The lens is billed as the start of an entirely new category of high-performance, ultra-telephoto mirrorless zoom lenses with an 8x zoom ratio that starts at the portrait focal length of 50mm but still extends out to 400mm. Tamron says it is the same general size as 100-400mm lenses but offers a much wider angle of view, which gives it excellent versatility.
As noted in the development announcement, the lens has a length of 183.4mm and is equipped with Tamron’s Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive (VXD), a linear motor focus mechanism that the company say offers “excellent quietness and responsiveness” when using auto-focus. It also features the Japanese company’s proprietary image stabilization mechanism, Vibration Compensation (VC).
“The 50-400mm is remarkably compact with a length of just 7.2-inches and a light weight of 40.7 ounces. but provides unparalleled high performance at all focal lengths. Despite the high magnification ratio, high image quality is delivered across the entire 50-400mm range through the effective arrangement of special lens elements,” Tamron says.
The lens is able to focus up to one-half life-size magnification during close focusing, which is 9.8-inches at 50mm, which gives the 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 a half-macro capability.
Tamron says that it has improved the ergonomics of the lens body to support comfortable shooting with improved texture and operability. The lens also has a Connector Port for the dedicated Tamron Lens Utility, a software developed by the company to configure lenses via a computer to adapt the glass to a specific shooting situation. The Lens Utility will offer a new “Focus Limiter” function.
The 50-400mm will also include an optional Arca-Swiss compatible accessory tripod mount, and as it is designed to work with Sony cameras, it is compatible with all Sony’s major features and functions, including Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF.
While Tamron warns it is possible the lens will not launch on time due to the global health crisis and the state of the supply chain, the company intends to ship the 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras on Septemer 22 for $1,299.