This will be a quick Tamron 180mm Macro review. This is truly a wonderful lens, ideal for shooting extremely small and moving subjects such as insects.
I had great fun shooting with this lens, though it is a bit on the expensive side at a street price of $700.
It has an excellent finish and a solid feel. Although it has twice the reach of the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens, this lens performs as good optically and it has better build quality.
It is just as sharp as the 90mm Macro and it has very minimum optical defects. Distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting are all under extremely well control.
I mainly used this lens to shoot insects and small critters pictures and I’m always pleased with the results. This lens will provide you with great working distance from your subject so the small creatures that you will be shooting at will not notice your presence.
This feature is excellent if you are trying to get a great, candid shot of insects and small critters.
There’s only one minor thing that can be improved on this lens: make the autofocus faster. The autofocus still uses the old mechanism. This lens does not have an autofocus on the lens body itself and still rely on the cameras screw drive motor.
To me, I always use manual focus with a Macro lens, so this is not an issue for me. However, this will be an issue for amateur user who still rely on autofocus when doing macro photography.
The Tamron 180mm is also excellent for portrait work. It gives good results, sharp with creamy bokeh. Here is a tip when shooting portraiture: you can switch to manual focus or activate the focus limiter on this lens to make the autofocus faster.
This lens can be used with both cropped sensor and full frame sensor cameras. This is a great advantage for people who have dual configuration DSLR system (cropped and full-frame).
To conclude, this is an excellent lens to handle. It gives you professional results for both macro and portrait photography. And it does so at a very affordable price compared to its Canon, Nikon or Sony lenses.
I have a feeling that Tamron will release an update for this lens soon, but they haven’t confirmed it yet. For macro shooters that want to bring their game to the next level, this lens is the deal.