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Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Tamron has launched a third zoom for Fujifilm X Mount, offering extensive telephoto coverage. Is it set to go the distance?
Series’ APS-C sensor, the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 achieves a roughly 750mm full-frame equivalent at its longest end. I'd say that’s enough for just about anything. On the flip side, with no teleconverter compatibility – unlike Fujifilm’s native lenses – what you see is what you get. But what of the photographer, but that only seeks to highlight the Tamron’s strengths. Put to the test in a nearby nature reserve, the lens performed Tamron’s broader usability? I am by no means a nature phenomenally. Autofocus and image stabilisation stood out in particular. In the Fujifilm X-T30’s AF-C mode, the former provided continuous hits. Coupled with more modern X Series bodies, the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 would undoubtedly meet the needs of dedicated enthusiasts and working professionals. Stabilisation came by way of Tamron’s vibration compensation, with a proposed five-stop benefit. During handheld use, despite the lens’ focal length, images were distinctly sharp down to 1/1000sec – and likely lower, would the conditions have called for it. Further to the lens’ AF capabilities, detection and tracking was nicely accurate at faster apertures. Even at its wide end, depth-of-field becomes very shallow with a beautiful bokeh – which is only accentuated as you move through the zoom range.
TESTED BY LEE RENWICK
THERE IS ALWAYS a cost to specialised optics – be it financial or extra bulk in the kit bag. That said, every now and then a lens comes along that balances cost, size and performance to a stellar degree. I’d include Tamron’s 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD within that class. Ideal for nature, sports, a certain calibre of landscape photography and anything else you can set a long lens to, the Tamron, first and foremost, offers coverage. Though shorter than Fujifilm’s longest telephoto zoom – the Fujinon XF 150-600mm f/5.6-8 – that final 100mm may not be significant to many users. What’s more, there’s a significant saving to be had on physical length, though not weight. At the crop factor of the X SPECS › Price £1399.99 › Mount Fujifilm X Mount (Sony E-mount available) › Construction 25 elements in 16 groups › Special glass Seven special elements (LD, XLD and ASL) › Diaphragm Seven blades › Aperture range f/5-f/22 (wide), f/6.7-f/32 (tele) › Filter size 82mm › Coating BBAR-G2 coating › Minimum focus 0.6m (wide), 1.8m (tele) › Maximum magnification 1:3.1 (wide), 1:3.7 (tele) › Focus limiter Full, 3m to infinity, 15m to infinity › IS Tamron VC, five-stop benefit › Weather sealing Moisture- resistant construction › Other features VXD linear motor, zoom lock, VXD autofocus, internal focusing › Dimensions (DxL) 93x209.6mm › Weight 1710g › Contact tamron.eu
There’s a seven-blade diaphragm to thank, but for the less technically minded, Tamron’s array of sample images speak for themselves. Then there’s another unique quality to consider. Faux-macro with a telephoto lens has been a staple for some time, but the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 gets you a little closer to the real thing, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.6m on the wide end, or 1.8m at the longest. That’s a magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at best, or 1:2.1 in full-frame terms. My own subjects were a little further afield, but almost half life-sized macro capabilities are impressive as something of a throwaway feature. It provides all the latitude you need to move in for close, detailed compositions – or to lean in and photograph truly tiny subjects from spitting distance. Finally, there’s physical build to consider. Weighty as it is, a comparatively short length is far from the only impressive detail. Despite its extensive zoom range, an arc of only 75° is required to take you from the widest to longest position. This means quicker adjustments and, ultimately, fewer moments SHARPSHOOTER You can take photos handheld at longer focal lengths thanks to five stops of vibration compensation
WHATEVER THE WEATHER The lens is away-day certified thanks to a fluorine coating and moisture-resistant body
60 Photography News | Issue 111
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