A Supremely Affordable Telephoto Zoom: A Review of the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3

A few months ago, Tamron announced the launch of the 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD for Sony mirrorless cameras. At just $549, it’s less than half the price of the Sony equivalent, but how well does it perform?

Saving more than 50% of the price of the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS, there are some compromises to be made, notably a slightly small maximum aperture at the longer end and a lack of lens stabilization. And as this video shows, there are differences in the quality of the out-of-focus areas thanks to the Tamron’s seven diaphragm blades compared to the Sony’s nine.

Of course, as with a lot of third-party lenses, the money that you save is huge. Despite being a G lens, Sony’s 70-300mm sits in a slightly odd category as it’s probably not quite fast enough to appeal to hardened professionals and, as proven by the new Tamron, not quite cheap enough for anyone seeking a convenient, affordable telephoto zoom for travel and casual wildlife shots.

Tamron seems to be continuing its track record of producing affordable glass achieved through intelligent compromises, and you can imagine that the 70-300mm will appeal to full frame and APS-C shooters alike in the run-up to Christmas. Will you be adding this lens to your arsenal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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