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Tamron unveils its first Sony FE mount lens — and an $800 telephoto for DSLRs

The Tamron 70-210mm for Canon and Nikon mounts. Sony full-frame mirrorless shooters will soon have a new lens option — and one that doesn’t even have Sony in the name. On Thursday, February 22, Tamron announced the development of the company’s first Sony FE mount, a 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD lens, along with a new budget telephoto, a 70-210mm F4 for Canon and Nikon mounts.

Third-party lenses for the Sony FE mount are less plentiful than the off-brand lenses for Canon and Nikon mounts. Tamron says it is now working on its first Sony FE lens and with the lens still under development, full details such as pricing and availability aren’t yet available. What Tamron is sharing about the upcoming lens is that the 28-75mm will use a brand-new autofocus system.

The company says the new focus motor, called the Rapid Extra-silent Stepping Drive or RXD, is precise, fast, and quiet, making the lens available for video use as well as stills. The lens is capable of focusing on objects as close as 7.5 inches. The company also says the lens will be compatible with Sony’s Direct Manual Focus, which allows photographers to quickly switch between auto and manual focus.

Tamron says the FE mount lens will have a “next-generation” design with weather-sealing. And while the exact specifications could change before the lens’ full launch, Tamron expects the lens to weigh in at around 19 ounces and 4.6 inches. The Sony FE mount lens doesn’t yet have a launch date, but Tamron’s 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD for Canon and Nikon full-frame cameras, also announced today, is expected out in April for £800.

The lens boasts the highest magnification ratio among other 70-200mm F/4 lenses, Tamron says, with a maximum magnification of 1:3.1 and the ability to focus on objects as close as 37.4 inches from the front of the lens. An internal zoom design also means the lens length doesn’t change as the focal length adjusts. The lens, Tamron says, also encompasses a high-speed dual Micro-Processing Unit that controls autofocus performance and an image stabilization system.The company says the autofocus is both fast and quiet while the stabilization is rated at four stops.

The lens, which will also be weather-sealed, weighs 30.3 ounces and is 6.8 inches long.

Editors’ Recommendations

Land Rover's Explore phone won't flake out on a mountain hike

The Land Rover Explore is built to weather the snowstorm.

Dom Daher/Bullitt

Ever had your phone battery flake out on you because it caught a chill? You’re not alone. On the surface, the modern smart phone is the ideal tool for the outdoor adventurer — it’s got maps, cameras, a clock, a compass, a torch and its lifeline to the civilised world.

But the reality is that when you’re out in the elements, most phones out there prove kinda wimpy. Enter the Land Rover Explore. This rugged phone built by British manufacturer Bullitt is a device for people who need something that won’t conk out them at the first sign of a rainstorm or blizzard.

Design cues pay homage to the Land Rover Discovery through the speaker grille, the grooves on the back, which mirror those on the car’s roof, and the headlight effect around the camera. But Bullitt insists that this is not just a phone for car lovers — it is a phone for those who love the outdoors.

The speaker grille is borrowed from the Discovery.

Katie Collins/CNET

At its heart lies a 4,000mAh battery, which has been tested at the top of Mount Snowdon and the Bavarian Alps for reliability. “This is where you learn how the phone is going to respond,”Bullitt chief branding officer Charlie Henderson told CNET in a briefing. When it comes to interface, the Explore is as close to Vanilla Android as possible (it arrives running Nougat, but an Oreo upgrade is planned).

One thing Bullitt has built in is a dashboard with access to advanced weather metrics through the on-board barometer. It also has an SOS torch and night red filter (to stop your eyes from being affected by your phone light in the dark) easily accessible from the pull-down menu. The phone undergoes the same drop tests and boasts the same IP68 waterproof rating as the Cat phones, which are also made by Bullitt.

But whereas the people who buy Cat phones are largely male and working in manual jobs, the Land Rover Explore is designed to fit much more easily into the day-to-day life of someone who works in an office during the week but heads to the hills at the weekend.

A number of accessory packs are available.

Katie Collins/CNET

To that end, the Explore has a range of accessory options, which are designed to take the phone from soft to hard adventure in an instant. These accessories take the form of packs — one that boosts the battery, one that allows it to easily attach to the handlebars of a bike, and the adventure pack, which combines extra battery, a patch antenna and views of the local topography in augmented reality courtesy of ViewRanger. The antenna offers a more advanced version of GPS than is available in the average phone — it’s more like that of a proper sat-nav.

To take advantage of this, the adventure pack comes with a premium maps voucher that you can use to purchase digital versions of advanced local maps (like Ordnance Survey in the UK).

ViewRanger’s AR view is exactly what you need in a whiteout.

Bullitt

This sounds like the kind of feature you wouldn’t want to miss out on if you’re keen on the Land Rover Explore. Fortunately the adventure pack will come bundled with the phone when it launches in Europe this April for GBP599 or 649 euros. A US launch is on the cards, although details are not currently available, as are further product partnerships between Land Rover and Bullitt, with tablet and IOT projects in the pipeline.

No mention was made of availability in Australia, but its UK price converts to about AU£1050.

Mobile World Congress 2018

Here’s what’s new on HBO in March, and what’s going away

As winter begins to turn to spring, HBO will again bring new and exciting content to its lineup. The third month of 2018 will bring new episodes of popular shows, as well as numerous hit movies, to HBO. On the series front, the premium network offers fresh episodes of popular comedy series Silicon Valley, which will debut its fifth season in late March.

