Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 (model 46A) Review

11/11/2016 - 23:53
Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 (model 46A) Review

Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Adaptall is a manual zoom lens for 35mm cameras. Has Adaptall-2 mount, which allows you to mount it on any system.

Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 model 46A is the third and final version 3x zoom lenses in this range and with such aperture. First, was released Tamron 80-210mm 1:3.8-4 model 03A, then a bit modified it and released Tamron 80-210mm 1:3.8-4 model 103A, and finally released the Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 model 46A.

This model is considered the best of the three versions on the optical performance but simultaneously has simple mechanical constructive parts instead of metal were replaced with plastic but despite this a good quality assembly.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4

Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Adaptall-2 adapter

The lens produces from 1986 through 1988. During these two years, they produced a lot, and now they can often be found on sale at a reasonable price.


Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 model 46A Specs

Focal length: 70-210 мм
Aperture range: f/ 3.8-4 — f/ 22
Weight (gr): 636
Length (mm): 150 мм
Filter Ø (mm.): 58 мм
Aperture blades: 9 штук
Min. Focus distance (m.): 0,9 м


 Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Handling and Mechanics

The lens has a good combination of size, weight for this focal length. It is convenient to shoot on DSLR cameras.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 on Nikon D80
View on Nikon D80

Lens has a length of 150mm and a diameter of 60mm. It is assembled in a metal housing. In the middle is located 60mm wide rubberized plastic ring. This is a push&pull system, straightforward and convenient for focusing and zooming without taking your hands from the ring, and the length of the lens does not change.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 zoom ring
View at 70mm

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4
View at 210mm

The focusing ring rotated by 90 degrees. The front lens rotating. While zooming or focusing, the rear element is not moving; it's a nice moment, as it does not pull dust into the camera.

On the barrel, there are tags of focal lengths and the depth of field scale. Closer to the bayonet placed preset aperture ring.

I set the lens on the Nikon D80 camera via the native Adaptall2-Nikon adapter. Because Nikon did not change its type, the bayonet mount through the adapter works automatically preset aperture.


Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Example Photos

All examples are taken on Nikon D3100. Light exposure correction. It took most shots on apertures 3.8-5.6.


Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Sharpness

In the range of 70-135mm on the wide-open aperture, the lens is a good sharp, and further, to 210mm is a slight drop in sharpness, the picture is a little soft but tolerable.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos kid

210mm f/ 4

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos woman
210mm f/ 4

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos kid playing
70mm f/3.8

At aperture f/5.6 lens shows good sharpness at all focal lengths.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos family portrait
70mm f/ 3.8

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos baby
210mm f/ 4


Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Character and Bokeh

The lens has a nice character.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos girl portrait
210mm f/ 4

Boke is pleasant, especially at the long end.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos boy portrait
135mm f/ 4

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos child ontdoor
210mm f/ 4

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos child in forest
210mm f/ 5.6

9 aperture blades allow you to give a pleasant blur even diaphragm is covered.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos child on a car
210mm f/ 8

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos bokeh 70mm
70mm f/ 3.8

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos bokeh 210mm
210mm f/ 4


Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Contrast and Color Rendition

In general, the lens has good contrast, but when used in the backlight, the contrast decreases. I recommend using a good deep hood. It partially solves this problem.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos father and daughter
210mm f/ 4 an example against the window

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos girl playing
135mm f/ 4

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos child
100mm f/ 4


Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 Macro Сapabilities

Due to its small MFD, the lens shows good close-up parameters. The maximum reproduction ratio, which can be at a minimum achieved at MFD, is 1:2.9.

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos closeup flower
210mm f/8

Tamron 70-210mm f/3.8-4 exaple photos parrot
210mm f/4 at MFD

It's not the real macro, but it is a convenient scale for most close-up subjects.



Tamron 70-210mm 1:3.8-4 is a good zoom lens in its class. It has a quality above average. It is inexpensive, and this attracts.

I used the lens for about half a year, and I liked it for its size and handling, but then I changed it to the Tamron SP 70-210 mm 1:3.5 Adaptall-2 (model 19AH), which in my opinion, has the best sharpness on aperture and greater fastness.

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