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Tamron Adaptall SP 28-80 f3.5- f4.2 on Sony A6500

I'm continuing to search for a suitable walk around zoom for use with the Sony a6500, having tried and rejected both the Zeiss 16-70 and the Sony 28-70.  It occurred to me that I had some old film era zooms lurking in the cupboard, and the most promising of the collection appeared to be the Tamron SP 28-80.

If you are not familiar with Tamron Adaptall lenses, they were supplied with a range of adapters to suit the most popular makes of film camera. I possess a small collection of the these removable mounts, including M42, Pentax K, Olympus and Canon FD.

The first mount I tried was the M42, it was nice and secure, but, in use, I quickly realised that I was unable to focus at a focal length of 28 mm - circa 30 mm and beyond were fine. Next came the Pentax, and that was better, but not perfect. Finally the Olympus, and that was much better, but the closest I can focus at 28 mm is about 1 m.

Here is what the lens looks like mounted on the camera, click for a bigger image.

OK it's quite a lump and it weighs with adapter 612g, but to put that into perspective, my Canon 24-105 weighs 719g , and I would need to add an adapter before using it.

The results, first the standard brick wall test, taken in gloomy conditions - we had some watery snow a bit later! Camera on tripod, IBIS off, 2 sec delay.

35mm f8


Top left corner

Photo taken in the centre of Newcastle, hand held, IBIS on. Don't recall the focal length

Overall view f8


Bottom left corner

The corners are very good, far better than with the modern purpose designed zooms that I tried. 

I did notice a bit of CA on one of the raw files in camera (not used here), but I have CA removal permanently activated in LR and the resulting images don't show it.  Further there was noticeable distortion at 28 mm, but then the modern kit isn't free from that either.

The overall images lack a bit of sparkle, but then they were taken in grim conditions. I need to do further testing before coming to a definite conclusion.

The sun was shining this morning so I popped out to take another couple of photos, using the Tamron zoom and a Pentax 28 mm f2.8 M prime, both at f8. Here are actual pixel crops from the top left corner of the resulting photos.

Tamron 28-80 f8

Pentax 28 f8

Both show good detail but the Pentax provides a more contrasty image. 

I'm not going to be substituting the Tamron for my collection of primes, but, for those occasions where I don't want to cart them around, it will do a job.

Update 22-3-19 - I've tried this lens out and about and have liked what I have seen, it's possibly better than my first impressions suggested. 


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Using an enlarger lens and a Sony a6500 to copy negatives

This is very much a work in progress. I've assembled a collection of components and examined the feasibility, but not done any proper testing. Hopefully you will find it interesting.

I have a large collection of negatives and transparencies dating back to the early 1960s, and I have scanned quite a number of them using an Epson 4990 Photo flatbed scanner. The results are OK, particularly for 120 film, but not so great for 35 mm. Sadly the film related section of the scanner failed recently, possibly due to overwork or maybe just old age, so I was interested in finding an alternative.

If you have a good macro lens read no further, but if, like me, you don't possess a macro lens, then what is the next best thing? Well possibly an old enlarger lens. They were designed to provide the best possible resolution over a flat surface ( the negative) and project onto another flat surface (photo paper), both at close quarters, so, theoretically, they should be well suited to scanning.


Minolta Rokkor Enlarger lens on Sony a6500

I've been experimenting with my old enlarger lenses as a means of scanning old negatives and slides, but, out of curiosity, decided to see if they could be used as prime lenses for distance work on the Sony a6500.

The lens in question is a Minolta Rokkor 75 mm f4.5.

In order to do this you need to buy a focusing helicoid as enlarger lenses relied upon a bellows or helicoid within the enlarger to focus the negatives. You also need an M39 to M42 adapter as enlarger lenses came with the old Leica thread that is, nowadays, non standard. Finally an M42 to Sony E fit adapter completes the kit.

Enough of the cackle, how does it do? Very well actually, here's a view from the rear of our house and an actual pixels crop from the extreme left of the frame. Click for larger images.

The image is sharp to the edge of the frame with no sign of any CA - possibly helped by the fact that I have CA removal permanently engaged in Lightroom!
It's an unfair comparison I know, this inappropriate…