HBO also launches a compelling new comedy in Barry, a show about a low-rent hitman from the Midwest (played by Bill Hader) who falls in love with acting while working a job in Los Angeles. In terms of feature-length content, the streaming service will offer a couple compelling documentaries in addition to its fictional content, with a lengthy two-part look at the life of comedian Garry Shandling from director/funnyman Judd Apatow, and an intimate study of iconic playwright Arthur Miller. Non-documentary films that hit the service this month include classics like the first three Die Hard Films, as well as newer action films like Atomic Blonde and Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.

As always, each passing month means some titles move from HBO’s inventory into the realms of memory and Blu-ray purchases (or onto other streaming platforms). Before March comes to a close, be sure to watch films like the Oscar-nominated historical drama Jackie and Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals. Read on for our list of the best new titles coming to HBO, and scroll on to the second page to see what’s going away. (Bolded titles signify films and shows we recommend.) Interested in what’s on other streaming services?

Be sure to check out what’s new on Amazon Prime and what’s new on Netflix. Get an HBO Subscription on: Amazon Video | DirecTV Now | Sling TV

Arriving in March

March 1

  • The Beguiled (1971)
  • Die Hard
  • Die Hard 2
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance
  • The French Connection
  • Friday the 13th
  • Hannibal
  • Ice Age
  • Incarnate
  • The Last Boy Scout
  • Mercury Rising
  • Observe and Report
  • Rock Star
  • Sgt.

    Bilko

  • She’s Out of My League
  • The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • To Be or Not To Be
  • Undercover Brother
  • Wargames
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

March 3

  • Alien: Covenant

March 8

  • Live By Night

March 10

  • My Cousin Rachel

March 17

  • The Beguiled (2017)

March 18

  • El Negocio (Season 4 premiere)

March 19

  • Arthur Miller: Writer

March 21

  • The Book of Henry

March 24

  • Atomic Blonde

March 25

  • Barry (Series premiere)
  • Silicon Valley (Season 5 premiere)

March 26

  • The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (Part 1)

March 27

  • The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (Part 2)

March 30

  • Entre Nos (Part 3)

March 31

  • Girls Trip

Leaving in March

March 31

  • About a Boy
  • Australia
  • Bean
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Death Race
  • Erin Brockovich
  • The Golden Compass
  • Hamlet 2
  • Jackass: The Movie
  • Jackie
  • Kinsey
  • Life with Mikey
  • Lucas
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • The Pink Panther
  • Platoon
  • Rules Don’t Apply
  • Suicide Squad
  • Wanted
  • White Flag

Want to know what HBO added and removed in February? Check out the lists below.

Arriving in February

February 1

  • The 9th Life of Louis Drax
  • Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights
  • Alien
  • Alien 3
  • Alien vs. Predator
  • Aliens
  • Amelia’s Closet
  • Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
  • Diner
  • E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
  • Freaky Friday
  • Gema
  • Glory Road
  • The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
  • Johnson Family Vacation
  • Man on the Moon
  • National Security
  • Plaquemines
  • Predator
  • Predator 2
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • See You Yesterday
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs.

    The World

  • We Love Moses
  • West Side Story

February 2

  • 2 Dope Queens (four-part special)

February 3

February 7

  • Ouija: Origin of Evil

February 10

  • Wonder Woman

February 11

  • Here and Now (series premiere)

February 12

  • Atomic Homefront

February 17

February 19

  • Chumel Con Chumel Torres (season 3 premiere)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (season 5 premiere)

February 24

  • Notes from the Field

Leaving in February

February 24

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

February 28

  • Almost Christmas
  • The Amityville Horror
  • Body of Lies
  • Changing Lanes
  • Coal Miner’s Daughter
  • The Conjuring 2
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • Frequency
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  • Hostage
  • Keeping Up with the Joneses
  • Loving
  • My Sister’s Keeper
  • Powder
  • The Princess Diaries
  • Serendipity
  • Sister Act
  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
  • Stuart Little 2
  • Tango & Cash
  • Terminal Velocity
  • Tin Cup
  • Unbreakable

Editors’ Recommendations

Ferrari 488 Pista is a specialized track-day weapon

The last three V8-powered Ferraris all had special editions — the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale — so it only makes sense that Ferrari would do the same thing with the 488 GTB. Enter the 488 Pista. The Ferrari 488 Pista is the latest special-edition Ferrari to grace this planet, and it’ll make its official debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Like the hardcore Ferraris of generations past, the 488 Pista has been optimized for track use by borrowing some parts from Ferrari’s motorsports efforts.

You could house a family of four in the front end’s negative space.

Ferrari

Its twin-turbocharged V8 puts out about 710 horsepower, a bump of roughly 50 hp over the standard 488 GTB. The engine is also lighter, thanks to the 488 Challenge racecar — carry-over parts include Inconel exhaust manifolds, a lightweight crankshaft and flywheel, titanium connecting rods and carbon fiber intakes. The body has also been tweaked to maximize downforce for better handling on the track.

There’s an F1-derived duct to better channel air over the front end, and both the front and rear diffusers are angled similarly to the 488 GTE endurance racer. The rear spoiler is higher and longer than on the GTB, as well. All in, these changes generate 20 percent more downforce than the standard 488.

The track-related trickery doesn’t end there. The Pista also includes the mysteriously named Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. It uses software to adjust the brake pressure at the calipers, which Ferrari claims will increase handling prowess and let you kick the rear end out a bit better.

Another Ferrari first is an optional set of carbon fiber wheels, which should again improve handling by further reducing unsprung mass.

Ferrari did not specify pricing for the 488 Pista, but for comparison’s sake, a “standard” 488 GTB will run you £252,800, and the old 458 Speciale cost about £300,000.

We’ll get up close and personal with this weaponized chunk of carbon fiber when we head to Geneva in a couple weeks.

Geneva Motor Show 2018
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