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Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 VC HLD Announcement

Dustin Abbott

June 23rd, 2017

It’s a little ironic.  Information about Tamron’s newest lens, the ground-breaking, more than 22x zoom range 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD, leaked to the Internet the day BEFORE I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement to get all the info about it.  Such is the photography world in 2017!  That bit of irony aside, however, there’s no question that if Tamron delivers a lens with reasonably well controlled compromises (superzoom lenses always come with optical compromises to make them work) they will have a serious hit on their hands with two audiences.  The first is the casual shooting crowd, many of which are not really interested in swapping lenses at all.  A lens with this type of focal length will (theoretically) allow them to have similar range to bridge/superzoom cameras with fixed lenses with improved image quality due to the sensor size of APS-C cameras.  The second crowd that will strongly consider this lens are those looking for a good travel lens.  I myself would consider a lens like this augmented by a nice, light prime to give me low light/shallow depth of field options.  The fact that this lens boasts some weather resistance is a huge boost on that front.

I’m scheduled to have a copy for review in hand in 2-3 weeks, and it should start shipping to consumers in early August.  You can preorder the Tamron 18-400 HLD from B&H Photo | Amazon | Amplis Foto (use code AMPLIS52018DA to receive 5% off | Amazon.ca  It will cost $649 initially in the US Market, and I’m told it will sell for $949 here in Canada where the weak Canadian dollar has really impacted prices in comparison with the US.

Note that at the moment only the B&H link is populated, but the others will come in the next week or so!

The photos I’m about to share were provided to me from Tamron, and are NOT photos that I have personally taken with the lens, so I cannot attest to much concerning them other than the fact that they demonstrate just how impressive that zoom range is, and look pretty decent from an IQ perspective.  I’ll be able to comment more once I have the lens in hand for myself.

Here’s a look at the official press release from Tamron:

INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FIRST[1] ULTRA-TELEPHOTO
 ALL-IN-ONE ZOOM LENS WITH AN EXTENDED RANGE
THAT COVERS 18-400MM

 

Dramatic extended range achieved by combining cutting-edge optical design and

other new breakthrough technologies including a redesigned cam structure

 

18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028)

 

June 23, 2017, Commack, NY – Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the new 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028), the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers a focal length range of 18-400mm. Since the 1992 launch of its AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D), Tamron has dominated the all-in-one zoom category and has produced many lenses that cover wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges. Tamron has now developed an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom that extends to 400mm (35mm equivalent of 620mm) and a 22.2x zoom ratio. Packed in a light, compact body (4.8in./24.9oz.)[2] is Tamron’s accumulated knowledge and experience for all-in-one zoom lenses, including the most advanced optical and mechanical designs, an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system and the Vibration Compensation system. Photographers can now enjoy wide-angle to ultra-telephoto photography using one lens, which is ideal for travel photography and eliminates the need to carry extra lenses. The new Model B028 lens enables photographing a wide variety of ultra-telephoto images including everyday casual scenes. The 18-400mm will be available in the U.S. at the end of July at $649.

 

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

 

  1. The world’s first[1] ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens to achieve 400mm telephoto

The new Model B028 is the world’s first lens for APS-C DSLR cameras that covers a focal length range of 18-400mm and achieves a zoom ratio of 22.2x. The focal length of 400mm on the telephoto end enables the capturing of ultra-telephoto pictures with the 35mm equivalent of 620mm angle of view. Now, with just this one lens, a photographer can readily enjoy the power of ultra-telephoto to bring distant subjects closer as well as the perspective-flattening effects that only extreme telephoto settings can achieve. This all-in-one zoom lens is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It allows a photographer to switch from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto without changing lenses, making it faster and easier to capture a much wider range of subjects including travel scenes, wildlife, action sports, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and food.

 

  1. Excellent image quality across the entire zoom range, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto and macro

The optical construction of the B028 consists of 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialized glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimizes wide-ranging aberrations, including chromatic aberrations and distortion, thereby assuring outstanding image quality. Optimum power distribution among the individual lens element groups achieves both the optical performance and the compact size necessary for an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens that boasts 400mm focal length. Also, it enables tele-macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9.

 

  1. Lightweight and compact design exhibits Tamron’s basic philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses

Despite being an all-in-one zoom lens that achieves 400mm ultra-telephoto, Model B028 is light and compact with a total length of 4.8in. and a weight of 24.9oz.[2] A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming. Tamron’s philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses is to allow each photographer to casually capture everyday photos with a lens of a practical size, and Model B028 fulfills this philosophy.

 

  1. HLD motor provides high-precision AF and enables compact lens construction

The AF drive system for Model B028 uses Tamron’s exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.

 

  1. Equipped with the Vibration Compensation system necessary for ultra-telephotography at 400mm

Despite its compact size, Model B028 is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system, which effectively curbs camera shake under low light conditions (such as a dimly lit room or at dusk) and while taking ultra-telephoto pictures. This greatly expands opportunities for casual handheld shooting. The jitter-free stability of the viewfinder image allows for easier framing and enables the photographer to compose the subject quickly and comfortably.

 

  1. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses

The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses[1]. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

 

  1. User-friendly features for everyday comfortable use

With an eye toward active outdoor photography, Model B028 features Moisture-Resistant Construction to ensure worry-free shooting as well as confidence while shooting under adverse weather conditions. Also, the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.

 

  1. Compatible with TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product

The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

 

  1. External design placing importance on functionality and ease of use

While inheriting the design that makes use of many organic curves and the delicately polished form down to fine details that characterize the SP lens series, the new Model B028 comes with a highly sophisticated design that also places a lot of importance on the lens’s functionality and ease of use, featuring an overall form that faithfully encompasses the internal structures within, a slim Luminous Gold brand ring and the switch shape design.

[1] Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300S, D500) (As of May, 2017; Tamron)

[1] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)

[2] Length and weight are based on figures for the Nikon-mount lens.

 

 
Gear Used:
Canon EOS 80D: B&H Photo | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca
Sony a6500: B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon.ca
Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD: B&H Photo | Amazon | Amplis Foto (use code AMPLIS52018DA to receive 5% off | Amazon.ca
Adobe Lightroom CC Software for Mac and Windows (Boxed Version)
Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud 1-Year Subscription
Alien Skin Exposure X2 (Use Code “dustinabbott” to get 10% anything and everything)

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