Super telephoto zoom starting from 50mm! I quickly tried the Tamron “50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD” before the official announcement

Tamron, which releases zoom lenses with unique specs one after another, will release another unique new product this fall. The “50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD (Model A067)” for Sony E mount, announced on July 28, 2022, is a super-telephoto zoom lens with a focal length of 50mm at the wide-angle end. Although the official announcement has not yet been made, it is a notable product scheduled to be released in the fall of 2022. Since we were able to quickly try out the prototype machine under development, let’s introduce the features that we know at the moment while posting exterior images and live-action examples.

*This article uses a prototype that is still under development. Specifications, appearance, performance, etc. are subject to change as this is an unannounced product.

*Added AF impressions on August 11, 2022.
50mm compatible super telephoto zoom is the first mirrorless camera. Tamron-like high image quality combined with small size and light weight
Full-size super-telephoto zoom lenses (zoom lenses with a focal length of over 400mm at the telephoto end) generally have a focal length of around 100mm at the wide-angle end. Considering the balance between zoom magnification, optical performance, and the size and weight of the lens barrel, “super-telephoto zoom = medium-telephoto start” has become a “dropping point” in lens design.

“50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD” is Tamron’s super-telephoto zoom lens that supports full-frame super-telephoto shooting with a focal length of 400mm, but also supports a standard angle of view with a focal length of 50mm. new product. In the past, full-frame and super-telephoto zoom lenses for single-lens reflex cameras started with a focal length of 50mm, but as far as I can see, this is the first lens for mirrorless cameras.

Detailed specifications have not been announced as the product is still in the development stage, but the main features are as follows.

Main features of the 50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD
・One lens covers from standard 50mm to super-telephoto 400mm (zoom magnification 8x)
・Open aperture value: F4.5 at wide-angle end, F6 at telephoto end .3
Compact design with a total length of 183.4 mm and a weight of 1,155 g Uncompromising
image quality over the entire zoom range
Half-macro photography with a maximum magnification of 1:2 at the wide-angle end
Linear motor focus mechanism for high-speed, high-precision AF “VXD”
・Tamron’s unique image stabilization mechanism “VC”
・Zoom ring rotation angle 75°・Filter diameter 67mm ,
common to most Tamron mirrorless lenses Can
be customized
・Can be used with optional tripod socket (Model A035TM)・New
design with improved texture and scratch resistance
・Simple drip-proof structure and anti-fouling coating

The “50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD” has a focal length starting at 50mm, so the zoom magnification reaches 8x. Compared to general super-telephoto zoom lenses, the zoom magnification is higher, so you might think that the optical performance and the size of the lens barrel may be sacrificed, but that’s because it’s a compact lens with high image quality. Tamron has a reputation for developing

Although the lens construction has not been announced, in terms of image quality, the effective arrangement of special glass materials has achieved high image quality throughout the entire zoom range. The lens barrel has a total length of 183.4mm at the wide-angle end (with the lens retracted) and a weight of 1155g, which is comparable to a super-telephoto zoom lens with a focal length of around 100mm. Even when combined with the separately sold optional tripod mount (Model A035TM), the total weight is 1250g.

Also, considering the specs, the aperture is small, and like many other Tamron mirrorless lenses, the filter diameter is designed to be 67mm, so it’s nice to be able to share filters.

In terms of optical design, Tamron’s zoom lens is also characterized by its strong macro performance. At the wide-angle end (focal length of 50mm), half-macro photography is possible with a minimum focusing distance of 0.25m and a maximum magnification of 1:2.
Other specifications are also substantial, and the original linear motor focus mechanism “VXD” is used for AF drive. It also has a unique image stabilization mechanism “VC”.

Furthermore, the lens barrel is equipped with a connector port (USB-C terminal) for communication, and like the “28-75mm F/2.8 Di III VXD G2” and “35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD”, By using the dedicated PC software “TAMRON Lens Utility”, it is possible to assign functions to the custom switch (3 positions from 1 to 3 can be selected), set the rotation direction and response of the focus ring, etc. From this lens, it will be possible to set a new focus limiter function that is convenient for super telephoto shooting.

Live-action example (reference)
The example posted below is a combination of the full-size mirrorless “α7 III” and the “50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD” prototype taken in JPEG format (JPEG shooting). . In all examples, the settings are distortion correction: auto, lateral chromatic aberration correction: auto, and vignetting correction: auto.

*Clicking on the thumbnail image will open the image that has been reduced to 900 pixels on the long side. Unresized photos can be opened by clicking the text link under the thumbnail image. Please note that it may take some time to open the photo.
Since this is a prototype, I won’t review the details of image quality, but if you look at the example above, you’ll be able to see that it’s a lens that demonstrates high resolution over the entire zoom range. The feeling of softness is suppressed even at close range, and I was able to feel the solid optical performance of Tamron’s lenses throughout the shoot.

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