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Tamron Adaptall Z500/CZ500 200-500mm F6.9

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 7,327 Mon June 3, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $120.50 7.50
Tamron Adaptall Z500/CZ500 200-500mm F6.9

Tamron Adaptall Z500/CZ500 200-500mm F6.9
Tamron Adaptall Z500/CZ500 200-500mm F6.9
Tamron Adaptall Z500/CZ500 200-500mm F6.9

The first adaptall versions of Tamrons 200-500mm super telephoto zoom were probably directly derived from the adaptamatic version - PZ150-Au (pic 3). Superceded by the adaptall-2 06A.

Model Name: CZ-500
Focal length: 200-500mm
Open F value: 6.9
Lens construction: 14 elements 8 groups
Minimum aperture: 22
Minimum focusing distance: 3.0m
Filter diameter: 82mm
Weight: 2.796kg
Maximum diameter X overall length: 9cmx37cm
Release date :: 1976
End of production: 1979 (estimated)

This lens does not have an "AE" position on the aperture ring - only goes to f22 - , and has only one space for an auto aperture connection tab on the mount. It cannot be used in Av mode with a pentax PKA mount, or in auto aperture mode with other mounts eg CFD.
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: June 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $61.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Steady on sturdy tripod, Adaptall flexibility, really cheap
Cons: Bulky
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Samsung GX20   

Another one for the Adaptall collection.

The JCII sticker indicates it was made in 1975. This makes it a Z-500.

The rubber has all perished and gone, and there is a lot of difficult-to-access fungus. Based on the fungus extent, and the impact of cleaning the fungus off other lenses, I believe it is severely affecting the image quality, especially the contrast, and to a lesser extent the resolution. Catch-In-Focus doesn't work presumably because the camera never recognises the image is in focus.

Nevertheless, at f11 I'm getting lens resolution comparable with my Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG and my Tamron Mirror 500mm 55BB; there's just a bit more fringing.

At F6.9 there is A LOT of red fringing.

The weight makes it rock solid on my tripod. It's much less affected by vibration than the mirror 55BB.

Whilst in its current state my copy isn't recommended, I think a clean copy would be good.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Paris, TN
Posts: 2,985

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 20, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: economy alternative to super tele zoom
Cons: long and heavy

[NOTE: This is NOT an 06A review; it's a misplaced Adaptall CZ-class lens awaiting a proper review section of it's own. It IS an immediate predecessor to the 06A, however, and the 06A review on the site will give it meaning.]

This is a looong lens and for a good reason. Without LD/ED glass available for this design, a long barrel with minimal refraction over the focal length contributed to enhanced optical performance as best explained in the info for the 06A.

Like all super-tele lenses, this takes a bit of thought and good technique to get results expected from today's DSLR sensors and the crop factor makes a steady camera and fast shutter speed even more critical but with practice this lens can provide excellent service in daylight conditions.

I don't recommend a TC with this mostly because the slow aperture makes focusing difficult at best. Using the matt portion of the viewfinder to pre-focus on the immediate surroundings (grass, tree trunks, etc) works well.

As an Adaptall mount lens you have complete versatility with many bodies and media including the older film cameras.

Image results will vary greatly depending on many factors, not the least of which include skill in post processing and experience with super-tele photography.

My results are at least the equal of what I get with the Super Takumar, and SMC-M and -A class 300-400mm lenses. The design concept does a good job of minimizing PF and CA in general.

As economical 'training wheels' for the person new to super-teles or just for the guy that wants a Bigma on a beer-budget, this would be a very capable lens.
I recently tried this lens with the Q7 and had surprisingly good results -- better IMO than on my APS-C bodies. The FL range on the 1/1.7" sensors is about equivalent to 900-2300mm on a 35mm body. CA was minimal and easily corrected. It wasn't particularly difficult to focus on the LCD screen, especially considering that this definitely ISN'T a hand-held proposition!

One noteworthy point in favor of economy is that any shooting you do will be very deliberate with lots of time to pre-calculate and/or chimp exposure so there's no benefit to adding the more expensive PK/A adapter - the PK works well in Manual, Av and TAV exposure modes.

This lens can produce excellent results in decent light with thoughtful shot setup. Perhaps not best for BIF but BOAP (birds-on-a-perch) can be mastered with basic technique and patience without spending a fortune.

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