Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Third-Party Pentax Lenses - Reviews and Database » Tamron Adaptall Lenses » Zoom Lenses
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH) Review RSS Feed

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH)

Reviews Views Date of last review
13 62,479 Sun February 2, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $191.38 9.00
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH)

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH)

"Tthis is the best 70-210 zoom lens ever designed and manufactured. Overall somewhat above average performance within its class, plus several notable design features. This later one-touch constant F3.5 aperture zoom features a unique "reverse" zooming cam in which the zoom collar moves forward to become a lens shade when zooming to the longer focal lengths. This, in conjunction with the bayonet lens hood, assures that the optics are always optimally shaded against stray light. The model 19AH has approximately 50% better overall resolution and contrast compared to the earlier two-touch model 52A. Macro optical performance is exceptional (for a zoom), reaching 1:2.66 life size at the 210mm position.."

Manufactured from 1984 to 1999 the 19AH was the premium "SP" adaptall in the standard 3x zoom TP market. Only the "pro" SP 30A 80-200mm f2.8 (0.64 stops faster) is nominally above this. Aficionados of vintage lenses can consider the merits of this lens against the well regarded Vivitar Series 1's.

Like the 23A it zooms in (ie towards 210mm) when pushing the large zoom/focus sleeve out. The same Tripod Mount as for the 300mm 54B fits the body (some packing is required to make sure the foot clears the focus ring) in front of the aperture collar, restricting only the short focal lengths.
It's macro capability is up to 1: 2.66 magnification at 210mm.
Minor tech points: for better shading from flare the dedicated 49FH bayonet fitting lens hood is required (pic 2). A hood screwed into the 62mm filter thread will tend to block the movement of the zoom. A center pinch lens cap is best for the same reason.
A scan of an original user manual is posted here.

Focal Length: 70 - 210mm
Aperture Range: f/3.5 - 32 (f22 with auto mount)
Iris: 8 blades
Optical Construction: 11 Groups/15 Elements
Min. Focus from Film Plane: 33.5" (0.85m)
Macro Mag. Ratio: 1:2.66
Filter Size: 62mm
Angle of View 34°~12° (full frame horizontal)
Diameter: 71mm
Length (including adapter): 154.5mm
Weight: 884g/31oz
Hood 49FH
Tamron Case L17

Accepts SP 2X tele-converter #01F but not 140F

Review by Malasian Technographer.
Comparative review of this lens and 3 other classic 70-210mm TP's (including VS1 komine) by Amateur Photography magazine, 1985 (scan, pdf).
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH)
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Ease of use, macro, faster aperture, sharp.
Cons: weight, size, can't use aftermarket hoods.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

This is one of my favorite lenses, but I just don't use it enough. I absolutely love the quality of images I am able to get from this lens. I do definitely prefer to use the lens as a "portrait" zoom as opposed to utilizing the reach for nature or otherwise. That being said, the reach is awesome and I am really looking forward to getting more of the below polar bear shot with my new K-3 when I head back to the arctic this summer. All of the photos below were taken with a Canon 10d or 20d (6.3mp & 8.2mp).

The one-touch design took a little getting used to, but I do really enjoy it. The biggest negatives of this lens are the weight and the size. It can be a beast of a lens if it is used off tripod. It is also a little unwieldy to carry around with you attached to your camera. It wasn't so much of a deal with my Canon gear, because I had grips and the cameras were large anyway. Using it on the K-3 is a different experience. I'm still not used to the balance or the weight. It is not as much of a hinderance, but it can be difficult to use aftermarket hoods and filters with this lens. The built in "hood" is built to a pretty tight tolerance, so not all my filters allow me to zoom. The original plastic hood works fine, though and I make do without additional filters.

I consider this lens to be one of the sharpest and best rendering I own. I just know that when I use this lens (even wide open) that the images will require very little attention in PP. I have had no issues with CA, vignetting, or softness at 3.5. I also like the separation that the long focal length and color rendering provide. The lens also has significant macro abilities. If the lens wasn't such a beast, I would use it for macro ALL of the time, but my 500mm (although not an ideal choice), it just that much lighter and easier to use.

Here are some samples:

New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Lens Review Date: January 17, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $66.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, Very Good IQ, Not Slow, No Creep
Cons: CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

The most positive characteristic that jumped out was corner sharpness: My sample does not need stopping down or landing on a sweet spot to deliver sharp images throughout the frame, though sometimes it takes a little extra manipulation to bring out the punch.

CA can run amuck along tree limbs and other lines of contrast all the way down to f/8, but f/11 is as good or better than f/8 and I bought this lens for the purpose of compressing sharp landscape images from corner to corner; it's often perched on a sturdy Gitzo
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 17,648
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very SHARP, constant Ap, build, zoom throw & range, value
Cons: Large, rotating front element, heavy in the long run ...
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   


At last I found one! This past weekend at the Montamisé photo expo/swap meet ... oh joy, oh rapture, oh infinite delight! Overall fantastic condition and came with original hood, the front cap and a Nikon AI mount plus its end cap that I might give to a friend ... or just keep it as rear element protection.

