is built tougher than a tank (that said, don't throw it around like a gopro). If I saw another one come up online I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

I paid something like $550 for mine, it was covered in scuffs and paint-chips, but it is the best lens I own, and I have never regretted buying it.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 423
Lens Review Date: December 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, Sharp, Solidly built
Cons: purple fringing

This lens is very nice for the money. It produces very sharp photos at all apertures. The build is very solid. The lens is hand-holdable, but not for too long. The hood, original front filter, original rear filter and holder, and tripod mount are all solidly built and work nicely.

The only negative is purple fringing. To me this is not that big of a deal. It is an old lens. I can remove it easily enough in post-processing.

I have used it for outdoor concerts and it has worked great. I have attached some photos and more info can be found posted by me here:

Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Posts: 45
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $525.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent IQ and good price on used market
Cons: PKA adapters for it are expensive these days.

I've own three of these. All were very good but 2 suffered from the issue with focus stopping just short of infinity. Tamron fixed these at little cost. Needed it done for astro-imaging. Used these in my film days with trap-focus in motorsports. worked very well with the Pentax 1.7x AFA TC. Many came with the Tamron 140F 1.4x TC as standard. If you want 2x get the rarer 200F 2x TC instead of the more common 01F 2x TC for a little more resolution and a little less CA. Lens does put some stress on the PKA adapters so use a monopod at least. If you can't get a Sigma or Pentax 300/2.8 AF lens then thise will certainly give you decent results.
Kent Gittings
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: 14er Country
Posts: 323
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality, Build Quality, Affordability
Cons: Wear on Adapter, Bokeh in Certain Situations

The Tamron SP 300mm f2.8 LD IF is a *SOLID* performer at an affordable price. Sharp at f2.8 and pin sharp by f5.6, it's almost faultless optically speaking. The only niggle I've ever had with the lens is the sometimes scary bokeh that can come out of it. With a 300mm f2.8, bokeh is a rather important quality, too.

That isn't to say that the bokeh is always bad. Sometimes it's downright pleasing. However, there are times that I would have sworn that I was using a mirror lens, it was so bad. Stopping down to f4 helps, but what's the point of having an f2.8 lens then? When I use it at f2.8, I generally try to make sure the background isn't too "busy" and just let the bokeh do what it will.

As another reviewer mentioned, this lens can be tough on the Adaptall mount. There's a lot of weight in the lens, and it does tend to stress the adaptall mount. I've noticed some wear in locking detent on the adapter. It's not terrible, but I do think I'll have to replace it one of these days.

Beyond all of that, this is simply an exquisite optic that delivers images that I'm supremely pleased with.
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 2,978
Lens Review Date: April 19, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, fast and nice rendering.
Cons: MF, PF

I only had this lens for a few days and only took it for one outing. I sold it as i had my sigma 100-300 F4 as well.

Overall, a very nice lens. Sigma 100-300 is slightly sharper (but this is one of the sharpest zooms out there, and I gave a 10/10 for it), and is much better in controlling CA/PF and obviously has the auto focus and is less heavier. Tamron is faster (f2.8) and cheaper.

The Tamron renders very well, nice color and contrast. Works very well with the Pentax 1.7 AFA.

I would not hesitate to recommend this lens.

Just a couple of shots from my only outing


Registered: November, 2007
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 576
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: image quality, build quality
Cons: potential wear in the mount

This Tamron pro-spec (SP-series) manual focus lens was produced from the 80īs until mid 90īs. I was a happy owner of one of these for about a decade.
Optically it is excellent, very sharp and good contrast even wide open. Mechanically a solid construction, all metal and glass. Some people have complained about CA, possibly with copies exposed to harsh treatment. I never had any problems with CA.
With the Tamron 1,4 X teleconverter image quality is still good.
I also had a Tamron 2 x TC, which is a bit softer. With this I usually preferred to stop down a little.
My only criticism is about the mount. Due to the several joints there may be some (minor) rotational play in the mount to the body. However, this never caused any real problems.
I can recommend this lens without hesitation. Prices on the second hand market appear to be somewhat below comparable Sigma lenses.
Very good IQ and excellent value for the money, provided the copy has not been abused too badly.
The lens worked fine on my film bodies as well as my K10D.
New Member

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Montana, Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Sharpness, Build Quality
Cons: Purple fringing(especially wide open), very front heavy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 5    Value: 8    Camera Used: K10D, K30, K3   

This is a great bargain lens. But once you can afford something auto focus, like the DA 300mm f4, or DA 60-250mm f4 then toss it. I purchased mine as a BGN rated lens from KEH a decade ago. I mainly use it with my 1.7x afa teleconverter. From f2.8 to f4 it has quite a bit of purple CA, but it is easily removed. It is very bad when used with the teleconverter. Sharpness does drop with the teleconverter, but center sharpness is good still. Between the large size/weight and manual focus, you need a tripod/monopod with this lens.

I rarely pull this lens out of my bag since I got a 60-250mm f4. Moon photos, still wildlife, and for use as a spotting scope with live view are my only uses for it anymore. I just purchased a 150-450mm and doubt this lens will every come out of my bag again.
Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/2.8 LD IF  - 60B

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