Tamron Swells Its Sony Full-Frame Lineup With Fast Zoom And Prime Lenses

Small, light, and fast, Tamron’s 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD should be well worth a look for Sony E mount users.

If you want to know the health of a lens mount, look at its third-party support. Sony’s E Mount is really going places and users are set to enjoy four new optics from Tamron. 

First up is the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD, which promises superb optical performance, and fast but quiet AF in a small, lightweight design. In fact, weighing 815g, and measuring only 149mm long, it should fit very well on Sony’s full-frame bodies like the new A7R IV. Not only that, with photographers appreciating those cameras’ silent shutter features, reduced AF noise will fit in nicely. The latter comes from Tamron’s newly developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor focus mechanism, and Tamron says it works perfectly with Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF systems.

The 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD joins Tamron’s 17-28mm 28-75mm f/2.8 zoom models making a very useable suite of lenses, all of which have a moisture-resistant construction and 67mm fluorine coated front elements for easier cleaning. The 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD will be released in the Spring with price TBC.

Spot the difference? Tamron’s 20mm, 24mm and 35mm f/2.8 primes are designed to have a common look and feel, and therefore improve handling.

Tamron also announced three f/2.8 primes for Sony E Mount cameras, this week, the 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, and 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2. The ‘M1:2’ in their names denotes a close-focusing function or ‘Minimum Object Distance’, which produces half life-size reproduction, so not proper macro, but pretty close. They’ll focus down to 0.11m, 0.12m and 0.15m respectively, so should give some great detail.

The 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 weighs only 220g and is 64mm long, so a very compact ultra-wide angle option.

The lenses are small, and light, weighing 220g, 215g, and 210g respectively, and all measure 64mm long. Get the full set and you’ve got wide-aperture primes covering ultra-wide angle to something close to standard, in a highly portable form, tipping the scales at under 650g. They also have a moisture-resistant construction and Fluorine coatings for easier cleaning of their front elements. 

Like the other f/2.8 primes, the 24mm can focus very closely producing a 1:2 reproduction – half life-size.

Tamron promises “superb high-resolution performance that matches the latest high-resolution image sensors,” and this comes via an “optimal arrangement of LD (Low Dispersion) and GM (glass-moulded aspherical) lens elements.” The lenses also use the company’s BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coating to reduce ghosting and flare. AF is claimed to be speedy and silent, thanks to the OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) DC motor, and to work seamlessly with Sony’s cameras. 

With its attractive size, and claims of fast and silent focusing, the 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 could be an instant hit with street photographers.

Like the other lenses in Tamron’s E mount series, the filter size is helpfully kept at 67mm, so you get some commonality there for screw ins, holders and lens caps, further saving space and weight in your bag. The 24mm and 35mm lenses will be released in December, while the 20mm version should follow along in January 2020. Prices are TBC.