Adapt-A-Matic Lens Index
Tamron's Adapt-A-Matic lens
line was introduced in 1969 and discontinued in 1973 with the introduction of
Tamron's new Adaptall line of lenses. The Adapt-A-Matic mount system in general
was very reliable due to its inherent simplicity and due to the rather simple
aperture signal coupling and stop down mechanisms employed at the time by
camera manufacturers. Camera manufacturers began to add additional features to
their lens mounts in the early to middle 1970s. Tamron quickly realized that
implementing these new features within their Adapt-A-Matic mount system was
either impractical or impossible. Tamron's Adapt-A-Matic lens system was
discontinued after only four years of production in favor of Tamron's much more
versatile and convenient Adaptall lens system which already was under
development. Some of these Adapt-A-Matic lenses were also sold in fixed mounts.
We are unable to find any information on the Tamron Japan web site about the
lens models which were also sold in fixed mounts.
lenses are interesting collector's items in that they represent the industry's
last generation of non-computer optimized optical designs. The all metal
mechanical construction within these lenses is excellent. Tamron carefully
assembled these lenses using a brown colored type of adhesive (possibly
ThreeBond, but it could have been a thinned contact cement) to secure all
screws. Tamron built these lenses to last for years. There is a lot of hand
operated precision lathe and mill work within every one of these lenses, and
the overall paint and finish is gorgeous. We have refurbished many
Adapt-A-Matic lenses which now perform like new even after more than three
decades of use.
These Adapt-A-Matic lenses
feature somewhat simpler optical designs compared to lenses produced in the
late 1970s and early 1980s. Why? Because the optical designs within these
Adapt-A-Matic lenses predate the computer era! Thus these lenses truly
represent the accumulated knowledge and experience of the optical designers who
created these optical designs using pen, paper and slide rules. These lenses
are not multicoated although some optical surfaces within these lenses may have
MgF2 coatings to prevent ghosts caused by internal reflections off of critical
optical surfaces. One must remember that coating technologies were relatively
new at the time and multicoatings were simply unheard of. All of the
Adapt-A-Matic lenses produce a pleasingly warm image due to the lack of
multicoatings. A UV protective filter instead of a 1A filter is recommended for
these lenses since a 1A filter might produce an overly warm image.
All of the Adapt-A-Matic
primes are fairly sharp especially at moderate apertures. The
Adapt-A-Matic zoom lenses are quite large (in terms of overall length versus
maximum focal length) since low dispersion and high refractive index glasses
and advanced computer optimized design techniques were not net available. These
zoom lenses tend to have merely fair color correction in the deep red part of
the spectrum due to moderate chromatic aberration for deep red colors. Tamron's
optical engineers, unlike most competing lens manufacturers, chose to correct
their lenses for reddish orange and for blue since color films are very
sensitive in blue and violet. As a result, these lenses don't produce the
dreaded purple color fringing but instead produce a smaller and much softer red
fringing which is less noticeable to the human eye. Also note that some of
these zooms tend to be somewhat lacking in sharpness towards the extreme
corners of the film plane when compared to 1980s era zoom lenses. Optical
performance of these lenses is very typical of the era regardless of the lens
NOTES: Early Adapt-A-Matic
lenses, distinguished by knurled metal grips instead of the rubber grips found
on later models, don't have the tiny holes for the metering coupling bands
which were included with later Adapt-A-Matic mounts for a few camera models.
Tamron was continually developing their Adapt-A-Matic mounting system during
the production span of these lenses. Consequently there could be anywhere from
one to four slightly different cosmetic versions of each of these lenses
depending on the year of introduction. We have shown examples of the earliest
and latest known versions of each lens. Also note that a few lenses are so rare
that we have not yet been able to acquire examples to photograph for inclusion
within the following table.
Lenses are sorted by focal
length. Fixed focal length lenses are listed first, followed by zoom lenses.
All lenses which we have were photographed with an Adapt-A-Matic Pentax M42
are subject to change without notice. Adaptall-2.com is not is not affiliated
with Tamron Co., Ltd. or with any of its subsidiary companies. Tamron Co., Ltd.
and its subsidiaries neither endorse, control, nor claim any responsibility for
the content and accuracy of this Web site.