Tamron 90mm F/2.8 DI model 272E: REALLY confused! Autofocus ?

ElberethElbereth Posts: 10Member
edited October 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Hey guys!

I just got a 90mm Tamron F/2.8 DI model 272E used on Ebay and it arrived today. I noticed immediately nothing happens when it is set to the AF position (ie no autofocus..don't hear the motor..nothing). I was under the assumption this model is supposed to have a built in motor that auto-focuses with my camera body (D5300)..am I wrong??

I know there was an older 90mm Tamron(172E) with no built in motor but the only model listed with the model 272E is: http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-AF-90mm-2-8-Di/dp/B00021EE4U/ref=sr_1_1?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1444263776&sr=1-1&keywords=tamron+90mm+nikon or on Tamron's site: http://www.tamron-usa.com/lenses/prod/90mm.php#ad-image-0

So DOES this lens work with entry level dslr's with no internal motor or not?

The more I read about this particular model of lens, the more confused I am about whether the one I bought should auto-focus with my body or not! I just want to know if the lens I purchased is defective OR just not auto-focusing with my camera body (D5300).

Some forum posts have said that Tamron released this model lens but then retrofitted it AFTER the release to have a built in motor? What?! Is this even common practice?

One forum post: "the BIM has been retrofitted to the 272E after it was released. That is true of most of Tamron's lenses. The problem is that there are older 272E lenses without the BIM and newer ones with the BIM. If you are buying new, you are going to get a lens with the BIM. But if you are buying used, you can find 272Es with a BIM and 272Es without one. That was what I was trying to make clear. Compounding the problem, the model numbers are often inaccurately posted. "

Another: "You'll have to look on both the lens and the box. The Model 272En-II is the model I have, and it does have a built-in motor, not a screw drive. Perhaps this is an update, and you may be correct. My lens has the stamp 272E as the model number.

Then, looking at the lens mount, you may see an indented screw at the 5:00 position on the bottom-right side, while looking at the mount with the lens oriented up as though on the camera. If there's a screw there (different from other screws on the back of the mount), then you have a screw-drive lens, which indeed won't autofocus on your camera."


Mine does indeed seem to have a screw at the 5 o'clock position so does that mean it will not focus with the d5300?

I also cannot seem to find whether the BIM(built-in-motor) models are labeled differently than the non BIM models?? So if I were to return this lens and get another, how do I ensure auto-focus work with my camera body? I mean physically labelled differently on the body. (I know the newer ones are supposed to be model 272EN-II but is that actually printed somewhere on the lens itself? Getting conflicting info)

I DO plan to use this lens mainly for macro photography, but if I can buy a used lens for a similar price tag that also auto-focuses with my body, it just makes more sense to go that route right? I heard some buyers find the screw-drive lenses preferrable as the AF is faster than with BIM, is that true? I do eventually plan to upgrade to an FX format body so buying only FX format lenses that are well received.

Can somebody help me out on this one? Anyone own this lens with a dx body and have one that has working AF? If so, what is the model printed on your lens or on the box?

Posting pictures of the lens and box to show you what I have on hand!
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Post edited by Elbereth on

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,203Moderator
    edited October 2015
    It looks to me like yours is for the D90 and D7xxx range of bodies with the built-in motor as it has the screw, and it says on the box 'for AF-D'. However, you seem to have researched and got all of the information you need to come to that conclusion yourself, and as I don't have any more knowledge of that lens, I'll move on to the second question.

    If you are seriously into close-up and macro, don't 'upgrade' to FX as you have an even smaller depth of field with the larger sensor. I am into macro and nightscape photography and so I have both as FX is better in very low light but I NEVER use FX for macro.

    Lenses: You haven't given your particular macro interest or indeed your budget for a lens so I will tell you what I recommend: the 200 f4 is good for walking around shooting with available light and you frighten less subjects away as it has a very large working distance. The 105VR is the halfway house compromise as it has a working distance that allows flash, but it is harder to get good lighting using flash and that lens without some very expensive Nikon accessories. The 60mm 2.8 is best for flash if you can or don't mind getting very close to your subjects (some fieldcraft (practice) is necessary with this lens). Those are all FX lenses, but I only use them on my DX body. If you shoot table-top, then you will do well to get the DX 40mm macro which is the cheapest too. Those lenses are listed in descending price order. My favourite is the 60mm G (the 60mm D gives you the same problem you have with the Tamron).

    All of that is based on my personal experience, stand by to hear ten different recommendations from other members!

