Tamron 50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD super-telephoto launched for Sony FE

Tamron 50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD
(Image credit: Tamron)

Tamron extends its range of Sony FE full frame lenses with this “ultra-telephoto”,  which offers an 8x zoom range at a highly competitive price point of $1,299/£1,249.99 (about AU$1900).

Tamron says its new lens is the same size as regular 100-400mm telephotos, yet offers a much wider 50mm angle of view at its shortest focal length. The new lens measures just 183mm (7.2 inches) in length and weighs 1,154g (40.7 oz). There is an optional tripod mount (Arca-Swiss compatible model A035TM) for extended tripod or monopod use.

This is quick work from Tamron. The Tamron 50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD development was announced only a month ago. (Image credit: Tamron)

Inside, the optical layout consists of 24 elements in 18 groups, including two XLD (extra low dispersion) elements, one GM (glass molded aspherical) and one Hybrid Aspherical element to control aberrations. As the name indicates, this lens includes Tamron’s VXD linear focus mechanism for precise, high speed AF with “excellent” focus tracking performance. It’s also designed to be extremely quiet.

Optical stabilization is built in via Tamron’s proprietary VC system, which uses AI to select the best compensation for video at focal lengths of 100mm or less, which sounds an interesting new approach.

At its shortest 50mm focal length, the Tamron 50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD can focus down to a distance of 25cm (9.8 inches) to give a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2 which is, very literally, half way towards a true macro lens. Even at 400mm it can achieve a magnification ratio of 4:1, which could be ideal for small subjects like insects.

The new lens also comes with a Connector Port for the Tamron Lens Utility, which can be used to update the lens firmware in future and also customize lens functions such as a new Focus Limiter feature.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com