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Tamron 90mm F/2.5 Macro not so good on my G1

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by jrsilva, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012

    I wanted to try Macro on my Panasonic Lumix G1 so I've tried extension tubes and diopter filters. The extension tubes allow nice macro shots but they are tricky to set subjects in focus and the diopter lens produce color aberration.
    So I've decided to try a dedicated Macro lens but could not afford to buy the Leica/Panasonic 45mm, so I looked into a second hand Tamron 90mm F/2.5 Macro (model 52B) with the 2X teleconverter.

    I've also purchased an Adaptall 2 to m4/3 adaptor (Tamron Adaptall AD2 Lens To Micro 4/3 M43 Mount Adapter | eBay)

    When I finally got the two I was disappointed with the results of the lens on my G1.
    The images never look pin sharp (and even know it is a manual focus lens it is a bit difficult to focus).
    I've tried the lens alone with no 2X Teleconverter and with the Teleconverter (to get 1:1)
    I've made a side-by-side test with my cheap Panasonic 45-200 G Vario lens and the pictures taken with the Panasonic lens look more sharp than the Tamron ones.
    Also, the pictures taken with the Tamron have a bit of a blue cast.

    I have also an old Tamron 70x210 Adaptall2 zoom lens that I've used with that same AD2 to m4/3 adaptor.
    I've got the same blue cast result and a not so sharpen pictures (but they are a bit sharpen than the 90mm f/2.5).

    The Tamron 90mm f/2.5 model 52B is a classic lens with good reputation but looks like it is not performing so well on my camera.
    Could that be because of the adaptor?
    I've read once in another forum about a problem with an adaptor that could not allow the lens to have the correct distance from the sensor.
    Do you think my problems could be related to the adaptor I'm using?
    I've taken a look at eBay and there are dozens of similar adaptors.
    Apart from a different logo/brand they all look equal to me, so I'm not sure to go and purchase another one and risk to have the same bad results...

    Any thoughts?
    Anyone using Tamron Adaptall lenses (or this particular lens) with AD2 to m4/3 converters?
    Wich one are you using?
  2. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Not sure if I can offer much help, but I'll try...

    Unless you are focusing at infinity or super close, I wouldn't think it is the adapter. If the Adapter was off by a bit it may mess with the focus at extremes, but otherwise, especially with a macro I would think you'd be able to focus.

    I would say set a custom white balance, then take some controlled photos at medium range using a tripod or something sturdy, and try various apertures. Then if you can't figure out what's wrong post some samples or 100% crops here, with exif data or/and list your settings.

    Could it also be the lens? You didn't describe its condition...
  3. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    You don't use 2x teleconverters to get 1:1 macro, that's not what they're for.. they lower iimage quality and are used for "increasing" focal length for telephoto shots. For 1:2 macro lenses you use extension tubes to get 1:1, usually made by the same manufacturer for that particular macro lens you've got.

    As for the image quality part, not much point in starting a "pictures aren't good" thread without actually showing any pictures. You'd have to upload some images if you want comments on their quality.
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I shot macro with good results with the following:

    Panasonic G1
    Tamron Adaptall (Kmount)
    Tamron 90mm f/2.5 52B
    Tamron 1:1 2x converter BBAR
    K mount -> Micro 4/3 adapter (rainbowimaging ebay seller)
    Sunpak ring light.

    Some thoughts:

    The BBAR converter I use is design specifically for the 52B to obtain 1:1 and 2x focal length. As already mentioned, you can't just use some other 2x teleconverter. It has to be the specific one. Both BBAR and the B52 are of good quality.

    How familiar are you with macro? For ideal results, there is a lot more to macro photography than simply a macro lens attached to a camera. There is a bit of "supporting" equipment involved... this is especially true if you are shooting 1:1.

    Post a sample with EXIF?
  5. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Pictures ... show us samples !!!

    Another guess is that your technique is not up to the level it needs to be to use long legacy lenses that lack active image stabilization. The Pany 45-200 has stabilization, the legacy Tamrons don't.
  6. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    same experience with the tamron 2.8, it produced great results with the canon 600d but with my omd it sucks
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    PS> My G1 has been replaced with the OMD. Works great.
  8. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    your tamron works great with the omd? lucky.. i cant quite seem to make it work properly
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mine has a K-mount Adaptall (I am a pentax/takumar collector) and I purchased micro 4/3 adapter that specifically has a built in aperture ring so I can open and stop down the aperture. This allows me to focus the lens wide open and stop down quickly for the final exposure. This is important for critical focus as I shoot at f/11 to f/13 which is too difficult to focus. Of course, I also use a powerful ring flash.

