anyone using the Tamron AF 180mm f/3.5 SP Di LD IF macro as a manual adapted lens?

piggsypiggsy Big grinsPosts: 88Registered Users Big grins
edited October 19, 2015 in Accessories
Seeing these crop up very cheap on the bay (like ~$400), quite tempting for the reach and seems like a lot of people end up using it as a manual lens due to not having a focus limiter on it anyway.

As far as I can tell - the nikon version of this lens is the only one with a manual aperture control, and it looks like the alpha/canon versions are electronic only for aperture control. Seem to recall reading in one review now lost in the history that the nikon version also has the motor driven from the camera - wondering if there is any weight difference there between the versions as a result?

Has anyone successfully used this lens adapted to mirrorless with a dumb adapter, or successfully adapted the canon version with a smart (eg. metabones) adapter? My hope is that I could just use my dumb nikon adapter and carry on with it, but if it's more involved than that (eg requires a $400 smart adapter) then it's somewhat less tempting.

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,082Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 19, 2015
    I have not used that lens at all, but I can say that lenses adapted to use on a mirrorless body (Sony a6000 in my case) are only really valuable when you have some time for using them; i.e. used on a tripod with time to use 1:1 LCD view for critical focus and composing wide open, then setting your aperture (in the case of a simple/dumb adapter) to take the shot.

    Trying to use a manually adapted lens on a mirrorless body for general photography is a lesson in frustration, IMO.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • piggsypiggsy Big grins Posts: 88Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 19, 2015
    I don't know what to say other than that all of these are handheld and shot pre-stopped down (generally find the rear LCD on the E-P5 is usable to pick focus to about F11, VF-4 EVF will do you to about F22 reliably) -

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/piggsyface/albums/72157652493174189

    I've used the Vivitar 135 Close Focusing with a 2x TC for very long macros but it's a pain having it be really quite large and not having internal focusing, especially for use with a flash, and there's no IBIS setting to compensate for 270mm. So the 180 seems like it might be a bit nicer to seriously use rather than just muck around with.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,418Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 30, 2017
    Piggsy, I have a Canon mount Tamron 180mm f3.5 SP AF Di LD IF lens that I have had for close to 10 years.

    As stated, it has no focus limiter.

    So I usually end up using it by moving the camera+lens back and forth. I was too cheap to pay for the Canon version years ago, but I have a lot of frames shot with my Tamron and I rather like it. It is sharp if used carefully.

    I have not tried in on my m4/3 bodies, although I do own an EOS ->m4/3 adapter, maybe I'll give it a try.

    I looked at your major images on your flickr page - some nice images there - I liked your spiders and mantises. Did you use flash for any of those? A large diffused flash head really works nicely with manual macro lenses since your flash to subject distance is always going to equal your focal distance unless you change your focus point manually, and the electronic flash exposure helps keep camera movement capture to a minimum.

    I have no interest in selling my Tamron 180 macro - I still find it useful, not only for macros but a a modest tele for pets and such.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • piggsypiggsy Big grins Posts: 88Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 19, 2015
    Oh, if you could try that, that would be neat. Just from looking at the lenses I'm not sure how the canon version would go on a dumb adapter -

    TvRJQZB.jpg

    whereas the nikon version looks like this -

    w77MMpi.jpg

    which seems more encouraging for using it as a dumb lens.

    I think there are two non-flash shots in that whole album, although a lot of them are basically practical flash diffuser experiments. For a while I was using the Tokina 90 with the same setup I was using with my m4/3 native Olympus 60mm (one hand camera, one hand flash) and that was really quite rough to use with a heavier all metal FF lens. Got a flash bracket and grip for that setup and it became a lot easier :D - although again if there's one thing that bugs me about the 90 it's that extending to focus close can be a pain for flash use.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,082Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 19, 2015
    piggsy wrote: »
    I don't know what to say other than that all of these are handheld and shot pre-stopped down (generally find the rear LCD on the E-P5 is usable to pick focus to about F11, VF-4 EVF will do you to about F22 reliably) -

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/piggsyface/albums/72157652493174189

    I've used the Vivitar 135 Close Focusing with a 2x TC for very long macros but it's a pain having it be really quite large and not having internal focusing, especially for use with a flash, and there's no IBIS setting to compensate for 270mm. So the 180 seems like it might be a bit nicer to seriously use rather than just muck around with.

