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Tamron Adaptamatic 70-220 f/4 - old monster zoom
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:47 am    Post subject: Tamron Adaptamatic 70-220 f/4 - old monster zoom Reply with quote

This is a superbly-made lens -



Its evident that with this line, in the late 1960's, Tamron tried to make its product line fit its desired image as a high-quality manufacturer. The fit and finish are just lovely, second to none among even the professional equipment of the day. The Adaptamatics are probably the best-made Tamrons.

I am collecting the Adaptamatics for this reason, and also because they tend to be quite cheap. People are scared off by the mount I suppose. This one came with the Minolta mount, which is one of the more complex of these. It really isn't a problem swapping it for an M42, which is much simpler.

This particular lens is the little brother of the mighty 80-250/3.8 -

http://forum.mflenses.com/tamron-80-250-3-8-adapt-a-matic-t9587,highlight,adaptamatic.html

This model, along with the 80-250, is one of the most common Adaptamatics, its very easy to find on Ebay. Both of these are actually older designs from the early-mid 1960's, when both were introduced in fixed mounts and also sold by other vendors. When they were put in the Adaptamatic line they were already rather old-fashioned.

This one is only a little smaller and not much lighter than the 80-250. It is absurdly huge and heavy for its specification by todays standards. It has a tripod mount, which is a good comment on the size of this, you won't find tripod mounts on similar lenses in later days.

That said, it is a perfectly nice lens to use, I have no problem with the ergonomics, and (this is just me probably) its not really a problem carrying this for a few miles. On the whole though, I would rather be carrying the Kiron/Vivitar 85-205/3.8 .

As for performace - that is at best adequate. It is a better lens than its big brother, the 80-250. Its minimum focus is reasonable at 7 feet/2m, it is a constant-aperture and it retains focus reasonably well when zooming. There is a strong tendency to red fringing and it isn't quite sharp enough for me at f/4. That said, it does a good job stopped down a bit - which raises the question about why one would want to carry such a monster, as there are so many other smaller zooms in this class with a bit smaller aperture.

Most of these at f/4 - It has been mostly foggy or overcast these days -













The bird - a rather sleepy duck, in this case -



crop -



PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another masterly demonstration. Many Thanks.

Does the Tibouchina (purple flower) grow outdoors ?


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sichko,

Yes, the Tibouchina (never knew what they were, thanks !) are a quite common garden flower here, you see them all over.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent photos (as always)!

Wheres your friend the seagull? On vacation? Very Happy


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great results Luis!


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luis, your images are always very fine. I love the color and the clarity of the first image.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pictures!
I actually bought the same lens on ebay after seen them and reading this thread. I will finally get the lens in May, but already looking forward to that moment!


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

I have one of these and agree with Luis on basically all points. In case someone wants one of these, I just saw it for about $60 BIN OBO on eBay, USA, Vermont:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Minolta-Auto-Tamron-70-220-mm-1-4-Great-Vintage-Zoom-Lens-Made-in-Japan-/160849773321?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item257364c309

I have no affiliation with the seller.

Cheers!


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's way overpriced for this. I would look for $10-20. They can be useful for the mount if you have a more desirable Adaptamatic lens without a usable mount.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy mohter of sharp zooms! Nice one! Especially for the price.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not actually sharp. Its only OK at f/4. There are much better zooms in this range.
Collectors item mostly.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:

As for performace - that is at best adequate. It is a better lens than its big brother, the 80-250. Its minimum focus is reasonable at 7 feet/2m, it is a constant-aperture and it retains focus reasonably well when zooming. There is a strong tendency to red fringing and it isn't quite sharp enough for me at f/4. That said, it does a good job stopped down a bit - which raises the question about why one would want to carry such a monster, as there are so many other smaller zooms in this class with a bit smaller aperture.


luisalegria wrote:
Its not actually sharp. Its only OK at f/4. There are much better zooms in this range.
Collectors item mostly.


Well said, indeed.
I recently got a mint looking sample of the Auto Tamron Zoom 1:4 f=70-220mm. The lens is very well made, but it's performance may have contributed to the not-so-good reputation of both Tamron and zooms:






Stephan


PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good test.

Corner quality wide open is a good way to distinguish lens quality overall.

For a zoom like this though, there is a question of how much you need corner quality. There are good uses for long focal lengths in landscape photography, but I find that I use these mainly for objects.

