Third party lens-maker Tamron has released a pair of new full-frame, stabilized primes.

First is an 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD which has LD and XLD elements to reduce flare and ghosting, 9 circular aperture blades for 'attractive' bokeh, a fluorine coating to keep moisture and fingerprints off of the front element and 3.5 stops of shake reduction (tested to CIPA standards). It uses a ring-type ultrasonic motor that Tamron says will be precise and responsive. Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Lens number two is a 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro, which is an updated version of a lens of the same name from 2012. It too has LD and XLD lenses, a 9-blade aperture, fluorine coating, and USM motor. It can take life-size close-ups at a minimum distance of 13.9cm/5.5in and a 'quick-shift' feature lets the photographer take over focusing without having to press a button. The 90mm macro will begin shipping in March for $649.

Both lenses are weather-sealed and support Tamron's new TAP-in Console. They'll be available for Canon, Nikon and (eventually) Sony Alpha mounts. Note that since Sony's DSLR/SLT cameras have in-body image stabilization, the lenses for A-mount will not have IS.

Press releases:

THE WORLD’S FIRST1 85MM F/1.8 LENS WITH VC FOR FULL-FRAME DSLR CAMERAS

Ultimate correction of aberrations and excellent resolving power with balanced bokeh

February 22, 2016, Commack, New York – Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F016), the world’s first fast-aperture telephoto lens with VC (Vibration Compensation). Tamron’s acclaimed VC makes it possible to take handheld photographs in dim light or at night. The 85mm SP lens uses LD (Low Dispersion) and XLD (Extra Low Dispersion) glass elements in the optical design to minimize color fringing and to achieve sharp and clear image quality with high-fidelity color. It also achieves attractive bokeh that draws attention to the image foreground subject. In addition, Moisture-Resistant Construction has been added to prevent intrusion of moisture, and a highly durable Fluorine Coating has been applied to the top element surface to prevent condensation and repel smudge-causing substances. This new lens joins the 35mm F/1.8, 45mm F/1.8 and 90mm Macro in a lineup of SP series prime lenses that has been expanding since 2015. The lens will be on sale in the U.S. starting in April 2016 in Canon and Nikon mounts (the Sony2 mount to be launched at a later date). Pricing and delivery will be announced shortly. 

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

1. The world’s first 85mm fast-aperture lens with image stabilization

Tamron’s VC image stabilization system enables handheld use in dim light without flash. Camera movement—often too minute to be perceptible to the photographer—is the leading cause of unpleasant photographs. In addition, newer DSLR cameras with higher resolution and higher pixel densities are even more susceptible to subtle camera shake. The VC System, Tamron’s time-proven Vibration Compensation, keeps the sharpness at hand, even in moody, dim light when shutter speeds tend to be longer. 

2. Superior resolving power and attractive bokeh 

Experienced optical design technique combined with LD and XLD lens elements have virtually eliminated on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations that might otherwise appear as color fringing. In addition, by thoroughly reducing comatic aberrations (distortion of off-axis point source) and astigmatism, subjects that appear as a distinct point source will be captured as a distinct point source even at the edges and corners of the frame. Furthermore, optical simulations were thoroughly conducted, and the 85mm achieves natural bokeh— that dreamy, semi-focus blur that separates the portrait subject from the background with a snap.

3. Fluorine Coating and Moisture-Resistant Construction

Fluorine Coating technology developed for use in industrial optics applications has been adapted to photographic lenses. The water and oil repellant coating applied on the front element surface allows safe and easy removal of fingerprints, dirt and smudges. The coating also provides an enhanced level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years. In addition, seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops and provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature provides an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.

4. Sophisticated eBAND and BBAR coatings plus Advanced Anti-Reflection Technologies

Two highly developed lens coating technologies, eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) which uses nanotechnology, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection), combine to increase light transmission and to reduce flare and ghosting to imperceptible levels. Additional techniques are employed to prevent reflections inside the lens barrel so that the 85mm lens delivers high contrast, sharp and clear images worthy of a fixed focal lens. This lens clearly captures detailed tones even in the shadows.

5. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lens

An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses3. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

6. USD actuator maximized for fast and accurate focusing

Fast, quiet AF is achieved by employing a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ring-type ultrasonic motor which enables remarkably precise focusing drive with high torque and responsiveness. Thanks to the absence of reduction gears in USD, there is no backlash and no unnecessary back-and-forth movement. The control software program for the USD actuator has been revised to provide substantially improved focusing speed and accuracy when using AF. In addition, Full-time Manual Focus override is available at any point during the autofocus operation for deliberately shifting focus without switching the AF-MF. Whether overriding the autofocus or focusing completely manually, the focusing ring turns smoothly and evenly.

7. Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in ConsoleTM

Always as new as tomorrow: You can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 85mm lens by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console and connecting it via USB to a personal computer. (The TAP-in Console is an optional accessory that will be released in March 24.)

8. Compatibility with Adobe and Silkypix software

Supplied with SILKYPIX Developer Studio 4.0, advanced editing software that features correction menus for various aberrations (lateral color, distortion, relative illumination) based on the optical design data of this specific lens. In addition, lens profile information has been supplied to Adobe Systems, Inc. to facilitate selecting the precise lens data required for more sophisticated adjustments in RAW processing when using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Shooting RAW image files enables creation of more stringent and high-fidelity image quality.

Design Concept

The superior technology inside the Tamron 85mm is matched by advanced external ergonomic features under a design philosophy called “Human Touch.” Improvements include altering the geometric shape and resistance of the AF/MF and VC switches to deliver comfort with secured operational feedback, and enlarging the distance scale window to maximize visibility and legibility. Even the font style has been newly developed to enhance legibility as part of the overall product design.

1. Among 85mm F/1.8 interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras (as of February 21; Tamron).

2. The Sony mount model does not include VC (Vibration Compensation), since the bodies of Sony DSLR cameras include built-in image stabilization functionality

3. Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300 ,D5000, D5100 ,D5200, D5300, D5500, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300, D300s, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D810, D3x, D3s, D4, D4s, Df).

TAMRON 90MM MACRO LENS: REBIRTH OF A CLASSIC WITH A LEGACY OF SUPERIOR OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Enhanced VC functionality and advanced features

February 22, 2016, Commack, New York – Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 MACRO (Model F017). The new 90mm macro has been enhanced with advanced features and builds upon a legacy of superior optical performance. XY-Shift compensation has been newly added to reinforce VC functionality, further improving image stabilization from infinity to macro. Advancements in USD control software have also increased AF focusing speed, and optimally fine-tuned for various framing conditions. In addition, a high standard of Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction has been added to prevent intrusion of dust or moisture, and a highly durable Fluorine Coating has been applied to the top element surface to prevent condensation and repel smudge-causing substances.  The lens will be on sale in the U.S. starting in March 2016 in Canon and Nikon mounts (the Sony mount to be launched at a later date). The on-sale date in the USA is February 25, 2016 at an approximate price of $649. 

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

1.  Built upon the outstanding optical performance of the legendary Tamron 90mm Macro

Inheriting the optical design of the previous 90mm Macro lens (Model F004), the new Model F017 delivers the same excellent resolving power and remarkably soft background blur effects (bokeh). The advanced construction includes one LD (Low Dispersion) specialized glass element that maximally limits the dispersion properties of light and two XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) glass elements that correct dispersion properties to an even greater extent. The special elements optimally compensate for on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations from macro shooting range to infinity. Furthermore, the design ensures the best imaging performance at any range by adopting the Floating System that shifts the location of a group of elements to the best possible position as the focusing group travels relative to shooting distances. From 1:1, life-size close-ups to the most distant horizon, this new 90mm Macro lens achieves outstanding image quality.

2. Optimized for spectacular background blur effects (bokeh) 

Earlier models of Tamron’s 90mm macro lens received high acclaim for their spectacular blur effects, and the new 90mm macro builds upon this legacy. To continue this commitment, thorough optical simulations were conducted. Careful examinations were performed to minimize any blurring with a doubled image appearing for a single line because that phenomenon has a considerably negative impact on background image quality. As a result, the lens achieves both sharp, vivid images and spectacular background blur effects. This combination is highly prized by portrait photographers.

3. VC enhanced with shift compensation 

An accelerometer has been integrated into Tamron’s highly accredited VC (Vibration Compensation) to compensate for shakes on the x-y plane. In unison with a gyro sensor, the accelerometer detects and enables motion compensation for camera shake, providing maximum efficiency in image stabilization optimized for all distance ranges from infinity to macro.

4. USD actuator maximized for macro photography is fast, accurate and quiet 

The control software program for the USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) actuator has been revised to provide substantially improved focusing speed and accuracy when using AF. The USD quickly addresses any out-of-focus condition caused by back-and-forth camera movement (which commonly occurs during macro photography) ensuring better results when shooting at close range.

5. Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction 

Special seals protect areas of possible ingress surrounding switches, and the boundary between the focus ring and the lens barrel. These provide stronger protection against the intrusion of dirt, dust and moisture compared to the Moisture-Resistant Construction used previously. This additional protection assures even more wide-ranging opportunities for using this lens.

