In early August this year, Tamron revealed it was developing the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VC VXD G2. Now the lens has been officially announced, and is expected to go on sale on October 12th, with an expected retail price of 150,000 yen (approximately $1,000/£1000).
The new lens will initially be available for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras, although it could potentially spread to other mounts in time. An example being Nikon Z mount, as the Nikon Z 70-180mm f/2.8 is essentially a re-bodied example of Tamron's existing 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens.
Tamron likes to do things a little differently than others and often creates slightly more unusual focal lengths than what is usually considered traditional. The new 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 will be Tamron's latest take on the classic 70-200mm f/2.8 lens formula (considered a part of the "holy trinity" of professional zoom lenses). By shaving 20mm off the top end, significant weight and size savings could be made, while not sacrificing the wide aperture or image quality.
The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 G2 builds on the first-generation model, incorporating several new features to make this a worthwhile upgrade from the previous version. Firstly the G2 lens now uses Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism, which is the manufacturer's terminology for optical image stabilization. While Tamron doesn't give how many stops of compensation the VC enables, the lens does manage to maintain its compact size and weight from the first gen. The lens is just 6.2in (156.5mm) long and weighs 30.2oz (855g).
A new optical design incorporates 20 elements, arranged in 15 groups and includes 1 XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) element, 1 compound aspherical lens, 3 LD (Low Dispersion) elements, plus 2 GM (Glass Molded) elements to help eliminate chromatic aberration. Tamron has also managed to shorten the minimum focusing distance at the wide end (70mm) to 0.3m, which is a considerable improvement over the first gen's 0.85m. The lens will have the latest moisture-resistant construction and fluorine coating to keep the 67mm front element clear from fog and grime.
Finally, the new Tamron 70-180mm G2 employs Tamron’s VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor focus mechanism. This should enable faster and more accurate autofocus in both stills and video that can keep up with the latest autofocus and subject-tracking algorithms in Sony cameras.
Like the manufacturer's other lenses, the new 70-180mm G2 can make use of the Tamron Lens Utility and Tamron Lens Utility Mobile apps to customize functions based on various shooting as well as update the lens firmware.