Tamron Adapt-A-Matic Series Lenses

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.

Tamron's Adapt-A-Matic 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 manufacturer.

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 mount attached.

Lens Description Model Introduction Discontinued Photo
21mm F/4.5 PFJ-45Au 1970 1971? Adapt-A-Matic 21mm F/4.5 #PFJ-45Au
PFJ-45Au 1972? 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 21mm F/4.5 #PFJ-45Au
24mm F/3.5 PFY-35Au 1971 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 24mm F/3.5 #PFY-35Au
28mm F/2.8 PFH-28Au 1969? 1971? Adapt-A-Matic 28mm F/2.8 #PFH-28Au
PFH-28Au? 1972? 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 28mm F/2.8 #PFH-28Au
35mm F/2.8 PSG-28Au 1969? 1971? Adapt-A-Matic 35mm F/2.8 #PSG-28Au
PSG-28Au? 1972 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 35mm F/2.8 #PSG-28Au
105mm F/2.5 JOG-25Au 1972 1973  
135mm F/2.8 JSG-28Au 1972 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 135mm F/2.8 #JSG-28Au
200mm F/3.5 870Au 1971 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 200mm F/3.5 #870Au
200mm F/4.5 F0-45Au 1972 1973  
300mm F/5.6 670Au 1972? 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 300mm F/5.6 #670Au
70-220mm F/4 PZ-30Au 1969 1971? Adapt-A-Matic 70-220mm F/4 Model PZ-30Au
PZ-30Au 1972? 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 70-220mm F/4 Model PZ-30Au
80-250mm F/3.8 PZ-20Au 1972? 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 80-250mm F/3.8 Model PZ-20Au
85-205mm F/3.5 PZ-60Au 1972 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 85-205mm F/3.5 #PZ-60Au
200-500mm F/6.9 PZ-150Au 1969 1973 Adapt-A-Matic 200-500mm F/6.9 Model PZ-150Au
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