The power of great portraits is in your hands. Make a closer connection with your subject.
Just as a painter instinctively reaches for the right brush, a portrait artist reaches for an 85mm lens. The focal length is ideal for producing a pleasing image with true-to-life facial features in accurate proportion. While a wide-angle lens makes close objects appear larger than they are, and longer telephotos compress and flatten features, the 85mm medium telephoto is just right. Plus the working distance between you and your subject is perfect for making the personal connection that’s often missing when using a zoom.
The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 is the world’s first* 85mm fast-aperture lens with image stabilisation. Its unique design allows us to include our VC (Vibration Compensation) system – without the lens becoming too large or heavy. What’s more, our SP 85mm f/1.8 delivers edge-to-edge viewfinder brightness for ease of composition and superior low-light performance. The fast aperture of the f/1.8 also offers the perfect balance of subject sharpness and bokeh, that dreamy blur which separates your portrait subject from the background.
* Among 85mm F/1.8 interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras as of January 2016. Data source: Tamron
Sharper images. Better bokeh.
To meet and surpass the needs of modern cameras with high resolution and high pixel densities, the SP 85mm F/1.8 employs LD and XLD low dispersion glass elements to correct critical aberrations. Superb optical design makes colour fringing inconspicuous, achieving sharp and clear image quality and enabling outstanding performance at any illumination level. eBAND and BBAR coatings work in concert with wide-ranging anti-reflection techniques to increase light transmission, reduce flare and ghosting, and to prevent reflections inside the lens barrel.
The SP 85mm F/1.8 is designed to provide tack-sharpness of the subject for stunning clarity and flawless image quality. At the same time, Tamron’s design philosophy embraces the notion that photographers – particularly portrait photographers – use background blur, bokeh , as a creative element to concentrate emphasis on the subject. Through numerous simulations conducted for wide-ranging blur effects, such as a gentle, melting transition from the focused to the out-of-focus areas, Tamron has created a soft and natural blur effect that achieves perfect harmony with the inescapable sharpness.
Hold steady with Vibration Compensation
The SP 85mm F/1.8 is the world’s first* lens with a fixed focal length of 85mm and a fast aperture of f/1.8 that’s equipped with the VC system. Camera movement – often too minute to be perceptible to the photographer – is the leading cause of unsharp photographs, especially in newer DSLR cameras with higher pixel densities and finer image resolution.
VC technology makes it possible to take photographs handheld in dim light and to make optimal use of slower shutter speeds and increased depth of field without extreme increase of the camera’s sensor sensitivity (ISO equivalent). This is especially important in portraiture because lighting is often low and the photographer needs the spontaneity of not using a tripod or disruptive flash units.
* Among 85mm F/1.8 interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras as of January 2016. Data source: Tamron
Resists Moisture, Repels Smudges
Moisture-Resistant Construction, including special seals at areas of possible ingress, provides added protection. A highly durable Fluorine Coating, applied to the surface of the top element, prevents condensation and repels smudges, grime and fingerprints.
Expand Your Options with TAP-in Console
The future is here. Now you can update firmware, customise autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the SP 85mm F/1.8 by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console and connecting it via USB to a personal computer.
Smart design. Inside and out.
The superior technology inside the Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 is matched by advanced external ergonomic features under a design philosophy called “Human Touch.” Improvements include altering the geometric shape and resistance of the AF/MF and VC switches to deliver comfort with secured operational feedback, and enlarging the distance scale window to maximise visibility and legibility.
Even the font style has been newly developed to enhance legibility as part of the overall product design.
The SP Series Prime Lens Lineup
The SP series lenses – 35mm, 45mm, 90mm Macro and 85mm – are built to achieve optimal performance, including functionality, handling and physical design. All deliver maximal sharpness, clarity and optical fidelity and are compatible with both full-frame and APS-C type DSLRs.
Every SP lens features VC to combat camera shake.
* The Sony mount does not include VC, as Sony digital SLR bodies include image stabilisation functionality. The Sony lens is designated as “SP 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 USD”.
** The diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape at aperture settings down to f/5.6.
Sharpens edges by reducing ‘colour fringing’
Chromatic aberration occurs when a lens element refracts different wavelengths of a ray of light – its rainbow colours – at very slightly different angles. This results in the ‘colour fringing’ that reduces the sharpness of an image. LD elements are made from special glass materials with extremely low dispersion indices (i.e. the refraction of a ray of light into rainbow colours is extremely narrow). Thus they effectively compensate for chromatic aberration at the centre of the field (on axis), a particular problem at long focal lengths (the telephoto end of the zoom range), and for lateral chromatic aberration (toward the edges of the field) that often occurs at short (wideangle) focal lengths.
Although costly, LD glass materials result in clear, vivid image quality.
Extra Low Dispersion
Dispersive properties even lower than LD elements
Extra Low Dispersion lens elements are made from a special high-grade glass that has dispersive properties (i.e. where refraction causes the dispersion of white light into spectral hues) even lower than standard LD lenses, in fact being similar to those of fluorite. In combination with LD elements, these make for an optimal optical design that delivers superb resolution with advanced correction of axial chromatic and magnification aberrations – major inhibitors of image quality.
