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The power of great portraits is in your hands

Make a closer connection with your subject

Image taken with Tamron SP 85mm VC USD (Model F016)
Image taken with Tamron SP 85mm VC USD (Model F016)
Image taken with Tamron SP 85mm VC USD (Model F016)

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.

Optical design

Optical diagram

LD
Low Dispersion

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.

Low Disperison glass

XLD
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.

eBANDeBAND Coating

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.

eBand Coating

*1nm = 1/1,000,000mm

BBAR
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.

Rounded diaphragm blades give natural-looking circular blur highlightsRounded diaphragm

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.


Other features

1:1 Maximum magnification ratio

The powerful maximum magnification ratio of 1:1 reproduces a life-size image of the subject on the image sensor. The Tamron 90mm Macro captures a minute world with a level of crisp detail that cannot be easily seen by the naked eye.

VCVibration Compensation

Stabilises camera blur for sharp images in low light

If you're shooting handheld when light is low, especially with longer lenses, your camera's shutter speeds can extend to a point where the image may turn out blurred due to camera shake. Tamron's VC tracks this shake and neutralises it for sharper images without the inconvenience of a tripod or the artificiality of a flash, in much lower light.

Tamron's unique VC mechanism uses a proprietary actuator and algorithms to deliver an extremely stable viewfinder image with excellent tracking. The tri-axial system uses three driving coils to move internal optical components within the VC lens electromagnetically, based on signals originating from three ball bearings, made from either steel or ceramic. The VC lens elements are held in place only by contact with the balls, achieving smooth movement with minimal friction.

Tamron's original moving magnet system employed a heavy magnet positioned near the moving VC lens element. The improved VC reverses the positions of magnet and coil and attaches the VC optic to the coil. This moving coil is lighter than the magnet, and as this reduces the load on the drive system, both the VC unit and the lens are lighter and more compact.

Vibration Compensation mechanism in Tamron lenses

VC on, VC off

* From a focus distance of 3 metres the benefits of VC gradually decrease as the focus distance becomes closer.

USD Ultrasonic Silent DriveUltrasonic Silent Drive

'Travelling waves' generate a fast, smooth AF movement

This extremely quiet motor is ideal for photography of events, weddings, theatre or musical performances, as well as crucial moments on the golf course – any situation where autofocus noise is obtrusive. Major improvements in autofocus response and tracking ability over standard DC motors make for instantaneous focusing and spontaneous shooting of rapidly moving subjects.

Watch this feature in action on our YouTube channelTamron’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.

IF
Internal Focusing

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
  • 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.

Moisture-proof and dust-resistant construction and fluorine coating for outdoor shooting

A high standard of moisture-proof and dust-resistant construction prevents intrusion of dirt, dust, or water droplets. In addition, fluorine coating has been applied to the front element surface to repel water and oil, which is especially useful when shooting outdoors.

DMF
Fine manual focus adjustments can be made quickly and easily

The USD motor is complemented by DMF (Direct Manual Focus) to enable manual fine-tuning after autofocusing if and when necessary. No need to engage a switch – just gently rotate the focus ring on the lens.

Specifications

Model no. F016
Focal length 85mm
Maximum aperture f/1.8
Angle of view (diagonal) 28° 33′ (with full-size SLR cameras)
18° 39′ (with APS-C sized sensor digital SLR cameras)
Lens construction 13 elements in 9 groups
Minimum focus distance 0.8m (31.5 in.)
Maximum magnification ratio 1:1
Filter size 67mm
Length* 91.3mm (3.6 in.) Canon
88.8mm (3.5 in.) Nikon
Maximum diameter 84.8mm
Weight 700g (24.7 oz) Canon
660g (23.3 oz) Nikong (19.4 oz)
Diaphragm blades 9 (circular diaphragm)**
Minimum aperture f/16
Stabilisation performance 3.5 stops (CIPA Standards Compliant)
For Canon: EOS 5D Mark III is used
For Nikon: D810 is used
Standard accessory Lens hood, lens caps
Mounts available 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.

Mounts available for this lens

Nikon | Canon | Sony

Di  Digitally Integrated

Optimal image quality for all DSLRs

Tamron Di lenses provide outstanding performance on DSLRs with either full-frame or APS-C format sensors, as well as on 35mm film. Their optical designs and advanced multi-coating techniques assure excellent image quality across the entire picture field. Tamron's Di range comprises:

Click to download the Tamron brochure for this product

SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD

Click to download the Tamron general brochure for 2012

Tamron Lens Catalogue 2015

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Specifications, design, product name and standard accessories may differ by country or area. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, these matters are subject to change by the manufacturer without notice or obligation.
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