Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Assessment

Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Assessment


The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 is a price range supertelephoto zoom lens at present out there for Sony E, Nikon Z, and Fuji X mirrorless cameras. Regardless of the substantial 500mm focal size, the lens is comparatively light-weight and small. It’s considerably extra moveable than both the Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 or the Nikon Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3, that are arguably its two closest opponents.

Granted, the utmost focal size favors the Nikon and the Sony. I wouldn’t say that the variations between 500mm and 600mm are night time and day, however it’s sufficient to place just a few extra megapixels on distant topics. And as you’ll see all through this evaluation, that’s not the one small compromise of the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7.

Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless rather a lot to love about this lens, and the largest factors in its favor – worth, dimension, and weight – are particularly interesting. The precise worth varies by lens mount, however it’s all the time decrease than name-brand options: $1200 for Nikon Z, $1400 for Sony E, and $1500 for Fuji X. In as we speak’s evaluation, I’ll cowl every thing you should know concerning the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 and whether or not it’s the appropriate lens for you.

Tamron 150-500mm product photo on Nikon Z camera
The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 (on the Nikon Z7 for scale)

This evaluation at Pictures Life is a joint effort. Like all the time, I examined the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 within the lab to deliver you measurements of sharpness, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and distortion. Then my good friend Adam Sheridan introduced the lens on a safari in Botswana and Zimbabwe to deliver you the pattern pictures on this evaluation.

Usually, I take a look at lenses myself each within the lab and within the discipline, however I feel you’ll agree that the wildlife pictures right here had been price altering issues up a bit! Many of the handling-related impressions are Adam’s, and a lot of the picture high quality notes are mine. Adam will even publish a separate article tomorrow that dives into the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 in comparison with his regular Nikon Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3.

Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Review Sample-00018
NIKON Z 8 + TAMRON 150-500mm F/5-6.7 @ 150mm, ISO 1400, 1/800, f/5.0 © Adam Sheridan
Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Review Sample-00023
NIKON Z 8 + TAMRON 150-500mm F/5-6.7 @ 500mm, ISO 320, 1/800, f/6.7 © Adam Sheridan

Construct High quality

The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 feels sturdy and well-built whereas holding it. Though it’s a third-party price range lens, it doesn’t really feel prefer it. The supplies and tolerances all give off a optimistic impression.

That is additionally a fairly gentle lens, a minimum of contemplating the zoom vary. Together with the tripod collar, the Tamron’s weight ranges from 1865 grams to 1880 grams relying on the lens mount (4.11 to 4.14 kilos). That is noticeably lighter than the options. For instance, the Nikon Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 weighs 2140 grams (4.72 kilos), and the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G weighs 2245 grams (4.95 kilos).

Much more than the burden distinction, it’s the dimensions distinction that stood out to me. The Tamron is simply 8.4 inches lengthy when totally retracted (21 centimeters). That is a lot smaller than the Nikon Z 180-600mm (12.4 inches / 31.5 cm) or the Sony 200-600mm (12.6 inches / 32.0 cm). The small dimension and weight makes the Tamron uniquely suited to carrying abroad or becoming in a backpack with different gear.

One other massive optimistic of the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 is that its tripod foot is already Arca-Swiss appropriate. This implies you don’t have to cope with the additional problem of shopping for a substitute foot or attaching a separate Arca-Swiss plate. It’s a helpful characteristic that some smaller lens firms have embraced (Tamron, Sigma, and OM System amongst them), whereas the massive three are nonetheless missing (Canon, Sony, and Nikon).

Tamron 150-500mm product photo
The Tamron 150-500mm has a detachable Arca-Swiss type tripod foot

Nevertheless, not every thing is ideal concerning the construct high quality of the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7. A noteworthy downside is that the lens makes use of an externally-focusing design, the place the inside barrel extends as you zoom in. This design is hardly distinctive to the Tamron, however particularly for a supertelephoto that you could be wish to use in dusty or wet situations, it isn’t superb.

By comparability, the Nikon Z 180-600mm and the Sony FE 200-600mm are each internally-zooming lenses. This does contribute to their bigger sizes, however it additionally makes them extra versatile instruments in dangerous climate.

Tamron 150-500mm product photo External Zoom
The Tamron 150-500mm extends as you zoom in

Dealing with

The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 has some handling-related points that you need to learn about earlier than shopping for. The primary might sound quite simple, however it’s one thing that grew fairly annoying over time: the lens hood.

