Tamron has today unveiled what it trumpets as the first full-frame 85mm f/1.8 lens with vibration compensation.

The ‘moisture-resistant’ Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD features low dispersion and extra-low dispersion glass elements to help minimise colour fringing and boost sharpness and clarity. The SP design includes ‘larger and more tactile switches’.

It is due to go on sale on 24 March, in Nikon and Canon mounts, at a price yet to be confirmed. A Sony version will be available at a later date.

Firmware can be updated using the optional Tap-in Console, due in March, at a price yet to be determined.

Press release
Tamron extends its range of Prime lenses with the SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD, the world’s first*1 fast-aperture lens with VC (Vibration Compensation). The new 85mm F/1.8 VC USD fixed focal length lens adds to the existing 35mm VC lens and 45mm VC lens launched last year and the new 90mm VC USD Macro lens announced in February 2016, adding a wide aperture telephoto prime to the range.

The 85mm SP lens uses LD (Low Dispersion) and XLD (Extra Low Dispersion) glass elements in the optical design to minimize colour fringing and to achieve outstanding sharpness and clarity, plus Tamron’s Fluorine coating has been applied to the front element to help repel water & oil, makes the front element easy to keep clean & condensation free.

In addition this new lens is constructed with Tamron’s NEW SP design, incorporating a new look & feel which includes larger and more tactile switches, together with Tamron’s Moisture-Resistant Construction to give photographers the confidence to use the lens in more wide ranging scenarios. VC (Vibration Compensation) is also included in the lens design to help reduce camera shake making it easy to take handheld photographs in low light & ensure images shot in challenging situations are sharp, even with the highest pixel density sensors.

USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) focusing is also a key part in delivering sharp and precise focus every time, with Full time manual override for extra creative control. Combined with the F/1.8 maximum aperture this enables photographers to create great sharp images at maximum aperture with amazing background blur (bokeh).

Photographers can also update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 85mm lens by simply attaching it to the optional TAMRON TAP-in Console which will be available from March.

Date of launch: 24 March 2016
Suggested retail price TBA

The Canon and Nikon mount models will be launched simultaneously. The launch date of the Sony* mount model will be announced at a later date.
*1 Among 85mm F/1.8 interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras (as of February 19; Tamron).
*2 The Sony mount model does not include VC (Vibration Compensation), since the bodies of Sony DSLR cameras include built-in image stabilization functionality. The name of the Sony mount model is “SP 85mm F/1.8 Di USD” without the VC designation.


1. The world’s first*3 85mm fast-aperture lens with image stabilization
Tamron’s VC image stabilization system enables handheld use in dim light without flash. Camera movement—often too minute to be perceptible to the photographer—is the leading cause of blur in photographs. In addition, newer DSLR cameras with higher resolution and higher pixel densities are even more susceptible to subtle camera shake. The VC System, Tamron’s time-proven Vibration Compensation, keeps the sharpness at hand, even in moody, dim light when shutter speeds tend to be longer.

*3 Among 85mm F/1.8 interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras (as of February 19; Tamron).

2. Superior resolving power and attractive bokeh
Experienced optical design technique combined with LD and XLD lens elements have virtually eliminated on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations that might otherwise appear as colour fringing. In addition, by thoroughly reducing chromatic aberrations (distortion of off-axis point source) and astigmatism, subjects that appear as a distinct point source will be captured as a distinct point source even at the edges and corners of the frame. Furthermore, optical simulations were thoroughly conducted, and the 85mm achieves natural bokeh— that dreamy, semi-focus blur that separates the portrait subject from the background with a snap.

3. Moisture-Resistant Construction
Special seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to help prevent moisture and/or dust from penetrating the lens and provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature provides an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.

4. A durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water
The Fluorine Coating is a water and oil repellant coating applied to the front element surface making it much easier to keep clean & remove dust & deposits with ease.

5. Sophisticated eBAND and BBAR coatings plus Advanced Anti-Reflection Technologies
Two highly developed lens coating technologies, eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) which uses nanotechnology, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection), combine to increase light transmission and to reduce flare and ghosting to imperceptible levels. Additional techniques are employed to prevent reflections inside the lens barrel so that the 85mm lens delivers high contrast, sharp and clear images worthy of a fixed focal lens. This lens clearly captures detailed tones even in the shadows.

6. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lens
An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses*4. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

7. USD actuator maximized for fast and accurate focusing
Fast, quiet AF is achieved by using a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ring-type ultrasonic motor which enables remarkably precise focusing drive with high torque and responsiveness.. In addition, Full-time Manual Focus override is available at any point during the autofocus operation for deliberately shifting focus without switching the AF-MF.

8. Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in Console
You can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 85mm lens by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console and connecting it via USB to a personal computer. (The TAP-in Console is an optional accessory that will be released in March.)

*4 Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300 ,D5000, D5100 ,D5200, D5300, D5500, D7000, D7100 ,D7200, D300, D300s, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D810, D3x, D3s, D4, D4s, Df).

9. Compatibility with Adobe and Silkypix software
Supplied with SILKYPIX Developer Studio 4.0, advanced editing software that features correction menus for various aberrations (lateral color, distortion, relative illumination) based on the optical design data of this specific lens. In addition, lens profile information has been supplied to Adobe Systems, Inc. to facilitate selecting the precise lens data required for more sophisticated adjustments in RAW processing when using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Shooting RAW image files enables creation of more stringent and high-fidelity image quality.

Design Concept
The superior technology inside the Tamron 85mm 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 maximize visibility and legibility. Even the font style has been newly developed to enhance legibility as part of the overall product design.

  • David Braddon-Mitchell

    Well, the worlds first 85mm 1.8 with VR that clears an SLR mirror maybe: but the Zeiss Batis is a FF 85mm 1.8 with VR