Thursday, September 1, 2005
Tamron SP AF11-18mm Zoom
Gain added wide-angle capability for your small-format digital SLR
A steady complaint about small-format digital SLRs is that they lose wide-angle possibilities. With their smaller sensors, they take lenses that we've known and loved from 35mm work and cause them to gain a telephoto effect. Focal lengths that worked great for wide-angle shots in nature lost that wide-angle feel.
Tamron has introduced a new wide-angle lens, the SP AF11-18mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) zoom, specifically matched to the needs of the small-format digital SLR. It covers the APS-sized sensor perfectly, but won't work on a traditional 35mm camera (or larger sensors). Its focal length range of 11-18mm is approximately equivalent to what you'd expect with a 17-28mm range on a full-frame 35mm camera.
I used the lens while working in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently and I truly fell in love with it. It's compact and lightweight—a perfect match for my small digital SLR. I like compact packages of lens and camera, and at 3.3x3.1 inches and 12.5 ounces, the lens fit my way of working perfectly. In addition, it performed beautifully in the field. Photos from it are crisp and sharp.
Tamron's 11-18mm zoom is a digital lens with new multicoatings and designs to make it work with digital camera sensors (which have a protective cover that's reflective). A quality addition to this lens is the use of special glass elements for higher image quality—the lens has one element of HID (High Index/High Dispersion glass) and LD glass to minimize chromatic aberrations. The lens also includes three aspherical elements—a high-precision, glass-molded aspherical element, plus two hybrid aspherical elements—important lens features to reduce aberration problems with wide-angle lenses.
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