    I have only listed Nikon lenses because I have found the focus to be fastest and most reliable using NIkon lenses.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited October 2015
    Notice for Nikon AF-D on the box. Isn't going to autofocus for you on your D5300. Needs to be AF-S.

    Looks like there are two models. I hadn't paid attention much. The 272EN has no internal motor and will only focus with bodies that have the screw drive motor built in...D7X00 and higher. The A272NII has the internal motor and will work. If the ebay description listed it as the A272NII lens I would contact the seller for a refund/return, or filing a claim if it comes to that.

    Here is the mount on the one that will autofocus...http://static.bhphoto.com/images/multiple_images/images500x500/1240501561000_IMG_88618.jpg
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • ElberethElbereth Posts: 10Member
    Thank you Spraynpray and tcole1983. The seller did not misrepresent the lens, I just did not have all the information. I thought it was odd the box said Af-d but as I had only seen one model of this lens advertised everywhere, I thought maybe this was just a weird Tamron labeling thing. Live and learn. As a first time buyer of Tamron lenses, this was a learning curve. I was not aware of Tamron's unique manufacturing process and I have to admit it is a bit frustrating. There is no way a new-to-Tamron buyer would be aware of this so it's not a leap to assume all lenses of a particular model should be identical in specs. Is this common beyond Tamron, Just so I future fool proof myself here!

    The lens seems immaculate otherwise but I plan to take it to a shop and test it with a body with a screw drive motor just to confirm the af is functional. But since I bought it for macro it probably would not hurt to keep it. I doubt I have grounds to file a return anyway.

    Spraynpray: Thank you for all the wonderful insight! You guys here rock. I think you actually answered my last question about a malfunctioning VR in a 70-300mm I bought secondhand also!

    I did not even think about the depth of field issue when moving to FX. Thank you for enlightening me! I looked at a variety of macro lenses and decided for entry level macro photography, I'd buy a cheaper lens that was well reviewed. Cheap, as far as I've read, does not always mean sub-par, at least when it comes to optics. I also own a Rokinon 14mm for astrophotography and I love that lens and it cost a fraction of what Nikon/Canon lenses go for and yet this lens has smashing optics.

    I read reviews for a plethora of macro lenses in a variety of price ranges and the Tamron 90mm di was included on nearly all the lists as a solid macro lens (also recommended by professional shooters-- again as far as I could find). The price tag for comparable big hitter brand lenses like Nikon/Canon was often double while the performance seemed of the Tamron stayed competitive or even superior in some areas in tests of lenses. I also picked up the lens for about a third of the original cost when Nikkors unfortunately still went for twice for a used one which was out of my current budget for my "hobby" macro.

    I was originally not planning to buy a Tamron. I've read mixed reviews on many of the lenses in their lineup that I considered and though it's an unfair assessment, but the only Tamron lens I took for a spin, I was just not feeling (and the super slow af did not help). Also most of my lenses are Nikon and I really do like the build quality and performance of my Nikon babies...with the exception of my Rokinon thought I'd stick with them. But man the price tag (not saying it's not worth the money but it is prohibitive!)
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    It took me a bit of research to see there were two models. Looks like it was updated with no real change in the naming convention. The lens has gotten great reviews though and looks like it is in like new condition.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • ElberethElbereth Posts: 10Member
    It took me a bit of research to see there were two models. Looks like it was updated with no real change in the naming convention. The lens has gotten great reviews though and looks like it is in like new condition.
    It's a really daffy way of marketing lenses that makes buying them secondhand a chore. I honestly didn't even know to check for something like this before buying and forum searches after the fact show that I'm not the only one that was frustrated with this Tamron practice.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,203Moderator
    So what are the subjects you have in mind for macro Elbereth?
    Always learning.
  • ElberethElbereth Posts: 10Member
    Insects, miniatures, textures for use in art. I'm not planning for pro, mainly play and learn my way around macro C:. Thank you for the lens recommends, it's always good to know what other folks have used and liked/didn't like for the particular applications.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    When shooting macro, I rarely use AF. Almost always, macro or close-up, I use live view to set up focus or at least move the camera in and out to focus, like in live insects....
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,203Moderator
    OK, so insects and table-top. I had the old 60mm 'D' lens which was a slow donkey for AF but have now swapped it for the 'G' which is super for AF. I do use AF for insects unless shooting several frames for a stack when I switch to manual and 'sway' focus. Table-top is always manual focus for me because depth of field is so important so I need to be sure where the focal plane is.

    If you have a large room for your table-top, the 60mm maybe your best bet but if you have a compact space, the 40mm would be better for table top and has a very reasonable price tag. :-)
    Always learning.
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