Tamron 90 or Canon 85?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by TiCoyote, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. TiCoyote

    TiCoyote TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So I'm loving my 50mm f/1.8. I'm thinking about another prime lens (after I really learn how to use this one). I'd love to learn how to shoot portraits. The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro and the Canon 85mm f/1.8 are both around the same price. I like how the canon has a wider aperture, and it looks a little more solidly constructed. At the same time, the Tamron has macro capabilities and is *slightly* more telephoto. (I do see a lot of nice macro, and that might be fun to learn too).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,797
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I own both lenses, and have for several years. As far as a portrait lens goes, the Canon is the better lens--it focuses better and more accurately and repeatably on portraits or action subjects. The Tamron will not autofocus indoors in low light nearly as well as the faster aperture Canon will. The Tamron is a macro lens, and it has a long, slow focus throw in both AF and MF, for accurate and precise close-range focusing. At typical portrait distances, the Tamron suffers from the hair-trigger Infinity-to-Three-Feet-in-10-Degrees syndrome that most macro lenses suffer from.

    Most macro lenses have extremely short focusing throws from Infinity and back toward about 1 meter; this can lead to erratic, inaccurate focusing, both in AF or in Manual focusing, slow focusing, and a tendency to hunt for focus a LOT on fast-moving subjects. A tele macro like the Tamron 90 is not a good choice for action shooting, or even fast-moving kids...it's designed to focus slowly but precisely at CLOSE ranges. The 85/1.8 is a portrait and field telephoto lens, capable of shooting moving subjects in any light level. The two are very different designs and are optimized for entirely different work.

    For example, at an indoor sports event, or any sporting event, using Continuous AF: the macro lens will have an AF hit rate probably 30% below that of the Canon 85mm lens. Same for studio shooting under modeling lights--the macro lens is simply NOT optimal at beyond 3 feet in terms of focusing reliability--it simply does not work as well as a field telephoto.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would say 85mm, no question - but that 90mm actually is a 1:1 macro (didn't expect that)...

    Ignore the focal length difference. Those numbers aren't exact, and it's too small of a difference to matter anyway.

    What you have to decide is (1) Do I need a Macro lens? and (2) Do I need that extra 1⅓ stop?

    Macro, or faster lens...?

    I have the 85 - it's a good lens. Normally I wouldn't even consider the Tamron, but to my surprise it actually does go all the way to 1:1. I know nothing about it's build quality though...

    Tough call. I don't think I can say without having handled the Tamron...
     
  4. TiCoyote

    TiCoyote TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the info. That's pretty much what I was hoping for. The Canon is an attractive little lens.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The Tamron 90mm has a reputation as an excellent macro lens.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
canon 85 1.8 vs tamron 90 2.8
,
canon 85mm 1.8 vs tamron 90mm 2.8
,
canon 85mm vs tamron 90mm
,
tamron 85 mm
,

tamron 85mm

,
tamron 90 2.8 vs canon 85 1.8
,
tamron 90 mm vs. canon 85mm
,
tamron 90 vs canon 85
,
tamron 90mm or canon 85mm
,
tamron 90mm vs canon 85mm