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Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A) Review RSS Feed

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)

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20 85,970 Tue October 8, 2019
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100% of reviewers $70.78 9.10
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)

" Very good sharpness and contrast for a 5:1 zoom lens. Features macro at 60mm down to 1:1.55 ..."

This SP adaptall 5x telephoto zoom had one of the longest production runs of any adaptall lens, from 1983 to 2000. It is common on the second hand market and has been referred to as a "swiss army knife" of a lens due to it's versatility. It's close focus mechanism might be considered a bit crude, lens extension at the short focal length, but it's magnification is unusually strong, more even than the 1:2 of the 90mm 52B. Like the 70-210mm 19AH it zooms in (ie to 300mm) rather than out pushing the zoom ring away from you, so the use of a TM placed round the body in front of the aperture collar (pic 2) only takes a bite from the short end of the zoom range. Pic 3 shows the lens with the 48FH bayonet hood and standard L18 case.
A scan of an original user manual has been posted here. Page 13 discusses the macro mode (and see this you tube video). An occasional complaint with s/h examples is that the mode is difficult to engage (but see this post for a possible fix ).
There is lots of discussion of, and example pics from, this lens online. I can comment that I find this lens to be short of 300mm actually, more like 285mm. And Ricardo Polini on mflenses reckons it's more like f6 than f5.4 (but that might be more of a T-stop assessment than a calculated f-stop). A quick test of the variable aperture using a mirrorless camera showed that the shutter speed dropped (1/4 stops) at 100mm, 135mm and 200mm when zoomed.

Pic 4 is of the "follow-focus" version made for a while by Novoflex using 23A optics.

Tripod mount (as in pic 2)? This thread describes modding a cheap chinese tripod mount ring to fit 23A's, 19AH's etc. And pic 5 shows one mounted around the base of the zoom/focus ring for macro work (in macro mode the zoom ring doesn't rotate).

Focal Length: 60-300mm
Angle of View 40~8 (full frame horizontal)
Aperture: f2.8-5.4; Minimum f32 (f22 auto mount)
Iris: 8 blades
Optical Construction: 15 elements /11 groups
Minimum Focus Distance: 190cm
Focus throw: Approx 200deg rotation
Macro Focus Distance: 30cm at 60mm focal length
Closest working distance (macro): < 10cm
Max Magnification Ratio: 1:1.55
Filter Diameter: 62mm
Length: 16cm
Maximum Diameter: 68mm
Body diameter (TM): ~ 65mm
Weight: 870g/31oz
Bayonet hood: 48FH
Tamron case L18

Accepts 01F and 200F 2x adaptall teleconverters. Doesn't accept the 1.4x 014F tc in normal mode - rear group is just too wide to allow the tc to mount. However the 014F can be used in macro mode.
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp lens
Cons: very few CA's
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-5 k-s1 k-x k200d / x-e1 x-t100   

++ excellent sharp lens - much more better than the modern plastic zooms

++ very high resolution over the full zoom range

++ nice colors

++ high contrast and scarecely flare

full recommendation highly recommended

******** why for not still today produced ? ********

PS. much more better corrected than the 5.6/300 single lens of Tamron.
New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Insane nice build - Quality
Cons: Heavy, and prone to PF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon EOS 70D   

Hi all,

I am a photographer from Albertslund, Copenhagen Denmark, who enjoy using long lenses on my Canon 70D DSLR. And one of my most cherished lenses is the Tamron 60-300 SP Adaptall2 lens. It is almost as good as the old Canon 70-210mm f4, that I had for some years, but sold again, as it was a massive money-binder on the shelf. So I decided after having read about this Tamron lens (23A), that it was a good choice for my portrait and astro-photo work.

And boy have I been impressed. For some 50$US I found a copy from Canada, that I bought. And it is rare that I miss AF, as I have always loved the slide-action zoom and turn-action focus like these old glass feature. I love it.

In my astro-work I can get an uncropped image with the Orion-nebula, because the lens on my cropped camera (1.6) shifts to a focal length of 90-480mm. So I get close to the subject. And it handles astro work fine.

