Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Field Test: Zoom lens delivers impressive performance and value


posted Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 4:59 PM EDT

Click here to read our Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Field Test


For DSLR shooters looking for a telephoto zoom lens, Tamron's 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 has long been a great choice given its blend of performance and value. For photographers using Sony mirrorless cameras, you could adapt this lens. Or, you could use Tamron's new 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD lens, which has been designed from the ground up for full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras. I went hands-on and the lens impressed me.

Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD on a Sony A7R IV

Starting with the build quality, Tamron's ultra-telephoto zoom lens is reasonably compact and lightweight. While it's not a small lens, at 209.6mm (8.3") long and 1.88kg (4.14 lbs.) heavy, the 150-500mm is easy to carry around for extended periods. Plus, with vibration compensation (VC), the lens works well handheld. The lens also includes weather resistance, which is excellent for a lens at this price ($1,400) and makes the lens a great choice for wildlife photography.

Shot on Sony A7R IV at 500mm, f/6.7, 1/800s, ISO 4000. This image has been edited.

Speaking of wildlife photography, it's the primary type of photography I shot with the Tamron 150-500mm lens. The lens's impressive autofocus performance showed when photographing moving animals in low light. The Tamron 150-500mm lens can focus surprisingly closely. At 150mm, the lens can focus to 0.6m (23.6"), which results in a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.1. It's not a macro lens, but it can work well for close-ups, like photographing flowers. The lens also works with Sony's Fast Hybrid AF, Eye AF and Direct Manual Focus (DMF).

Shot on Sony A7R IV at 153mm, f/5, 1/800s, ISO 500. This image has been edited.

Overall, the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is a great lens for Sony mirrorless cameras. It offers something a bit different than Sony's own 100-400mm GM and 200-600mm telephoto zoom lenses while doing so at a lower price than both. At $1,400, the Tamron 150-500mm is worth considering for any wildlife photographer on a budget. To read the rest of my thoughts on the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 lens, head on over to my Field Test.

Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Field TestGallery