Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 DI LD IF Macro

Here's our review of the telephoto Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 DI LD IF Macro

Tamron brings us the longest focal length here, with its 180mm f/3.5-32 beast. The 985g plastic-bodied behemoth has a minimum focusing distance of 47cm for a true 1:1 reproduction, and an LD (Low Dispersion) element to decrease chromatic aberration to virtually zero. Working at longer lengths is unusual in macro photography, but it does allow you to keep a distance from your subject, get a tighter angle-of-view on the background and reduce the risk of casting a shadow. 

The telephoto Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 DI LD IF Macro

The telephoto Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 DI LD IF Macro

Tamron's 180mm macro delivers great central sharpness

The lens produces great central sharpness throughout the range, but either side of f/5.6 or f/11 there is some softness in the corners and, although not too severe, it is noticeable. The same is true for vignetting, which is definitely present at apertures wider than f/8. 

Build quality is decent and the large front element ensures the lens reacts well in all lighting conditions. The included tripod collar makes for steadier long exposures. The AF doesn’t have a limiter, but still works well. 

Pros 

Long focal length
Tripod collar
Solid construction

Cons 

Weighs almost 1kg
Vignetting
Soft corners

Specification 

  • Minimum aperture: f/32
  • Elements: 11/14
  • Filter size: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 47cm
  • DxH: 85x166mm
  • Weight: 985g
  • Find out more on the Tamron website