This past week after much deliberation and bouncing back and forth, I added a new lens to my bag – the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Lens! And when I say deliberation… I mean, I seriously drove my poor husband crazy trying to decide whether to pull the trigger!
Usually when I gear up for a wedding, I pack a couple of camera bodies, my Nikon 70-200mm 2.8, Nikon 50mm 1.8, my dinosaur-of-a-lens Nikon 35-70mm 2.8D, and varies lighting necessities. Depending on the venue, I might also rent a wide angle lens such as the Nikon 28mm 1.8, but I almost always rent the Nikon 105mm 2.8 macro for ring shots and detail photos.
Going into 2015, one of my goals has been to eliminate some of those rental costs at each wedding, which means investing in more capital. A macro lens seemed to be the next logical step! I was 100% sold on purchasing the Nikon 105mm macro, which I already knew and loved. However, at about $900 new, I stayed open to other options that might save me money.
I lost some serious sleep and stayed up reading reviews, asking other photographers their thoughts, and comparing pricing. The suggestion of macro tubes came up, but I never really dug much into that because I’ve had a poor experience with them in the past (uh, mainly user error). But a second alternative arose, and that was the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro.
Ringing up at $400 less than the Nikon 105mm macro, it is easy to see why the Tamron was so attractive to me. Not only did I hear rave reviews about the sharpness and image quality, but as a new business I really liked the thought of saving money while obtaining quality at the same time. Knowing that I could easily return the Tamron if I had any issues, I decided to move forward with the purchase – and boy, am I glad I did so! Here are a few test shots taken of my wedding rings immediately after unboxing.
Super sharp and crisp with beautiful colors – just what I am looking for in a macro lens! The only thing I might change is that it definitely feels cheaper and more “plastic-y” than the Nikon 105mm. Also, it is pretty loud and clunky when it hunts for autofocus, but I don’t utilize AF much when I’m doing macro work. It does take me quite a bit longer to focus exactly where I want, but I believe that over time I will get used to focusing with this lens.
Might I one day sell it and purchase a Nikon 105mm macro? Possibly. But for now, I am extremely satisfied with the Tamron 90mm macro lens and am happy to have added it to my lineup – especially since macro shooting only accounts for less than 10% of my shooting when I’m on the job at a wedding. The cost savings and the results I’ve achieved thus far trump the issues I’ve expressed above, and I would recommend this lens to any wedding photographer looking to add a quality macro lens to their gear lineup for not a ton of money.