The result is a lens that delivers sharp contrast and better descriptive performance throughout the entire zoom range.
Advanced lens coating produces even sharper, crisper images
This new coating technique developed by Tamron deploys a nano-structured* layer with dimensions smaller than the wavelengths of visible rays of light. Called eBAND (extended Bandwidth & ANgular-Dependency), its ultra-low refractive index, combined with the sophisticated multiple-layer coatings underneath, yields significant anti-reflection properties, absolutely minimising flare and ghosting to deliver sharp, crisp images.
*1nm = 1/1,000,000mm
Broad-Band Anti-Reflective coating
Cleaner, crisper images without flare or ghosting
Flare or ghosting can be detrimental to a decisive shot. In combination with the eBand Coating, BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) dramatically improves anti-reflection efficiency to deliver flawless, crystal clear images even against harsh beams of sunlight.
Attention-grabbing blur effects at wider apertures
Use depth of field more creatively with spectacular but natural-looking background blur.
The rounded outline diaphragm of the lens is retained even when stopped down to f/5.6. Blur highlights in a photo reflect the shape of the aperture, and they are a much more prominent feature at wider apertures. Especially in higher-speed lens, this important optical design element results in more attractive, natural-looking images.
Ultrasonic Silent Drive
‘Travelling waves’ generate a fast, smooth AF movement
Tamron’s USD works with the high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations that are produced by a ring called a ‘stator’. Energy from the vibrations is used to rotate an attached metallic ring known as the ‘rotor’. Piezoelectric ceramic is a material that produces ultrasonic vibrations when voltage of a specific frequency is applied is arranged in a ring formation on the stator. This electrode configuration of piezoelectric ceramic causes two ultrasonic vibrations to occur in the stator. By effectively combining these two ultrasonic vibrations, it is possible to convert the energy from the vibrations that produce simple motion into energy known as ‘deflective travelling waves’, which move around the circumference of the ring. The friction between these deflective travelling waves created on the metallic surface of the stator and the surface of the rotor produces force, causing the rotor to rotate. Attached to the rotor is the focusing lens, which is given a fast, smooth autofocus movement.
Compensates for camera blur on long shutter speeds – for sharp images in much less light
Tamron’s unique VC mechanism uses a proprietary actuator and algorithms to deliver an extremely stable viewfinder image with excellent tracking. The mechanism employs a tri-axial system in which three driving coils move internal optical components within the VC lens electromagnetically, based on signals originating from three steel ball bearings. The VC lens elements are held in place only by contact with the steel balls, achieving smooth movement with minimal friction. The simplicity of this mechanical structure is also one of the secrets of Tamron’s compact lens sizes.
Moisture resistance adds protection
Moisture-resistant body construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens, making it well suited ideal for travel and shooting outdoors.
Focusing elements inside the optical design make for better handling
In many lenses, the front elements move back and forth to alter the focus distance. With an internal focusing (IF) mechanism, the focusing elements are inside the optical design. Because the front lens elements remain static, the lens’ actual length does not change. This provides several benefits both to the image and during photography:
- The barrel is not subject to stray light entering from external helicoids that can adversely affect image quality
- A non-rotating front filter thread makes it easier to use filters such as graduated filters and polarisers
- A flower-shaped lens hood will remain in the correct position to most effectively shield the lens from stray light
- Better balance and more predictable handling because the lens length does not change during focusing
- Generally, a much closer minimum focusing distance throughout the zoom range
- Improved optical performance by minimising loss of illumination at the corners of the image field (vignetting)
- Suppression of other aberrations that become more troublesome at different focusing positions.
Integrated focus cam optimises internal focusing
Tamron’s Integrated Focus Cam is a precision mechanical component that optimises the co-ordinated movement of the Internal Focusing (IF) system with the Multiple Cam Zoom Mechanism. This ingenious mechanism ensures accurate and seamless positioning of all the internal elements within the lens and coordinates them with the external zoom and focus controls.
Angle of view (diagonal)
28° 33′ (with full-size SLR cameras)
18° 39′ (with APS-C sized sensor digital SLR cameras)
13 elements in 9 groups
Minimum focus distance
0.8m (31.5 in.)
Maximum magnification ratio
91.3mm (3.6 in.) Canon
88.8mm (3.5 in.) Nikon
700g (24.7 oz) Canon
660g (23.3 oz) Nikong (19.4 oz)
9 (circular diaphragm)**
3.5 stops (CIPA Standards Compliant)
For Canon: EOS 5D Mark III is used
For Nikon: D810 is used
Lens hood, lens caps
Canon, Nikon, Sony***
Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. may be changed without prior notice.
* Length is the distance between the mount face and the tip of the lens.
** This rounded diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even when taken two stops down from its fully open state.
*** The Sony mount does not include VC, as Sony DSLR bodies include image stabilisation functionality.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 26 June, 2017.