Tamron announced their Tap-In Console about two years ago, and the two main functions is to be able to update firmware without sending the lens into service, and the second is to finetune focus at three different focus distances and several focal lengths (for primes just one focal length). There are also some other features you may do in the Tap-In utility, such as behavior of the Vibration Control, adjust the focus limiter, sensitivity of the focus ring and so on.
If you have tested the focus accuracy of your lenses before, you might have noticed that it may change with focus distance and focal lengths as well as aperture, making the one setting only in Nikon camera seem difficult and outdated at best. If you expect that your lens is missing the focus at some focus distances and not others, the Tap-In Console will be the solution you’ve been looking for.
The online user manual explains fairly good what the Tap-In utility does, but how to actually do the calibration is completely missing. There is absolutely nothing apart from what you can read out of the utility like focal lengths and focus distances, except for at infinity where they simply use the infinity symbol. Calibrating my Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC G2 and 70-200 f/2.8 VC G2 gave some challenges so I sent an e-mail to the Norwegian distributer, which forwarded it to their technician, about how to do the calibration step by step and also how far away is enough to calibrate at infinity. The answer came back as if he didn’t understand the question. More about that and my experience calibrating the before mentioned lenses in another post.
Don’t get me wrong on this, the console and the utility are maybe one of the most ingenious photo gadgets in a long time, but the lack of guidance in how to calibrate the lenses and also what to expect from the different supported lenses, I can’t just praise into the sky.
– Better “lock” for the cap
– Some kind of user manual on how to do the calibration process in practical terms
– Possibility to do changes to the lens while attached to the camera
– Possibility to add corrections for more than one aperture
– Should have been possible to operate without internet connection
Is it worth it?
Let’s put it this way, if you have one or two lenses with Tap-In support, but you’re happy with how they perform, I would pass.
If you have a couple of primes with Tap-In support, I would pass and use the in-camera fine tune instead.
If you have one or several prime and zoom lenses with Tap-In support that you know or expect need some AF fine tune, or they need a firmware update, or you would like to do some other changes possible with the Tap-In Utility, I would definitely get the Tamron Tap-In console.
NB! When you update the firmware in your lens with the Tap-In console, all your settings and other changes returns to zero or factory settings, so write down your calibrated numbers!
If you have questions or comments, please let me know.