New Compact 500mm Telephoto Zoom for Sony Full-frame Mirrorless Cameras

Tamron has unveiled the newest lens in its lineup, the “astonishingly compact” 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD telephoto zoom. This new addition to Tamron’s collection has been designed and optimized for use on Sony E-mount full-frame cameras.

Tamron’s 150-600 has been a popular lens for wildlife and long-lens DSLR photographers who have required a telephoto zoom for a relatively affordable price tag. The 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is Tamron’s first step into the market of long lenses designed for Sony mirrorless camera users.


For a lens capable of 500mm, the new super-telephoto from Tamron is relatively compact. It weighs just 1.9kg and measures just 8.3 inches at 150mm and 11.1 inches in length at 500mm, with the front end housing an 82mm filter thread.

The lens design features a focus ring (the closest ring to the camera), and a thicker focal length control ring on the distant end of the lens, which has a small arc of rotation of 75º. 

“This enables swift adjustment to the desired focal length with minimal movement”, according to Tamron. 

The lens also has a zoom lock to prevent it from expanding when not in use. There is a focus mode switch, image stabilization switch, and a focus limiter switch.

Internally, the Tamron 150-500mm is built using 25 elements in 16 groups. This includes two hybrid aspherical elements, one extra-low dispersion element, and five low dispersion elements. These all work to control colour aberration and improve image quality.

The lens has been built to be moisture resistant throughout, and the outer element has a fluorine coating for protection against the challenging environments that outdoor photographers can face.

This lens is “designed and constructed with a strong emphasis on compact size and usability without compromising image quality”, Tamron states in its press release. 

Tamron has built the lens to house its VXD linear focus mechanism, a system that was first introduced in the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD. Tamron reports that the VXD delivers high speed, responsive focus movement, with “vastly improved focus tracking capability”.

This could be beneficial for long lens photographers who are capturing fast-moving subjects such as birds in flight.

Tamron also claims that the new linear motor makes the lens ideal for video, as it “suppresses drive noise and vibrations during focusing”. 

An example image of focus tracking in the 150-500mm from Tamron.

The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is now available for pre-order, retailing at $1,399 in the US and £1,379 in the UK. The lens is set to begin shipping on June 10, 2021.

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Joe is a photographer, camera and drone operator with a focus on conservation and the natural world. Having worked for a number of wildlife and conservation NGOs, Joe is now working for the BBC NHU on an upcoming landmark series.

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