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Tamron 70-200 f2.8 Macro


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#21 james

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:50 PM

Hi Bruce,

Well - It is not an acceptable lens when used with the B+W +2 diopter. I still want to try it w/ a 77mm 500D and a +1 B+W and see how it does. If it's not good, then it's going back and I'll try the Sigma.

It's a shame really because it's a really sharp and well made lens for topsides use.

Cheers
James
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#22 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 07:27 AM

Bruce,

Why do you want a digital format lens? I think the trend has been to make full-frame lenses for professional use on the long end. For long lenses (with narrow FOV) there isn't much to be gained in making them for cropped sensors. Only the superzooms (18-200mm) have had to resort to DX projection. I don't think that any of the superzooms will be suitable for UW use anyway. I use the 18-200mm most of the time topside however.

I still think that looking for a used 70-180mm macro would be your best shot. That was a great lens--particularly if you can get a focus port for it. I wonder how auto-focusing would be on a D3 with its faster motors and wider image circle?

Edited by UWphotoNewbie, 21 April 2008 - 07:28 AM.

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#23 james

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:43 AM

Guys, I have some good news. I am able to use the zoom and focus in my Seacam housing by using the systemport for focus and a 100mm macro lens focus gear for zoom. I had to put some small shims under the focus gear to get it tight but it works.

The gear in the systemport basically bites right onto the focus ring on the Tamron lens. I slid the gear all the way out by loosening the set screw and sliding it out - however, the gear still pushes the lens slightly off center in the port. I think if I file the gear teeth down a bit, it won't be so bad - but I'm not sure if I even need to.

I can also just take that gear off to use the lens in autofocus w/ my normal macro port which seems to work as well - but I might want to add a lens support under the end of the lens (maybe a small piece of sponge) because it's pretty long and heavy.

I've got a 500D in hand to try, so will report back if this works better as a diopter.

Cheers
James
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#24 bruceterrill

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 04:26 PM

Hi James,

That's very good news about the tidy fit in the housing, BUT,

I would love to see some success with the diopters... :D

Don't dilly-dally, the world awaits with baited breath for the results of your experiments... :)
Well at least I'm hanging out for a good result...

Bruce...

#25 james

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 04:55 PM

OK - the performance is GREATLY enhanced when used with the 500D (+2) diopter from Canon.

Here are the samples:

Posted Image
70mm


Posted Image
200mm


With the lens set at close focus and using the 500D, you get about 6" working distance from the front of the lens - just about perfect! AF seemed to work pretty well.

You can read the ruler and see that the lens does 1:1.25 to 1:3.4 magnification. There is very little CA. This looks great - I'm taking it on my next trip!

Cheers
James
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#26 bruceterrill

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:44 PM

Woohoo...James!

I'm really glad that you were able to work it out and get the set-up that you were looking for...
A few nice pics from the Phillippines and then it's humble pie for a few of the posters/detractors... :)

You mention "close focus" in your post and I'm assuming that you're meaning the lens is at 200mm, am I correct?
Do you have an approximate working distance for the lens when set at the 70mm end of things??
Time for me to leave you alone, my friend, and start saving..hehehe

Respect...
Bruce

#27 herbko

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:04 PM

With the lens set at close focus and using the 500D, you get about 6" working distance from the front of the lens - just about perfect! AF seemed to work pretty well.

James


I just checked the 100mm macro and got 7" working distance for the same magnification. Looks like the internal focus and the diopter shorten the lens to less than the focal length of the 100mm at this magnification.
Herb Ko http://herbko.net
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#28 james

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 05:45 AM

Bruce: Close focus means you get as close as you can until the lens won't focus anymore. It's about 6" from the lens tip with the diopter fitted - at both 70 and 200mm.

Herb: very interesting. So it sounds like this lens may be varifocal like the 70-180 Nikkor Micro.

The reason I like it (after having shot the 70-180 for a while) is that it's like taking a 50mm and a 100mm on the same dive. At the same working distance (meaning you don't have to adjust your strobe position or power) you can shoot a frogfish, or a blenny.

This is not a supermacro setup - if I want to shoot that I'll use the 150mm w/ 500D

Cheers
James
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#29 craig

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:02 AM

Canon 100mm is 4.7" long so focus distance is roughly 11.7".

Tamron 70-200 is 7.6" long so focus distance is roughly 13.6".

The 500D get the magnifications in a good range but it limits far focus for some subjects. I would like to see how the lens does underwater with less internal diopter but with a MacroMate or Inon 330/equivalent added.

