Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2

Olympus E-P5, Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 (27A)

'MF Zoom Lens Review - A quick look at the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm f/3.5-4.2 (27A) lens with images captured on the Olympus Pen E-P5'


Introduction and Overview

Compared to the compact and lightweight Tamron Adaptall-2 70-210mm F4~5.6 (58A/158A), the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 (27A) is the complete opposite. The lens is a solid 480 grams in weight, takes 67mm filters, and with a body diameter of 70mm, its girth is truly a handful in my smallish hands.

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2
With such bulk and body weight, mounting it on to the much lighter Olympus Pen E-P5 has to be really a considered consideration.

That was the decision I made, just for the duration of this review alone, promised myself to be utmost careful and gentle when handling the camera and lens combo.

The lens, however, with the barrel made of high impact resistant steel with rubber grips, and otherwise of glass, looks and fell solid as a tank, and has a very well designed two touch focusing and zooming mechanism.

TAMRON SP 28-80mm 1:3.5-4.2 CF MACRO 75°-30° BBAR MC Φ67 Adaptall2

Design and Build

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2
While Tamron's SP series lenses are reputedly to be of an above average performer even when compared to OEM lenses of the same era, the performance of individual lenses vary and they may not end up sharing the same limelight as the others.

The SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, for example, was a replacement to the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 35-80mm f2.8-3.8 (01A), which came with the accolade of being the best zoom lens ever manufactured within its class and price point.

With the additional 7mm at the front end, the SP 28-80mm is wider, heavier, larger, and do look a short of the SP 35-80 in terms of design, the macro ratio (1:2.5 to 1:3.4), and reportedly, wide open performance.

The lens has an optical construction of 9-elements in 8-groups, a macro magnification ratio of 1:3.4, and an aperture range of F3.5~4.2 — 32, AE. The lens was sold alongside the Adaptall-2 SP 35-80mm f2.8-3.8 (01A) for several overlapping years.


On the Olympus Pen E-P5

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 28mm
@ 28mm
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 35mm
@ 35mm
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 40mm
@ 40mm
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 50mm
@ 50mm
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 60mm
@ 60mm
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 70mm
@ 70mm
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 @ 80mm
@ 80mm
By itself, the SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 (27A), with the Adaptall-2 for Olympus, is 90mm long compacted.

On the Olympus Pen E-P5, with the added length of the Olympus OM Adapter MF-2, the total extension from the body is just a millimeter shy of 120mm.

Focus distances are clearly rendered in both meters and feet, with the macro range for the 80mm mark are rendered in orange, the rest are white, and lime green for the 28mm mark. At 28mm, the focal distance is limited to the minimum focusing distance (0.9 meters) to infinity.

The front element turns with focus and takes 67mm filters which may cost you a bit more to acquire.

Focal length equivalent on the 2x crop-sensor body is 56-160mm, a very versatile medium telephoto range which is neither too wide or too zoomy. The focal length should be just right for many subjects, including portraits, weddings, sports, and wildlife, to name a few.

Add that to the decent macro range at 80mm zoom position and you might have a lens worth looking into as a keeper.

On my unit, despite the age of the lens, both of the zoom and focus rings are still glide-smooth, and it does take much effort to manage both with the lens, and not the camera body, resting in the palm of my hand.

The aperture adjustment ring is equally easy to handle and produces very satisfying and smooth clicks when adjusted.

Though slightly on the heavy side, the lens feels very solid, and stable when used handheld and, as can be seen with the zoom range series shown here, I do not see any problems with it being carried around without the need for tripod support.

With a few adverse comments that images are rather soft at wide apertures, these images were taken at F8. Shutter speed on Program mode was from 1/60 to 1/250 seconds.

As normal, all my shots are in *.orf (Olympus Raw Files) RAW format, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) with edits in Auto Tone Correction, Brightness & Contrast, Tone Curve, slight variations in Exposure Compensation, and Unsharp Mask. Final print sharpening was done on Goole NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

It goes without saying that with the current advances in digital photo-finishing technology, even the worst of shots can always be made to look better.


Close-Ups

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 01
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 02

Not truly macros, but just a couple of close-ups to accentuate the versatility of the lens.


Early Images

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 03
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 04
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 05
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 06
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 07
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 08

I had the chance to take the lens down to the lakeside RC Powerboat derby on a dull overcast day and I must say that I came back pleased with these heavily cropped images.

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 09
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2, Image sample 10

Another walk to the park and a couple of shots from both ends of the zoom makes it looks more likely that the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 28-80mm F3.5-4.2 may be a keeper.

Note: These images were shot in *ORF RAW, edited on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) and print sharpened on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.


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