New Gear For 2007: PMA Report; New Lenses For Digital And 35mm SLRs Page 2

At the other end of the spectrum in price and size, Nikon's new digital-only 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom (82.5-300mm equivalent) is downright compact/lightweight (52mm filter size; 11.8 oz). It's also a bargain at $249 (MSRP) considering the features: multilayered coatings, a very fast Silent Wave (ultrasonic) AF motor, internal focusing, and an ED glass element. It's also equipped with Nikon's Vibration Reduction system, said to provide a three shutter speed step advantage over non-stabilized lenses.

Nikon 55-200

Tamron has not introduced a pro-grade lens for several years, concentrating instead on meeting the great demand for its affordable zooms. That changed at PMA 2007, with the unveiling of their latest multi-platform product, the SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD MACRO zoom with unusually close focusing (to 37.4") for a lens of this type, for maximum magnification of 0.33x. This digitally-optimized wide aperture zoom features internal focusing and zooming to maintain constant balance, three pieces of low dispersion glass for aberration control and high edge sharpness, multilayered Internal Surface Coatings on many elements, plus a removable (aluminum) tripod mounting collar.

The Tamron 70-200mm F/2.8 zoom is a bit large (77mm filter size) but relatively lightweight (39.2 oz) for an f/2.8 model and it boasts rugged barrel construction, employing very strong "engineering grade plastic materials." No shipping date or price was available at our press time but Tamron lenses offer good value for the money.

Tamron 70-200

Another new digital-only Pentax lens with Supersonic Drive Motor, the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM is a 75-205mm f/2.8 equivalent but it's relatively compact (67mm filter size) and lightweight (24.2 oz) in spite of the wide aperture and rugged water/dust-resistant barrel. It also benefits from two extra-low dispersion and three aspherical elements as well as the Super Protect coatings mentioned earlier. This zoom should be available very soon although price information was not available at our press time. Other high-grade Pentax SDM telephoto lenses with similar features will be available by year end: the 200mm f/2.8, 300mm f/4, and 60-250mm f/4. (For equivalent focal lengths, multiply by 1.5.) These pro-grade lenses confirm the Pentax commitment to marketing a full system of cameras, lenses, and accessories to keep this brand competitive.

Pentax 50-135

Multi-Purpose Zooms
The first Tamron lens to incorporate an Optical Image Stabilizer, the AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO will be a multi-platform lens, available in Canon and Nikon mount only. The Vibration Compensation system was developed by Tamron and features a gyro sensor for detecting camera shake, a 32-bit CPU, and a "triaxial configuration using three pairs of driving coils and slide balls around the compensator group of the lens' optical system." Although a price and shipping date were not available, this lens will include Internal Surface Coatings on many surfaces, XR (high refraction index) glass, AD (Anomalous Dispersion) glass, two types of aspherical elements plus low dispersion glass to correct all types of aberrations for high edge to edge sharpness. As you would expect, the "macro" designation indicates close focusing (to 19.3") for a maximum magnification of 0.33x. In spite of the stabilizing system, this lens is relatively compact and lightweight (67mm filter size; 19.4 oz) only slightly larger/heavier than the current Tamron 28-300mm XR Di zoom.

Tamron 28-300

A Four Thirds mount lens that's compatible only with Leica, Olympus EVOLT, and Panasonic Lumix D-SLRs, the Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS model provides a 28-300mm equivalent, making this an all-purpose zoom. Designed by Leica and manufactured by Panasonic to Leica standards, this lens is pricey at $999 (list), but should provide excellent image quality thanks to extensive use of multilayered coatings, four aspherical elements, and a piece of extra-low dispersion glass. This very rugged, moderately large (72mm filter size), and heavy (18.3 oz) zoom is equipped with a conventional (mechanical) aperture ring, a high torque ultrasonic Extra Silent Motor for ultra-fast autofocus, and Panasonic's remarkably effective MEGA OIS stabilizer with a three shutter speed step advantage.

Leica Zoom by Panasonic

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