Photography News Issue 25 absolutephoto.com
Profile Leo Steinberg Independent lens brand Tamron has been supplying game-changing products for many years. Its latest SP lenses show it’s still working hard at pushing back the boundaries, so we took time to catch up with Tamron Europe’s marketing manager
Until the launch of these two lenses, the SP range covered focal lengths other than standard focal lengths. What was the thinking behind launching lenses of 35mm and a 45mm focal length? We asked ourselves “what shouldbe a character of a standard lens in the era of the new generation of very high-resolution full-frame DSLR cameras?” We also had to consider that the vast majority of DSLR camera owners use APS-C format DSLRS and we wanted to bring more of the joy of photography to this large group with our new SP lenses. In full-frame, the 45mm focal length provides a natural field of view angle close to the visual perception of the human brain, while the 35mm delivers a taste of wide-angle view without drastically departing from that natural look. Of course, with APS-C DSLRs there is a crop factor of around 1.5x, so the 35mm lens gives the look of a 52mm lens, while the 45mm is equivalent to a 68mm lens in the 35mm format. That means APS-C users can still enjoy our new lenses for most subjects. What we imposed on ourselves as the key characteristicwas toprovide theultimate freedom in picture taking. We wanted our new lenses to suit any subject distance especially for scenes close to the camera, so we have an extremely short minimum focusing distance. We also want users of our new SP lenses to have total freedom with aperture choice to suit the effect they are trying to achieve, so it is possible to get pin-sharp images under any lighting conditions without being affected by camera shake. The integration of our VC system was a logical choice in this context. How long have these two SP lenses been in development? The development of these two new lenses and the whole NEW SP project started around several years ago. As you might guess lens development, takes huge investments of time, budget and personal resources especially if you want to start a new, very sophisticated series like we do with our new lenses. This is especially true here because not only was the optical design new, but also the total design approach, the exterior form and the whole marketing and packaging. Who are you targeting with these two lenses? We are targeting enthusiasts as well as semi-pros and professional photographers looking for high image quality and perfect versatility. What was the most challenging aspect in the development of these lenses? Was it the installation of Tamron VC technology in fast aperture, full-frame compatible lenses? The biggest challenge was the balancing act to identify and produce an optimal solution for multiple contradictory attributes. Providing superb optical performance was taken for a given, yet we also wanted to deliver the closest possible minimum focusing distance as well as integrating VC – image stabilisation systems are rare in full- frame standard focal length lenses. And we wanted to do all this in a compact body formwith minimumweight.
Is fluorine coating a new innovation on Tamron lenses? Developed for industrial optics, fluorine coating offers long-lasting oil and water resistance to the lens surface. Moisture and smudges wipe away more easily, making it simpler to keep your lens clean. Our first DSLR lens with fluorine coating was the well-acclaimed SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD wide-angle zoom which we brought to the market in first half of 2015. You stress the benefits of the excellent minimum focusing distance of both lenses and the lovely bokeh it’s possible to achieve. What has made you concentrate on these two lens characteristics? The excellent minimum focusing distance combined with the wonderful bokeh (achieved with a nine-blade rounded diaphragm) provides many creative photographic possibilities. This is a unique feature of both new lenses and makes them much more versatile compared to other lenses of same focal length. Especially the 35mm, as it also has the capability of being used like a macro lens therefore enabling new perspectives and possibilities. What aspect of the two new SP lenses are you most proud of? The whole package is amazing, the new design meeting the very high-performance criteria. And once you try the short minimum focusing distance you will not stop. It really encourages you to get very close to the subject and try new perspectives with your photography. I appreciate it is like asking a parent to choose their favourite child, but which of the two lenses do you like using most? That is really a difficult question because both have their own perspectives. Personally I would say the little wider angle of 35mm, which gives a bit more dramatic field of view.
On top of all of the above, the ‘Human Touch’ design was a whole new challenge for the design engineers at Tamron. The result is as demonstrated here, and we are reasonably confident that said balancing act came together to shape a form in the most ideal fashion. Can you expand more on the technical benefits of Tamron eBAND and BBAR lens coatings please and what are their key benefits to photographers? eBAND (Extended Bandwidth and Angular- Dependency) coating and BBAR (Broadband Anti-Reflection) coating both provide superior anti-reflection properties. These technologies have been adapted to each lens and provide crystal-clear images by suppressing element surface reflections that lead to ghosting and flare. eBAND coating is a nano-structured layer that is deployed on the critical element surface. In addition to any other regular anti- reflection coatings, eBAND coating offers higher transmissivity and a significant improvement in anti-reflection characteristics against angulated incident rays. Can you expand a little please on the ‘Human Touch’ aspect of these two lenses? What do you mean by this? The keywords of the new product design is summarized as ‘Human Touch’. Be it a lens or a camera, it is nothing but an industrial product. And yet, what we aimed for was a product that would function as an organic unit, blending into the hands of the user, and delivering a sense of affection being used more extensively at any occasion. Design consideration of that kind was the first priority behind the two lenses. The brand identity ring in luminous gold is located at the interfacing section and not only symbolizes the engagement, but also signifies the commitment of Tamron to our customers.
Biography Years in the photo industry? Eight years working at Tamron Europe and in the photographic industry, and before that I was hobby photographer at heart Current location Cologne, Germany Last picture taken At the weekend, the little newborn daughter of my brother. These small fingers…amazing… When youwere younger, what did youwant to bewhen you grewup? Phew, good question Dogs or cats? I have two cats, but the dog of my parents seems to be my biggest fan, ever
Toast or cereal? No breakfast at all Email or phone call? Email. Very close contacts via Messenger
The biggest challenge was the balancing act to identify and produce an optimal solution for multiple contradictory attributes
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