The unofficial arms race between Sigma and Tamron has been going on for some time now. As each manufacturer lands their perspective shots, consumers oblivious to the feud just get an onslaught of fantastic lens from the duo. Back in September, there were whispers of the Tamron alternative to the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3. Recently at the Photo Plus Expo 2017, Tamron has revealed their newest ultra-telephoto zoom, the 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD for full frame Nikon and Canon DSLRs.
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Aimed at the enthusiast market, the new Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is the lightest zoom in its class at just 39.3 oz (sans the tripod collar). The optical construction consists of 17 lens elements in 11 groups with three low dispersion (LD) elements. Tamron’s high-speed Dual MPU rounds out the features, allowing for ‘fast and precise AF’ and up to four stops of stabilization.
• Three LD (low dispersion) elements. Used to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing
• eBAND coating for reduced ghosting and lens flare
• Minimum focus distance 4.9′ feet
• Sealed, dust- and moisture-resistant construction
• Dual Micro-Processing Unit control system fast and precise auto-focus
The barrel of Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 is clad with the AF/MF switch, zoom lock, and a VC selector switch with off/Mode 1/Mode 2. Where VC Mode 1 strikes a great balance between the stability of the viewfinder image and the stabilization effects and Mode 2 is used for panning, Tamron’s new offerings forgoes VC Mode 3, which prioritizes stabilization of captured images and instead of the viewfinder, in a speculated cost reduction.
Although the 100-400mm doesn’t carry Tamron’s ‘SP’ moniker, it offers many of the offerings of one including an excellent vibration reduction, design aesthetics, and close minimum object distance. Using the test model with a Nikon D500, the focus was snappy and accurate even in the lights of the Photo Plus Expo.
The tripod ring is an optional accessory, but recommended by Tamron. The collar barely adds any additional weight and allows the lens to balance appropriately when mounted on a tripod. In traditional Tamron fashion, the foot is Arca-SWISS compatible.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to B&H for their sponsorship of this trip, allowing us to bring you coverage of all the best and new from PhotoPlus 2017.