This lens is an update of a Tamron 90mm with improved Ultrasonic Silent Drive autofocus and image stabilisation. Construction quality is improved. Maximum aperture of the 14-element lens is f2.8. Closest focusing distance is 0.3m, and there is a three-position focus range limiting switch to aid faster autofocus. The maximum magnification ratio is 1:1. Even when the lens is in autofocus mode, the manual focus can be used for fine adjustments, which is a boon in close macro photography. The new ultrasonic drive is virtually silent. A lens hood is provided in the kit. The lens is created for full-frame cameras but can be used on APS DSLRs, giving it a focal length equivalent of 135mm.
Sharpness, contrast and colour are all outstanding. The silent focusing and general look and feel of the lens are luxurious, better than previous Tamrons. Manual focus is beautifully smooth and well-damped.
The autofocus, although smooth, quiet and accurate, can be a little lethargic, gliding into focus rather than snapping. There is also some hunting for focus in low-contrast light. (Tested on a Canon 5D Mk II).
Tamron has really delivered a fine lens at an attractive price. At 90/135mm focal length (depending on sensor size), it is a good portrait lens. Out-of-focus background highlights (bokeh) are soft and luminous. Tamron describes it as ''moisture proof'', a claim we didn't test.