Tamron announces development of their first Z mount lens – 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD

Aug 30, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Tamron announces development of their first Z mount lens – 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD

Aug 30, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Given the news that Canon is apparently quashing 3rd party efforts to create autofocus lenses for the EOS R system, I’m curious to see how Nikon will respond (if at all) to this one. Tamron has announced that their first Nikon Z mount lens is on the way. It’s a Z mount version of the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD mirrorless lens released last year for Sony E Mount.

While there have been some 3rd party lenses released for Nikon Z mount (about which Nikon doesn’t seem all that bothered), this lens would be the first time any of the major 3rd party lens manufacturers has tackled a Nikon Z mount autofocus lens – at least publicly. Hopefully, this means that lenses from Sigma and Tokina won’t be too far behind!!

According to the announcement, the overview and product highlights for the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD for Z mount read pretty much the same as they do for the E mount version, except that it’s for a different camera system.

Overview of the 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD (Model A047) features

TAMRON’s 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 telephoto zoom lens combines the world’s smallest size and lightest weight1 together with high image quality based on TAMRON’s concept of “all photographers should enjoy easy and comfortable telephoto photography.” The lens features Moisture-Resistant Construction for extra protection when shooting outdoors, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating that boasts excellent anti-reflection performance. Additionally, this “Nikon Z mount system” compatible 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 can be used with the dedicated TAMRON Lens UtilityTM software. It is a highly practical lens that enables photographers to enjoy telephoto shooting like never before, from landscapes, portraits, sports and other action, plus pets, wildlife and more.

They say that it’s the “world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless telephoto zoom lens” measuring only 150.3mm in length, a maximum diameter of 77mm and a weight of only 580g. Sure, there are DSLR zooms of this range that are lighter (a couple of old Nikon F mount G AF kit lenses spring to mind) but that’s only because they rely on using a camera body with a  built-in AF motor and don’t contain one themselves – the exact opposite of mirrorless cameras.

Left: Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD for Sony E / Right: Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD for Nikon Z

In fact, Tamron boasts the quietness of the “RXD” (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) motor unit in the lens while delivering “optimised AF control” for fast and accurate operation. This makes it ideal for low noise situations like weddings or concert halls as well as for video use. The 15-element in 10 groups design suppresses axial chromatic and other aberrations common to f/slow-slower variable aperture telephoto zooms, claiming edge-to-edge sharpness even at 300mm.

Tamron hasn’t said exactly when they’re releasing the lens yet. It’s just a development announcement at this point but they do have a rough release plan for “Fall, 2022”. So, sometime before Christmas. I expect that the price should be identical to that of the Sony E mount version at $549 (although it’s currently on sale for $499).

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Tamron announces development of their first Z mount lens – 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD”

  1. DIYP community member Avatar
    DIYP community member

    If they do, that’ll stop my plans to get a z-mount camera.

  2. DIYP community member Avatar
    DIYP community member

    Isn’t this kind of business covered by a licence deal?

  3. DIYP community member Avatar
    DIYP community member

    Opinion: if camera makers artificially restrict the production of third party lenses, they’re digging a grave for their camera ecosystem.