The Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm f3.5-4.2 (27A) is a short wide to telephoto zoom offering macro focusing at 80mm. It was designed shortly after the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 35-80mm f2.8-3.8 (01A) due to competitors launching short zooms starting at a wider 28mm. In the end, Tamron offered both of these lenses for sale for several overlapping years.
|List Price when new||¥44,000|
|Angle of view||75-30°|
|Optical Construction (Groups / Elements)||8 / 9|
|Minimum Focus||14.2″ (0.36m)|
|Maximum Macro Magnification ratio||1:3.4|
Optional rubber lens hood, bayonet type model #47FH.
The Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm f3.5-4.2 (27A) was advertised as a ‘standard’ zoom, offering decent wide angle coverage up to 80mm which is suitable for portrait photography. Tamron claim ‘razor sharp reproduction throughout its wide range of focal lengths’. They also reference the close focus ability of the lens at 80mm, enabling maximum magnification of 1:3.4 (although this is markedly down from the SP 35-80mm which offers 1:2.5.
Background and availability
The Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm f3.5-4.2 (27A) is commonly available and fetches only very modest prices – expect to pay around £15-40 for one. It has a solid reputation for performance wtih some online users finding it very sharp across the range, whilst others compare it unfavourably with the more expensive, rarer and slightly older SP 35-80mm. The optional rubber lens hood (47FH) is also quite common and you should be able to pick one up for around £5.00 including postage. The rubber hood is not reversible and is rather cumbersome to carry around because of this.
The low price and easy availability of this lens – combined with some strong reviews – make this lens stand out as being one of the most affordable Adaptall SP lenses currently available.
Performance and handling
This was my first manual focus lens bought when I had been using my Sony NEX 5N for a few months. I became an instant fan of Adaptall lenses, and older, manual-focus beautifully built lenses in general. The zoom and focus rings are beautifully damped and smooth, and the nature of taking photos with more consideration and thought made me a complete convert to only using manual lenses from then on (apart from the Sigma 19mm f2.8).
I have always been happy with the images taken with this lens, although I’ve done no real testing to identify flaws or highlights. It feels nice with the A6000 I now use and I’ve always been suitably impressed with macro performance at 80mm to use it as a walkabout lens. The only reason this lens hasn’t had much use is the sheer number of lenses I have bought (and continue to buy) since owning it. I would be intrigued to use this focal length on a full frame camera, where I feel it would be more useful than on a crop sensor.