Tamron recently announced the development of yet another lens for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras: the 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD. The lens is planned to launch this fall, and will be the fifth full-frame zoom that is dedicated to the Sony E-mount!

This news is just a reminder that Tamron is one of the biggest reasons to consider Sony’s E-mount. It took them a few years to get started, (fun fact: Sony’s E-mount actually first came out in 2010, with the NEX cameras, which were all crop-sensor!) …but now, Tamron has delivered a complete array of professional zooms from 17mm f/2.8 to 180mm f/2.8, as well as now two “kit” style zooms that are even more portable for their zoom range, the new 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3, plus the equally exciting Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6!

Tamron Helps Make Sony The Best Full-Frame Mirrorless System

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Just two years ago, Sony was essentially alone in the full-frame mirrorless camera market. (That is, if you couldn’t afford a $6,000 Leica, then a Sony A7-series was your only choice!)

Today, in the summer of 2020, we have full-frame cameras from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, and Sigma, all of which are trying very hard to get the attention of experienced and beginner photographers alike.

Sony’s E-mount, however, has one significant advantage: Since the mount has been around for nearly 8 years now, third parties such as Tamron (and Sigma, and Tokina, and Rokinon…) …have been making fully functional lenses for it. First came the E-mount APS-C lenses, (since that was originally all the E-mount was!) and then, recently, full-frame lenses made specifically for the mirrorless mount. (Meaning, not just taking an old DSLR lens and “adapting” it!)

Thus, even in this “crowded”, competitive full-frame mirrorless market, Tamron is helping to make Sony the most attractive, versatile option of the bunch. Especially if you’re on a budget, Tamron’s options should really get your attention. Whether you’re interested in “superzooms” like a 28-200mm, or telephoto “kit” zooms like this new 70-300, or “flagship” constant f/2.8 zooms, Tamron now has an option for you.

Of course, if you have a relatively unlimited budget, then by the end of this year you will have “flagship” name brand options available for Canon, Nikon and Sony alike. Tamron, meanwhile, has not yet begun making “SP” (their own top-tier flagship moniker) lenses specifically for mirrorless, and we have not heard any news about this, either.

All in all, it’s about options. If you want the most options, Sony’s E-mount is very attractive right now, and a big part of that is thanks to Tamron.

F/2.8 Zoom Price Comparison: Sony GM Versus Tamron Di III

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Did you know that you could buy TWO of the Tamron f/2.8 E-mount zooms, such as the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 and the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, for less than the price of ONE of the Sony f/2.8 GM zooms? (Say, the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM or Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM…)

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In fact, comparing any of the Tamron f/2.8 zooms, you stand to save over $1,000 each time. Here’s a breakdown of each brands’ “holy trinity”:

Now, let’s add them all up!

  • Tamron “holy trinity” total cost: ~$3,000
    Sony “holy trinity total cost: ~$6,600-7,000

That’s right, folks, you could save up to FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS on a trio of f/2.8 zooms, if you’re willing to make some of the (admittedly, potentially significant) compromises that the Tamron trio offers.

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(Di III lenses show cosmetic scuff marks from gentle use, but overall durability is impressive)

Are the Tamrons perfect? Indeed they are not; the Tamron trio isn’t an “SP” flagship trio, like their f/2.87 DSLR holy trinity, the 15-30mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm SP G2’s are. This means that each lens has three main compromises:

  • Less Zoom Range (17mm VS 15/16mm, 28mm VS 24mm, 180mm VS 200mm)
  • Functionality & Customization (no AF/MF switches, no Fn buttons)
  • Overall Build Quality (Plastic construction, less weather-proof)

If you really can’t make any of these compromises, then obviously a Sony GM lens is the superior, “flagship” choice. However, here’s the good news for many photographers who are still considering the Tamrons, from beginners to professionals alike… The two things that Tamron did NOT compromise on are the two things that matter the most: Image quality, and autofocus performance. With all of these full-frame E-mount lenses, from the oldest 28-75mm f/2.8 to the newest 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6, (which we are actively reviewing!) …they have proven to be both tack-sharp, and extremely accurate & consistent to nail focus. For many photographers, that’s all that matters in a good value lens!

