The Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is a super-telephoto for Sony’s full-frame cameras. It offers a range that’s right between that of Sony’s 100-400mm and 200-600mm, and the same goes for size and weight. The Tamron is cheaper than both.
Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.
TEST RESULTS Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD:
The non-standard range of the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 makes it more compact than many other super-telephoto zooms.
After the Tamron 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 Di III RXD, nature photographers had to wait for an even longer zoom. It’s here now: the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD. The focal point is somewhat unusual. For super-telephoto zooms, 100-400mm is kind of the standard, and lenses that are even longer usually go up to 600mm. This applies, for example, to the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS and the predecessor of the new Tamron, the Tamron 150-600mm F5.6-6.3 VC USD G2 SP. https://focus-review.com/test-tamron-150-600mm-g2-apc-c/ The new Tamron is an interesting lens, because of that non-standard range. This makes the lens a lot more compact than the zooms that go up to 600mm.
NARROWER AND SHORTER
The 150-500mm F5-6.7 is 93mm in diameter and 203mm long when retracted. That is almost 2cm less thick and 11.5cm less long than the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS. The Sony zooms internally and therefore does not become longer during use, but even extended, the Tamron is shorter than the Sony. On the other hand, the Sony has 100mm extra range and can also be used with Sony’s teleconverters. There are no converters available for the Tamron. The dimensions of the Tamron are almost comparable to another new zoom that goes up to 500mm: the Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM. The Tamron does not have a 67mm filter size, like all other recent Tamron zooms and fixed focal length lenses. A range of 150 to 500mm is too much for such a small filter size. The filter size of the 150-500mm F5-6.7 is 82mm.
The 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is also the first full-frame zoom for Sony FE mount with image stabilization. With Tamron, this is called stabilization VC, which stands for Vibration Control. The system has three modes.
- Mode 1: Stabilization of shot and viewfinder image
- Mode 2: For panning shooting only
- Mode 3: Maximum stabilization of the image only (not the viewfinder image).
As with the other Tamron zooms, the 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD has the zoom ring on the front, and it’s a big one. Directly behind it are the switches and only then comes the focus ring. After the focus ring comes the tripod collar which has an Arca-Swiss type foot. That can save an extra quick-release plate. The lens can of course be rotated in the tripod collar. The tripod collar also has eyes for attaching a carrying strap, so that the weight does not get hung on the camera. The 150-500mm F5-6.7 has switches for AF/MF, limiting the AF distance (to 3m and 1.5m) and image stabilization. There is also a Flex-lock with which the zoom can be locked in any position.
The 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is weather resistant and has a fluorine coating on the front lens so that moisture and dirt adhere less well. The optical design consists of 25 elements in 16 groups. The Tamron has two hybrid aspherical elements and 4 LD elements and 1 XLD element. These are lens elements with a low refractive index. The lens has an aperture that consists of 7 blades, which according to Tamron provide a circular aperture. The lens elements are provided with Tamron’s BBAR-G2 coating that should prevent glare.
We previously tested the 150-600mm F5.6-6.3 VC USD G2 SP https://focus-review.com/test-tamron-150-600mm-g2-apc-c/. Optically a fine lens, but in combination with the necessary adapter, the autofocus was not optimal on Sony cameras. The new 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD uses the linear VXD motor found in the Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD. https://focus-review.com/tamron-70-180mm-f2-8-di-iii-vxd-voor-sony-fe/ That’s the fastest motor Tamron has, a class above the RXD motors found in many of the other Tamron zooms.
The autofocus speed of the Tamron 70-180 mm F2.8 Di III RXD is almost equal to that of the fast Sony FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM thanks to the VXD motor. The VXD motors are also virtually silent during focusing. For wildlife shots, something the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is ideal for, both are important. Silent focus prevents animals from being startled, and fast autofocus aids in wildlife tracking. Fast focusing is also highly desirable for functions such as Eye AF and Real-time Tracking.
The Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD can also focus very close. At 150mm the shortest distance is 60cm, and at 500mm it is 180cm. This brings the maximum magnification ratio to 1:3.1. This means that a field of approximately 10 cm wide can be photographed filling the frame.
IMAGE QUALITY OF THE Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD
The 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD’s MTF curves look good, with little difference in performance at 150mm and 500mm. At 500mm, the center sharpness seems to be slightly higher than at 150mm, but the lens errors in the corners are also slightly larger. We now have the lens in our test lab and will publish a full review shortly.
Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD
|field of view (diag)||16°25’-4°57’|
|sensor format||full frame|
|min. setting distance||60 cm @ 150mm – 180cm @ 500mm|
|dimensions (dxl)||93×206 mm|
|list price||€ 1499.99|
Conclusion: REVIEW Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD oN Sony A7R III
We already have the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 in our test lab and will publish a full review soon.
As far as we know, the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD (Model A057) will be available at the beginning of June through authorized Tamron dealers in the Netherlands for a list price of €1499.99 including VAT.