Tamron's new full-frame lenses: 90mm macro, 70-200mm tele

For Photokina, the Japanese lensmaker announces it's brought image stabilization to two lenses geared for full-frame SLRs. They'll work on Canon, Sony, and Nikon cameras.

Tamron's 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD telephoto lens
Tamron's 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD telephoto lens Tamron

Tamron announced today it's brought vibration compensation to two full-frame lenses, the 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD telephoto and the SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD macro.

Both of the lenses will ship by the end of the year for Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras, Tamron said just ahead of the Photokina 2012 show, a major camera event held every two years in Germany. The company didn't disclose prices.

Tamron's SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD macro
Tamron's SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD macro Tamron

Vibration compensation -- known as vibration reduction at Nikon and image stabilization at Canon -- shifts a lens element to counteract camera shake. It can dramatically cut down on blurry shots, especially with longer lenses or slower shutter speeds. But wide apertures still have a role: image stabilization won't help freeze the action of twitchy birds or sprinting soccer players, and wide apertures also provide a pleasingly out-of-focus background that's very desirable for portraits.

The two lenses fit nicely into one of the Photokina trends: a surge in full-frame cameras. Those are models whose image sensor is the size of a full frame of 35mm film. That's a costly option, and it generally makes cameras and lenses bulkier and heavier, but the larger sensors provide better image quality, especially in dim light.

Nikon just announced the D600 , cheapest full-frame SLR on the market. And the Sony Alpha A99 marries a full-frame sensor to the company's transparent mirror technology. This approach skips the flip-up mirror of a single-lens reflex camera and instead uses a fixed mirror and electronic viewfinder.

Tamron's new 70-200mm lens has 23 lens elements, including one extra-low dispersion element and four low-dispersion elements to cut down on chromatic aberration. It weighs 51.9 oz (1,470g), is 7.4 inches (188mm) long, has nine aperture blades, and has a close-focus distance of 51.9 inches (1.3m).

The 90mm macro lens can reproduce subjects at 1:1 scale in close-up shooting. It's got a close-focus distance of 11.8 inches (0.3m), weighs 19.4 oz. (550g), and among its 14 elements are two extra-low dispersion elements and one low-dispersion element.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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