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Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD for Sony: A Review
If you're a photographer or videographer who uses Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD is one zoom lens you should consider. It is the third installment in Tamron's trio of fast tele zoom lenses for Sony E-mount cameras, following the popular Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD and Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD lenses. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD and assess if it is worth the investment.
Build & Design
The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD is a compact and lightweight lens compared to other fast telephoto zooms in its class. The Tamron 70-180mm, like its siblings, the Tamron 17-28mm, and 28-75mm, is designed for compatibility with Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. It is available in black and weighs only 810 grams, making it significantly lighter than the Sony 70-200mm F/2.8, which weighs 1500 grams.
The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 sports a simple yet elegant design. The exterior of the lens doesn't look flashy, but it is undoubtedly striking to behold. A smooth black finish, with Tamron branding towards the front, makes it look professional.
One feature that is distinctive from the earlier lenses in the series is the zoom lock switch. The Zoom lock keeps the lens secure in its shortest position and prevents it from unintentionally extending when being moved around.
The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD optics is based on 19 elements in 14 groups, and it includes many special elements that ensure the highest quality of image from the lens. The focal length of 70-180mm is ideal for fast action and portrait photography, and videography.
The main feature of this lens is Tamron's VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor focus mechanism. A first for Tamron, this technology offers precise and rapid autofocus capabilities, which are essential for capturing fast-moving subjects. The VXD motor ensures that the lens can locate and focus on the subject in milliseconds. The speed and accuracy of VXD motor technology are comparable to that of Sony's linear autofocus motors.
The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD that we tested demonstrated fantastic performance in many situations. For the most part, the photo and video quality is stunning in terms of sharpness, contrast, and color rendition. Images shot at f/2.8 look great, with no issues with sharpness or color fringing.
Its optical quality is even better than expected for a lens at this price point. Tamron claims that the lens's complex design includes multiple low-dispersion and aspherical elements that ensure minimal vignetting, distortion, and chromatic aberrations. It holds true, as the lens creates super-sharp images and pleasing bokeh even at f/2.8 with excellent contrast, colors, and clarity.
In addition, this lens features moisture-resistant construction with seals in major areas, defending against possible physical damage.
Firmware Update & Compatibility
Finally, the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD lens is compatible with Sony's in-camera lens unit firmware updates. Photographers can update the lens firmware via their Sony camera body rather than via a lens dock or USB cable to update the lens's firmware.
Compatibility with new Sony firmware updates ensures that the lens remains accurate and with stable autofocus & metering in different lighting conditions, ensuring photographers don't need to purchase a new lens as firmware updates to exist.
In summary, the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD lens is a fantastic addition to any photographer's toolkit. The lens's compact size, focus system, and excellent optical design deliver outstanding results. It is a top-performing lens that produces high-quality images, and it is relatively affordable. Additionally, its moisture resistance guarantees durability.
Although no lens is perfect, Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD is incredibly close. This lens is an excellent addition to the professional photographer's arsenal, and lens video and photoshoot capabilities make it worthy.
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