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Lens Reviews

Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Di LD [IF] Macro 1:1 Lens Review

Paul Fisher (Paul_Fisher)

Keywords: tamron, lenses, non_nikon, sp, 180mm

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The Tamron 180mm f/3.5 macro lens is very similar in size, weight and price to the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 macro lens. It is a little smaller than the Micro-Nikkor 200 f/4, and about half its price. The fourth lens in this comparison is the Zoom Micro-Nikkor 70-180mm, which fits between the Nikkor 200 and the Tamron in both price and weight.

Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 XR Di LD [IF] Macro 1:1 Lens


180mm f/3.5
180mm f/3.5
200mm f/4
70-180mm f/4.5-5.6
Lens construction:
Elements / groups
14/11 10/13 18/8 18/14
Min focusing distance cm 47 46 50 37
Magnification 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1.3
Filter size mm 72 72 62 62
Dimensions mm
(Diameter x Length)
84.8 x 165.7 80 x 179.5 76 x 193 75 x 167mm
Weight grams 975 945 1,190 1,010
Price AU$* $1,579 $1,760 $3,145 $2,285
Price USD USA $700 $700 $1,350 n/a
Price USD Imported - - $1,100 n/a


* The Australian price quoted for the Tamron is a suggested retail price. Other Australian prices are from Dirt Cheap Cameras; US prices are from B&H Photo & Video in New York. 
All prices quoted as of October 2003.




Making sense of Tamron's alphabet soup reveals a sophisticated piece of optical equipment: SP AF180mm f/3.5 Di LD [IF] Macro 1:1

SP The Super Performance range are Tamron's highest quality lenses.
Di  The Digitally integrated design has been specially computed to reduce chromatic aberration and colour fringing on digital sensors.
LD Low dispersion LD glass is used to further reduce aberrations, ensuring a razor sharp image with good contrast.
IF Internal focusing is achieved by moving groups of lens elements within the lens. The lens length does not change its external size during focusing and the front element does not rotate.
MACRO 1:1 A true life size 1:1 reproduction ratio is achieved without the need for extension tubes or close-up filters.  .

Wasp on rose bud


Wasp - Up close

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Originally written on November 3, 2003

Last updated on December 31, 2020

Paul Fisher Paul Fisher (Paul_Fisher)

Awarded for his multiple article contributions

Perth, Australia
Silver, 12880 posts