Monster zoom!

Tam­ron un­leashes its whop­ping 16-300mm su­per­zoom

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Tam­ron has an­nounced the world’s most pow­er­ful su­per­zoom. The 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 is de­signed for DX Nikon SLRs, and gives a record-break­ing 18.8x zoom range. Pre­vi­ously, the su­per­zoom with the big­gest range was Nikon’s own 18300mm f/3.5-5.6G DX ED VR. How­ever, 2mm is a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence at the wide-an­gle end, and should make the Tam­ron even more flex­i­ble.

The all-in-one lens in­cludes Tam­ron’s ‘VC’ Vi­bra­tion Com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem. It also fea­tures a Piezo Drive (PZD) mo­tor for fast, silent ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus, which Tam­ron claims en­ables the lens to be made smaller than if con­ven­tional ring-type aut­o­fo­cus were used. The fact that it weighs just 540g would bear this out.

Qual­ity counts

Con­struc­tion ap­pears to be sound: the lens con­tains 16 el­e­ments in 12 groups, and has seven iris blades, which re­tain a cir­cu­lar shape even when the aper­ture is two stops be­low max­i­mum. It has a min­i­mum fo­cus dis­tance of 39cm, which makes close-up pho­tog­ra­phy pos­si­ble (and gives a max­i­mum mag­ni­fi­ca­tion ra­tio of 1:2.9 at 300mm). It also comes sup­plied with a petal-shaped hood, and takes 67mm fil­ters.

In the­ory, this new Tam­ron could meet pretty much all your needs. How­ever, lenses that ap­pear to do ev­ery­thing don’t al­ways do it to the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dard. Also, the aper­ture at the long­est zoom won’t al­low a fast shut­ter speed. We re­ally want to get this in the lab to see how it per­forms.

Price and avail­abil­ity are yet to be an­nounced.

First im­pre­sions : In­creased zoom range in­creases flex­i­bil­ity but also the risk of dis­tor­tion. We can’t wait to test it!

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