    IIRC the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 (di?) is specifically designed with an electronic aperture rather than a mechanical like the older adaptalls. If you can't control the aperture setting and stop down manually then you are very limited when adapted to any other camera that is non-native to the electronic mount. You can force the aperture stop down by mounting it on the Canon, stopping it down (preview), and turning the camera off... but that's not really all that ideal.

    Btw... the bokeh on the 90mm f/2.5 adaptall is very pleasing. Makes for a great portrait lens.
  10. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    i have an adapter that controls aperture... i don't know it just doesn't seem to work properly with my omd
  11. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Thank's for the replies.

    I still have many suspicions about the adapter.

    I use a similar set to the usayit one.
    Except that I'm using an adaptor directly from Adaptall 2 to micro 4/3.
    When I tried macro shots I also used the dedicated Tamron 1:1 2x converter BBAR, designed for this lens.

    I have a spare Adaptall 2 to Canon FD, maybe I should buy a Canon FD to micro 4/3 and see what happens.

    Where are a few samples made some months ago (since then I gave up using this lens).

    These are not macro shots, but landscape ones (anyway, I complaint about the overall performance of the lens in any focal distance).
    Lens were focused to the infinite.
    Note that I did not used the 2x converter on these samples.
    I also did not used a tripod but my hans were not shaking and I used a lamp post as a support to stay as steady as possible.

    See the different color cast, and the lack of sharpness (that is what bothers me the most).
    First photo is Tamron 90mm f/2.5 and the second one is Panasonic 24-200mm f/4-5.6



    100% crops (please ignore the "@175mm" on the Tamron crop):



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  12. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I must say that the Tamron pics look out of focus rather than unsharp. You might want to try to make a series of pics with small variations in focussing to see if that's the problem. The difference is indeed shocking; apart from the large difference in sharpness the Tamron is also a lot less contrasty. I've had the same experience concerning contrast with the Tokina 90/2.5 that many people seem to love.

    Edit: just thinking, you didn't just simply set the Tamron at its infinity setting, did you? If you just set it to infinity it's almost certain to be misfocussed because most adapters that adapt your lens to the µ4/3 bayonet are not made accurately enough to rely on the focussing scale. You really have to judge focussing by the display or preferably the viewfinder, if you have one, and you'd better use the maximum magnification and adjust focus painstakingly accurately.
  13. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Have you checked the Tamron lens for fungus or de-lamination?

    Also, don't test at infinity to avoid variances in the adapter. Consider that the 45-200mm is a native micro 4/3 lens there will be saturation/contrast/WB/Sharpen etc.. applied to JPG files.
  14. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Thank you.

    So, the adapter could also be a problem. Problem is to know what are the good adapters selling out there...
    I made these test pics a few months ago. As I recall I've focused to the infinity.
    The lens does not have any fungus or haze.
    I've purchased this lens as a second hand. Could be possible that these lens were already opened for cleaning or something and ended up with some optical problem?...
    They don't look like they were opened, but I can't be sure.

    I always shoot in Raw. The pictures taken with native Panasonic lens are always superior, I understand that, what I don't understand is how some people are getting good pictures with these classic lens on micro 4/3 bodies...
  15. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012

    Can you post any picture made with your Tamron 90mm f/2.5?
    I just need to see with my own eyes that someone is getting good pics with this lens.

    I may be doing another test pics with my Tamron soon.
  16. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I don't post pictures online that often..... and it doesn't help that non-native lenses don't have EXIF to work with.

    I did find an old thread I started on another forum with one test sample of the Tamron 90mm f/2.5 on a G1.

    My thoughts on the Panasonic G1 w/ manual glass

    See the "One Cent" penny.
  17. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    It is ALWAYS a bad idea to focus by simply setting the lens to its infinity mark, particularily when using adapters. You should always focus using the manual focusing functions in the camera while looking through the viewfinder. When possible use the magnified view when focusing.
  18. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Thank you for sharing your photo. I've taken the opportunity to also register on that forum :) 
    I see you are a fan of Rangefinder cameras and old glass.

    My better lens is a Leica/Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. It was a bigger investment than the camera itself.
    It is very sharp and the focus ring is very smooth. Also it is a very light piece of glass.
    I wish I could buy the Leica 45mm Macro... :) 
  19. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    That's what I do. But the magnified view on my G1 only works on native micro 4/3 lens.

    In the weekend I will do a few test pictures at several focal distances with my Tamron to see what I get.
    But I'm also considering mounting an Adaptall 2 to Canon FD that came with a second hand lens I've purchased and buy a FD to micro 4/3 adaptor to see if I get better results.
  20. geoffox23

    geoffox23 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 5, 2010
    Brisbane. Australia
    Try this for magnified view with a manual lens

    Press left arrow button at the rear
    Press (menu set) button
    Then turn the front wheel for magnification
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