IMHO, just a great lens and I'll admit that I have not taken a lot of shots yet ... But boy, from my initial test shots, this 19AH looks like it may be the "best" of my Adaptall-2 stable (22A, 23A, 40A, 44A, 103A, 02B & 01F).

Wonderful with a PKA mount ... use them together plus with CIF (catch in focus), and it's a great poor man's auto focus.

Allez & bon courage, John le Frog

Here are a few rapidly done rough-cut samples ...despite windy, poor sunlight conditions.

Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 448
Lens Review Date: January 1, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Did someone say Sharp! You could cut yourself with the images!
Cons: Bit heavy and long, rotating front element and not compatible with the 1.4x teleconverter
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Purchased this one from a Forum Member. I was looking for something a bit lighter than my 70-200 f2 for a travel kit and this lens is about half the weight and a bit shorter.

Surprised how sharp this lens is. A little soft wide open at the long end and some CA as well, but stop it down and it is sharp from 70 to 210. The one touch zoom is great to use (once you learn how it functions) and makes it very easy to focus, and no lens creep (amazing bit of engineering considering how easy it is to focus and zoom).

One thing to watch with this lens is that it is not compatible with the Tamron Adaptall SP 1.4x Teleconverter (140F).
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 84
Lens Review Date: September 11, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: The 70mm end
Cons: The 210mm end
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I had the chance to use this big old thing for a while.

When it comes to macro, I literally turned from total failure to successful overnight. I mean come on, I stuck some el cheapo macro extension tubes in, and just look at what it did. I have no words for this, but thanks Tamron. Thanks a lot.

Okay, it's big. Like, really big. Like you really, really notice it's there big.

One thing about the lens, I'm not sure if I have a defective one or something, but the pics take a steep turn to the weird at the tele end. Soft, ghosting, CA, PF, the works - all shoot through the roof. So in case I'm not alone, just stay at the 70mm end and you're more than fine.

Let the pics do the talking - all shot with the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH) + macro extension tubes, K20D, with varying settings. Uncropped except for the 3rd, all sharpened a bit.

IMHO, these are some pretty nice pictures to begin the post processing with, but of course your taste may vary.

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: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, good CA control for an older lens
Cons: VERY low colour contrast past 50 feet or so.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8   

I do love how sharp this lens is, and for close up work it is an amazing piece of glass. At longer ranges, everything seems fairly washed out of colour and can make for a too much PP work to want to drag this lens out for general walk around/hiking IMO. Although not quite as fast, or arguably as sharp, the 60-300 with true macro (not just close focusing) seems to suit my needs better. As nice as this lens is, having the 60-300 makes me consider pushing my nice 19AH to the market.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great color, excellent for flowers and colorful things, easy to use, no CA or PF
Cons: Hard to find one

This lens has become my wildlife flower, plants, people, bushes, and anything that has beautiful colors. This lens makes those color shine in a very sharp way. A close up (1:2 to 1:4) easy to use allow to take flowers, insects at a distance that does not scare the models. This is indeed the best zoom in this range (..and there are many). It is an excellent companion for its bigger brother 60-300mm, and the elder brother 300mm f.28, which I have and love. You have to get an adaptall-Pentax PKA adapter (about $90 -$120) so you do not have to worry about stopping down with the green button. Easy to focus. Here are some samples:

TamronAdaptallSP70-210mmf3.5Macro-WetHybiscus3 by Palenquero, on Flickr

TamronAdaptallSP70-210mmf3.5Macro-BellaFlor1 by Palenquero, on Flickr













Registered: August, 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 10,440
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: great IQ, great build quality
Cons: close focusing abilitiy not exactly brilliant

A legendary lens which is supposed to be superior to even the fabled Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 Zooms. According to the Adaptall-2 website “the Tamron blows them all away“.

This lens features a constant f/3.5 aperture throughout the range. This means that you’ll have f/3.5 available at 210mm! It also means that if you are using flashes that you’ll never have to worry about the lens changing the f-ratio on its own. A big advantage compared to many modern zooms where the widest aperture depends on the focal length.

Another advantage of the Tamron over most modern zooms is that it is parfocal. You can zoom in, using to maximum focal length to obtain optimal focus, and then zoom out again without invalidating your focus setting. For most modern lenses the best focus setting depends on the focal length so you basically have to rely on AF since you cannot use this old-fashioned, but precise focusing technique.

I don’t miss AF that much on this lens since it is a so-called “on-touch” zoom. You pull and push the combined zoom/focus ring to change the focal length and turn it to change the focus. Together with focus confirmation in the viewfinder, I find this gives me practically no disadvantage to having AF. On the contrary, I’m in full control and the focus will never go away because the lens starts hunting, e.g, because of low light or it found something in the background to focus on.

Handling the lens is pure joy, There is zero zoom creep and the focus throw is very large so precise focusing is very easy. Make no mistake, though, the all metal quality build and all the glass necessary to allow f/3.5 at 210mm add up to a heavy lens. This lens is not only build like a tank, it almost weighs as much like one. Having said that, I prefer such a lens over a featherweight because I feel it helps me keeping it steady.

