Welcome to a guide and list of Tamron lens abbreviations and acronyms. Tamron is a third-party lens maker that produces some mighty decent lenses. But just as with all other lens makers, their lenses are full of mysterious markings and codes. Fear not. Let us walk through all their lens abbreviations, help you to better understand their geek language in this guide – Read on!
- Digitally Integrated (Di): This range of lenses is made for the digital full-frame cameras, as well as the crop sensors (APS-C).
- Digitally Integrated II (Di II): This range of lenses is made for crop sensor cameras only.
- Digitally Integrated III (Di III): Lenses built for the mirrorless full-frame cameras.
- Digitally Integrated III APSC (Di III-A): Lenses built for the mirrorless crop-sensor cameras.
- Super Performance (SP): Tamron’s alternate way of saying “expensive professional-grade lenses”.
For you guys who are wondering, Tamron does not explicitly state the type of mount nor compatibility. They only leave it as “For Nikon”, “For Canon”, or “For Sony” – This is something to be extremely careful about, as there are literally a ton of mount systems out there.
Nikon has the F-mount and Z-mount. Canon has multiple versions of the EF-mount. Sony has A-mount and E-mount. So… Which one do they mean when it is “For Nikon, Canon, Sony”? Always do your own online research for compatibility before buying Tamron lenses.
Canon updates their lenses and cameras over time and releases them as a Mark 2 (MK II), Mark 3 (MK III), etc… Tamron also has a similar system and calls their updated lenses Generation 2 (G2), Generation 3 (G3), etc…
- Aspherical (ASL): The lens has sexy curves shaped after the human eye. Please read “aspherical” on Wikipedia if you are interested to find out more.
- Low Dispersion (LD): The lens is built with glass that reduces chromatic aberrations.
- Extra-Low Dispersion (XLD): The improved version of low dispersion.
- Anomalous Dispersion (AD): Special glass for better color correction and chromatic aberrations control.
- High Index, High Dispersion (HID): An even more confusing way to say “better glass”.
- Extra Refractive (XR): Supposedly lighter and more compact lens.
- LAH: A combination of “LD + ASL”.
- ADH: A combination of “AD +ASL”.
- Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency Coating (eBAND): A very long confusing technical name and type of lens coating. In layman terms, it reduces flaring, ghosting, and improves the overall image quality.
Yep, Tamron is yet another one that seems to love over-glorifying their autofocus motors…
- Ultra Silent Drive (USD): Not to be confused with “United States Dollars”, this is Tamron’s silent auto-focus motor.
- Piezo Drive (PZD): A smaller, lighter, and more efficient AF motor.
- Optimized Silent Drive (OSD): An even better autofocus motor, that is supposedly even more silent and faster.
- Rapid Extra Silent Stepping Drive (RXD): Let’s just say… High tech autofocus mechanism with rocket science and precision engineering.
- High/Low Torque-Modulated Drive (HLD): Yet another type of AF motor that is supposedly smaller and more power-saving.
- Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive (VXD): A “linear motor focus mechanism” as according to Tamron.
- Built-in Motor (BIM): This lens has a built-in motor, so if your camera does not have one, AF will still work.
- Internal Focusing (IF): The focus ring will not turn while auto-focus is working.
- AF/MF or A/M: This lens has a dedicated manual focus override switch.
- Full-Time Manual Focus (FTM): Please take note that this is a rather misleading abbreviation. The lens still has auto-focus, but this just means that you can switch to manual focus quickly via the focus ring.
- Zoom Lock (ZL): Lens has a zoom lock. Usually for the long extending lens to prevent zoom creep.
Tamron calls its stabilization technology Vibration Compensation (VC). Pretty much the same thing behind other “anti-shake” technology – where some lens elements move to counter the shake.
- Macro (M): This lens can focus up close and shoot at very close distances.
- Rounded Diaphragm (RD): Has a rounded diaphragm (usually hexagon or polygon), produces truly round bokeh balls and creamy backgrounds.
- Filter Effect Control (FEC): This lens has a special “filter rotate ring”, which you can rotate a filter easily even with the hood attached. Quite handy for filters such as CPL… otherwise useless if you shoot without the hood and 100mm square filters.
- Moisture Resistant: Sort of waterproof, but not too sure about dustproof. Sort of weather sealed, I guess.
LINKS & REFERENCES
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this short guide. I hope it has helped you to better understand the Tamron lenses and here are a couple of extra links that may be useful to you. Good luck and happy shooting!