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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 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


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.

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