Tamron is working on 28-75mm and 28-80mm zooms for drones

Lens manufacturer Tamron is working behind the scenes on two zoom lenses that are especially suitable for use in combination with drones and gimbals. These are 28-75mm f/4 and 28-80mm f/4.5 zoom lenses with a compact form factor and minimal shifting of the center of gravity when zooming. This is according to a patent application filed by the company.

Fixed center of gravity

According to Tamron, there is a growing need for compact, high-quality digital cameras. This also leads to an increasing demand for compact but high-quality lenses. And because cameras are increasingly mounted on gimbals, it is important that the center of gravity does not shift during zooming. A gimbal only works well if the center of gravity of the camera plus optics is perfectly aligned.

The patent application proposes a new optical design that entails a ‘minimal’ balance shift during zooming. It would be small enough not to negatively affect the operation of a gimbal. Two lenses are further elaborated in the patent, namely a 28-75 mm f/4 version and a 28-80 mm f/4.5 variant with a slightly larger zoom range.

Tamron Is Working On 28-75Mm And 28-80Mm Zooms For Drones

No more lens changes

Optical zoom lenses – if motorized and remotely controllable – are a godsend for high-end drone photographers and video makers who are now usually tied to lenses with fixed focal lengths. For example, for ’s Zenmuse X7 camera, there are four different lenses available, but none of them offer zoom. That means that the drone has to go to the ground for every lens change, and that takes precious flying minutes.

Tamron’s intended lenses would be an ideal candidate for ’s Airpeak drone, which hit the market in late 2021. This drone is optimized for use with a Sony Alpha camera. With only one zoom lens from Tamron in their pocket, the camera operator could achieve all the desired focal lengths between wide and telephoto. It goes without saying that zoom lenses that have no shift in the center of gravity are also ideal for use in combination with handheld stabilizers, such as DJI’s Ronin series.

Availability

Unfortunately, it is currently unknown if and when Tamron will convert the patent application into concrete products. Until then, Alpha users can, for example, make do with Sony’s new 16-35mm f/4 PZ G Series Power Zoom, but it has a much more limited zoom range than Tamron’s proposed lenses.

Photo: courtesy of PetaPixel

Tamron Is Working On 28-75Mm And 28-80Mm Zooms For Drones 1

This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager (@wdejager) is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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