Tamron updates 18-270mm travel zoom with new design, fluorine coating


posted Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 7:59 AM EDT


French journalist, novelist and critic Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr is credited with the expression "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose", these days often stated simply as "plus ça change". For those of you who don't speak French, the phrase translates into English roughly as "the more things change, the more they stay the same". We're not sure to what change, precisely, Karr was referring in the 1849 tome in which the expression first appeared, but had it been coined today, he could easily have been hinting at the latest lens announcement from Tamron.

On its global website, the company has revealed a new version of its 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 travel zoom lens. Rather confusingly, the product name -- the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD -- is identical to that of the earlier optic, which launched back in April 2011. The new variant of the Tamron 18-270mm lens sports a differnt model number, though, and so it's this you'll want to use when trying to tell the two apart. Where the original lens was known as the model B008, the new one is referred to as the B008TS.

So what differs between the two lenses? Well, really they couldn't be much closer to identical to each other. Take a look at the spec tables for both lenses, and they're essentially identical, right down to the very last specification. But with that said, there are indeed a few changes beyond the name, and one of them is sufficiently notable that we'd suggest buying the newer version if you can, at least so long as the pricetag is in the same ballpark.

The new version of Tamron's 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 travel zoom. Apologies for the poor picture quality; a higher-resolution image wasn't available at press time.

On its exterior, Tamron has simplified the lens' styling just slightly, removing some of the detailing from the zoom ring and altering the focus ring styling to match. The company has also switched out the gold trim ring of the earlier lens with a new silver one. These cosmetic changes are so subtle that many shooters likely wouldn't notice them if they weren't pointed out, but it's the final change which is really key.

In addition to the company's Broad-Band Anti Reflection coating, as used in the earlier version of the lens, the new Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008TS) now features a fluorine coating on the front lens element. It's a change Tamron has also been making in its other optics, and one which will make the lens' front element far less prone to accidental smudges and fingerprints, as well as making it less likely that dust, dirt and moisture will adhere to the front of the lens.

Interestingly (but not surprisingly), while the lens originally shipped in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony A-mount variants, the latter has been dropped for the new model. This indicates that Tamron no longer sees sufficient demand from Sony Alpha DSLR and SLT owners to justify stocking another version of the lens, even though the cost of doing so would be minimal. (The changes in the design, after all, have no effect on the mount, for which the tooling was already produced five years ago.)

The new variant of the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD will be shipping in Japan tomorrow. Pricing is set at ¥83,000, which is roughly equivalent to US$820, ignoring exchange rate fluctuations, taxes and duties. More details can be found on Tamron's website, and given that the lens is optically identical to its predecessor with the exception of the new coating, our existing review of the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008) will also prove informative!

(via Canon Watch)