But when there is more light - the lens comes into a whole other league. Stopped down to f8, the lens will show no PF or other abberations and just deliver pin-sharp results. I bought an electric adapter for my EOS, so that I get the EXIF info into the photos, and can get focus-beep to confirm focus. This way the lens is on par on the best lenses today - if you can live without AF.

I actually bought 2 of these gems, but sold one, as it seems like a really durable lens. The buyer that bought the other one, had just been to Greenland shooting, and he had lost his Tamron 60-300 SP Adaptall, and he ranted about it and we agreed that it was an amazing lens. So straight when he got back home from Greenland - he found my add in the used gear website, and came and bought my second lens. This lens is truly amazing.

Brilliant buy!
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $44.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp. Excellent all rounder.
Cons: Some fringing wide open.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3ii   

This was my first adaptall lens and I have to say i was very please at the results for a lens that only cost $44. The lack of auto focus is not a hindrance at all after a bit of practice and with the focus indicator. In fact I love this lens so much now I had to write a review.

It is very sharp, easy to handle and produces excellent images. This lens goes with me everywhere now with my smc-m 1.4 or smc-a 1.7 in my pocket.

I got mine in absolute mint condition, even the case was in mint condition. No problems whatsoever getting it in and out of macro mode.

These lenses can be picked up for a real bargain, so if you see one grab it straight away, you really won't regret it.

Below are some images. Some have been edited in Photoshop, some are more or less straight from the lens.


Registered: January, 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 957

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great all-around, extended-range zoom, excellent at 300mm, great macro.
Cons: macro is soft in corners, a little heavy.

I'm writing this review because I'll wager I've been using this lens longer than anyone else here. I bought my first copy new from a New York discount house for something like $280 back in 1985. That was quite a bit to pay for a 3rd party zoom back in those days. I was a hard-core Canon FD user back then, and I recall giving the Canon FD 100-300mm f/5.6 a pass because of a lukewarm review I read and I gave the 50-300 L and 85-300 passes because I couldn't afford them. I must have read a good review on the Tamron somewhere because I recall having my sights set on it for at least a couple of months before I bought it.

I've often wondered why Tamron has listed the 23A's aperture values as f/3.8-5.4. I mean, why not just call it an f/4-5.6? I guess those two tenths meant a lot to Tamron's engineers, and who knows, maybe the yahoos in marketing thought it might be good for a few extra sales. As if it needed the help, already being a great lens.

I used my 23A extensively as one of a pair of "walking around" lenses (the other was a Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2..8-3.5, another excellent optic) back in my film heyday, plus I put it to frequent use at air shows and auto races. Its zoom range was great for these subjects because often 300mm is just right, but sometimes it's a bit too much, which makes its zoom action so handy. These days, when I'm out shooting digitally and I don't feel like lugging around my Tamron 60B SP 300mm f/2.8 LDIF around, the 23A is often on my short list of zooms to take. I have several excellent zooms that include 300mm in their focal range nowadays, but I guess the reason why I often reach for the 23A is because I'm familiar with it. Plus, it has that fantastic macro mode, which none of my other zooms that include 300mm can match.

Back in about 2009 I was browsing at my local camera shop and spotted a 23A sitting in a miscellaneous gear area. They were asking $20 for it. Sold! I'd sold my original copy some years before for reasons I'm still not quite sure of and decided right there to rectify my error. It wasn't more than a few months later that I came across an auction on eBay for a Canon AE-1 with a Tamron 23A attached for not much more than the price of a body cap, so I won that auction for about $40. Told myself I'd picked up a nice lens with a decent little camera as a rear cap, then I sold the AE-1 on eBay for about $40, so I ended up getting my second Tamron 23A for the price of postage. I guess I was thinking about reselling the lens as well, since I had two of them and all, but I just never got around to it, still don't have much of a desire to sell it -- maybe I'll just keep the second lens for spares, I tell myself.

This lens has always been an impressively sharp optic, providing me with many sharp slides back in the day, and some great digital images in more recent years. But one of the most impressive aspects of this lens is its macro capability. At a ratio of 1:1.55, its macro magnification outdoes most macro lenses, a virtually unheard of achievement for a zoom lens.

