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

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 which covers just about every photographic situation. Its compactness and light-weight 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

Model: B008

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: φ62mm

Length: 88mm3, 4

Entire Length: 96.4mm3, 5

Diameter: φ74.4mm

Weight: 450g3

No. of diaphragm blades: 7

Minimum aperture: F/22 - 40

Standard accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood

Compatible mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony2


*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 light-weight and compact size.