Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD

December 9, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses | Comment | |
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The Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is the world’s lightest and smallest 15x travel zoom for DSLR cameras with an APS-C sized sensor. Sporting an ultrasonic Piezo AF motor and vibration compensation (Nikon and Canon versions only), the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD weighs in at 450 grams, and spans a focal range equivalent to that of an imaginary 27-405mm (Nikon/Sony versions) or 29-432mm (Canon version) zoom lens. The Piezo AF motor built into this lens functions according to the standing wave principle, and is supposed to be faster and quieter than travelling-wave ultrasonic motors. The recommended retail price for the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is £649.99 and the product will be available in the UK in limited quantity from the end of December 2010.

Tamron Press Release

Tamron introduces the world’s lightest, smallest 15x travel zoom with Piezo AF motor

New 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008) with ultrasonic Piezo AF motor for APS-C format SLR cameras

December 9, 2010, Tamron introduces a new mega travel zoom with a focal range of 18-270mm. Tamron still holds the world record in the focal length range for SLR lenses1. The lens features a newly developed Piezo ultrasonic motor, which ensures a silent, precise and extraordinary fast autofocus. Furthermore the unique (VC) vibration technology was improved to allow for a more compact design.

The lens convinces with its high level of usability, featuring a focal length range that covers just about every photographic situation. Its compactness and lightweight construction make it the ideal travel companion. The lens not only covers everything from wide-angle for landscape to tele for close-up photography, but also offers light-macro capability at a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3,8 throughout the focal length range, to magnify the small things in life.

The Nikon and Canon mounts of the 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD will become available from the end of December. The Sony mount will become available at a later date, which is yet to be announced.2

Product features at a glance
15X Zoom – largest focal length range in the world
Compact and light-weight, easy to always carry with you
Silent and very fast Piezo-ultrasonic motor
VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilizer
Maximum magnification ratio 1:3.8 at a minimum focus distance of 0.49m
Di II lens – optimized for use with APS-C format digital sensors

Technical Specifications
Focal length: 18-270mm
Maximum aperture: F/3.5 – 6.3
Angle of view (diagonal): 75°33?- 5°55?
Lens construction: 16 elements, 13 groups
Minimum focus distance: 0.49m
Maximum magnification ratio: 1: 3.8 (at f=270mm: MFD 0.49m)
Filter size: ?62mm
Length: 88mm3, 4
Entire Length: 96.4mm3, 5
Diameter: ?74.4mm
Weight: 450g 3
No. of diaphragm blades: 7
Minimum aperture: F/22 - 40
Standard accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood
Compatible mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony 2
*Specifications, appearance, performance, etc, may be changed without notice.

1 As per December 3rd, 2010. The Tamron model B003 also has an equivalent focal length range of 18-270mm.
2 The Sony mount is not equipped with the VC image stabilization mechanism, as the body of Sony’s digital SLR cameras has a built-in image stabilization function. Consequently, the lens with a Sony mount is referred to as the 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD and does not include the VC description.
3 Specifications are given for the Nikon mount.
4 Length is defined as the distance between the mount face and the tip of the lens.
5 The entire length is defined as the distance between the mount-sided protrusion and the tip of the lens.

Main Characteristics in detail

?PZD (PIEZO Drive)
Ultrasonic motors are divided into two categories depending on how the energy that moves the drive is generated: traveling wave motors and standing wave motors. Traveling wave motors include the circular arc ultrasonic motor used in the recently launched 70-300mm F/4-5.6 VC USD. The 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD employs a newer technology, the PZD (PIEZO Drive), which functions according to the standing wave principle.

A standing wave ultrasonic motor utilizes high-frequency voltage to extend and turn the piezoelectric (piezoceramic) element, thus moving the entire element in a standing wave movement. The metal tip is the contact point of the element to the rotor, and moves in an elliptic motion from the swiveling motion of the moving element. The friction from this motion subsequently turns the rotor. Standing wave ultrasonic motors have the distinct advantage of being faster, quieter and more precise and compact than their traveling wave counterparts.

?VC (Vibration Compensation)
Tamron’s VC mechanism employs a three-coil system, whereby three driving coils activate the shake-compensating VC lens group electromagnetically via three steel balls. The VC lens element is simply held in place by contact with the steel balls, resulting in smooth movement with little friction. This delivers a stable viewfinder image with excellent tracking performance and eliminates the blur from handheld shots for cleaner, crisper shots.

?New VC mechanism (moving coil method)
Tamron’s original VC image stabilization mechanism utilizes a moving magnet system with heavy magnets.
In the new VC unit the positions of the magnets and the coils are reversed, consequently the VC optical lens element is attached to the coil. The new VC mechanism employs a moving coil mechanism with lightweight coils, which reduces the load on the drive system. The lighter, more compact newly improved
VC unit contributes to the lens’s overall lightweight and compact size.

Price & Availability:
The recommended retail price for the Tamron 18-270mm VC PZD is £649.99 and the product will be available in the UK in limited quantity from the end December 2010.

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