Sixty photographers, spotlighting and giving form to that fleeting 'essence' that would otherwise escape our attention.
The captured 'moment' is a glimpse of the 'eternity' it evokes.
The photographer's eye that is focused on the ephemeral—what does it tell us?
Over the past 60 years, Tamron, with its 'New Eyes for Industry,' has been distinguished by its highly creative products, and has also continued to set those 'eyes' on illuminating the future.
This milestone anniversary is an occasion for not only reflecting on Tamron's history, but also for marking the start of the next stage in Tamron's evolution.
In this project, 60 photographers used our 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008) to capture how they perceive Eternity at a Moment, at this point in time. Their creations will be displayed on our special website and at our photographic exhibition.
For a photographer, time itself is an eternal theme. The interpretations of Eternity at a Moment by these 60 photographers are certain to be diverse and thought-provoking expressions, and Tamron is pleased to showcase each of their compelling viewpoints for you.
The "Tamron 'Eternity at a Moment' The Vision of 60 Photographers" Project
More than any other years, 2011 has certainly been one in which we have often both heard and asked ourselves the question, "What can we do right now?"
It is of course a mere coincidence that Tamron celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding this year, but it is a very interesting coincidence nonetheless. I feel this way because as I look back, Tamron seems to me a manufacturer that has consistently asked itself the same question of "what it can do right now."
Tamron's history began in 1950, during Japan's postwar recovery period, as a small factory with a handful of employees. By 1957, the company had already developed an SLR-camera interchangeable lens and also the "T-Mount," the world's first standard interchangeable-lens mount for SLR cameras. Tamron's revolutionary developments were not limited to mounts, however. In 1959, it led the way into the zoom era as it began mass production of the industry's first popularly priced SLR telephoto zoom. Since then, Tamron has continued to strengthen its market presence with original products that include fixed-focal-length portrait and macro lenses, as well as compact, lightweight, high-power zoom lenses.
Tamron has perhaps achieved these successes because it never ceased to ask itself the questions of "what we can do right now" and "what we should do right now" in a way that large companies do not. Over the past 60 years, Japanese camera and lens makers have competed with each other to make the impossible possible while breaking new grounds in possibilities for creative expression. This is the history of cameras, lenses, as well as photography, all of which are of course intimately linked with each other. Needless to say, Tamron has played an important role in this history. For instance, if we asked ourselves whether SLR zoom lenses would have become as popular as they are today had it not been for Tamron, we see that the answer is very clear.
Taking these developments into account, to select two zoom lenses as its 60th anniversary edition products is certainly a decision that is very characteristic of Tamron. For the "Eternity at a Moment" exhibition, 60 photographers share new images they shot using one of those models—the 18-270 mm Model B008 boasting a 15x zoom. For some reason, I keep wondering why this does not feel like just an ordinary commemorative project.
As I look at the images submitted for "Eternity at a Moment," the reason gradually becomes evident. Lenses are not always used in ways that the manufacturer anticipates. Photographers put them to use in totally unforeseen ways, and the lens maker has no say in the matter. As the 60 photographers took on the challenge of such an abstract theme, they pushed Tamron's lens to its fullest potential. The resulting images shine a light on just how far the field of photography has come in 60 years, as well as the level which it should aspire to reach in the future. Although it is presented simply as a commemorative project, I want to suspect that "Eternity at a Moment" is an attempt at an ambitious competitive performance of technology and creative expression.
Viewed in this way, this exhibition could also be seen as an expression of Tamron's resolve. This is a company that will never rest complacent in territory already pioneered. It will continue to look ahead, turning the impossible into the possible. "Eternity at a Moment" is a title that clearly demonstrates this.
I encourage all to once again take a close look at the "Eternity at a Moment" exhibition, as it will surely show both the expressions made possible through the 60 years of history and expressions foreshadowing the challenges of the future. At one time, high-power zoom was a technology seen as an unrealizable fantasy. But now we have that technology in hand, allowing us to produce such powerful creative expression. In the same way, technology and expression that seem like fantasy today will create the future for us.
Photographs preserve the past. However, that does not mean that we are bound by the past. Lenses see and record reality, but that is not their only role. Let us face forward. Let us dream. As we do so, the past will keep weaving itself on its own. Perhaps this is the message embodied in "Eternity at a Moment."
*Osamu Ueno, photography critic
Born in 1964. From 1987 through 1989, exhibited his photographs in special and group exhibitions, including the TREND '89 Aspects of Contemporary Photography held at the Kawasaki City Museum. Since around 1987, he has been active as a photography critic, with his writings appearing primarily in camera magazines such as Nippon Camera.
Photographic Society of Japan Awards screening committee member (2005&2008).