This article isn’t going to get into which lenses are truly superior, or how the type of photography you do will affect your priorities in shopping for a lens. All you need to know today is, that simply by existing, Tamron’s E-mount lenses give you OPTIONS.

Will Tamron Make Mirrorless Full-Frame Lenses For Nikon & Canon?

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LEFT: Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 | RIGHT: Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8

Of course, we have to ask (and hopefully answer) the burning question: Is Tamron working on adapting these lenses to the new Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts? They’re growing in overall popularity and sales volume, even though Sony had a monopoly on the market for a few years.

It would be “easy money” for Tamron to just change the mount of any of these amazing lenses to Nikon Z, or Canon RF, however, there are a few things to consider: First and foremost, Nikon and Canon have not made their new full-frame mirrorless mounts “open”. Meaning, the electronic communications that happen between a body and lens are basically a secret.

Oppositely, Sony made their E-mount protocols open/known, which is why we are now seeing not just Tamron but Sigma, Tokina, and Rokinon (any others?) making fully functional lenses…

So, Tamron would have to “reverse engineer” the Nikon/Canon mounts, and figure out how to make a lens that correctly operates its aperture and autofocus motors. It sounds simple, but that R&D alone could take years. It’s possible that Tamron started working on this the day the Canon EOS R and Nikon Z6 / Z7 first started shipping, however, it could still be another year or two before we see the fruits of such labor.

NOTE: If you’re a landscape or nightscape photographer, you’re in luck! Many all-manual lenses are already popping up for both Nikon Z and Canon RF, from the likes of Laowa and Rokinon/Samyang. Enjoy!

Long story short: If you’re currently a Canon or Nikon DSLR owner, or you have the Canon EF-M mirrorless that has been around for many years now too, then you have a choice to make: If you want to upgrade to full-frame mirrorless RIGHT NOW, but you don’t have the budget for more than one name-brand lens, then Sony is currently the winner in terms of third-party lens selection. However, if you’re okay with waiting another year or two, and you really like the Canon/Nikon you currently have, then it is indeed very likely that we’ll start seeing third-party lenses showing up en masse for both mounts within a year or two. (The mounts will both be about 3 years old by then!)

NOTE: Rokinon/Samyang already have two lenses available for Canon RF (with autofocus), the AF 14mm f/2.8 and AF 85mm f/1.4. Canon’s RF mount is less “secret” than Nikon’s Z mount; it is merely the well-known EF mount plus one more electronic contact for the “control ring”, which the Roki-Yang lenses omit.

Tamron 70-300mm /4.5-6.3 Di III RXD Review Coming Soon!

Having said that, stay tuned for our review of the Tamron 70-300mm, which we’ll bring to you as soon as possible! Here at SLR Lounge, we are not just full-time wedding & portrait photographers, we are also travel, landscape, and general casual photography enthusiasts! So, we’re pretty excited to try out such a highly portable zoom lens, and see how it performs…

Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD | Press Release

Tamron Announces New 70 300mm Telephoto Lens for Sony E Mount SLR LoungeWhile Tamron has manufactured many popular telephoto zoom lenses that extend to 300mm for DSLR cameras, the new 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 is the first model designed for full-frame mirrorless cameras. Developed with the concept of bringing the joy of easy telephoto shooting to photographers everywhere, it’s the world’s smallest and lightest 70-300mm zoom lens at 5.8 in., 19.2 oz. and a maximum diameter of 77mm, and delivers exceptional image quality.

Its Moisture-Resistant Construction provides greater protection when shooting outdoors and the lens shares the 67mm filter diameter common to all members of Tamron’s lens series for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The lens also takes full advantage of in-camera features, including Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF that support a fantastic shooting experience. The 70-300mm F4.5-6.3 is a highly practical lens that makes the excitement of telephoto shooting easier than ever before across a diverse range of shooting styles including landscapes, sports, and other athletic events, wildlife, portraits, and more.

Main features

  • The world’s smallest and lightest size brings you the joy of easy telephoto shooting.
  • Superb optical performance with high image quality and aberration correction.
  • AF drive system powered by Tamron’s RXD stepping motor unit provides high-speed, high-precision, and quiet operation.
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction contributes to a comfortable, user-friendly photographic experience.

*Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.

Check Pricing & Availability of Tamron Lenses for Sony:

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