Wowing the photography world, Tamron has announced an ultra-telephoto lens, the Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD.
Designed for DSLR cameras with an APS-C sensor, the 22.2x zoom ratio covers a 28-620mm effective focal range (approx).
When it comes to range, the Tamron 18-400mm lens is essentially on par with wide aperture bridge cameras, which is currently an unparalleled feat.
Tamron has long been in the ultra-zoom lens business, but its latest lens reaches new heights (or should we say distances). You could just as well take the 18-400mm as a single lens on your travels, as you could for making landscapes and wildlife pictures.
For all its features, the Tamron 18-400mm lens is moderately lightweight and compact, weighing 705g and with a length of 121.4mm.
To achieve such a wide zoom range in a relatively compact lens, Tamron has foregone the conventional barrel design in favour of a new 3-step zoom extension. What effect the new design has on image quality we can only say once we have used the lens in a variety of scenarios.
Design wise, the moisture resistant exterior is akin to those in Tamron’s SP lens series. A zoom lock mechanism prevents lens barrel creep, a common problem with zoom lenses when they are facing upwards or downwards.
In the lens description, HLD denotes ‘High/Low torque modulated Drive’, which is Tamron’s own motor for the AF system. Tamron claims the motor is power-saving, provides quiet and accurate focusing and takes up less space than most other motors.
Of course being an ultra-zoom lens, the Tamron 18-400mm comes with the company’s Vibration Compensation (VC) system. Such a feature is vital in a ultra-zoom lens like this.
We really do look forward to testing the lens, especially to see how effective its VC system is at telephoto settings. Increasing zoom range could mean a negative impact on image quality, but we will see about that after using the lens.
Available as an optional extra, Tamron’s TAP-in console allows firmware updates and fine adjustments to AF and VC systems, via a USB connection.
Pricing and availability
The Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD lens costs £649.99 and is available from July 2017 in Canon and Nikon mounts.
The lens features an electro-magnetic diaphragm, which we now find in Nikon’s more recent F-mount ‘E’ lenses and compatible with Nikon’s APS-C DSLRs including and since the D3100, D7000 and D300S.
Focal Length: 18-400mm
Maximum Aperture: F/3.5-6.3
Angle of View (diagonal): 75°33′ – 4° (for APS-C format)
Optical Construction: 16 elements in 11 groups
Minimum Object Distance: 0.45m*
Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:2.9
Filter Size: φ72mm
Maximum Diameter: φ79mm
Length: for Canon 123.9mm, for Nikon 121.4mm
Weight: for Canon 710g, for Nikon 705g
Aperture Blades: 7 (circular diaphragm)
Minimum Aperture: F/22-40
Standard Accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood, Lens caps
Compatible Mounts: Canon, Nikon