Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tamron Adaptall SP-200 (200f) 2x Teleconverter - Fresh from the Post!

UPDATE (04/12/14): After a long cold winter, some spring air finally arrived and I got out and did some testing. See for some results!

Fresh from the hands of the delivery man, the fabled Tamron Adaptall SP-200 (or perhaps more commonly known as the 200F) 2x Teleconverter has arrived. I have had my sights on this teleconverter for a long time; since purchasing my first 300mm Tamron lens.

The internet is rife with forum posts and discussion about this TC, but I have yet to see some real results. The page on the SP-200/200F states that the teleconverter is capable of, "...superb off-axis performance." The article goes on to approximate that, depending on which lens the teleconverter is being coupled with, the 200F produces up to 35-50% better off-axis performance (sharper corners) than its more common sibling, the 01F teleconverter. While I hope this is true, I can't help but wonder if there is more to it. The rarity of this optic, and certainly the price tags it seems to fetch these days, has me believing (perhaps just hoping) that there is at least the 35-50% corner sharpness improvement and then some. It never seems to fail, that owners of this teleconverter hail its performance, but again, I've seen no real side-by-side comparisons with the 01F. Could the hubbub be largely due to the collectors? Desiring a marginally better, but more importantly, ultra-rare member of the Adaptall-SP family?

Well, after seeing only a couple of these 200F teleconverters sell (on eBay) in the past year, all of which sold for over $250, one went for over $400 I believe, my curiosity got the best of me! I pulled the trigger on a nice looking copy and ponied up more money than I probably should have. But it's in the name of science! Well that's what I told my wife...

Speaking of, as you may notice, this is my first post in some time here on the blog. I was recently married, bought a home, and have been quite busy with work. Those things, combined with some new hobbies (bikes, wood-working, cooking...), have had me very busy. But as with any true passion, I've not stopped snapping the shutter and it was only a matter of time before that LBA came back (with a vengeance!).

So, very soon, I am going to find out for myself (and share) my findings between this 200F and the 01F - lots of images guaranteed. It's time to see if this Tamron Adaptall SP-200 / 200F is truly worth all of the hype. Unfortunately, I have since sold my Tamron 400/4, Tamron 200-500/5.6, and Tamron 180/2.5 lenses. Part of trying to do this sort of thing without a whole lot of cash to spare. Cycle in, cycle out. I will definitely have to pick up the 400/4 and 180/2.5 again someday. For this test, I will likely be using my 300/2.8 107B. Now the weather just needs to warm up a hair. -15 degrees F, windchill, is unacceptable!