Tamron Announces Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony Full-Frame Mirrorless

Earlier this month Tamron set a release date for its latest zoom lens compatible with Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. 

Welcome the 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD!

The new telephoto speedster will be the third in this collection of Sony compatible zoom lenses for Tamron, joining the 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD, and the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD. The company has also released three close-focusing primes—20mm F/2.8, 24mm F/2.8 and 35mm F/2.8.

While the new 70-180mm F/2.8 was set to be made available in the U.S. on May 14th, the spread of COVID-19 will likely delay that release date. 

While we wait, let’s take a look at some of the things that make this lens exciting.

Note: The following is not a review of this lens, it is simply a showcase of what Tamron says that it has on tap for Sony shooters. 

Model: A056
Focal Length: 70‐180mm
Maximum Aperture: F/2.8
Angle of View (diagonal): 34°21′-13°42’  (for full-frame mirrorless format)
Optical Construction: 19 elements in 14 groups
Minimum Object Distance : 33.5 in (full-zoom range)*
Maximum Magnification Ratio : AF 1:4.6 (wide) / MF 1:2* / AF 1:4.6 (tele)
Filter Size: φ67mm
Maximum Diameter: φ81mm
Length** : 5.9“
Weight: 28.6 oz
Aperture Blades: 9 (circular diaphragm)***
Minimum Aperture: F/22
Standard Accessories: Flower-shaped hood, Lens caps
Compatible Mounts: Sony E-mount

Size and mobility
The 70-180mm F/2.8 will have a compact design, which goes well with the whole mirrorless mantra. It is, in fact, quite small. Its filter diameter is 67mm, maximum diameter 81mm, length 5.9” at the 70mm setting. As you might imagine, it is also lightweight weighing in at a mere 28.6 oz. 

Owners of Tamron’s other lenses for full-frame mirrorless will be thrilled to see this lens will also feature a 67mm filter diameter, making things easy as far as using the same filters and lens caps.  

Highspeed & Precision Autofocus
Tamron has developed, for the first time, its first-ever linear motor AF drive focus mechanism they call “VXD” (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive). These developments will allow for a lot of good things that folks shooting telephoto will want. Low noise when shooting in silent settings, crisp images, and fast and precise Auto Focus tracking ability. 

Image Quality
The 70-180mm F/2.8 has an optical construction of 19 elements in 14 groups. It includes a total of six XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) and LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements combined, and three GM (Glass Molded Aspherical) and hybrid aspherical lens elements combined. Special lens elements are generously and optimally arranged to correct chromatic aberration and maintain very high-resolution performance from edge-to-edge. TGhosting and flare are minimized through a BBAR-G2 (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection Generation 2) Coating, helping to produce stunning, clear images with brilliant, sharp subject detail. Expect nice bokeh at F/ 2.8 with a smooth and soft transition from subject to background. 

Close Focus
The new 70-180mm F/2.8 lens has a With a MOD of 33.5” throughout the entire zoom range, this lens has a close focus for a large aperture telephoto zoom. A floating component equipped with two VXD linear focus mechanisms maintains high image quality while effectively controlling aberrations so that the 70-180mm F/2.8 ensures great image quality even at close-up.

Moisture-Resistant Construction & Fluorine Coating
Seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to deter infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops and afford Moisture-Resistant Construction. A nice additional layer of protection from nasty weather conditions. Photographers who travel with Backcountry Journeys are familiar with the realities of weather, as well as how you can use “poor” weather to your advantage. Having a lens that can handle better these conditions is certainly advantageous. The front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that has excellent water- and oil-repellant qualities, making the lens surface easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, moisture or oily fingerprints. 

Compatible with main camera-specific features & functions
Tamron’s new 70-180mm F/2.8 is compatible with many of the advanced features that are specific to certain mirrorless cameras. This includes the following:
– Fast Hybrid AF
– Eye AF
– Direct Manual Focus (DMF)
– In-camera lens correction (shading, chromatic aberration, distortion)
– Camera-based lens unit firmware updates

A key advantage of this series is its portability, as they are small and according to Tamron, the three lenses altogether weigh in at a mere 62.8 oz. These lenses are easy to carry, fast, sharp and should be more affordable than the Sony lineup. 

Now, when will we actually be able to get our hands on this latest model? For another day, I suppose. 

Kenton Krueger








Kenton Krueger grew up and spent the first 33 years of his life in the corn country of Omaha, Nebraska. After studying aviation at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Aviation Institute, he “conned” his way into the newsroom at the award-winning Omaha World-Herald where for 3+ years he wrote and photographed news articles on a variety of topics such as community events, travel and even mixed martial arts for the sports department. Yet something was missing. While on backpacking trips to Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Parks in the mid-2000’s he was quick to realize that the wildlands of the western United States stoked a fire in his heart as nothing else could. This realization led to relocation to Flagstaff, Arizona, and he hasn’t looked back. He has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Parks as well as in the Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, newspaper photographer, and writer. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.

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