The lens is very sharp indeed. I have absolutely no issues with IQ, including bokeh, except for the so-called macro abilities. I find that I have to stop the lens down considerably (f/8 – f/11 minimum) at close focusing distances. Otherwise I get a lot of fuzzy halos. However, I just don’t try to use the lens as a macro lens and at normal distances it is an outstanding performer.

Mate this lens with a P/KA adapter and forget about stop-down metering! You then have an A-lens and the only manual operation left is the focusing which I feel is less of an issue than with other lenses (see above). Even with the cost of a P/KA adapter thrown in, I think this lens provides excellent value for money. This is one lens I did not regret to have bought and actually used subsequent to purchase despite having a Tamron 18-250mm AF lens. The Tamron 70-210/3.5 proved its worth a couple of times in low-light situations with great success.
New Member

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Chesterfield, Michigan
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quality build, no zoom creep, very sharp images.
Cons: Lens cap.

Tack-sharp images at all but 210mm range. The 210mm is just sharp!

The focus barrel twist is a bit long in comparison to some other brands; although that does make final focus easy to obtain without severe overshoot. I find it quick and easy to use although sometimes I find myself repositioning my barrel grip. It also has a very solid and quality feel.

The same barrel operates both zoom and focus. Twist to focus and push/pull for zooming. *(I love that ability on a manual focus lens!!! You only hold one location for both abilities.) It has very-very little zoom creep unless you’re bouncing while walking, otherwise no creep at all. Just a nice tight feel.

This lens was expensive when I purchased it new back in 1995. It worked so well for both film and now digital that I’m not sorry at all.

Even after 15 years of “medium” use, everything works like it is still new. My comparison to the Pentax lenses today; I rate the image quality similar to a regular FA zoom lens, and the build quality with the star lenses!

Another thing I really like is; with the proper Adaptall mount, it will easily transfer to other major brands, should the need ever arise.

The stock 62mm lens cap attaches over the main lens body. When the close fitting zoom-barrel slides beyond the lens body and will knock it off very easily. Some filters fit well but most 3rd party filters and caps will hit the zoom barrel as it extends outward.

*(I lost my lens cap several years ago and have yet to find a replacement that will fit properly. Sofar I've used an older 62mm Cokin UV filter as protection glass.)

*From what I found out, the Pentax digital cameras don't automatically adjust beyond f/22, making f/32 questionable. *(Please remember that it was originally designed for 35mm film cameras and worked very well for them.)
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Den Haag, Netherlands
Posts: 207
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: No zoom creep, very smooth zooming and focussing
Cons: Little bit heavy, lenshood hard to get

Got a BGN-grade sample from KEH. Actually it's more like a mint sample to me. The lens is in almost pristine state and the focussing and zooming is something I have not encountered before on a manual focus lens.

Considered the best 70-210mm ever manufactured and designed according to the Adaptall2 site. I don't know if it deserves this title but the lens beats my Vivitar Series 70-210 (version) for sure.

Too bad KEH did not have the lenshood for my lens, the lenshood is quite hard to find and there are situations you just need a lenshood to protect the light from falling on the big front lens.

I called one the negative aspects the weight of the lens but the lens is still managable considering it's not much slower than a comparable f2.8 lens which would be much heavier.

If you find on these lenses for a good price don't hesitate to buy one. If you have an Adaptall PK/A adapter much the better. You wouldn't want to fiddle with the green button or AE-L button to meter with this lens (or any other big lens that needs a steady hand).
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 707
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

Pros: As others have posted - razor sharp
Cons: None - the weight doesnt bother me

One of my favourite lenses. I agree with the reviews here more or less. Mine is sharp at f3.5, and the weight is not an issue.

I used to have a Vivitar Series 1 Version 3 which was the Komine built model with A aperture. The most sought after of all Series 1's, and this has it beat.

Photo shot with this lens from my Gallery

Registered: March, 2008
Location: South Coast .. UK
Posts: 1,974
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Constant f3.5, Image quality, Close focus ability
Cons: Bit on the heavy side

Bought the lens a few weeks ago and paid over the odds for it but then it was brand new in the box, never used with all the bits.
It is a bit on the heavy side as already mentioned but this is easily forgiven when you see what it can produce, the colours are superb and the sharpness throughout is excellent. It also has a close focus macro of 1:2.6 and with the 2X matched converter (01F) which is cheap enough it turns into a 1:1.3 macro which is rather handy.
I doubt I will ever get rid of this lens, especially as it is Adaptall 2 mount which means I can take it anywhere if I felt like changing systems.
New Member

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and fast
Cons: tad soft at 3.5, Heavy

An outstanding lens with only a couple drawbacks. It is extremely sharp once you drop it down one stop. So much so that I have to post process a fair bit if I take a close portrait or else the world becomes your dermatologist.

The build quality is top notch but heavy. There is no hint of zoom creep. The focus throw is enormous if you include the macro range, but it is very precise.

Given that it is only half a stop slower than a 2.8, I can't really fault its weight, but it does get tiring after awhile.

If you have the skill or time to learn how to manually focus it is well worth finding.
Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 70-210mm f/3.5 (19AH)

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:53 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]