Cinematoraphy Tamron 17-35 F/2.8-4 Di OSD: the lightest and smallest ultra wide-angle zoom

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  1. Jose Antunes

    Jose Antunes Guest

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    Designed for full-frame DSLRs from Canon and Nikon, the new ultra wide-angle zoom from Tamron is, according to the company, a sophisticated balance of outstanding optics and matchless mobility.

    The 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037), for 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras will be first available in Nikon mount on September 4, 2018 at a suggested retail price of $599. The launch of the Canon mount model will be announced at a later date. The announced price makes the lens an interesting proposition for whomever is after an affordable alternative to the lenses offered by both Canon and Nikon. Some may argue that it lacks Image Stabilization, but for these focal lengths and for the price, the lens seems a good choice, and if it is, optically, in the same league as the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, a lot of people is going to opt for Tamron. The smallest and lightest in its class, according to Tamron’s data, the lens is 3.5 in in length and 16.2 oz. in weight.

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    The company says that the vision behind this model “is that of an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that has a separate concept from SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A012), with superb image quality and easy portability.” Focal lengths range from an ultra-wide 17mm that is suitable for professional landscape photography to a standard 35mm perfect for snapshot photography. As for F-stops, the wide-angle end is a large aperture F/2.8, and the other end is a fast F/4 (for a zoom lens of this type).

    For those looking to try out an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for the first time, as well as having a lens that is easily portable, the A037 is an option to consider. The list of subjects where this lens can be used does not stop on those mentioned above: from night sky and star photography to street photography, weddings and some video, the Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD seems to be a viable, take everywhere choice.

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    High-performance imaging for shooting vast landscapes in sharp detail was an important goal to reach, according to Tamron. The optical construction (15 elements in 10 groups) uses four LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize axial chromatic aberrations that can occur with ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses. With two properly positioned GM (Glass Molded Aspherical) lenses, distortion and other aberration can be satisfactorily corrected as well.

    Being the smallest and lightest in its class and dedicated to high quality imaging, the engineers have paid particular attention to size. The lens has also been carefully designed to allow peripheral point image reproducibility and thereby facilitate a high degree of sharpness and contrast. The Minimum Object Distance (MOD) for the entire zoom range is a short 11 in., so background blurring is still possible when opening the aperture and approaching the subject close-up with this ultra-wide-angle zoom.

    Wide-angles lenses are, many times, used in conditions that ask for effective control of backlighting, so Tamron uses advanced coating technology along with proprietary ghosting analysis simulation technology enabled the high level of backlighting control. The Model A037 has a high level optical construction that repeatedly employs comprehensive ghosting analysis simulation. The BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating is highly effective in reducing reflection, allowing ghosting and flare throughout the entire zoom range to be controlled.

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    Image Stabilization or VR is not available – and some will say it is not essential due to the focal lengths present – but the lens uses OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) to enable both excellent AF speed and drive noise reduction. Through the innovative optimization of the system that includes AF system speed reduction gear, Tamron could greatly reduce the drive noise in comparison to conventional AF types with built-in DC motors. AF performance and speed have also been vastly improved. Thus, even if silence is required, AF can be employed without having to worry at all about noise creation. The Model A037 can provide, says Tamron, “superlative AF precision for exact focus even when shooting moving objects, as well as outstanding trackability.”

    A 7-blade blade diaphragm is present, to retain a smooth, circular-shaped aperture opening even when stopped down by two stops from the wide-open aperture. This produces a smooth-edged bokeh in background light spots and avoids rugged aperture geometry.

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    In terms of protection, the lens features a moisture-resistant construction, with seals located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops to provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature affords an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions. The surface of the front element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that has excellent water- and oil-repellant qualities. The front surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture or oily fingerprints, allowing for much easier maintenance. The coating also provides an enhanced level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years.

    As usual for modern lenses from Tamron, the 17-35 F/2.8-4 Di OSD is compatible with TAMRON TAP-in Console, an optional accessory that provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling users to easily update a lens’s firmware as well as customize features including fine adjustments to the AF.

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