A lot of photographers overlook ultra-long telephoto lenses – but the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD for Sony E-mount is worth a closer look! The reason why so many photographers skip over super or ultra-telephoto lenses is that they think they are overly expensive and very limited in their uses. But the reality is, that a lens like the Tamron 150-500mm will completely reverse those expectations like no other lens in its range.
Super-telephoto lenses are known for being giant back-breaking lenses that demand a gym-membership just to carry them. What’s more, super long telephoto lenses were considered the exclusive use of high-profile wildlife and bird photographers. The kinds of photographers that employ sherpas to get their gear to the peak of a mountain.
Fortunately, Tamron has introduced the highly capable Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD to bring ultra-telephoto photography back down to ground level. When you consider the flexible focal range of this Sony E-mount full-frame lens, the possibilities of its use are endless. What’s more, thanks to Tamron’s precision engineering and optics supremacy, the Tamron 150-500mm delivers stunning image quality and performance.
Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 on Georges Cameras TV
In the latest YouTube video on Georges Cameras TV, Nathan dares us to go beyond the conventions of an 85mm or 105mm lens. He challenges us to consider even going beyond the 200mm to a length that some don’t even dream about. Nathan introduces the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD – an E-mount full-frame super-telephoto lens. What’s more, Nathan takes us on a walk around Sydney and showcases all that the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD has to offer Sony shooters.
The Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is a lens of many genres. While its focal range speaks of its use in wildlife and bird photography, it is just as comfortable with outdoor portraiture at longer distances. In either genre, you get exceptional image quality, clearly defined subject separation and pleasing background bokeh. But why stop there! If you love sports photography or a photojournalistic approach, the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD will serve you just as well.
While the maximum aperture is not as fast as some super-telephoto lenses, when paired with a Sony full-frame camera like the Sony a7R IV, low light performance is strong in both focus performance and image quality. And Sony APS-C camera lovers (or those using Super 35 crop) have plenty to celebrate too as the cropped sensor delivers a 225-750mm reach.
Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Specifications
- 150-500mm Full Frame Focal Length
- Sony E-mount
- f/5 to 6.7 Maximum Aperture
- f/22 to 32 Minimum Aperture
- 25 Elements in 16 Groups
- 0.6m Minimum Focus Distance
- Φ93 x 209.6mm Dimensions
- 1.9kg Weight
- Image Stabilisation
- 7 Rounded Aperture Blades
- 82mm Filter Size
- Removable and Rotating Tripod Collar
Tamron’s Compact Super-Telephoto
Knowing that the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is a full-frame E-mount lens, you’d expect it to be huge. And knowing that it has a 150-500mm full frame zoom range would also lead you to believe it is huge. Without even looking at the lens, the full name alone is huge! But, the reality is that while the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 has a huge scope, it is actually compact and does not overbalance when paired with a Sony full-frame camera. With a 93mm diameter and a compressed length of 209.6mm, it falls right into the compact zoom category. It extends to only 281.9mm at the 500mm limit.
However, it is worth noting that the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD weighs in at 1.7kg without the tripod collar – the size is deceiving compared to the weight. However, it does not feel out of place of overbalance in your hand. Plus, the inclusion of a removable and rotating tripod collar provides greater support should you choose to pair this with a high-quality monopod or tripod. Having said that, the Tamron 150-500mm is ideal for photographers on the go that want to travel light and shoot handheld.
Exceptional Tamron Build Quality
The Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is built tough with a rock solid outer barrel and sturdy E-mount fixture. It is dust and moisture resistant making it the perfect wildlife lens. The front thread supports the universale 82mm filter size while the front element is fluorine coated to repel moisture and oils. While at the front of the lens, the included lens hood is big and features a flexible, shock absorbing rim to deal with accidental bumps. The zoom ring is broad and ridged with rubber and is geared with a small 75-degree arc of rotation. As a result, you have excellent grip to swiftly turn from 150mm to 500mm and shift all that glass.
