Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been taking some Fuji X-T1 macro pictures with a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 K mount macro lens and couple of add on extension tubes to increase the magnification. Although I’ve used the Tamron several times I’ve been considering buying the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 autofocus macro lens, which is available second hand for about £300, but I wanted to see how the Tamron performed before taking the plunge and buying one.
The main difference of course is the fact that the Tamron lens, when used on the X-T1, is a manual focus lens, and the Fuji lens would have auto focus. I’ve always considered when taking macro pictures, that auto focus is probably something which although it sounds wonderful, is actually pretty difficult to get to work because of the very shallow depth of field. If that is true and in reality you end up focusing manually anyway, you are probably better off with a lens which has a proper mechanical drive rather than ‘focus by wire’ ie the Tamron.
Well, my experiments have not really answered the question. Although I’ve found that I can focus the Tamron with the focus ring, even with the brilliant X-T1 focus peaking it is pretty difficult to be accurate and I’m not very impressed with the overall results. The pictures above are, on the whole, mostly focussed correctly, but there are many, many more which I took which are a long way off.
I used the fast continuous shutter on the X-T1, which fires at about 7 frames per second and as fast a shutter speed as I could with the aperture set to about f/11, but for every good image there were about 10 which were completely out.
So – what to do? Well, I might try hiring a copy of the Fuji lens for a day and see how the auto focus performs and to see the quality of the images which result. What I don’t want to do is find that the Fuji is no better than my current Tamron lens and be £300 poorer !