A legacy of superior optical performance in 1:1 lifesize photography reaches a new plateau with enhanced VC functionality and advanced features
The SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD (Model F017) is the most recent release in a successful line of Tamron SP 90mm macro lenses. It redefines the best in advanced features and succeeds a legacy of superior optical performance.
XY-Shift compensation has been newly added to reinforce VC functionality, further improving image stabilisation capabilities at any shooting distance from infinity to macro. Advancements in USD control software have also increased AF focusing speed and optimally fine-tuned for various framing conditions.
Furthermore, a high standard of Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction has been added to prevent intrusion of dust or water droplets. Highly durable Fluorine Coating is applied to the top element surface and efficiently prevents condensation of moisture and repels smudge-causing substances.
Meticulous craftsmanship is demonstrated in every detail of the exterior design of the newly transformed SP 90mm macro lens. Feel it in the exquisitely smooth texture of the metallic barrel.
Outstanding depictive capabilities and anti-reflection efficiency
The lens features an optical construction of 14 elements in 11 groups, including one LD (Low Dispersion) and two XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) glass elements that in consonance help to control lateral and on-axis chromatic aberrations at a very high level of performance. A Floating System works in tandem with the optical construction to efficiently compensate for inherent aberration changes subject to varying distances. Therefore, this lens ensures seamless and outstanding depictive capabilities across the entire shooting range – close or far.
Flare or ghosting can be detrimental to a decisive shot. A combination of 2 types of coating – eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) layered on top of BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) – dramatically improves anti-reflection efficiency to deliver flawless, crystal clear images even against harsh beams of sunlight.
Commitment to extending a legacy of bokeh with elegance
Tamron has maintained a reputable standard for generations of 90mm macro lens models – all the way from manual focus lenses to the current AF models – for their exceptional depictive quality with spectacular bokeh. We also set a high standard to keep pace with the upward migration of digital cameras with advanced technical features and high pixel density.
We have now balanced these polar traits at a higher level: raising resolution performance to a new standard of sharp images, while rendering a soft and smooth transition in gradation of blur-effect in background objects. Optical simulations were thoroughly conducted to realise both well-tuned bokeh effects, while minimising disturbance in dual-line smear of linear-shaped objects naturally blended into the overall bokeh effect.
The result: the SP 90mm F/2.8 MACRO VC sustains the tradition of excellence in optical design while extending the limit in cutting-edge optical performance and beautiful bokeh.
Optimally tuned USD actuator for macro photography with manual override for instantaneous focus control
The USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) control software has been optimised for macro photography with increased focusing speed and positional accuracy when shooting in close-up settings. The AF drive responds rapidly yet quietly to zero in on the photographer’s point of interest and the Manual Focus Override enables instant shift in focus when necessary.
High-performance features behind every design aesthetic
Our attention to every engineering detail has yielded the most advanced optical and electro-mechanical design featured in the newest Tamron SP lenses, culminating in a new benchmark for high performance and visual elegance.
The design philosophy is based on human touch and is an integral factor in macro photography. The newly designed all-metallic barrel features an embedded concave ring at the base of the lens – for a firm hold and comfort necessary for a steady shot.
Switches are larger and reconfigured for smoother torque and the typeface has been redesigned for intuitive legibility.
* 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)
27° 02′ (with full-size SLR cameras)
17° 37′ (with APS-C sized sensor digital SLR cameras)
14 elements in 11 groups
Minimum focus distance
0.3m (11.8 in.)
Maximum magnification ratio
117.1mm (4.6 in.) Canon
114.6mm (4.5 in.) Nikon
610g (21.5 oz) Canon
600g (21.2 oz) Nikong (19.4 oz)
9 (rounded 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.