6. A durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints

The water and oil repellant coating applied to the front element surface allows instant removal of dirt or smudges with ease. The coating also provides a reasonable level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years. The Fluorine Coating technology that Tamron developed for use in industrial optics applications was first used on the SP 15-30mm that was introduced in 2014.

7. Advanced coating technology reduces flare and ghosting

Two advanced coating technologies, both providing outstanding anti-reflection performance, are applied to critical element surfaces for maximum light transmission. eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating boasts outstanding anti-reflection performance across nearly the entire range of visible rays, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating utilizes traditional multi-layered, anti-reflection technology. This combination virtually eliminates extraneous reflections and substantially reduces ghosting and flare which enables the lens to achieve flawless, crystal clear images.

8. Use of circular aperture to achieve beautiful, rounded blur effects (bokeh)

When shooting a scene that includes a point-source of light in the subject background, marvelously tuned blur (bokeh) can be obtained without generating undesirable polygonal shapes of aperture patterns thanks to the circular aperture. The 9-blade diaphragm retains a nearly perfect circular opening even when stopped down by two stops.

9. Focusing options perfectly suited to a macro lens

The new 90mm macro has a focus limiter that makes it possible to shorten the time for accurately focusing on a subject when the working range is known. The lens also features an Internal Focusing system, so the overall length of the lens never changes, not even when focusing. As a result, the user is assured of a comfortable working distance of at least 139 mm (5.5 in.) from the front of the lens. In addition, the lens is equipped with a Full-time Manual Focus override mechanism that makes it possible to flexibly choose focal points. Even with the AF driving system in action, it is possible to instantaneously override it to make manual fine focusing adjustments without switching the AF-MF mode back and forth.

10. Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in Console™

Always as new as tomorrow: You can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 90mm lens by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console™ and connecting it via USB to a personal computer. (The TAP-in Console™ is an optional accessory that will be released in March.)

11. Digital image editing software optimized for Tamron lenses

Included in the new 90mm macro package is SILKYPIX Developer Studio, a popular RAW conversion and editing program preloaded with correction menus for various aberrations based on the optical data that pertains exclusively to Tamron’s SP Series lenses. In addition, lens profile information has been supplied to Adobe Systems, Inc. to facilitate selecting the precise lens data required for more sophisticated adjustments in RAW processing when using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Tamron and the history of its macro lenses

The history of Tamron’s macro lenses began with the SP AF90mm F/2.5 (Model 52B) in 1979. The general impression of a macro lens in those days was that it was mainly useful for academic purposes—such as reproducing documentary records and scientific minutiae—and not suitable for photographing ordinary subjects. Against this backdrop, Tamron’s first-generation 90mm macro lens succeeded in creating new value for the modern macro lens that has both refined image quality worthy of recording photographic scenes and remarkably beautiful background blur effects (bokeh). As a result, the lens was highly valued by professional and amateur photographers alike as a lens with wide-ranging uses. It created new categories of applications that previously had been unimaginable because of the common uses of macro lenses at the time. The lens became popular among nature photographers to shoot close-ups of flowers. Furthermore, using Tamron’s 90mm macro lens for portrait photography gained particular popularity, with the expression “portrait macro lens” coming to be widely recognized over time. With the model renewal in this latest generation achieving further performance improvements, SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD (Model F017) is opening a new chapter in the history of Tamron’s 90mm macro lenses.

Design Concept

Beginning with the SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F012) and SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F013), Tamron has utilized a new design concept to enhance the outstanding performance provided by the SP Series. Our attention to every engineering detail has resulted in the most advanced optical and electro-mechanical designs being incorporated in SP Series, creating a new benchmark for high performance and visual elegance. The design philosophy embraces the importance of comfortable, ergonomic operation and positive tactile feedback, crucial factors in all types of photography. The newly designed all-metallic barrel features an embedded concave ring at the base of the lens—for a firm hold and comfort necessary for a steady shot. Switches are larger and reconfigured for smoother function and the typeface has been redesigned for intuitive legibility. The Tamron SP Series is the superlative example of the Lensmaker’s art.

Tamron 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD / 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro specifications

 Tamron SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USDTamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Image stabilisationYes (3.5 stops)
Lens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sony/Minolta Alpha
Aperture
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesCircular blades
Optics
Elements1314
Groups911
Special elements / coatingsLD/XLD elements + fluorine/eBAND/BBAR coatingsLD/XLD elements + fluorine, eBAND, BBAR coatings
Focus
Minimum focus0.80 m (31.5)0.30 m (11.81)
Maximum magnification0.14×1×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight700 g (1.54 lb)609 g (1.34 lb)
Diameter85 mm (3.35)79 mm (3.11)
Length91 mm (3.58)117 mm (4.61)
SealingYes
Filter thread67.0 mm62.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo