Japan’s Tamron Co., Ltd. recently announced the development of a new app called Lens Utility Mobile™. It is intended to allow users to fix and change their Tamron lenses using smartphones and tablets. With these features already present in its desktop lens utility software, Tamron now extends the functionalities to Android mobile devices.
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Go. fine-tuning on
More photographers are opting to carry less gear these days. We also have editing software with more mobile app options to edit your photos on the go. So it’s no surprise that Tamron has decided to work on a mobile version of its Lens Utility desktop software. It intends to give photographers the ability to customize lens functions while out in the field. This will be extremely useful for photographers who have already used these features on their laptops, but can now easily do so from their smartphones or tablets as well.
What can the Lens Utility mobile app do?
Here’s a look at what’s possible with the new app.
tethered remote control
New dedicated features for the smartphone app. AB Focus allows you to set two focus points for the lens and easily switch between them using the app. The mobile app will enable you to adjust the focus travel time in 0.1-second increments. The desktop version only allows you eight speed settings. Focus Presets will enable you to set a focal point and return as many times as you want with a tap of a button on the Lens Utility Mobile™ app.
Customize Custom Switch or Focus Set Buttons
These are the existing features on the desktop software version. This includes the option to configure the focus set button to switch the focus mode between manual and automatic. You can also configure the focus ring to adjust aperture instead of focal distance.
Customize the Focus Ring
As of now, Tamron says it will allow users to change the direction of the focus ring and switch between different modes of focus.
Who can benefit the most from this?
I’m not a beta tester when it comes to software, but I’m usually the first to upgrade software when new versions are released. This includes firmware upgrades for the camera and lens. Yes, it’s tricky when it means it can come with bugs and issues. But since most upgrades are easily reversible, I enjoy it and upgrade almost as soon as I know the update is out. On most occasions, I am happy with the choice to do so. I enjoy trying out new features right away and seeing how they can improve my photography workflow.
While I carry my laptop with me for most of my shoots and all my travels, many people nowadays carry an iPad or Android tablet. As it currently stands, they will miss being able to customize their Tamron lenses until they are back to a desktop. This is a worrying scenario if you are often in FOMO mode. The new Lens Utility Mobile™ app will help allay those fears by allowing you to customize it on the go. I’m hoping Tamron will let you update the lens firmware in the future using this app. It is certainly possible; Apps like Snapbridge allow you to upgrade the firmware of your Nikon Z cameras wirelessly.
Imagine camping in a place like Banff National Park for a few nights. Surely you would like to travel light because that is the distance you want to travel as a photographer. Leave your laptop on and still be able to make adjustments to your Tamron lens using their app. Or maybe you’re someone who doesn’t own a desktop or laptop and only has a smartphone or tablet. It’s nice to see Tamron catering to this user segment as well. Certainly this decision was inspired by the feedback from their professional users, and there is no doubt that it will be well received by them.
times are getting better
I remember the days when customizing your lens meant slapping a personalized decal on it or slipping on a rubber wristband. The first lens I could adapt electronically was Sigma’s 120-300 f2.8 sports lens. When using it for horse racing coverage, I was able to increase AF response speed, but that meant I had to buy Sigma’s USB dock and connect it to a PC. It’s great to see that you no longer need the Dock, and smartphone apps can do a lot that desktop software could do in the past.
Laptops and desktops are still important, but there are creatives these days who prioritize the freedom of mobile devices. I personally would enjoy using the features this app could provide if I had a Tamron lens in my arsenal. Based on what Tamron has announced, this is no longer possible. The possibilities in the future are quite limitless.
iOS users will have to wait a little longer
Tamron estimates that the app will be released only in 2022. However, they have said that the app is currently being developed only for Android users on devices supporting Android versions 6 to 12. Only Android devices with a USB-C type port are compatible with the Lens Utility Mobile™ app. Apple users will have to wait for their follow-up announcement to see when their iOS devices can get the app.
Tamron states that “as the application is still under development, screenshots are subject to change without notice due to design development or other factors.”
Main image of the article taken from the Tamron press release