Back in 2011, I conducted a comparison of three macro lenses: a Tamron 52B SP 90mm f/2.5 macro, a 55mm f/3.5 Nikon pre-AI Micro-Nikkor, and a Vivitar Series 1 100mm f/2.8 macro (aka the "legendary" Kiron 105mm f/2.8 macro). And, just for grins, but mostly because of its macro ratio, I decided to include the Tamron 23A. I wrote an article about this comparison at my blog and included images demonstrating the results. My conclusions regarding the Tamron 23A might interest, perhaps even surprise you:

Following are some sample images I've taken with this lens.

This one was published in a book about green iguanas. Canon F-1, Tamron 60-300, Fujichrome 100. Circa 1986.

A Porsche-powered March 83G at the 1986 IMSA race, Rivirside, California. This car was travelling at about 200mph when I captured the shot, and no, this is not a cropped photo. It's a lucky shot is what it was, and it demonstrates the value of panning with a high-speed subject. Canon F-1, Tamron 60-300, Kodachrome 64.

An F/A-18 on a wingtip, vapor puffs coming up off the wings as it pulls a high-g turn. Canon F-1, Tamron 60-300, Fujichrome 100.

Telescope on a pier, Kemah, Texas. Canon F-1, Tamron 60-300, Kodak Elite Chrome 100.

Townhomes, Last Roll of Kodachrome, Canon F-1, Tamron 60-300, Kodachrome 64
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 887
Lens Review Date: July 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Adaptall mount, macro capability
Cons: Heavy lens, push pull macro.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I won this on Ebay at a lower price than the $45 value I put on it but P&P from Sweden added a lot to the cost. It came with a mint case but no hood or adaptall mount.
Apart from some dust inside the lens which does not seem to affect the images (but might slightly affect the viewfinder) it seems to be in good condition for it's age. I could have purchased a P/K mount with it for $15 but it came with a clear plastic adaptall cap so I elected to use a mount I had already. It is a P/K-A adaptall mount, it works on both this lens and the four other adaptall lenses I own, apparently not a 100% event with this adaptall and much easier to use than stop down metering, knowing the aperture of an image from the exif data is a bonus. (Albeit the K-5 shows F4 in the data when wide open, F3.8 on the lens).

The entry into macro mode on this copy is no problem, the push pull movement within macro is a little annoying to me but not too much of a problem, just that I find using the focussing ring method on my Helios 85-210mm F3.8 Macro easier to use.

IQ wise I have compared this to my SIGMA AF 100-300mm F4.5-6.7 DL, my LD DI TAMRON (AF) 70-300mm F:4.5-5.6 TELEMACRO A17 and my Prime Vivitar 300mm TX mount F5.6 and been delighted by the extra sharpness over the modern(ish) AF Tamron, the not quite so modern AF Sigma and the versatility of the 60-300mm range and macro over the Vivitar with no apparent reduction in image quality at 300mm. This is some lens! I have not tested it against these lenses in any way that might be construed as definitive, just looked at the images it produces and formed an opinion.

The lens is heavy, but carrying it on the camera with a neck strap for any length of time can obviously be alleviated by holding the lens up with a hand.

Purple fringing can be seen wide open, but much less of a problem than the AF Tamron, Sigma and Vivitar. Apart from the lack of AF I would rate this lens maybe slightly better than the Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 IS USM that I used on a Canon 10D (both bought when I was vacillating between Canon and Pentax and thought that 6 megapixels were enough) but never used it on a camera as good as the K-5 so maybe it is not. It doesn't matter though, the lens was sold to put towards a K-5 body and didn't lose me any money. If I do eventually get a modern AF lens that equals or betters this Tamron, I might keep this is good and at this price, should maybe even be considered exceptional!
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, decent contrast, usable macro
Cons: Bulky, some fringing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5   

Picked it up on "the" auction site.

Great Sharpness even without a hood. I love the Macro mode. It appears to be sharper than my Tokina Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm on the whole zoom range.
These photos were taken in macro mode, handheld. What you see is straight from the camera, no post processing. Dragonfly was very cooperative...

Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,080
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharper than expected at 300mm
Cons: heavy, bad zoom creep
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 5    Value: 7    Camera Used: k10d, 36mp Sony a7R full frame   

newer zooms are supposed to have better technology, but with many complaints about quality control, you might want to take a look at the old glass.

here is what this lens looks like at the 300mm full zoom focal length:

Tamron SP 60-300mm(23A) zoom, surfing photos at the Wedge

i would rate this lens as a pleasant surprise; focusing it was much easier with the sony a7r evf, over the old k10d prism viewfinder.

