According to the Egami Blog
, Nikon has patented the optical formula for the 300mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens. Patent Details
- Patent Publication No. 2016-161641
- Published: 2016.9.5
- Filing date: 2015.2.27
- Focal length: 294.00
- f-number 2.91
- Air conversion TL 304.88
- BF 67.25
- Air-converted BF 66.74
- Inner focus
- Anti-vibration (part of the third group)
- Adjustable air gap adjustment lens group
A fast, 85mm prime lens is often a portrait photographer's best friend. The focal length helps to create a flattering perspective (ideal for faces) while the wide aperture aids in separating a subject (or subjects) from the background.
As such, many planning to invest in an 85mm prime will likely consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
and Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC USD
. To assist in the decision making process between these two lenses, we're going to take a look at how they compare.
First off, let's start off with the similarities. Both lenses feature the same focal length and same wide f/1.8 aperture. Both are compatible with full frame cameras as well as APS-C sensor cameras. There, that was easy. Now let's move onto the differences.
The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM was released in 1992; the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC was released earlier this year (2016). The Tamron exhibits more even sharpness
from the center of the frame to the corners, where it is noticeably better than the Canon. The IQ difference is significant, especially when factoring in the Canon's rather heavy CA wide open. Distortion is slightly better controlled
with the Tamron (but neither is bad) and the third-party lens handles flare a bit better
The Tamron also features Vibration Control rated to 3.5 stops of assistance, meaning you can handhold this lens in much lower light compared to the Canon. For many, that additional feature alone would be the deciding factor in choosing the Tamron lens over the Canon offering. Tamron also offers a significantly longer warranty than Canon (6-years vs. 1-year).
So far, it looks like the Tamron is the clear winner of this comparison. But the Canon has three important advantages that should not be overlooked – size/weight, consistently accurate AF and a much lower price.
The Canon is smaller (2.96 x 3.15” vs. 3.36 x 3.9”) and significantly lighter (15.2 oz vs. 26.1 oz). Those packing and traveling with the lens may appreciate the Canon's edge in portability.
As Tamron must reverse engineer Canon's AF algorithms as opposed to having the blueprints at hand, you can expect the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM to focus more consistently with better AI Servo tracking. Note that the Tamron also suffers from focus shift as the aperture is stopped down. To compensate for this behavior, you may need to focus slightly in front of your subject when using narrower apertures.
One way Tamron is dealing with AF issues (including the possibility of incompatibility with future DSLRs) is by copying Sigma's approach of end-user firmware upgrades and AF customizability with the introduction of their TAP-in Console
. Purchasing the relatively inexpensive accessory (compatible with recently announced Tamron lenses) will ensure your lens works the best that it possibly can.
Now let's look at prices. At full MSRP, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 acquisition would require only 56% of the investment required to purchase the Tamron. And with the Canon currently qualifying for an instant rebate, you could purchase two of the Canon lenses for the price of the Tamron. For budget-conscious consumers (especially those investing in their first prime lens), the price difference will be the biggest deciding factor.
Some may wonder why I didn't include the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM in this comparison. From my point of view, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM is a more specialized tool and carries a price tag to reflect its status. If you need its 1-stop aperture advantage, there is nothing else that is comparable. And as far as the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 goes... it's currently listed as "discontinued"
at B&H (Canon mount).
I wonder if that implies anything?
B&H carries the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
and the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
page has been significantly updated with lots of additional information since last mentioned here.
This camera should be on the streets very soon. B&H
is still indicating that the 5D IV
body and w/EF 24-70mm f/4L IS Lens kit "Will begin shipping Thu, Sep 8" with the added disclaimer "(Subject to availability)". Adorama
is saying "Manufacturer will start shipping this item on 09/08/2016." Amazon
is stating "This item will be released on September 8, 2016." September 8th is only two days away – Woo hoo!
The 5D IV kit
with the new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
is not scheduled arrive at retailers until October 31st. However, with no savings realized by the kit purchase, my recommendation is to preorder the camera and lens individually. You'll then get both as quickly as possible.
The Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for the EOS 5D Mark IV
is also scheduled to arrive on September 8th. While not inexpensive, the price of this accessory has settled down to the $349.00 price that B&H
initially listed. There was apparently some confusion early on as Adorama
initially priced the BG-E20 at $490.00.
Also scheduled to arrive on September 8th is the Canon WE-1 Wi-Fi Adapter
. Because new firmware is necessary for this adapter to work, expect new Canon EOS 5Ds
, 5Ds R
and 7D Mark II
firmware to also become available very soon. We'll share that news as soon as we have it.
Important: Using this site's links to place your preorders
provides the support we need to keep this site maintained. Thanks for that!