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Tamron 90MM F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

Review Date: Mar 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superbly sharp, very light, MF ring is fabulous, works great with ring lights
front lens hard to clean, build quality

I've owned this lens for about a month. I was looking for a high quality macro lens, offering life-size magnification that wouldn't get too heavy when used with a macro ring light. The Tamron definitely delivers - the image quality is simply superb. Perfectly sharp with great color accuracy, offering professional quality results.
The low weight comes at a price: the lens is essentially made of plastic - I definitely wouldn't wanna drop that one. The mount, however, is metal. Apart from the build quality, the lens doesn't have any major draw-backs but does come with two peculiarities one should consider before buying:

1. Its barrel extends massively when focussing. But those who plan on using a ring flash needn't worry: the filter thread doesn't turn. I use the lens in combination with a Sigma EM-140DG ring light and it works like a charm.

2. The front glass sits about an inch inside the barrel. This makes cleaning it very hard but at the same time also makes using a lens hood unnecessary. Dirt doesn't easily reach the front glass, either, so that's not a real problem.

All in all I'm extremely happy with this lens. Highly recommended!