EDIT: added more photos, with links, cross posted to the adaptall-2 forum here.
36mp sony a7r and tamron sp adaptall-2 60-300mm... this was difficult to shoot, because the target area was maybe 75x100 yards or more... i couldn't quite get the focus peaking dialed in, so i reverted to the usual zone focusing attempts, using the evf magnification to set the zone area... i shot it waaay too loose, which threw away a bunch of resolution.
main point here is that this old glass delivers pretty well, if you can hit the focus point... even cropped at over 50% it's still clean... i linked the original out of camera jpeg, if anyone wants to see it.

Turbocharged sand rail by, on Flickr

Offroad sand rails, quads, and motorcycles at the Glamis drags | Sand Duning TV
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 30
Lens Review Date: September 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, versatile 5X zoom
Cons: Hard-to-enter macro mode, big and heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I recently got an SP 90mm and was so impressed with it that I sought-out another SP -- this one, for $50 including an Adaptall-2 mount adapter and shipping. Note that the Adaptall-2 adapters usually run around $20 by themselves, so the lens was arguably more like $30 shipped.

This lens has a very good reputation -- and it deserves it. Normally, 5X zooms sacrifice IQ to get such a range. For that matter, any zoom going to 300mm is usually soft when you get there. This one isn't. In fact, IQ is on a par with many primes in its focal range. It even has a relatively bright maximum aperture and nice bokeh. Here's a simple example shot around wide open (although it doesn't show much bokeh):

So, what's not so good?

Originally, I said there is definitely some glow wide open, but even that's fairly pleasant. After having used this lens quite a bit, I can say that under certain circumstances it has more glow than any other lens I've tried -- and I've dropped the aberrations score to 8 because of this. It also can have PF issues, although the PF I saw was more blue than purple. Not a big deal.

Build isn't great. It is very solid, heavy, and smooth, but it also has a zoom/focus ring that is too loose and a macro mode that is impossible to get into. At least I've not yet gotten mine into macro mode, and a little surfing the WWW shows I'm far from being alone in that, although I will keep trying. Macro mode is supposed to be a real macro mode and quite good, but is unfortunately only at 60mm.

The Tamron SP 2X converter is supposed to work relatively well with the 90mm and with this. No. It "works," but contrast and sharpness drop; basically, I think cropping would do better. Honestly, with a 5X zoom, a 2X converter doesn't even feel like that much more reach anyway.

Overall, it is at least competitive with modern 75-300mm lenses, especially in IQ. Various zooms that stop at 200mm or so can outperform this, but there's a big difference between 200mm and 300mm. So, if you need zoom to 300mm, like manual focus, and have good upper body strength, you'll like this lens. The only disclaimer needed is that brand new autofocus 75-300mm lenses start at around $150, so I think the price should not be much higher than $75 for this.

Update, Jan. 19, 2013: I got a message from marcusBMG suggesting that peeling-back the rubber grip and tweaking the focus coupling (which is coupled via a piece of tape) might allow the lens to enter macro mode... well, with a bit of playing, it does. Macro mode is truly awesome. However, I also found that tweaking things so that I can enter macro mode makes it miss infinity focus at the wide setting (only focus to about 25 feet), despite being able to focus past infinity at 300mm. There are a bunch of screws near the tape, and I'd bet that adjusting them can fix everything -- it's probably just some slip on these set screws -- but I'm leaving well enough alone for now....
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 17,881
Lens Review Date: February 16, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Overall IQ, close focus, build
Cons: Obviously heavy, zoom creep
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   


I was in the States over the X-mas holiday passing through Houston when I happened upon Houston Camera Exchange. It was the after X-mas sales period and in the "bargain" bin (-50%) I found this lens. Didn't hesitate a millisecond and snapped it up for less than $22.00 (including sales tax) ... no Adaptall-2 mount nor hood included ... and a small piece of inner debris with the usual dust. No biggie here ... What a steal!

