Tamron has officially announced the 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD for Sony E mount and it’s only $1,199

Apr 7, 2020

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 has officially announced the 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD for Sony E mount and it’s only $1,199

Apr 7, 2020

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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There have been rumours and leaks floating around about this lens for a while now, and the development announcement was way back in October, but Tamron has finally officially announced their new 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens for full-frame Sony E mount cameras. And it’s even less expensive than previously thought, listed at a mere $1,199.

The lens is expected to be available in the USA on May 14th, but with Tamron’s usual “we didn’t anticipate this high demand” combined with COVID-19 supply chain and manufacturing issues, we can probably expect delays and limited availability for a while.

Focal Length 70-180mm
Lens MountSony E
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Focus TypeAutofocus
Optics19 elements in 14 groups
Minimum focus distance27cm (10.63″)
Maximum Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Angle of view34° 21′ to 13° 42′
Aperture blades9, rounded
StabilisationNone
Filter Size67 mm (front)
Dimensions81 x 149mm
Weight810g (1.78lb)

The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD is made up of 19 elements in 14 groups, with a pretty short minimum focus distance of only 27cm (much less than the 85cm originally rumoured). Tamron calls it “the lightest and most compact f/2.8 telephoto zoom in its class”, and it certainly appears that it might be, weighing in at only 810g, thanks to the exclusion of stabilisation and the 180mm max focal length.

As one would expect for an f/2.8 telephoto zoom, Tamron’s new 70-180mm lens is moisture resistant and the front element is fluorine coated to help protect against dust, dirt and smearing. The autofocus is handled by a pair of VXD linear motors, which Tamron says offer “notably fast, accurate and quiet focusing performance”. Naturally, you also have the option of full-time manual focus, too.

One thing that will be a disappointment for some, despite the very low cost vs Sony’s 70-200mm f/2.8 GM, is the lack of stabilisation. This means you’re relying on the sensor-stabilisation built into the camera’s body. Sony’s in-body image stabilisation isn’t terrible, but it’s generally considered better when the camera and lens stabilisation systems can work together in unison. So, this will no doubt put a few people off.

But it is a significant difference in price. The previous estimates of around $1,400-1,600 were already quite appealing, but the actual US price is $1,199. Compared to $2,599 for the Sony, that’s going to be enough of a saving for many that they’ll happily rely on the sensor alone for stabilisation.

The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens is available to pre-order now for $1,199 and is expected to ship on May 14th.

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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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5 responses to “Tamron has officially announced the 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD for Sony E mount and it’s only $1,199”

  1. Rick Scheibner Avatar
    Rick Scheibner

    The price is significantly different, but so are the specs as compared to the Sony 70-200. What remains to be seen is how different IQ is between the two lenses. For many who hadn’t considered the Sony based solely on price, this might be a game changer for them. But if you’d already been saving for the Sony, your best bet might very well be to keep saving and pay for those extra features you want.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      The only real differences are the lack of stabilisation and 20mm shorter on the long end. For some, a $1,400 price difference will be worth losing that. For others it won’t. But, yes, the IQ is going to be a big factor.

      1. Rick Scheibner Avatar
        Rick Scheibner

        20mm and OIS is a lot if you need it. I guess my point was that some photographers need those things, and for them it’s going to be a deal breaker. I don’t think I’d add the Tamron to my wedding kit based solely on those specs.

        1. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          For the third time… For some it will be worth it. For others it will not. :)

          1. Rick Scheibner Avatar
            Rick Scheibner

            We’re pretty much saying the same thing. Not sure why you keep coming after me like that.