    Wonderful work. Very impressive. thumb.gifthumbclap.gif

    Is this truly handheld, or are you using a simple stabilizing device? For instance, our user "Brian Valentine", aka "Lord Veterinari", often recommends and uses a simple pole to help steady the shot:

    http://www.dgrin.com/showpost.php?p=533768&postcount=1
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • piggsypiggsy Big grins Posts: 88Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 19, 2015
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Wonderful work. Very impressive. thumb.gifthumbclap.gif

    Is this truly handheld, or are you using a simple stabilizing device? For instance, our user "Brian Valentine", aka "Lord Veterinari", often recommends and uses a simple pole to help steady the shot:

    http://www.dgrin.com/showpost.php?p=533768&postcount=1

    Thanks, you are very kind :D

    Nothing used for stabilisation other than IBIS. It has come a long way as I'm reminded whenever I use the old 2-axis IBIS on my E-PM2 - if you haven't tried it on some of the newer cameras (GX8, A7ii and up, most Oly cameras after the E-M5) you should definitely check one of them out. Although, that mainly helps for stabilising the view in the finder - not to discount this, that's also very handy - the actual shots are done with flash so there's not that much need for the stabilising the actual shot. Mostly I shoot them at night/very early into sunrise when they're more passive subjects too.
  • piggsypiggsy Big grins Posts: 88Registered Users Big grins

    Just because I always get annoyed coming across posts about lenses I'm interested in, where you never find out how things went, just updating this story here.

    Short version - this is a really nice lens and it works wonderfully adapted on 2x crop. For whatever reason it doesn't have the cachet of other classic macro lenses - maybe it's just in a weird bubble of being not old enough to be classic, not quite modern enough to be exciting. I know from reading reviews the AF on it is regarded as garbage which might have hurt it, and it just missed out on Tamron's push to rehab their brand. But used as an adapted manual lens, and 2nd hand at a price below what some of the higher grade MF macros cost, it's pretty damn great.

    My use of it hinges on a few things - the Olympus IBIS which I mentioned earlier, Neat Image to help recover higher ISO shots (only a couple here are with flash, it becomes a fairly hefty item to use handheld with one, preferably two flashes for the working distance at 1x), and focus stacking to make f3.5 - 5.6 macro shots have useful DOF.

    So it works pretty great as a long range birding lens - both for stuff that flees if it notices you

    image

    and stuff that might not be in a big hurry to behave naturally if it thinks something dangerous is close -

    image

    and for very skittish or mobile subjects, where 3.5 on 2x crop is actually pretty good as far as useful DOF at midrange and contrast to get manual focus right -

    image

    image

    and without changing the lens or adding a diopter or anything, you can go from that kind of birding to chasing insects around -

    image

    however close you like

    image

    image

    image

    For a good example of what getting the source material right results in - this is a basic handheld stack at f3.5, iso1600 -

    image

    and you can also use it for things like, action shots where the wind is blowing the subject around, where you'd stuggle to get good DOF even at F32 on 2x, but if you layer the slices together right it doesn't look wrong unless you really look close -

    image

    same kind of thing, but useful for birds too -

    image

    and have to say, also very impressed with bokeh, again given the 3.5 aperture and 2x crop - sometimes quite lovely results -

    image

    image

    I got it 2nd hand from a japanese seller and it was in top condition, not bad for about $600au. Only other thing I should mention - after a while I ran into a problem with the tripod foot latch stripping its screw threads, this was a pretty scary failure that luckily happened where the lens couldn't be damaged from it. But it was simple enough to replace using the standard tamron superzoom foot, same item.

    So, pretty happy with how this turned out.

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,082Super Moderators moderator

    Thanks for the update, piggsy.

    Very impressive work with this adapted lens!

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,620Registered Users Major grins

    Going by the examples here - and on your Flickr page, you're putting this (and other) gear to good use - well done.
    Since I also have one of these lenses, I noticed the update to the thread this morning and decided to have a browse.
    Some short time later I logged into my email account and saw that I'd got an email from Flickr, telling me that someone had decided to add their name to the vast legions of followers that I had (21) ... So I checked out the photostream of this new individual and immediately recognised some pics from those seen here on DG by your good self.

    So, I'm curious about how this came about - Is this just a case of some sort of serendipity - or darker more covert forces, masquerading as algorithms working in the shadows :) ?

    Anyway, thx for adding your name (assuming you've not been hacked) - but don't expect rapid changes on my daubs to take place - I'm still shooting - but just lazy re adding stuff.

    pp

  • piggsypiggsy Big grins Posts: 88Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 31, 2017

    @puzzledpaul said:

    Anyway, thx for adding your name (assuming you've not been hacked) - but don't expect rapid changes on my daubs to take place - I'm still shooting - but just lazy re adding stuff.

    Haha not hacked, no, I think I found your profile on an earlier thread, while I was looking for this one, where you were asking for advice on long lenses or zooms for your waterbird work. Which is also excellent!

  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,620Registered Users Major grins

    @piggsy said:

    Haha not hacked, no ...

    Good to hear ...since the typical 'collection rate' for new 'followers' is about 1 every 6months or so - such events stick out like a sore thumb ...

    Thx for comment, btw - and as I've also recently spent some ££ (100 / 400 mk2) I'll have to engage in a spell of digit extraction and maybe add some pics taken with the darned thing ...

    pp

Sign In or Register to comment.