Tam­ron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro £580, $750

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

What’s good: Su­perb op­ti­cal per­for­mance and han­dling; weather-sealed; hy­brid sta­bil­i­sa­tion. What’s bad: Cur­rently it’s not such out­stand­ing value in the UK as it is in the USA. Our ver­dict: It’s the best macro lens you can buy for Nikon DX- and FX-for­mat D-SLRs.

It’s not al­ways the case that Nikon lenses are the best choice for Nikon cam­eras. The Tam­ron 90mm macro is a case in point, with su­pe­rior fea­tures to Nikon’s 105mm VR. The Tam­ron has a more ad­vanced sta­biliser, bet­ter aut­o­fo­cus per­for­mance at close range, and cap­tures close-up shots with greater sharp­ness and con­trast. Its bokeh is also creamier.

The Tam­ron 90mm un­der­cuts the Nikon 105mm for price, but it’s cur­rently bet­ter value in the USA than in the UK. In a re­ver­sal of for­tunes, the Sigma 105mm is unbeatable value in the UK, but pricey in the USA. The Sigma is rich in high-end fea­tures and de­liv­ers ex­cel­lent per­for­mance, com­ing a close sec­ond to the Tam­ron lens over­all. The Samyang and Tok­ina are in­ter­est­ing lenses with their own strengths and weak­nesses, while the Nikon 85mm is the best choice of DX-for­mat op­tic. Even so, we’d pre­fer to use the Tam­ron or Sigma lenses on DX- as well as FX-for­mat bod­ies.

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