Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 Macro 72BThe Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm f2.8 Macro (72B) was one of the last Adaptall-2 lenses and a substantial update to the legendary SP 90mm f2.5 (52B & 52BB). The lens is slightly slower than its predecessor, but natively focuses down to 1:1, rather than requiring an extension tube.

Technical Details

Launch Year 1996
Discontinued 2000
List Price when new ¥65,000
Focal Length 90mm
Aperture Range f2.8-32
Aperture Blades 9
Angle of view 27°
Optical Construction (Groups / Elements) 9 / 10
Minimum Focus 11.4″ (0.29m)
Maximum Macro Magnification ratio 1:1
Filter Size 55mm
Diameter 2.7″ (68.2mm)
Length 4″ (101.5mm)
Weight 426g


Bayonet fit lens hood included with lens, model C9FH.

Lens Gallery

Marketing Documents

The Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm f2.8 Macro (72B) was marketed not just as a macro lens, but also a fast portrait lens suited to working at all focusing distances. Tamron used the ‘legendary’ reputation of the SP 90mm f2.5 (52B & 52BB) to market the 72B as an improvement of that long-lasting lens.

Background and Availability

The Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm f2.8 Macro (72B) was one of the last Adaptall-2 lenses, and features the modern build and styling that most modern Tamron users would recognise. The lens is made pedominently of high-quality plastic and feels lighter than the all-metal build associated with earlier Adaptall lenses. It also features the gold stripe that is now associated with the Tamron SP line. The lens is highly regarded and is seen as an improvement over the older 52B/B, with additional aperture blades providing better bokeh and increased contrast thanks to an improved optical design.

This lens is quite rare and not much information is available online relating to it specifically. When launched Tamron was making autofocus versions of this lens which are much more commonly available. Expect to pay around £120-170 for this lens, because it is rare. The lens hood should be included, but if not, it is very commonly and cheaply available. The front element is already extremely recessed and the lens can be used without a hood most of the time.

Performance and handling

The Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm f2.8 Macro (72B) feels very different in the hand compared to the older f2.5 designs. The focus ring (as it goes to 1:1, rather than 1:2) rotates further and it doesn’t yet feel as ‘snappy’ in use as the older lens. The build quality feels superb, despite it being plastic and therefore fairly lightweight – given the increase in size over the older design. The front element is recessed almost – you would feel – beyond excess, even before you add the deep hood (which reverses and make the lens quite compact to carry around.

Initial thoughts are that the lens is sharp, offers good contrast and is a worthy upgrade or alternative to the older f2.5 design – albeit fractionally slower and harder to find. The fact that this goes to 1:1 natively is a huge advantage for most users, offering true macro magnification.

Image Gallery

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