Tamron Announce the 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD Lens A new compact fast zoom-telephoto lens that is affordable for Sony E mount users

Earlier today Tamron officially announced the 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD lens which was under development since late last year. The lens which now has full specs and pricing should hit the streets (depending on your location and global pandemic situation) in mid-May 2020.

The 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD was the fourth lens promised to us by Tamron last October (the other 3 lenses – 24mm, 35mm and the 20mm f/2.8 lenses). It actually completes the “holy trinity” of Tamron’s lenses together with the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD and 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD lenses.

So what can we say about the new lens? first, this is a very compact telephoto zoom lens (it is lighter than the new and super expensive Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM although just a tad longer), it extends and has no switches and has no AF/MF switch or image stabilization (no switch and no system so it uses the Sony camera IBIS stabilization), these things help Tamron get the size, weight but even more so the price of this lens to a much more affordable level than the Sony version.

One more important point that is worth mentioning about this lens is focusing. From early online testing, it seems that the new AF motor (VXD linear motor focus mechanism) on this lens works fast and silent but it also has a short focusing distance of 85cm, if you switch to MF you will go down much closer to 27cm (when shooting at 70mm). Tamron suggests that the image quality might be effected in this mode (although this might be more significantly wide open but we will have to test that when we get the lens later this year).

Above you can see a video by Matt Granger on the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD who had a chance to play with an early prototype of the lens a few months ago.

Here are some specs for the new Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD lens:

  • 70-180mm focal length and FF coverage.
  • 19 elements with 14 groups.
  • A new quiet and fast AF system – VXD linear motor focus mechanism.
  • Min focus distance – 85cm/33″ with AF or 27cm/10″ with MF (at 70mm).
  • Macro magnification – up to 1:4.6 with AF and 1:2 with MF.
  • Filter thread – 67mm.
  • Aperture blades – 9.
  • Length – 149mm
  • Weight – 810g
  • Mount – Sony E-mount.
  • Price – $1200, availability Mid May 2020 (can change based on your global location/pandemic status).

Dan Watson on the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD

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Update: First review of the lens in English by David Oastler

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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