Tamron releases 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD E-Mount

Tamron has officially released the 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens for Sony e-mount, after first showing it off back in October 2019.

The lens becomes Tamron’s telephoto zoom range offering while also being very compact in design, opting for a shorter 180mm maximum focal length compared to the usual 200mm on most telephoto zoom lenses.

Key features

  • Constant F/2.8 aperture across entire zoom range
  • 67mm filter thread
  • 810g (28.6oz)
  • VXD linear motor focus mechanism
  • Extending barrel when zooming
  • 0.85m (33.5″) close focusing
  • Moisure-resistant construction, fluorine coating & zoom lock switch

This also results in a lighter lens, making it one of the lightest in its class, at only 810g (28.6oz)

Priced at $1,199 USD, it is also significantly cheaper than the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS which comes in at $2,598 USD. There are a few things to consider though which you can see below.

VXD Linear Motor Focus Mechanism

Featured in the lens is Tamron’s first-ever linear motor AF drive focus mechanism called VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive). The floating system uses two high-speed, high-precision VXD units with advanced electronic control for fast and precise AF performance.

1586213127 IMG 1339568

No Optical Stabilisation

One key difference here is that the Tamron does not feature any built-in optical stabilisation but relies on the sensor stabilisation built into the cameras.

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The lens is built from 19 elements in 14 groups

Built from 19 elements in 14 groups, it includes a total of six XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) and LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements combined, and three GM (Glass Molded Aspherical) and hybrid aspherical lens elements combined.

Special lens elements are optimally arranged to correct chromatic aberration and maintain very high-resolution performance from edge-to-edge. This model also features BBAR-G2 (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection Generation 2) Coating, which minimizes ghosting and flare and produces stunning, clear images with sharp subject detail.

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The lens does feature a moisture-resistant construction, with a fluorine coating on the front element for water & oil repellant qualities.

While it is very compact, the barrel does extend when zooming, unlike the Sony G Master. Tamron has added a zoom lock switch to prevent unwanted barrel extension during transportation.

Tamron’s new 70-180mm F/2.8 is compatible with many of the advanced features that are specific to certain mirrorless cameras. This includes the following:
– Fast Hybrid AF
– Eye AF
– Direct Manual Focus (DMF)
– In-camera lens correction (shading, chromatic aberration, distortion)
– Camera-based lens unit firmware updates

Tamron’s ‘Dream Team’

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The lens now completes the standard trio of zooms with the 70-180mm joining the 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD and 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD lenses. All three lenses are very compact and offer great performance to price.

Watch the behind the scenes photoshoot below.

The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD for Sony E-mount retails for $1,199 USD and is expected to ship on May 14, 2020, but depending on the situation with COVID-19, it may be delayed.

What are your thoughts on the lens? does the price tag justify the difference in features?

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