Tamron announces new 85mm f/1.8 and 90mm f/2.8 lenses, plus accessory for updating lenses at home


posted Monday, February 22, 2016 at 11:30 AM EDT

Tamron has announced two new lenses for full-frame cameras, the SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and the SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro. In addition to these two lenses, Tamron has also announced the TAP-in Console accessory that allows users to update the firmware and customize setups for selected Tamron lenses. 

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

The SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is "the world's first 85mm f/1.8 lens with VC for full-frame DSLR cameras." With a fast maximum aperture of f/1.8, this Vibration Compensation-enabled lens allows users to capture sharp images even in dim lighting conditions. The VC provides up to 3.5 stops of image stabilization. Utilizing Low Dispersion (LD) and Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) glass elements, the lens is designed to minimize color fringing. In total, there are thirteen lens elements in nine groups. The lens weighs 24.7 ounces in its Canon variant and 23.3 ounces in Nikon.

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD MTF chart and lens construction

With moisture-resistant construction and a fluorine coating applied to the lens' topmost element, the 85mm f/1.8 is also designed to combat condensation and smudging. To achieve the dreamy bokeh that photographers desire, Tamron has also performed thorough optical simulations when designing this new lens. In addition to promising a pleasing out-of-focus area, the 85mm now also utilizes an electromagnetic aperture diaphragm system in its Nikon-mount variant, which has before been a standard feature only for Canon-mount Tamron lenses.


Using Tamron's Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) autofocus system, the 85mm f/1.8 offers improved performance including fast and accurate autofocus. In addition to quick autofocus performance, the lens also has full-time manual focus override. The lens is compatible with Tamron's new Tap-in Console (see below). Coming in April for Canon and Nikon mounts, the price has yet to be determined. The Sony mount version of this lens will be available at a later date.

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

Alongside the 85mm f/1.8, Tamron's 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lens is the newest version of Tamron's classic 90mm macro lens. Building upon its legacy, the new lens features improved performance across the board.


With one LD and two XLD elements, the fourteen element (in eleven groups) macro lens promises great performance across its focusing range by adopting a floating system, ensuring that elements are ideally-positioned at any given range. As with the 85mm f/1.8, Tamron has performed optical simulations to improve bokeh performance and ensure the best possible performance.

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro MTF chart and lens construction

The VC system has been enhanced with shift compensation using an integrated accelerometer, which provides up to 3.5 stops of image stabilization performance from macro to infinity focusing distances. In addition to improved vibration compensation, the new 90mm f/2.8 lens features substantially improved autofocus speed and accuracy, particularly when shooting at macro ranges. There is also now a focus limiter on the lens to limit the autofocus range and improve performance when shooting within a known distance from your subject. The lens now also includes internal focusing so that the length of the lens is constant as your focus distance changes.

With moisture-proof and dust-resistant construction, this fluorine-coated lens is well-suited for shooting in a wide range of conditions. There is also extended bandwidth and angular-dependency (eBAND) and broad-band anti-reflection (BBAR) coating to allow for maximum light transmission while reducing reflections and flare.

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

The new 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lens is compatible with the new TAP-in console and will be available starting this Thursday for Canon and Nikon mounts at a price of $649 USD. The Sony mount version will be launched at a later date.

Tamron TAP-in console lens accessory 

Announced alongside the two new lenses, Tamron's new TAP-in console accessory is a lens accessory that allows users to update and customize select Tamron lenses (such as the new 85mm and 90mm lenses). When running the Tamron TAP-in Utility software on compatible PCs and Macs, Tamron users will now be able to update their own firmware for the first time ever (you previously had to have your lens updated at a Tamron Customer Service Center) over the Internet.

Tamron TAP-in console

Using the TAP-in Utility software, users will be able to customize certain lens functions for selected lenses. These functions include focus adjustment, focus distance limiter customization (such as with the new 90mm f/2.8 lens that includes a focus limiter feature), full-time manual focus override (such as with the new 85mm f/1.8 lens which includes full-time manual override), and VC adjustment.

Tamron TAP-in Utility screenshot

Focus can be adjusted in three distance regions: close, intermediate, and far and adjustments can be made in up to eight segments for lenses with variable focal length. Manual focus override customization includes being able to adjust the sensitivity of the focus ring. VC adjustment includes being able to prioritize either a stable viewfinder image or a stable captured image rather than the default VC setting which balances both considerations.

In addition to the newly-announced lenses, the following lenses are compatible with the TAP-in console: SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD. The USB-powered accessory is expected to be available in March. Pricing information will be available shortly, and we look forward to the opportunity to test these news lenses for you in our test lab!

SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USDSP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro