Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD A056

Telephoto zoom lens • Digital era

DI III The lens is designed for digital mirrorless cameras.
VXD The lens is equipped with Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive.

Features highlight

Fast
Constant F/2.8
3 ASPH
1 XLD
5 LD
F.E.
9 blades
CFD 0.85m
IF
VXD
WR
FC
ZL

Specification

Production details
Announced:April 2020
Production status:In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:TAMRON 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD A056
Optical design
Focal length range:70mm - 180mm
Speed range:F/2.8 across the focal length range
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Sony E
Diagonal angle of view:34.3° @ 70mm - 13.7° @ 180mm (35mm full frame)
22.8° @ 70mm - 9° @ 180mm (Sony E APS-C)
Lens construction:19 elements - 14 groups
3 ASPH, 1 XLD, 5 LD
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades:9
Zooming
Zoom type:Rotary
Zooming method:Extends while zooming
Additional features:Zoom lock
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.85m
0.27m [MF @ 70mm]
Maximum magnification ratio:1:4.6 @ 180mm at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Internal focusing (IF)
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive
Focus mode selector:None; focusing mode is set from the camera
Manual focus override in autofocus mode:Determined by the camera
Vibration Compensation (VC)
Built-in VC:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:810g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀81×149mm
Weather sealing:Water-resistant barrel
Fluorine coating:Front element
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 67mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type HA056 (petal-shaped)

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

Manufacturer description

The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD (Model A056) is a large-aperture telephoto zoom lens for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. The greatest feature is its outstanding performance even while attaining a fast F/2.8 aperture across the entire zoom range and offering the world’s lightest and most compact package with a filter diameter of 67mm, maximum diameter of 81mm, 149mm (5.9 in) length (at the 70mm setting) and a weight of 810g (28.6 oz). Thanks to the generous use of special lens elements, the 70-180mm F/2.8 achieves excellent image quality, and with the short MOD (Minimum Object Distance) of 0.85m (33.5 in), it also broadens the possibilities for photographic expression. For enhanced AF drive efficiency, Tamron has newly developed the VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive), a linear motor focus mechanism that delivers excellent quietness and agile performance, thereby producing the highest level of autofocusing speed and precision in Tamron’s history. Additionally, a floating system is used to achieve excellent optical performance at all shooting distances. By simultaneously operating two VXD units via electronic control, the system produces clear and sharp images of all objects near and far. Moisture-Resistant Construction and Fluorine Coating are employed to facilitate outdoor shooting, and the lens is fully compatible with camera-specific features like Fast Hybrid AF. This remarkable 70-180mm F/2.8 is the third member of Tamron’s exciting trio of fast F/2.8 zoom lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Tamron designed this compact and light-weight lens to be the ideal combination with a full-frame mirrorless camera. To achieve this diminutive size while maintaining the high performance of the F/2.8 aperture, Tamron selected the focal length of 180mm at the telephoto end and employed an innovative zoom mechanism. Also, the image stabilization features of the host camera body are utilized for shake-free shooting. The result is a compact telephoto zoom lens that is comfortable and easy to shoot handheld. Additionally, the filter diameter is the same 67mm as Tamron’s the other lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras in the series. This feature makes filter-related tasks simple and removes the hassle of looking for front caps with differing diameters when changing lenses. The impressive portability of this lens expands its usefulness to many different fields of photography.

Tamron developed its first-ever linear motor AF drive focus mechanism, VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive), especially for the 70-180mm F/2.8. While operating faster than ever before, the drive also maintains positional accuracy down to 0.005mm (0.0002 in), less than one-tenth the width of a human hair! This provides unprecedented fast and precise AF performance. A floating system that uses two high-speed, high-precision VXD units with advanced electronic control is also used. This innovative design produces clear and beautiful images of all objects from near to far and at the same time helps reduce size and weight. Focus tracking has been vastly improved to facilitate sports and racing photography, two common subjects for telephoto zooms. This ensures that those dramatic, action-packed moments are never missed, whether shooting still photos or video. Additionally, this zoom offers superior quietness, making it ideal for shooting in low-noise environments as the linear motor is structured to reduce the vibrations produced during drive operation (as compared to a conventional drive system).