I find with the 70-180 and the Inon 330 that I need to get my focus in range, then zoom out, add the wet diopter, then zoom back in while framing. With a DX sensor I would rarely use the full telephoto end because of the increased power. This Tamron lens may behave similarly though with FF it will probably be easier.

For many subjects this lens may do the trick. Hope the MF/AF solution works well.
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#30 james

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:12 AM

Hi Craig,

Can you recommend an internal diopter in 77mm which would be weaker but still good quality? I have a Seacam Wet 2 that I will try w/ this lens next week - see how it goes.

The far focus still seems fine (above water) and as we know it will move out a bit underwater. I think the lens focus range will be very good.

This lens has the lame Tamron MF "shift" ring, so it's not USM. Meaning you can't use it with the * button for full time af or mf :-( I think the Sigma may be better in this regard - I need to get my hands on the Sigma to compare.

Cheers
James
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#31 craig

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:29 AM

I wish I could. Nikon's are discontinued and too small anyway. All the other +1's that I know of are single element types. I've used B+W +1's before with macro and with video but not with full frame or with a Canon system. They were OK for me.

I've never used the Seacam wet diopters, only the Woody's one of that style. The Inon, Epoque, and MacroMate are much more powerful than a Woody's. The Epoque has the smallest aperture of those so it wasn't my favorite. It's quite powerful, though.

You will find that the aperture of those diopters will interfere with the wide end of your zoom. I remember Eric telling me that he had vignetting issues with full frame and the MacroMate but I believe he uses the 100mm. My experience with DX at 70mm is the same. Once I zoomed in a bit the problem disappeared for me. Considering that your Tamron shortens at close focus, if you tried a MacroMate or Inon I'd look carefully for vignetting. I wish we had wet diopters that were bigger than 67mm. It might be that a 500D and a Seacam or Woody's works best.
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#32 james

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:35 AM

Thanks Craig.

The Seacam Wet 2 has a pretty big aperture. It's somewhere in strength between the Woody's and the Macromate.

I think the lens-tip to port gap is very important for getting good results w/ no vignetting. I have about a 5-10cm gap which may be a bit much - we'll see. When I used the macromate with 150mm Sigma+500D I had no vignetting - but it was just too darn strong.

Cheers
James

WHOOPS! I should have said 5-10MM of clearance between the lens tip and the port glass. NOT centimeters.
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#33 craig

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 08:27 AM

5-10 cm is a lot. A large gap like that will increase the power of a wet diopter possibly beyond what you want or can use. I agree, shortening that gap is important.

My 70-180 in the dedicated Subal port had a short gap. Using the Inon 330, I had vignetting from 70 to perhaps 80 or 85mm with DX. I'd suspect that's probably 125mm or so on full frame. I'd figure a Sigma 150 will do fine as will a 100 + 1.4x but a bare 100 may not. It may be close with the Tamron.

My plan with FF Nikon is 70-180 with no internal and an Inon 330 for general macro. For higher power a Sigma 150, optional 1.4x and the Inon 330. Hadn't considered adding a 500D but I could see how it would be tough in combination with the MacroMate. Perhaps I will add the 500D and leave the 330 behind for supermacro. IQ and handling would likely improve and I don't need the far focus anyway.

I shot the 150mm with the Inon 330 on DX and it was brutal.
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#34 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 08:32 AM

Can you recommend an internal diopter in 77mm which would be weaker but still good quality? I have a Seacam Wet 2 that I will try w/ this lens next week - see how it goes.


James,

Here is an excellent chart that compares almost every achromatic diopter I know of:

http://www.geocities.../achromats.html

Along with lots of other useful information.

The 500d is the only one I'm aware of that comes in a 77mm size.

Maybe you could use the Nikon 5T with a step-down ring. I found that the 52mm 4T worked just fine with a step-down ring on the 105mm (62mm filter size). But this wasn't a zoom. I'll bet it vigenettes at the wide end. Why do you want to go with a weaker diopter? The 500D is already pretty weak compared to the 6T. If its too weak I fail to see the point of adding it.

If you are after flexibility in a zoom then I think wet diopters are what you need in this case. Ay the wide end you don't really want a diopter as you are after fish portraits and bigger critters. So zoom out and remove the diopter. If you want small critters, then zoom in and add the diopter as needed. You will have trouble lighting subjects and maintaining enough working distance if you try shooting small critters with a strong diopter and a wide zoom setting.

