Scheduled for availability October 12th (less than a month away!), Tamron’s newly-reimagined version of the 70–180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD for Sony E-mount brings significant optical upgrades and (hurray!) Tamron’s proprietary VC stabilization system.
Like its predecessor, the 70–180mm f/2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 is the smallest and lightest in its class*. (And yes, it is a full-frame compatible lens.) Weighing only 30.5 ounces and measuring 6.2 inches in length, this is quite an easy-to-carry professional-tier telephoto zoom—and with that VC system combined with the fast, accurate VXD AF motors, it will be easier than ever to capture breathtaking images handheld or in low light.
The minimum focusing distance of 11.8″ in just slightly longer than that of the G1’s (10.6″), but it can achieve that close focus in autofocus mode. The prior version required manual focusing for anything closer than 33.5″. Seems like a worthy tradeoff to me…
Externally, the new version looks very similar, albeit with a more ergonomic grip and custom function buttons added. Internally, though, Tamron claims a significant optical redesign—enough to pit the new lens against the increased resolution demands of today’s most advanced cameras and find that sharpness has prevailed.
Dust- and moisture-resistance will keep the lens safe physically, and compatibility with the Tamron Lens Utility will keep it safe from software advancement. As-is, the 70–180mm f/2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 is compatible with advanced Sony features like Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF, and firmware upgrades will keep the lens compatible with innovative features yet to be unveiled whenever possible.
*Telephoto zooms with maximum f/2.8 aperture and vibration control.