Tamron Unveils a Compact, Lightweight and Ultimate High Power Zoom Lens Boasting the World's First 13.9X Zoom Power Designed Exclusively for APS-C sized Digital SLRs
Extending the Tele-End of the Popular 18-200mm All-In-One Zoom to 250mm Ultra Telephoto Makes This New 18-250mm Di-II Zoom the Most Versatile High Power Zoom Lens Available
September 2006, Saitama, Japan - Mr. Morio Ono, President of Tamron Co., Ltd., announces at Photokina 2006 in Cologne, Germany, that the company has developed the AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro (Model A18), a lightweight, compact and ultra high power zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras with APS-C sized imager sensors. The AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro is the ultimate high power zoom lens boasting the world's greatest zoom ratio(*1) of 13.9X, a milestone that Tamron, the pioneer of high power zoom lenses, has achieved by commanding its technologies to further expand the capabilities of high power zoom lenses.
(*1) As of September 2006. Based upon Tamron's research of lenses for exclusive use with digital SLRs equipped with APS-C sized image sensors.
(*2) Here in after, the expression "equivalent to APSC" is omitted.
To prevent the lens from becoming bulky, the design concept of the AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XI Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro (Model A14), a popular lens among the world's digital SLR users since it is the ideal high power zoom lens, was the basis for this new lens that features an expanded focal length to 250mm at its tele-end. With the new AF18-250mm zoom lens that provides enhanced image quality, Tamron has achieved an astounding 13.9X zoom power, the world's greatest in the class of zoom lenses; yet the increase in size is confined to a mere 0.2mm more in its maximum diameter and just 0.6mm in overall length, in a lens that offers a 388mm ultra telephoto focal length (diagonal angle of view of 6° 23') when converted to the 35mm film format.
(Ref 1) The greatest zoom power previously delivered by a high power zoom lens is 11.1X and is found on the AF18-200mm Di-II (Model A14) made by Tamron.
The new zoom lens covers up to a 250mm telephoto focal length, the longest focal length among zoom lenses that start with an 18mm wideangle focal length available on the market for exclusive use with digital SLR cameras. Thus, it provides an overwhelmingly impressive telephoto effect that is entirely different from the effect obtainable at 200mm on conventional high power zoom lenses. The new zoom lens will satisfy the expectations of photographers that are used to the 300mm tele-end of Tamron's AF28-300mm Di (Model A061) when used on a digital SLR camera.
(Ref 2) Di (Digitally integrated)-II lenses are designed for exclusive use with digital SLR cameras having APS-C size imagers. Di-II lenses are not designed for use with 35mm film cameras nor digital SLR cameras with image sensors larger than 24 x 16mm.
(Ref 3) The ratio Tamron uses to convert 35mm focal length equivalents is 1.55X.
• 13.9X, the Largest Zoom Power in the High Power Zoom Class, Covering an Easy-to-use 28mm Wideangle to 388mm Ultra Telephoto (when converted to 35mm)
Tamron's concept for the development of high power zoom lenses is "one-does-it-all, covering wideangle to telephoto" to satisfy customer needs for simplicity. Tamron has always kept this concept in mind when designing higher power zoom ranges. The question, "to what extent can the tele-end of a zoom starting with 18mm wideangle be extended in a lens designed for exclusive use with digital SLRs?" was posed and answered with the development of this ultra high power zoom lens possessing the world's largest zoom ratio of 13.9X. It is not too long ago that the world of "wideangle to ultra telephoto film photography" could only be achieved with a combination of two zoom lenses; 28-200mm + 200-400mm (*3). Now, the world of digital SLR photography can be enjoyed with just a single zoom lens! (*3) Around year 2000. A combination of 28-200mm (Model 371D) and 200-400mm.
• Advanced Optical Design Aimed at Optimum Power Distribution to Achieve Compactness and High Power
The optical system uses an LD (Low Dispersion) glass element and one AD (Anomalous Dispersion) lens in the first group to minimize on-axis chromatic aberration while achieving the 250mm ultra-tele focal length. In addition, suitable positioning of two hybrid aspherical lens elements serves to meet the desired compactness despite its 13.9X zoom power. In particular, Tamron's engineers have pursued a thorough analysis of the optical configuration of the third lens group for optimum power distribution in the overall optical system. The approach has resulted in the sufficient compensation of aberrations, including astigmatism; the compactness, thanks to downsizing of the first group; the high zoom power; and optimum optical quality. (Ref 4) In order to realize the remarkable 13.9X zoom ratio, Tamron has pursued the approach to accomplish the compactness through optimization of the overall optical system, not through the employment of XR glass elements.
• Revolutionary Minimum Focusing Distance of 0.45m (17.7") throughout the Entire Zoom Range Affords a 1:3.5 Macro Capability
The new zoom lens achieves a minimum focus distance of 0.45m (17.7") throughout the entire zoom range, top of the class capability among high power zoom lenses for digital SLR cameras, which results in a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.5 at the 250mm tele-end.(*4) (*4) Since the APS-C sized imager is smaller than the 35mm format film, the new zoom lens can fill the frame with almost the same scope (approx. 8 x 5.5cm) as a lens with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.3 on a 35mm film SLR camera.
• Optical Design Dedicated for Digital SLR Photography by Optimizing the Angle of Incidence of Light Rays Reaching the Image Sensor
The zoom lens uses an optical system designed to confine the changing angles of incidence of light rays reaching the imager within a certain scope over the entire image field by considering the effects of variance due to zooming.
• Outstanding Resolution
Since the lens is designed exclusively for digital SLR photography, it provides high image quality resolution, contrast and flatness of image field.
• Internal Surface Coating to Reduce Ghosting and Flare
Through the use of "Internal Surface Coatings" (i.e., multiple-layer coatings on cemented surfaces of plural elements) and new multiple-layer coating technology on ordinary elements, ghosting and flare due to reflections that occur when light enters through the front element and reflections caused by the imager itself are reduced to the absolute minimum.
• Ultra High Zoom Power, yet Lightweight and Compact Design Thanks to New Mechanical Devices
Complicated mechanisms are built into the compact body, thanks to new mechanical devices, for excellent portability and ease of use. Based on the mechanical construction of the AF28-300mm (Model A061), Tamron has revolutionized accumulated mechanical design technologies by reviewing the roles respective barrel parts play in order to achieve the high power, compactness and light weight. Additionally, the production engineering has been completely overhauled to downsize its parts and to increase their precision and durability in order to accommodate the complex structure in the new zoom lens. (Ref 5) In order to realize the 13.9X high zoom power, the lens uses a metal mount in all fittings.
• Zoom Lock Mechanism Incorporated
The zoom lock prevents unwanted barrel extension when carrying the lens/camera combination.
• Flower-shaped Lens Hood
A flower-shaped lens hood is included as a standard accessory. The special hood provides optimum shading of superfluous light rays that enter from the rectangular frame outside the image field.
• New External Design of the New Di-II Series Conveys the Image of "High Performance, High Precision"
Improvements have been made to the external design by adding a gold-colored band between the focus and zoom rings to enhance the appearance and make the product stand out as a Di-II lens. Also, the black coating over the entire lens barrel creates a high-quality, sophisticated look. The rubber patterns of the focus and zoom rings have also been improved to complement the digital camera style and to provide better handling.
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