In the last handful of weeks, Tamron has announced not one, but two powerful new lenses. First came the 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD (for Nikon Z-mount), followed by the upgraded version of the existing 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VC VXD (for Sony E-mount).
While Tamron is primarily known for developing enthusiast lenses that combine excellent optics, compact designs, and reasonable prices, the two just-announced lenses will likely occupy a position in the upper echelons of the company’s lens lineup – assuming earlier versions of the products are indicative of what’s to come.
The Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD for Nikon Z-mount
The original Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 was released back in 2021 for Sony E-mount, and the new product, this time compatible with Nikon’s entire array of mirrorless cameras, appears to match its specifications. Like the E-mount version, the new lens promises outstanding optics, not to mention an incredible focal-length range that’ll instantly take you from a wide-angle view all the way into a tight telephoto crop.
As the Sony version proved, the lens will be useful for a host of photographers. It should be popular among serious portrait snappers (who can use the lens to capture a wide variety of portrait types within a single session), travel photographers (to shoot landscapes, travel portraits, and everything in between), and professional event photographers (who can use the lens to alternate between scene-setting photos and tighter compositions).
The maximum aperture, which goes all the way to f/2 on the wide end, should appeal to a couple of types of photographers, including shooters who often work indoors and at night as well as portraitists seeking that beautiful background bokeh.
Of course, a do-everything lens like this one does come with drawbacks. The 35-150mm is large, heavy, and expensive. While the MSRP for the Nikon version hasn’t been revealed yet, the Sony version comes with an $1899 price tag.
As a result, the lens likely won’t see much use from beginners as well as certain minimalistic travel shooters. For others, however, the heft and cost are the sacrifices you make if you want to work with one of the most versatile and effective lenses on the market. Therefore, I recommend Nikon pros and semi-pros take a good look at this lens – especially if you frequently work in low-light scenarios.
The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VC VXD G2
Tamron’s more recent announcement, the 70-180mm f/2.8 G2, is arguably even more exciting. It’s not an existing lens with a converted mount but instead comes as the upgraded version of the first-generation 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VC VXD, an E-mount lens that hit the shelves back in 2020.
The new version of the 70-180mm looks to perfect its predecessor’s already excellent feature set. Like the original, you can expect outstanding low-light performance thanks to the f/2.8 maximum aperture, an impressively compact design, and a focal-length range that’s already much-loved by landscape photographers, portrait photographers, event photographers, and more.
Note that the old 70-180mm f/2.8 is only 20mm shorter than the standard 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses offered by Sony. Yet it’s far more compact, making it ideal for travel photography and general walkaround shooting. It’s also available for a much cheaper $1099; as a result, it appeals to serious hobbyists as well as professionals. The upgraded version may cost more, but I doubt the price will rise significantly.
In addition to the features mentioned above, what will the new lens offer? For one, the 70-180mm will now include image stabilization technology – Tamron calls this “VC,” or “Vibration Compensation” – which should dramatically improve sharpness when handholding at slow shutter speeds. This will be invaluable for wedding and event photographers working in low light and should also come in handy for landscape and wildlife snappers who prefer to capture tighter images without a tripod.
The lens will boast upgraded autofocus capabilities to ensure even greater speed and accuracy when photographing moving subjects, such as sports and birds in flight; it also sports a “revamped optical design” that “delivers truly superb performance at all focal lengths.” Considering that the original optic lens’s optics were well-received by professionals and critics, this should only serve to improve the lens further.
Tamron zoom lens announcements: final words
While we don’t yet know when the new lenses will debut – Tamron’s official press releases only state “Fall 2023” – you shouldn’t have long to wait, and if you’re a Nikon Z-mount or Sony E-mount shooter seeking a highly versatile zoom, these are lenses you don’t want to miss. You can sign up to receive an availability notification for the upcoming 35-150mm f/2.8 here, while the new E-mount Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 notification sign-up is here.
Now over to you:
What do you think of Tamron’s new zoom lenses? Will you be interested in purchasing either one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!