Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Review
The new Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD super-zoom lens is a more than viable alternative to the Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS and FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 OSS G Master lenses, and also a fantastic lens in its own right. There aren't too many super-zooms available for the Sony full-frame mirrorless system, so it's great to see such an excellent lens from Tamron make its debut.
As with previous recent launches, they've also tried something new by splitting the difference between the two Sony lenses mentioned above. The Tamron 150-500mm offers 25% more reach than the FE 100-400mm, yet it still manages to be lighter than its Sony rival, and it's much smaller and lighter than the FE 200-600mm, albeit with 100mm less reach.
Image quality is very good throughout both the focal and aperture range, with excellent sharpness consistently achieved by stopping-down one stop from the maximum aperture. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled and flare is only ever an issue when shooting directly into the sun.
The only real optical issues are a little corner shading at the maximum apertures, some mild pincushioning at the 150mm focal length, and average rather than spectacular bokeh thanks to the use of a 7-blade aperture.
Tamron have carried over a lot of innovative features from their SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 DSLR lens which debuted in 2016, such as the clever Flex Zoom Lock mechanism which locks the lens at any focal length, rather than just 150mm via the Lock switch, the competent Vibration Compensation system with three distinct image stabilisation modes, and a moisture-sealed construction.
The Tamron 150-500mm has a fast, quiet and reliable auto-focus system thanks to the same VXD linear motor that was first used on last year's 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD lens, making it well-suited to both stills and video use.
Overall, the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD offers more than enough features, performance and image quality to be ranked alongside the Sony 100-400mm and 200-600mm lenses. The fact that it costs significantly less than both - especially the 100-400mm - swings the balance even more in Tamron's favour. If you're looking for a do-it-all super telephoto lens for your Sony camera, the new Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD should definitely be on your short-list.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||5|