All the previous reviews are pretty much spot on, and I have had similar results testing indoors mostly ... more to come when the weather warms up and brings out the flowers and insects. Good IQ, sharpness, handling, etc. ... using it both with the PK/A & PK/M Tamron adapters. I have no trouble shifting my copy into the "Macro" mode, just turn until it falls into position and no need to remove the lens. The close focus is quite good, but it's not really a true "macro" as in the sense like my D FA 100/2.8 WR ... but for the price you cannot beat it! Also, works relatively well with the SP 2x TC (01F) ... Really need better light (daylight) to explore further the close focus aspect ... and yes, the lens barrel will block the subject from the built-in flash if you're too close.

Overall, very happy ... I will agree with the consensus opinion and give this lens a "9" based performance and price range ... if you come across one that fits your budget, don't hesitate.

Here's the link to the page:

Bien cordialement, J Frog
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 36
Lens Review Date: September 8, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, good color rendition, excellent Macro
Cons: no AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I've owned this for a few, and liked it very much. I also used to own 19AH, but sold it after comparing it to this one. This lens is extremely sharp, excellent Macro, easy to use, no need to use tripod.

Due to its super excellent performance, I spent another $80 and bought a PKA adaptor, makes it easier to use, and a lot of fun.

Here is the link to some of Macro photo I tood with this lens, hope it is useful to you.

I highly recommand this lens to any one who likes to shoot tele photo and Macro.
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: The 'Stoke, British Columbia
Posts: 1,678
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, nice color rendering, great macro mode
Cons: A bit heavy, cheap lens hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

The only way this lens could b e any better in my opinion, would be if it was weather sealed and went down as wide as 10mm.. but we can't have EVERYTHING in a lens or there would only be one model made! The Macro mode on this lens is fantastic, the colour rendering through the focal range and at all distances is nice and even compared to the 19AH. I would hate to see what an update of this lens would cost new on the market now days, most likely $1000+
Lens Review Date: June 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp....excellent contrast.....better than my 19AH at 210mm
Cons: long fully extended making it a bit front end heavy.

Enough people have reviewed this lens so I see no need to state what has been clearly stated already other than to say I agree with the reviews.

I will add my findings as compared to my Vivitar Series 1 Komine and Adaptal 70-210 3.5 19AH.

I have tested all three side by side in typical shooting applications that fit my style. I say my style as it may not be your style.

In the 210mm range from f5.6 to f11 I was rather shocked at what I found. The 60-300 was clearly sharper and had better contrast than either of the other 2 lenses. This was not I tested them again...same shot...same filters...same ISO, shutter speeds, aperature...etc. From about 150- 210 this lense was clearly better. This was more easily seen at 100% crop.

I was more concerned with results on the longer end as this is where I will use them mainly. Maybe at 70mm results may be slightly different however from the shots I have taken they look similar between the three.

Macro was rather usefull however I have the 90mm 2.5 with 2x for that application. However if I have the 60-300 on and not wish to swap lenses for a quick macro shot it would do quite well.

Again the rest has been covered rather well by previous reviewers sono need to babble on.
I use this currently with the PK adapter while I wait for a KA adapter to arrive. Works fine...stop down metering works fine and is not a big deal. Just be sure you get an ORIGINAL PK adapter and not one of the newer knockoffs as the newer ones cannot stop down the lens. These new adapters are worthless.

Added 7-03-2011

I did some more side by side testing between the three stated lenses. Especially looking at purple fringing as it is known to occur on all three lenses to some degree.
The worst of the group was the Vivitar Series 1 komine. Really took to around F8 to get rid of it around high contrast shots and even then a bit was still noted.
The 60-300 was well controlled around F4 and nothing was noted by F5.6
The 19A 70-210 was similar in respects to the 60-300 for controlling PF. Now my copy of the 19AH has some spider webbing in the inner glass ( hummm...darn ebay) this may affect this lens. With that said the 60-300 was still a bit sharper and had better contrast but again...this lens is clean with no spider webbing verses the 19AH....sadly.
Samples examined at 100%
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great range, great macro range, good IQ, heavy
Cons: Expensive PKA adapter (paid higher price for it than for the lens)

This is a great lens, it commands respect everywhere it goes. The quality of the macro is outstanding, I almost don't use my Tamron 90mm f2.8 anymore. I have been using this lens for everything, to the point that I almost do not use my Pentax FA 100-300mm f4.7 anymore. It is that good, or a bit better. I you see one, grab it. I bought another one before the price goes up. I would give this lens 9.5 (however, since there is no 9.5, I will err on the side of truth) only because I reserve the 10 for it little brother: Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f3.5. Keep in mind that you need to buy an adaptall converter to Pentax PKA (about $120 more). It is worth if you want nice pictures. Here are some pics.











Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,275
Lens Review Date: April 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very, very sharp, great colors, superb build quality, useful macro mode.
Cons: Prone to purple fringe
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is a superb tele zoom. It's extremely sharp at all focal lengths, with very good color and detail resolution. The build quality is excellent. This lens is a solid hunk of metal and glass that feels great in the hand. The focusing ring, zoom, and aperture rings have the best action and feel of any zoom I've used. They operate very smoothly with no mechanical play or stickiness. The focusing ring is well damped and a pleasure to use, with a nice, long throw.

Some think it's a heavy lens, but to me it just feels solid. I think it's well balanced on the camera and it feels natural in my hands.

It is somewhat prone to PF wide open, (and VERY prone to it if you use a teleconverter) but that can be fixed in post. Stopping down helps.

I might also mention the macro mode on this lens is a lot more useful than many other zooms. A lot of zooms say macro, but it's a usually meaningless marketing gimmick. This lens is very useful for that purpose, though.

One comment about the other reviewer who had difficulty getting into macro mode: I think they have an issue with their particular copy. All you have to do to get to macro mode with this lens is slide the zoom all the way back toward the camera, focus it to minimum distance, then slide it back just a little more, and it pops right into macro. It's easy and smooth and there's no gut-wrenching force required.

I use mine with a P-K adapter, since the P-K "A" adapters for Pentax are stupidly high priced. Meh... I don't miss the "A" that much.

To sum it up, as long as you don't mind manual focus, this is an excellent medium-long tele zoom with prime-like sharpness, (even at 300mm) and superb build quality. I think it's a great addition to any medium to long tele shooter's kit.
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Northeast Philadelphia
Posts: 1,136
Lens Review Date: January 2, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: zoom range, sharpness, color, bokeh, near-macro
Cons: big & heavy, zoom not very smooth

I agree with the other positive reviews here. This lens is a very solid performer throughout its range. I bought it largely because of what I read in these reviews, and I'm glad that I did.

This lens has an AE setting at f/32, which means that you can use the lens in auto aperture mode if, and only if, you have a Tamron Adaptall-2 P-KA adapter. I do not, so it is a 100% manual lens. This is not a huge downside; the P-K Adaptall adapters are much more common and much less costly than the KA versions, which go for $70-110 on ebay.

The macro is very useful and is quite sharp in the center of the field, particularly in the middle of the aperture range, but gets soft around the edges. It can be very difficult to get the lens into Macro mode at first. Here's how I was able to do it, with guidance from other forum members:
  • Take the lens off of the camera if it's on there.
  • Bring the zoom/focus ring to its shortest position, 60mm, 1.9m. In this position, he word "MACRO" on the zoom/focus ring will be about a half-inch offset from the word "MACRO" on the barrel of the lens.
  • You should feel a notch as you turn the ring to this position, where you can push the zoom ring a little bit closer to the aperture ring.
  • Holding the aperture ring, NOT the Adaptall mount, in one hand, push the zoom/focus ring toward the aperture ring while turning it in the direction that would cause the two "MACRO" words to line up. This would be counterclockwise if you were looking at the front of the lens.
  • It might feel like nothing is going to happen, but if you work on it, eventually it will turn and align and you will be in macro mode.
  • At this point, the zoom/focus ring won't turn, but slides out - you can see the macro scale on the barrel.
As others have mentioned, the highest magnification macro setting brings the front of the lens almost in contact with the object, and the field of view is very narrow.

Here are a few photos. I know that I have not used this lens to the fullest of its ability. I've just been monkeying around with it.

300mm, f/8

macro mode, probably at 1:3 or 1:4

300mm, f/5.6 (I think)

macro mode

macro mode, f/3.8.
Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A)

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