It’s interesting to see that while the zoom ring is broad, the focus ring is narrow by comparison. This may prove a challenge for those shooting with gloves. The Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD features a focus limiter switch along with manual/autofocus switch. These are located alongside the pair of vibration compensation switches. The other notable addition to the lens is the Arca-Type compatible tripod mount. The mount is a single piece collar that rotates and locks to allow for variable shooting angles.
All That Tamron Glass
If you thought the outside was impressive, wait till you get a load of the inside and all that gorgeous Tamron glass. The simple version is that the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD features a whopping 25 elements in 16 groups. But the full version is far more impressive and provides insight into why you are carrying nearly 2kg of glass. In the mix, there are XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion), LD (Low Dispersion), and GM (Glass-Molded Aspherical) elements.
These precision lenses work to significantly reduce noticeable chromatic aberration and colour fringing. They also dramatically manage any hint of image distortion otherwise experienced in a lens of this zoom range. As if that was not enough, the lens elements within the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 feature a BBAR-G2 (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating. The coating suppresses internal flare, reflection and ghosting known for impacting contrast and colour fidelity.
While that’s an impressive collection of specially crafted glass, it begs an important question; how about image quality? The Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD delivers outstanding image quality and optical sharpness. And we are not just talking about a specific focal distance or aperture. Tamron has worked their magic to deliver edge to edge sharpness throughout the aperture range and at both ends of the zoom.
Aperture Fit For Purpose
Many wide aperture telephoto and super-telephoto lenses struggle to maintain edge to edge sharpness at the widest aperture. Lens with f/2 or f/2.8 apertures will experience edge softness at different points in the zoom range. As a result, you have to stop down to f/4 to clean up the edges. However, the Tamron 150-500mm’s widest aperture is f/5 at 150mm and f/6.7 at 500 – it doesn’t suffer as its aperture is not so wide.
And while many may question the low light performance of such a wide aperture zoom, there’s nothing to worry about. Super-telephoto lenses like the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD still achieve striking subject separation and depth of field. As a result, the lens is well suited to isolating and emphasising isolated subjects such as birds and wildlife. And the 7 rounded blade aperture delivers appealing bokeh even at f/6.7.
Tamron Focus Performance
So let’s recap; impressive compact build, lots of specialty precision glass and impressive image quality. So far the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD sounds like a dream. But how does it perform in the autofocus category especially when paired with a camera like the Sony a7R IV? Sony mirrorless cameras are the industry gold standard when it comes to autofocus speed, accuracy and features. Sony cameras deliver blisteringly fast autofocus performance and impressive tracking modes such as Eye and Animal Eye AF. Check out our full review of the Sony a7R IV here!
Fortunately, the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 matches the pace of Sony’s flagship full-frame cameras. It delivers fast and accurate autofocus and allows you to make the most of Sony tracking modes. The efficient autofocus system is driven by Tamron’s VXD Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive linear motor. This system is quiet, quick and paired with Sony’s Direct Manual Focus.
No More Shaky Shaky
Another neat feature of the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD, is the Vibration Compensation system. A lot of super-telephoto lenses are plagued with camera shake especially at the far end of the zoom. Trying to spot and track a stationary or moving subject at 500mm is no easy task. To compensate for this, the 150-500mm F/5-6.7 features three unique Vibration Compensation modes to account for panning, tilting and use at 500mm. Combined with the impressive AF system, VC delivers a stable level of performance.
Final Thoughts On The Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7
Sony full-frame shooters seem to be spoiled for choice when it comes to lens options. And the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD presents yet another opportunity for Sony E-mount shooters to create truly magical images. The Tamron 150-500mm is one of the most impressive full-frame super-telephoto lenses that we have seen in such a compact form. And as discovered in our YouTube video on Georges Camera TV, the ways in which this lens can be applied is inspirational. If you have your sights set on the Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD, head in-store or online at Georges Cameras to pick up your copy now.