Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 Gallery
September 14th, 2023
2020 was a weird year.
It was a weird year for lens reviewers as well, though one of the highlights of 2020 was the release of Tamron’s 70-180mm F2.8 VXD (which I reviewed here). It was a serious disruptor in the Sony E-mount space, as it brought an optically strong, good focusing alternative to the Sony 70-200mm GM at a price point of less than 50%. It also had some shortcomings, namely a complete lack of features and also no optical stabilization. But it has been a popular choice because it is an optically sound and, well, affordable. The Tamron’s success was aided by the fact that the Sony 70-200mm GM was good but not exceptional. Sony has addressed that with a fantastic Mark II version of the GM lens (my review here), though that lens does cost about $2800 USD. In the never ending one-upmanship of the camera industry, that means that it is time for Tamron to up their game as well…and they have.
The new Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 is the second generation of Tamron’s fast telephoto zoom. The key upgrades include improved the inclusion of VC (Vibration Compensation, Tamron’s optical stabilizer), upgraded optics, some additional features, and an enhanced magnification on the wide end.
A number of the weaknesses are addressed with the Tamron, and they’ve kept the price at a very reasonable $1299 USD. And, most importantly, I feel like Tamron has maintained the core focus of this lens (which we’ll call the 70-180 G2 in this review), which is to provide a lightweight, high performing alternative to the larger, more expensive 70-200mm options.
And this is a very high performing lens. It is brilliantly sharp even on Sony’s highest resolution cameras.
A few of the shortcomings remain, including a smaller zoom range that has 20mm less than competing lenses, fewer features, and the inability to use teleconverters.
But there’s a lot that people are willing to accept for a $1500 difference in price. Those that simply can’t afford a $2800 lens but could potentially afford a $1300 lens remain the single largest audience for this lens, though this review will also try to address the interests of a second group: those who own the first generation 70-180mm and are curious as to whether an upgrade is warranted. You can judge for yourself by either watching my video review below or reading my text review…or just enjoy the photos below.
Thanks to Tamron USA for sending me a review loaner of this lens. As always, this is a completely independent review. *The tests and most of the photos that I share as a part of my review cycle have been done with the Sony a7RV along with the Sony Alpha 1 that serve as my benchmark cameras for Sony lenses.
Photos of the Tamron 70-180mm G2 Build and Handling
Photos taken with the Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 VC VXD G2
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Keywords: Tamron, 70-180mm, G2, VC, Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 VC, VXD, Full Frame, Review, Sony Alpha 1, Sony a7RV, Review, Hands On, Dustin Abbott, Real World, Comparison, Sharpness, Bokeh, Flare Resistance, Autofocus, Image Quality, Sample Images, Video, Portrait, Photography, let the light in, #letthelightin, DA, Weather Sealing
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