To be able to profit from this lens’s small dimension whereas touring, there’s likelihood that you simply’ll find yourself reversing the lens hood frequently. Then you definitely’ll wish to rapidly re-attach the hood within the regular course for capturing. The issue is that the hood on the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 merely doesn’t connect very simply.

There are two causes for the difficulty. First, the hood can solely be locked in two spots, in contrast to many lens hoods that may be locked in 4. Second, the locking tabs themselves are very small, and it’s simple to overlook them whereas the lens hood rotates at some odd angle and doesn’t really lock. Possibly I’m simply being choosy, however this contributed to a extra irritating expertise utilizing the lens.

Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Review Sample-00003
NIKON Z 9 + TAMRON 150-500mm F/5-6.7 @ 200mm, ISO 400, 1/1600, f/5.3 © Adam Sheridan

One other handling-related situation with this lens is how simple it was to interact the zoom locking mechanism accidentally. On the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7, the zoom ring locks while you push it ahead with slight strain. That is supposed to be a characteristic, however it felt extra like a malfunction. I discovered it very simple to by chance press the ring ahead whereas zooming in, locking it quickly in place. Granted, it didn’t take lengthy to unlock once more – however in case you’re making an attempt to rapidly zoom right into a distant animal, even a few missed seconds could make a giant distinction.

Aside from these two points, I had no issues with the dealing with of the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7. The lens has ample controls and switches, giving you quick access to an important focusing-related settings. Lastly, the picture stabilization system labored effectively, functioning simply as easily as a first-party lens. It truly is simply the unusual lens hood and the zoom locking mechanism that irritated me concerning the lens’s dealing with.

Tamron 150-500mm product photo Handling Controls Switches
There are in depth controls on The Tamron 150-500mm, together with a spotlight limiter. (“MOD” means “minimal object distance” and refers back to the lens’s closest focusing distance)

As a result of the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 has a USB port, it’s potential to replace the firmware or in any other case calibrate the lens utilizing Tamron’s lens utility.

Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Specs

  • Full Title: Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD (Sony model is A057, Nikon is A057Z, Fuji is A057X)
  • Mount Kind: Sony E, Nikon Z, and Fuji X mounts
  • Focal Size: 150mm to 500mm (3.3× zoom)
  • Angle of View (Full Body): 16°25′ to 4°57′
  • Most Aperture: f/5 at 150mm; f/6.7 at 500mm
  • Minimal Aperture: f/22 at 150mm; f/32 at 500mm
  • Aperture Blades: 7, rounded
  • Filter Dimension: 82mm
  • Lens Components: 25
  • Lens Teams: 16
  • Particular Components: 1 extra-low dispersion, 5 low-dispersion, 2 hybrid aspherical
  • Anti-Flare Coatings: BBAR-G2 coating on each aspect
  • Fluorine Coated Entrance Component: Sure
  • Digital Diaphragm: Sure
  • Vibration Compensation: Sure
  • Inside Focusing: Sure
  • Management Rings: Zoom and focus
  • Operate Button: No
  • Inside Zooming: No
  • Focus Motor: VXD linear focus motor
  • Minimal Focus Distance: 60 cm (24 inches) at 150mm; 180 cm (71 inches) at 500mm
  • Most Magnification: 0.32× (1:3.1) at 150mm; 0.27x (1:3.7) at 500mm
  • Mount Materials: Steel
  • Climate/Mud Sealing: Sure
  • Size: 210mm for Sony, 212mm for Nikon, 210mm for Fuji (8.3, 8.4, and eight.3 inches)
  • Diameter: 93mm, all variations (3.7 inches)
  • Weight: 1880g for Sony, 1875g for Nikon, 1865g for Fuji (4.14, 4.13, and 4.11 lbs)
  • MSRP: $1400 for Sony, $1200 for Nikon, $1500 for Fuji
  • Lowest Sale Seen: $1200 (test present worth)

I ought to word that the utmost aperture development on the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 is sweet and clean. It’s f/5 at 150mm, f/5.3 at 200mm, f/5.6 at 300mm, f/6.3 at 400mm, and f/6.7 at 500mm. That is higher than another zooms that rapidly drop while you zoom in slightly.

Lastly, remember the fact that the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 isn’t appropriate with teleconverters.

The following web page of this evaluation covers the optical traits of the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7, together with focusing efficiency and sharpness exams within the lab. So, click on the menu beneath to go to “Optical Efficiency”:

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