Anyway, this old Tamron is best considered a relic.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice job, Luis, of presenting this classic lens, in words & pictures--I enjoyed! Best, jt


PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For close up work it seems quite good. Rendering reminds me of my 200mm 3.5 Adapt-A-matic. I believe the adapt-all lenses were the first ones Tamron designed with the aid of a computer.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:


Well said, indeed.
I recently got a mint looking sample of the Auto Tamron Zoom 1:4 f=70-220mm. The lens is very well made, but it's performance may have contributed to the not-so-good reputation of both Tamron and zooms:

Stephan


Thanks Stephan for the comparison. Do you happen to own any Vivitar series 1 70-210mm and compare with Zeiss 70-210?


PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivaldibow wrote:
stevemark wrote:


Well said, indeed.
I recently got a mint looking sample of the Auto Tamron Zoom 1:4 f=70-220mm. The lens is very well made, but it's performance may have contributed to the not-so-good reputation of both Tamron and zooms:

Stephan


Thanks Stephan for the comparison. Do you happen to own any Vivitar series 1 70-210mm and compare with Zeiss 70-210?


I think somewhere in the attic there might be a Series 1 70-210 ... however, there are quite few "Vivitar Series 70-210" lenses from different manufacturers - and even the classical first f3.5 Version, manufactured by Kino, appears to come in different flavours. The second f3.5 version was made by Tokina. The third version, the Komine f2.8-4, may be best, according to some web sources, but I have never tested the Vivitars carefully. The last version by Cosina is a f2.8-4, too.

I'll check and see whether there's one in my inventory ...

Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While i was looking for the Vivitar Series 1 (Kino) 3.5/70-210mm, i found also a Tamron SP 3.5-4/70-210mm (52A), another "revolutionary" tele zoom construction (because of its 1:2 macro).



1) Canon nFD 4/80-200mm L
2) Vivitar Series 1 3.5/70-210mm (first version, Kino made, SN starting with 22)
3) Tamron SP 3.5-4/70-210mm (model 52A)
4) Zeiss Varion Sonnar CY 3.5/70-210mm

I have compared them, for time being, at their long end (f=200mm or f=210mm).
100% crops from the extreme corner of the 24MP full frame JPG from the Sony A7II.

Click on the image below and then enlarge it to full size to see the 100% image!!



Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like both Zeiss and Tamron could've just skipped the whole aperture thing.
I wonder, why some of the longer lenses are so unresponsive to the diaphragm setting?


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
While i was looking for the Vivitar Series 1 (Kino) 3.5/70-210mm, i found also a Tamron SP 3.5-4/70-210mm (52A), another "revolutionary" tele zoom construction (because of its 1:2 macro).

1) Canon nFD 4/80-200mm L
2) Vivitar Series 1 3.5/70-210mm (first version, Kino made, SN starting with 22)
3) Tamron SP 3.5-4/70-210mm (model 52A)
4) Zeiss Varion Sonnar CY 3.5/70-210mm

I have compared them, for time being, at their long end (f=200mm or f=210mm).
100% crops from the extreme corner of the 24MP full frame JPG from the Sony A7II.

Stephan


Thank you very much for the comparison shots. Kiron made Vivitar lags behind in this test. As it is said Tokina/Komine made Vivitars are better, the gap could be smaller.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all have chromatic abberiation


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidaho wrote:
Looks like both Zeiss and Tamron could've just skipped the whole aperture thing.

Depth-of-field and vignetting are clearly changing when stopping down the Zeiss Wink
And at other focal lengths, the difference is more pronounced ...

aidaho wrote:

I wonder, why some of the longer lenses are so unresponsive to the diaphragm setting?

Me too ... but you have given us some valuable hints before. Obviously the position of the aperture has a strong influence, and mechanical reasons may be a severe obstacle for the optimal position.

S


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldMark wrote:
all have chromatic abberiation

Yes, but the Canon 80-200 L with its fluorite lens clearly has fewest lateral and longitudinal CAs!


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

aidaho wrote:

I wonder, why some of the longer lenses are so unresponsive to the diaphragm setting?

Me too ... but you have given us some valuable hints before. Obviously the position of the aperture has a strong influence, and mechanical reasons may be a severe obstacle for the optimal position.

S

Yeah, but that was a specific guess for a specific IF lens (first of it's kind at that).
As I see more and more test results from you, I'm hesitant to buy my own argument.

Not just IF lenses appear sluggish to respond to aperture, and not just one manufacturer is guilty.

If vignetting does respond to stopping down, but CAs and resolution do not, it means the aperture is somewhere around the correct position, but excluding the outer portions of glass does not reduce optical errors.

As to why is it so, the simplest speculation would be: these lenses were very well (as in: uniformly) made, at the limits of what was possible.
As there wasn't that much difference between the outer and inner glass surfaces, not much could be improved by stopping down.