Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 VC VXD X-Mount Gallery
August 5th, 2023
I’ve been spending time with Tamron’s new Fuji X-mount versions of some of their popular lenses. That includes the 11-20mm F2.8 RXD (my review here) and 17-70mm F2.8 VC RXD lenses (my review here). Those lenses make a lot of sense, as they are lenses that Tamron original designed for Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras. Sony and Fuji share a common APS-C crop factor (1.5x), so the focal length and general behavior of the lenses are largely the same. The lens we are reviewing today is a little different however, as while it is also a lens that Tamron developed for Sony, it is a full frame lens. I reviewed the Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di II VC VXD in June 2021. I was generally impressed with the lens there, but porting the lens over to Fuji X (I’ll refer to the lens as the 150-500X in this review for brevity) results in a very different kind of experience.
First of all, there is that focal range. When Fuji’s crop factor is applied the focal range becomes a 225-750mm full frame equivalent. That’s a very useful zoom range, going from this at 150mm:
To this at 500mm:
There are obviously a wide variety of subjects that you can capture with this focal range, with obvious subjects being birds and wildlife. There’s a definite shortage of quality telephoto options on Fuji, with the two primary options being the Fujinon XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 LM OIS (my review here) and the Fujinon XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 LM OIS WR (my review here). Those lenses each have certain advantages, though the Tamron 150-500X has some advantages of its own. The first and most obvious is price – it currently retails for $1299 USD while the 100-400 comes in at $1899 and the 150-600 at $1999. That’s $600-700 difference in price, which can make a huge difference. The Tamron also boasts higher magnification figure (0.32x vs 0.19x and 0.24x respectively), a longer maximum reach than the 100-400mm, and a much faster maximum aperture throughout the zoom range relative to the 150-600mm (which becomes especially significant on high resolution bodies). I’ll add some quick bullet points of relative strengths of each lens at the end of the review.
In some ways, a full frame lens benefits from moving to APS-C. Typically vignette and distortion are most pronounced on the edges of the frame, so cropping that part of the image off helps in that regard. But APS-C sensors are often very pixel dense, which sometimes make a full frame lens appear softer than it did on APS-C. And there are no sensors quite as pixel dense as Fuji’s high resolution 40MP sensors found on models like the X-T5 and the X-H2 that I’m using for this review. I’m not quite as impressed with the 150-500X optically on Fuji as I was on Sony, but it is also competitive with the other available options and can create beautiful images.
So does this full frame lens make sense on Fuji? That was my question as well, and I’ll explore that throughout this review. You can watch my conclusions in my video review, read my text review, or just enjoy the photos below.
Thanks to Tamron USA for sending me an loaner of the lens. As always, this is a completely independent review. I have used both my personal Fujifilm X-H2 (my review here) and a loaner of the X-S20 (my review here) for this review.
Photos of the Tamron 150-500mm VC
Photos taken with the Tamron 150-500mm VC
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