TAMRON has won the European Lens of the Year category at the 1993-94 European Photo Awards for its AF 28-200 mm F/3-5.6 Aspherical Zoom - the second year in succession the company has come out on top in what is recognised as one of the photographic industry's top awards. The award was a just recognition of the technology and effort behind the lens, Tamron said. It said its engineers had achieved a ''significant breakthrough'' with the product. And the judges clearly agreed. Tamron said the special features the lens had to offer were critical in the judges' decision. These included: A large focal range, from 28 mm wide angle to 200 mm zoom. A compact and lightweight design; only 8.15 cm in length and weighing 430 grams in spite of its 7.1 times zoom range. Superior optical performance available through ''Hybrid Aspherical elements''. The lens was also available in auto-focus versions to fit Nikon, Minolta and Canon single lens reflex (SLR) cameras, Tamron said. Its manual focus version will soon be available on Tamron's interchangeable mount system, the Adaptall, which can be used on almost all manual-focus SLRs. Hybrid Aspherical elements are the main reason for the lens' outstanding image quality recognised by the European judges. Tamron said this design allowed for crisp pictures with high resolution, contrast and colour in strong or low light. The images were free from flare or corner illumination fall-off, the company claimed, and distortions were well corrected. The lens also comes with an optional close-up adaptor and macro capability. The close-up adaptor changes the minimum focusing distance from 2.1 metres to one metre, but still retains optical quality. It can be used at all focal lengths. A marco ratio of 1:4.9 can be achieved at the 200 mm end of the lens by attaching the close-up adaptor. The lens is surprisingly sleek considering its focal range. This made it ideal for travellers and those who did not want to carry around gadget bags loaded with lenses or miss any chances while changing lenses, the company said.