Updated: Aug 20, 2021
For less than S$1000, the Tamron 70-300mm f4.5-6.3 is the smallest and lightest telephoto zoom lens for the Sony E mount. How does it perform? Who is it for? Let’s talk about it.
If you haven’t used Tamron lenses before, there’s a no-frills design to it. If you’ve used the other lenses, it looks exactly the same; it’s got minimal markings on it, it’s matte black, very non-descript and lightweight coming in at 545 grams and weather resistant. It’s a good performer, it’s all about what’s inside of this lens; 15 elements, 10 groups to this, you’ve got a 67mm filter thread on this so it’s the same filter thread as you’re going to get on the other Tamron lenses.
The autofocusing system on this lens is also very, very quick, we didn’t notice any difference from using a Tamron lens and using a Sony G Master or Sony native lens at all, as a matter of fact, they’re neck and neck. With regards to the performance on this lens, it is really really good for the price point, under S$1,000.
The zoom on it is telescopic so while it is the smallest and lightest telephoto zoom on the Sony E-mount system, as soon as you open it up, it does get a little bit of length on it. But for the price point and for the weight, even at 300mm, it is very small and very compact. This is great for travel, wildlife, portraiture, and even weddings. This lens will pretty much do most of what you need. You might be saying, but it’s f4.5 to 6.3, that’s a little bit slow. Well, when you use this lens, it performs very well.
This is a variable aperture lens, so you’re going to go from f4.5 at 70 millimetres up to about 125 millimetres, and it moves up to f5 until about 150 millimetres thereabouts. After that, you get f5.6 all the way up to about 250 millimetres, and at 250 to 300 millimetres, you’re at f6.3, so you’re getting a pretty decent range on this lens for the aperture. Even at 300 millimetres at f6.3, you’re getting a really nice depth of field and really good separation.
This is going to be fantastic for wildlife, great for portraiture and you’re gonna be really happy with this lens. Unfortunately, there’s no optical stabilisation inside of this lens so, at 300 millimetres, you do see a little bit more camera shake coming into play because Sony’s IBIS isn’t industry-leading out there. As we all know, it’s decent, but at 300 millimetres you just start seeing it float a little bit, so you better be steady with this because the lens is also light along with the camera system.
That is something I wish was in this lens, but besides that, the images are tack sharp, beautiful bokeh, beautiful separation, you get a nice pop from your subject to the background. This is a fantastic lens, you’re going to pull out some great images, weddings, wildlife, sports, you name it. Autofocusing is also very, very quick thanks to the motor inside of this lens, along with the focusing system on the a7R IV. Besides that, let’s also talk about macro capabilities on this, because this lens also does very well on macro. At 70 millimetres, I can get about 30cm between myself and the subject and I can get really nice shots, and at f4.5, that’s pretty good for macro.
You’re still going to get great separation, great bokeh, great depth of field, but you’re going to get a lot more of what you want in focus. Tamron is really giving you a lot in this lens at a very good price.
Content by Bobby Tonelli