The Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD impresses with its dimensions and costs twice less than the competition

Tamron lovers finally have their "holy trinity". The manufacturer has just shown the third of a set of zoom lenses with f / 2.8 light: Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD for the Sony E system. The lens is small, light, mobile and costs almost half what the system equivalent. Something feels that the followers will come.

The first rumors about the Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD lens for Sony E systems appeared in August 2019 . And at that point, many Sony camera users were following Tamron's announcements live. Why? After all, in the Sony E system we will find a successful Sony 70-200 mm f / 2.8 GM OSS telephoto lens with similar parameters. P

The problem is that it is the only classic telephoto lens of this type in the whole system. In addition, its price is about 13 thousand. zł. For many photographers, this is too much expense. Meanwhile, the Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD will cost almost half this amount: PLN 6,999. This is not the first time Tamron has surprised the price of new lenses.

"Miracle of mobility", which is a compromise that I'm going to

The Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD is really small: the filter diameter is 67 mm, the length is 149 mm at 70 mm focal length and the weight is only 810 g. For comparison, the competitive Sony FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS has a diameter of 88 mm, length 200 mm and weighs as much as 1480 g. These data are not surprising, because it is rather a standard in this class. So how did Tamron manage to create such a mobile construction?

The manufacturer assures that its new lens is a "miracle of mobility and usability". It's fact, size and weight are impressive. However, there are two factors that make the difference.

Probably each of you associates a trick that uses discounters. We go to Biedronka for a cube of butter or a large bottle of Cola and see that both products are clearly cheaper than the same products sold in other, smaller stores. However, it is enough to look at the data on the packaging to see that the butter cube has, for example, instead of 200 g only 180 g, and the 2-liter bottle is actually 1.8 l. In the case of the Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di it is a bit similarly. Instead of the maximum focal length of 200 mm, we have 180 mm. Thanks to this, the entire lens can be smaller and lighter.

Secondly, the Sony telephoto lens has the abbreviation OSS, or Optical SteadyShot. This means that the lens has optical image stabilization. The new Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD does not have such a system.

And this is where the difference mainly comes from. Something for something. Slightly smaller focal range and no stabilization system, but much more mobility. The IS system is very useful for a telephoto lens, but many Sony bodies have stabilized matrices. I definitely make such a compromise.

Let's take a closer look

Looking at previous Tamron lenses, such as 17-28 mm f / 2.8 Di III RXD and 28-75 mm f / 2.8 Di III RXD , it is not difficult to believe these promises.

In order not to be groundless, it's worth looking at the details. The new construction was built from 19 elements arranged in 14 groups, including 3 are aspherical lenses and 6 were made. There were also anti-glare BBAR-G2 coatings that help cope with light reflections or glare.

In addition, the front element is coated with a protective compound of fluorine, which has excellent hydrophobic and oil-resistant properties. The lens surface is easier to clean and less susceptible to the damaging effects of dirt, moisture or greasy fingerprints, which allows for much easier maintenance.

The aperture, which we close to f / 22, has 9 blades. The lens allows focusing from 27 cm for the wider end and 80 cm for the long end, but only when manual focusing. In this way, we get a maximum magnification of 1: 2.

All this means that we should get a slightly larger background blur than in the case of classic 70-200 mm telephoto lenses. Unfortunately, according to the manufacturer, this can affect the image quality at the edges of the frame. If we don't care about zooming so much, then with AF the maximum magnification is 1: 4.6, which means 85 cm at the whole focal length.

Linear AF engine for the first time in history

The 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD lens uses the brand's first VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor in its history. Thanks to this, the telephoto lens is to sharpen with an accuracy of 0.005 mm, while offering very fast and silent AF.

The manufacturer assures that "the improved, highly responsive AF system will allow for trouble-free tracking of objects in motion not only during shooting, but also when filming."

It is also worth paying attention to one small but important detail. The 70-180 mm F / 2.8 lens has the same filter diameter of 67 mm as other company's lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras, including 17-28 mm F / 2.8, 28-75 mm F / 2.8, as well as a series of fixed focal length lenses (20 mm , 24 mm and 35 mm). This homogeneity significantly reduces costs and trouble when working with filters. Even the front lens caps are the same size.

Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD - price and availability in Poland

Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD will cost PLN 6999 in Poland. The design is expected to hit store shelves in mid-May 2020. The manufacturer notes, however, that the term may change for obvious reasons: a coronavirus pandemic.

The Tamron 70-180 mm f / 2.8 Di III VXD impresses with its dimensions and costs twice less than the competition


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