Tamron has announced the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD, the company’s first full-frame super-telephoto zoom lens for Sony mirrorless cameras. Where the Tamron 150-600mm has proven popular for DSLRs, the new 150-500mm is sure to entice Sony sports and wildlife photographers as well as other long-lens shooters with its focal length, compactness, and price.
The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 has a maximum diameter of 3.7 inches (9.3 centimeters) and is 8.3 inches (21.1 centimeters) in length at 150mm and 11.1 inches (28.2 centimeters) at 500mm. The lens weighs 4.1 pounds (1.9 kilograms) in all or 3.8 pounds (1.7 kilograms) without the lens foot. At 500mm with the Tamron, it’s about the same physical length as 400mm with the $2,500 Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Tamron said the lens can move through the entire zoom range with just a 75-degree turn of the zoom ring.
The outside of the lens features a focus ring nearest the camera and a large zoom ring toward the outer end. There is a lock switch to prevent zoom creep while carrying the lens around, as well as a focus limiter switch, focus mode switch, image stabilization on/off switch, and image stabilization mode switch. The front threading accepts 82mm filters.
Inside, the new lens uses 25 elements in 16 groups, including one extra low dispersion element, five low dispersion elements, and two hybrid aspherical elements for improving image quality and controlling aberrations. Tamron uses a BBAR-G2 coating to minimize flare and ghosting. The outer element has a fluorine coating for protection from dust, water, and fingerprints, and the lens has a moisture-resistant construction throughout. The lens has a seven-bladed round aperture, and Tamron said it will stay near perfectly circular up to two stops down from maximum aperture.
The new 150-500mm lens uses the VXD linear autofocus motor which Tamron claims to deliver high-speed and high-precision movements with great responsiveness for sports, wildlife, and aircraft. The linear motor design should reduce noise and vibration for video shooters. Close focus on the wide end is 23.6 inches (59.9 centimeters) and on the telephoto end is 70.9 inches (180 centimeters). The 150-500mm also uses a Vibration Compensation mechanism for optical image stabilization that can be controlled with the outer switches.
The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD costs $1,400 and will begin shipping on June 10, 2021.