In developing the 70-180mm F/2.8, Tamron sought to strike a balance between compact size and light weight without sacrificing high image quality. The optical construction features 19 elements in 14 groups. The generous arrangement of special lens elements including XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion), LD (Low Dispersion), GM (Glass Molded Aspherical) and hybrid aspherical lens elements achieves exceptionally high resolving power and controls aberrations from image center to the edges. The BBAR-G2 (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection Generation 2) Coating is used to suppress ghosting and flare and to render subjects in exacting, full-contrast detail even under backlit conditions. In short, the lens delivers outstanding sharpness and enables clear expression, capturing the mood of any scene without compromise across the entire zoom range.

The MOD of the 70-180mm F/2.8 is just 0.85m (33.5 in) across the entire zoom range, a surprising accomplishment for a large-aperture telephoto zoom lens. Thanks to this short distance, at the 180mm telephoto end in particular, the Maximum Magnification Ratio is 1:4.6, allowing you to create powerful images. Moreover, a floating component equipped with two VXD linear motor focus mechanisms maintains high image quality while effectively controlling aberrations so that the 70-180mm F/2.8 ensures great image quality even at close-up. Users can experience unique photographic expressions and high image quality possible only with this lens.

A unique capability of the 70-180mm F/2.8 is shooting in the close-up range down to 0.27m (10.6 in) at the 70mm wide-angle end in manual focus (MF). While this mode makes it difficult to focus around the image periphery, it allows you to peer into a new world that can only be rendered by this lens. Discover this entirely new shooting experience.

For greater protection when shooting outdoors, leak-resistant seals throughout the lens barrel help protect your equipment.

The front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that is water- and oil-repellant. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture and fingerprints.

A 9-blade diaphragm is configured to retain a smooth, circular-shaped aperture opening even when stopped down by two stops from the wide-open aperture. This produces a smooth-edged bokeh in background light spots.

Tamron has long been an innovator of coating technologies that prevent ghosting and flare. Second-generation BBAR-G2 Coating is a groundbreaking advancement that provides vastly improved performance compared to the original BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating. The coating corrects for ghosting and flare to an unprecedented extent, and renders fine subject detail with true clarity and stunning contrast even under backlit conditions.

With the addition of this telephoto zoom to the lineup of light-weight, high performance lenses, Tamron has completed its assortment of three F/2.8 large aperture zoom lenses for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless. The other two models are the 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A046) ultra-wide zoom, and the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) standard zoom. The greatest feature of the series is the excellent portability. Combined, the three lenses are unbelievably light at just 1,780g (62.8 oz), fulfilling the photographer’s dream of being able to easily carry three fast, potent zoom lenses at the same time.

Typical application

portraits, distant subjects, distant landscapes with perspective compression effect, photojournalism, weddings, parties, carnivals, live concerts, sports, wild nature

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best fast telephoto zooms

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Rotary zoom

The change of focal length is achieved by turning the zoom ring and the manual focusing - by turning the separate focusing ring.

Push/pull zooming allows for faster change of focal length, however conventional method based on the rotation of the zoom ring provides more accurate and smooth zooming.

Push/pull zoom

The change of focal length and the manual focusing is achieved by one and the same ring. The change of focal length happens when the photographer moves the ring towards the mount or backwards and the rotation of the ring leads to change of focus.

Push/pull zooming allows for faster change of focal length, however conventional method based on the rotation of the zoom ring provides more accurate and smooth zooming.

Zoom lock

The lens features a zoom lock to keep the zoom ring fixed. This function is convenient for carrying a camera with the lens on a strap because it prevents the lens from extending.

Power Zoom

The lens features electronically driven zoom mechanism. It provides smoother, more natural zoom movements than you could accomplish by hand.

The Holy Trinity of lenses

The Holy Trinity of lenses refers to a three-lens set that covers a focal length range from the ultra-wide focal length of 14-16mm all the way long to the telephoto focal length of 200mm. The set typically consists of a 16-35mm ultra-wide angle zoom lens, a 24-70mm standard zoom lens and a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens and usually represents the best constant-aperture zoom lenses in a manufacturer's lineup. The set is designed to cover almost every genre of photography, be it landscapes, architecture, portraits, weddings, sports, travel or even wildlife (with teleconverter). However, it is also expensive, large and heavy.