Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#45622 date: Dec-12-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-200 RXD
Tokina AF 35-200 SD
Minolta MD 50-135 F3.5
Sigma 50-150 F2.8 EX DC HSM II
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Vivitar 70-150 F3.8
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Vivitar S1 70-210 F3.5 I & II
Sony FE 70-200 F4 G OSS
Canon EF 70-200 F4 L USM
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 APO G
Tokina 80-200 AT-X Pro
Vivitar 85-205 F3.8
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 135 F2.8
Canon EF 135 F2.8 Softfocus
Canon EF 200 F2.8 L USM
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 APO G
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 HS APO G
price paid:900 USD (new)
positive:Compact
Corner sharpness
Minimal CA
Lack of extraneous controls
Lens Compensation
"Camera-based lens unit firmware updates"
negative:Price
Extending zoom
Pincushion distortion
Misalignment/variation
Small petal hood
15 FPS AF-C limitation
comment:The first copy had an alignment problem which was worse on the wide end. It didn't match the MTF charts at all which show it too be very sharp wide-open on the wide-end. Even with that problem it is a very good lens. The second copy is better aligned in the center and more consistent across the frame but slightly softer on the right side. It still shows some uneven colored fringing in the center of the frame. "MADE IN VIETNAM"

The wide end is wider than the Canon 70-200 F4L or Minolta 70-210 F4. It matches the long end of the Sony FE 28-70 OSS well. The focal length decreases quite a bit with close focus.

It is better corrected and sharper at 180 mm than the Minolta AF 200 F2.8 HS APO G and Canon EF 200 F2.8 L USM. The older F2.8 zooms are not close.

The second copy seems to have a much lighter zoom action than the first. It feels better than the Minolta AF zooms, but not quite as light as the Canon EF 70-200 F4L USM.

The voice coil motors occasionally pulse in a loop when they should be holding the focus stationary. It doesn't happen all the time. Maybe a firmware update will address it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.20
  • distortion: 4.80
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.80
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