Tamron has recently introduced a pair of new lenses, both of which are telephoto length and offer wide maximum apertures, Vibration Compensation (VC) and an Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) focusing motor. These lenses are improvements over past versions due to the incorporation of new technologies that enable sharper, cleaner imagery while still providing the optical quality for which Tamron is known. Additionally, these lenses also feature moisture-resistant construction to protect the interior elements and technologies from inclement weather.
The first lens available, the SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, is a high-speed telephoto zoom ranging from portrait length to a mid-telephoto focal length. This lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range, which truly benefits those working at the long end of the zoom range in low light. Further benefitting low-light photography is the integration of Tamron’s improved VC image stabilization system, which helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake and results in a more compact design, compared to previous incarnations of Vibration Compensation systems. This system employs three driving coils to activate the VC lens group electromagnetically, via three ceramic balls. The VC lens group is held in place only by these ceramic balls, which provide smooth movement with little friction in order to render sharper imagery. Due to Sony’s use of in-camera image stabilization, the Sony mount of this lens does not include the VC system.
This lens also utilizes Tamron’s USD ultrasonic motor to provide quick, smooth autofocusing capabilities with full-time manual focus override possible. The mechanism makes use of a piezo-electric element, in a ring formation, to generate ultrasonic vibrations within a metallic ring stator. This vibration energy is then used to rotate a metallic ring rotor that provides easier, more fluid focusing with a lower moment of rotational inertia.
In regard to optical performance, one special XLD (extra low dispersion) element and four LD (low dispersion) elements help to minimize chromatic aberrations while delivering high sharpness, contrast and resolution throughout the zoom range. Multi-layer coatings on lens elements also improve optical quality by reducing flare and ghosting in order to produce images with greater clarity.
The other recent release from Tamron is the SP 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD lens. This fast portrait-length lens includes the same VC and USD systems as the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which provide compensation for reducing the appearance of camera shake and enabling faster, more fluent focusing, respectively (as with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, the VC system is not featured in the Sony mount due to Sony's in-camera image stabilization). Both of these technologies are especially useful in regard to this lens’s macro capabilities, allowing for easier fine-tuning of focus and sharper imagery. This lens is capable of focusing down to 11.8” with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:1 and a working distance of only 5.5” for life-size reproduction of close-up subject matter. Also benefitting macro usage is the IF (Internal Focus) system, which moves internal lens elements when focusing in order to maintain a constant front-element-to-subject distance for greater focus consistency and accuracy.
Contributing to sharpness, clarity and a reduction in chromatic aberrations, this lens contains two XLD elements and one LD element. The lens’s sharpness attributes are well offset by a rounded diaphragm that helps to provide a smooth out-of-focus quality that is especially noticeable when working with close-up subjects and a shallow depth of field. Also benefitting the optical performance of this lens is Tamron’s newly developed eBAND (Extended Bandwidth and Angular-Dependency) Coating. This coating helps to noticeably reduce the appearance of reflections due to a nano-structured layer whose dimensions (1/1,000,000mm) are smaller than the wavelengths of visible rays of light. This coating is applied on top of other, more traditional multi-coatings in order to provide an extremely low refractive index that successfully attenuates flare and ghosting while maintaining contrast and sharpness.
|SP 90mm f/2.8 Di
MACRO 1:1 VC USD
|SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD|
|Lens Mounts||Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha||Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha|
|Angle of View
|Lens Construction||14 elements in 11 groups||23 elements in 17 groups|
|11.8" / 30 cm||4.3' / 1.3 m|
|Working Distance||5.5" / 13.9 cm||Not specified by manufacturer|
|Dimensions||3 x 4.5" / 76.4 x 114.5mm||3.4 x 7.4" / 85.8 x 188.3mm|
|Weight||1.2 lb / 550 g||3.2 lb / 1.47 kg|