Hark, it’s the product development klaxon! And it’s heralding a 16.6x superzoom from Tamron. Yes, the 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD (Model B061) is being developed simultaneously for Sony E mount and Fujifilm X mount, and according to Tamron it’s primed to give great versatility across all sorts of photography. It also promises the greatest zoom range of any APS-C lens.
Tamron has been supporting Sony E mount for quite some time – since 2018 in fact – but hasn’t made any Fujifilm X mount lenses up until this point. The new lens is therefore great news for X Series fans as a decent level of third-party involvement is always healthy for a system. Now Tamron joins the growing number of manufacturers supporting X mount, including the recently announced Nokton 35mm f/1.2 lens from Voigtländer, plus the likes of Tokina, Laowa and Zeiss.
Tamron is a specialist in superzooms – they made the first-ever ‘all in one’ lens – and though there are some similar options around in E mount, there’s nothing currently available in Fujifilm’s X mount that even comes close to the 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD’s 16.6x zoom ratio. Checking out the approximate size of the lens, you can see it’s reasonably compact despite its huge 27-450mm full-frame equivalent range, though it’ll most likely handle best on a body with a grip, like the Fujifilm X-S10 or an X-T4 with a VG-XT4 grip added, or Sony’s A6xxx series.
So what has been revealed about the new lens? Well, alongside its big zoom range that’ll suit all sorts of subjects, Tamron is promising a useful 1:2 magnification ratio at the lens’s minimum focusing distance of 15cm, which comes at the 18mm end. There’s also talk of extremely fast, precise and quiet autofocus, thanks to the VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor, and “the best image quality in its class,” via “special lens elements arranged precisely to maintain high resolution performance from edge-to-edge.”
On top of that, there’s “outstanding Vibration Compensation,” which is great for bodies without IBIS, and for keeping shots sharp at the super telephoto end. Finally, it’s billed as having user-friendly features like a moisture-resistant construction, fluorine-coated front element and a zoom lock to stop it creeping out towards your knee as you walk about. It also has a 67mm filter size, the same as other Tamron lenses for mirrorless cameras.
The lens should be available before the end of the year, but as this is a product development announcement, the release and specs are subject to change. And if you’re not convinced of the usefulness of superzooms, just see here.