Tamron Unveils 85mm VC Lens for Full-Frame DSLRs, Upgraded 90mm Macro

Tamron Unveils 85mm VC Lens for Full-Frame DSLRs, Upgraded 90mm Macro

SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lenses debut with TAP-in Console accessory for firmware updating.


Commack, NY—Tamron launched the SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD, the first fast-aperture telephoto lens with VC (vibration compensation). Also announced were the upgraded SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lens and the Tamron TAP-in Console. This new lens accessory enables firmware updating and customized setups for selected Tamron lenses.

SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

Tamron incorporated VC technology in model F016 to make it possible to take handheld photographs in dim light or at night. The 85mm SP-designated lens uses LD (low dispersion) and XLD (eXtra-low dispersion) glass elements to minimize color fringing and achieve sharp image quality with color fidelity. It also produces attractive bokeh, which draws attention to the foreground subject while pleasingly blurring the background.

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

Built with moisture-resistant construction, the lens has seals located at the mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or raindrops. In addition, a fluorine coating was applied on the front element surface to repel water and oil. This coating also allows for safe, easy removal of fingerprints, dirt and smudges. It also provides greater durability.

Tamron added two other coating technologies: eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) with nanotechnology; and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection). The two work together to increase light transmission and reduce flare and ghosting to “imperceptible” levels. Additional techniques prevent reflections inside the lens barrel, so that the 85mm lens will deliver high-contrast, clear images and capture detailed tones even in shadows.
An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses. More precise diaphragm and aperture control are possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

In addition, the lens has a USD (ultrasonic silent drive) ring-type motor to help achieve fast, quiet autofocus. Due to the absence of reduction gears, there is said to be no backlash or unnecessary back-and-forth movement. And the control software program for the USD actuator was revised to improve focusing speed and accuracy when using AF. Full-time manual focus override also is available at any point during the AF operation for shifting focus without switching the AF-MF mode.

The lens is compatible with the Tamron TAP-in Console accessory. Users can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 85mm lens by attaching this accessory and connecting it via USB to a computer. The lens also comes with SilkyPix Developer Studio 4.0 editing software. SilkyPix features correction menus for various aberrations based on the optical design data of this specific lens. In addition, lens profile information was supplied to Adobe Systems to facilitate selecting the precise lens data required for more sophisticated adjustments in RAW processing when using Photoshop and Lightroom.

Tamron’s SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens will reach retail in April 2016 in Canon and Nikon mounts. The Sony mount will be launched at a later date. SRP: $749.

SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

The 90mm macro lens (model F017) incorporates the latest technologies while building on a “legacy of superior optical performance,” notes Tamron.  Inheriting the optical design of the previous 90mm macro lens (F004), this lens was optimized to deliver “excellent resolving power and remarkably soft background blur effects.” The desirable bokeh effect can be produced without unwanted polygonal shapes of aperture patterns. This is due to a 9-blade circular aperture said to retain a nearly perfect circular opening, even when stopped down by two stops.

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

Its construction includes one LD specialized glass element to limit light dispersion and two XLD glass elements to correct dispersion to a greater extent. The special elements compensate for on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations from the macro shooting range to infinity.

XY-shift compensation also was added to reinforce VC functionality and improve image stabilization for all distance ranges from infinity to macro. And advancements in USD control software were applied to increase the lens’s AF speed and maximize it for macro photography. The USD is designed to quickly address out-of-focus conditions caused by back-and-forth camera movement to ensure better results when shooting at close range.

In addition, special seals protect areas of possible ingress—around switches and the boundary between the focus ring and the lens barrel—to provide moisture-proof and dust-resistant construction. Again, to maximize light transmission and eliminate reflections to reduce ghosting and flare, eBAND and BBAR coatings are used. And a durable fluorine coating was applied to the top element surface to prevent condensation and repel smudge-causing substances.

Also featured is a focus limiter designed to make it possible to shorten the time for accurately focusing on a subject when the working range is known. The lens also has an internal focusing system, so its overall length never changes. As a result, it has a working distance of at least 5.5 inches from the front of the lens. There is also a full-time manual focus override mechanism that makes it possible to choose focal points. Even with the AF driving system in action, it’s possible to override it to make manual fine-focusing adjustments without switching the AF-MF mode back and forth.

Compatible with the TAP-in Console accessory and bundled with SilkyPix Developer RAW conversion and editing software, Tamron’s SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lens will be available by March. It will initially be offered in Canon and Nikon mounts for $649. A Sony mount will be released at a later date.

Tamron TAP-in Console Lens Accessory

This new accessory (model TAP-01) allows users to update firmware in selected Tamron lenses and customize various lens functions. They need only attach the TAP-in Console and run the Tamron TAP-in Utility software on their PC or Mac. Using the accessory and an Internet connection, customers can access a dedicated website to update firmware themselves, where previously updates could be performed only at Tamron Customer Service Centers.

Tamron TAP-in Console

In addition, selected lenses can be customized by changing various settings to match the user’s preferences. Customize functions include the following.

•    Focus adjustment: Adjustments can be made in distance-close, intermediate and far-range regions. For zoom lenses with variable focal length ranges, adjustments can be made for eight segments, which means focus adjustment for up to 24 regions is possible.

•    Focus distance limiter: For lenses with the focus limiter function, it is possible to adjust the autofocus drive range by setting the near and far limits. If the focus limiter switch on a lens has three positions, setting the middle position is possible.

•    Full-time manual focus override: For lenses that have a full-time manual focus feature, users can set the mode to “on” or “off.” They can also optimize the focus ring’s sensitivity to their preference relative to its angular rotation anywhere between high and low, when setting the manual focus mode menu button to on.

•    VC adjustment: For lenses with VC technology that are TAP-in Console compatible, users can choose the mode they prefer. Prioritize viewfinder image stabilization mode places priority on the stability of the viewfinder image. Standard (factory default) mode strikes a balance between the stability of the viewfinder image and vibration compensation effects. Prioritize stabilization mode ensures stable VC effects of captured images.

At launch, in addition to the SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lenses, the TAP-in Console will be compatible with the SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (F013) and SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (F012) lenses. Both latter lenses require initial firmware update by a Tamron service facility for compatibility.

The Tamron TAP-in Console lens accessory is expected to be available in March. The price will be announced shortly. tamron-usa.com