It would be like riding your bike in the small front chainring (low gear) and the small rear sprocket (high gear)--not the ideal combination. :)

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#35 craig

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 08:51 AM

Because the Tamron isn't a macro lens, diving with no diopter would make it useless. Adding the 500D, a +2, makes the lens useful but very powerful in combination with a wet diopter. The value in using an internal diopter weaker than +2 is to enable the flexibility of using a wet diopter at all.

Keep in mind that the purpose of a zoom macro lens is flexibility. Any solution that precludes some subjects that the lens is intended for will defeat the purpose. James wants this lens to do the work of a 60mm and a 100mm at the same time. Getting reach for shy subjects is valuable as well. Because of that you want a good range of focus distances. Too strong a fixed diopter will compromise that by limiting his reach for shy subjects and restricting the size of his largest subjects on the wide end.

I think James will simply need to do some dives to determine if the internal +2 is the best choice. With the 70-180 I used to always use the Nikon +1.5 and never found it limiting.
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#36 james

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 08:13 AM

Hi Guys,

I'm back from the Phillipines and did 5 or 6 dives w/ the Tamron 70-200 + 500D. I was very happy with the lens performance - it exceeded expectations. I found that the lens worked well in AF - using the * button to activate autofocus, and slight movements of the housing for fine focus adjustment. I didn't need to use MF at all which was nice.

Working distance when using the 500D was just about perfect.

I'll post some samples as I get them processed.

Cheers
James
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#37 bruceterrill

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:38 AM

Hi Guys,

I'm back from the Phillipines and did 5 or 6 dives w/ the Tamron 70-200 + 500D. I was very happy with the lens performance - it exceeded expectations. I found that the lens worked well in AF - using the * button to activate autofocus, and slight movements of the housing for fine focus adjustment. I didn't need to use MF at all which was nice.

Working distance when using the 500D was just about perfect.

I'll post some samples as I get them processed.

Cheers
James


Hi James,

I'm sorry to be the one that has to ask, BUT
I would love to see some of the pics that you took with this lens.
I have been patient, please, please, pretty please.. :)

Bruce...

#38 bmyates

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:33 AM

When James first started this thread, I really took only passing interest in it. To be honest, I thought he was searching for an imperfect solution to a problem that we had already concluded wasn't worth solving, i.e., a zoom lens that would have inferior optics to prime lenses. Sorry James - I should have known you weren't going to all that trouble without good reason.

I (as most of you) had resigned myself to the "pick a lens and make the dive for that type of subject" approach to uw photography. However, I just returned from a 3-week trip to Indonesia, and for a week of that, I was diving Lembeh Straight with Don Silcock as my roommate and dive buddy. Don used a Nikon 70-180 and Woody's wet diopter, and frankly, I was AMAZED at the results Don he got with it! As I stated in another thread (where Don had posted shots of a rhinopeas and pygmy seahorse):

> If Canon made a comparable macro zoom lens, I'd order it the first day I got back. I must admit I've started falling into the "primes are best" camp (note the slightly upturned nose when I say that?). And I realize that if you're going for a specific target, you can pick the best (prime) lens for that situation from your camera bag. After diving with Don, however, and seeing how amazingly flexible the 70-180 is, I would almost view it as the "ideal" (realizing that word comes with flashing warning signs!) lens for a place like Lembeh where subjects tend to range between the two photo subjects Don posted. As he says, the Woody's diopter is a really important part of that flexibility (I'll be posting some impressions of my Canon 100mm with Seacam diopter after I get back, as there are some similarities). But often shooting the exact same subjects and comparing images at the end of the day, Don has left me in the dust (or more aptly, the silt) in more cases than not. That is partly a tribute to his excellent skills as a photographer, but his choice of the 70-180 + diopter certainly helped... <

Thus, while I realize that no zoom lens is truly a "Holy Grail," I am now VERY interested in the results you got with this lens, James...I might need one! ;) Oh, and I apologize for having doubted you, James! :D

Bruce Yates
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#39 james

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:33 AM

Yeah, I'll post a couple and I'm also writing an article.

Cheers
James
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#40 james

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:49 AM

All right - here are two photos taken w/ the Tamron 70-200. Both are taken at roughly the same working distance - to show the zoom range. These are uncropped.

Posted Image

70mm F13 @ 1/160th ISO 100

Posted Image

200mm F13 @ 1/160th ISO 100

Cheers
James
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