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News & Insight

New Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-f4 For Canon & Nikon | Smallest, Lightest Ultra-Wide-Angle Zoom Lens in its Class

By Kishore Sawh on August 7th 2018

There’s an argument to be made that Tamron is providing some of the best lens solutions for photographers who are budget conscious, but that’s not entirely fair either because while their units come in significantly lower than other brands, it’s not necessarily a reflection of performance. In fact, Tamron has been putting out some incredibly good glass with features the CaNikons hadn’t offered, and for less cost. Immediately, lenses like the 85mm f/1,8 Di VC USD come to mind, or the new 28-75mm f/2.8 for E-mount. Now a newcomer, the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD looks to once more offer a high performing option for a primary focal range.

[REWIND: What To Consider & Remember For The New Nikon Mirrorless | Features, QC, Competition, & Market Position]

Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD Features at A Glance:

  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • Fluorine and BBAR Coatings
  • Optimized Silent Drive AF Motor
  • TAP-in Console Compatible
  • Leak-Proof Lens Seals
  • Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm

Most know now that the ‘Holy Trinity’ of zoom lenses is made of up a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200, and those are typically marquee lenses that cost marquee dollars – even if the f/4 versions in the case of the 16-35 lenses.

For example, the Nikon & Canon 16-35 f/4 models are both $1,100 and the Canon 16-35 F2.8 L is a whopping $2,200 (currently on sale for $1,899). While the Tamron is not a constant aperture lens it’s still faster than the Nikon at some focal lengths, and coming in at $599 it’s almost half the cost.

While we don’t know what to yet expect in terms of the boundaries of performance it’s probably fair to say it will be along the lines of other Tamron Di models, which means it’s probably going to be very good, even if not brilliant. The Tamron 28-75 2.8 for E-mount, for instance, is such a compelling lens for the price. While it suffers from some very noticable barrel distortion from 28-35, it’s very sharp, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this 17-35 has similar performance.

Given the focal length, weather-sealing, and light weight, if you’re a typical street shooter with a love of 35mm focal length, then this would be great for travel, landscapes, and a broad range.

You can pre-order it here.

Press Release

August 6, 2018, Commack, New York— Tamron announces the launch of a new ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, the 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037), for 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras. The vision behind the Model A037 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. At just 3.5 in in length and 16.2 oz. in weight, it is the smallest and lightest in its class. The focal length ranges 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 at the telephoto end is a fast F/4. The Moisture-Resistant Construction and Fluorine Coating help to enhance the user’s photographic experience. 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 the definitive choice. The lens will be 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.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

1. High-performance imaging for shooting vast landscapes in sharp detail
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.

2. Advanced coating technology along with proprietary ghosting analysis simulation technology enabled the high level of backlighting control
Resistance to backlighting is extremely important for wide-angle lenses as they are often subjected to strong light sources. 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.

3. OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) enables both excellent AF speed and drive noise reduction
The AF drive system employs an OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) to ensure quiet operation. 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 superlative AF precision for exact focus even when shooting moving objects, as well as outstanding trackability.

4. Circular aperture to produce a smooth-edged bokeh
A 7-blade diaphragm is configured 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.

5. Moisture-Resistant Construction
Seals are 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.

6. Fluorine Coating
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.

7. Compatible with TAMRON TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory
The new A037 is compatible with the optional TAMRON TAP-in Console, an optional accessory product 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.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Chris Rogers

    If i didn’t already have the Nikon 18-35mm f3.5-5.6G I’d probably have bought this.

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  2. Phil Bautista

    What’s amazing is that they didn’t come out with an E-mount version… oh, wait… Tamron

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  3. Matthew Saville

    Finally, someone is bucking this trend of 2-3 lb, no-front-filter, insanely-wide ultrawide lenses! A ~1 lb 17-35 that accepts 77mm filters and hits f/2.8 at 17mm? If this lens is sharp, I’ll definitely buy one for general travel photography…

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Right?  It’s got practicality written all over it.  And again, Tamrons have been sharp – just that distortion on the wider end.  for most people it won’t matter.

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    • Matthew Saville

      The MTF chart, plus some of the press release literature, implies that it ought to be sharp even in the demanding arena of astro-landscape photography, with low coma. I’ll look forward to owning one someday, most likely.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Let’s get one in then 

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