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Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD (A047) Review

John Riley reviews the new Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD (A047) lens for Sony E / FE-mount mirrorless cameras.

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Tamron 70 300mm DiIII RXD Front Oblique View

Here we have Tamron's first mirrorless lens to reach that magical 300mm, bringing longer subjects into range, and no doubt very welcome for those interested in wildlife and sport in particular. Longer lengths can also be extremely flattering as portrait lenses, so many possibilities abound. The lens is intended to be sharp even at 300mm, compact, light and a doddle to handle. In other words, a pleasure to use, so here we couple it with the 42mp Sony Alpha A7R III camera body and set forth on our journey of discovery.


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Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD Handling and Features

Tamron 70 300mm DiIII RXD On Sony A7RIII At 300mm

The first impression is of a very nicely made lens, weighing in at a very modest 545g thanks to the extensive and judicious use of high-quality plastics. Even including the weight of the Sony A7R III, the total weight of the package in use, including the hood, is still only 1250g, which is very manageable for long periods of time.

Starting our tour of the lens at the front, we have a generously sized and effective round lens hood that bayonets securely into place. There is no locking catch, but nor is there any tendency for the hood to become dislodged in use. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 67mm filter thread, keeping to the size that is standard for this series of mirrorless Tamron lenses.

The zoom ring is wide and clearly marked at 70mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm and 300mm. Zooming does extend the lens barrel, but the action is smooth enough. There is no zoom lock for carrying, but then the lens is really quite light and the barrel does not have any tendency to creep downwards. When photographing the product shots for this review the vertical lens shot with it set at 300mm showed that it stays put and does not creep downwards under the weight of its elements.


Tamron 70 300mm DiIII RXD On Sony A7RIII Front View

The focusing ring has just the right amount of resistance and its function can be engaged via the camera controls. The usual Sony settings work, such as DMF (Direct Manual Focus) where focus can be tweaked whilst in AF mode and of course MF. AF can be single or continuous as desired. In general use, the AF is silent apart from the slightest of clicks and of course any beep that the user might have elected to allow. This fast and accurate focus is achieved using Tamron's Rapid Extra Silent Stepping Drive, and it works. The focusing system is also compatible with Sony's Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF.

Focusing depends upon the focal length. At the widest setting, minimum object distance is 0.8m (31.5”), equating to a magnification of 1:9.4. At the telephoto end of the scale, this changes to 1.5m (59.1”), a magnification of 1:5.1. This is close enough for most purposes, but not as great a magnification as a standard zoom, where we might expect 1:4 or even 1:3. However, there is plenty of potential here for close portraits, selective images of flowers and other close up applications.

Tamron 70 300mm DiIII RXD With Hood On Sony A7RIII

Optical construction comprises 15 elements in 10 groups, including 1 LD (Low Dispersion) element. The diaphragm comprises 7 blades. There is the usual Tamron BBAR2 multi-coating. The whole lens is also moisture resistant, thanks to several seals to prevent the ingress of water. Extra reassurance as to the longevity of the lens is also available in that if we register our new lens within two months of purchase then Tamron offers an extended 5 Year Warranty.

So is using the lens a doddle? Absolutely. It has no particular vices and just does the job efficiently, quietly and reliably. There seems to be no tendency to hunt for focus. Compatibility with the Sony body also seems good.

Some lenses just gel properly with the user and of course with the camera body, and this is one of them. We can pick it up, use it and it does its job admirably.
Tamron 70 300mm DiIII RXD Rear Oblique View

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cacatua 19
18 Nov 2020 11:11AM
Does this fit a Canon DLSR ?
18 Nov 2020 11:41AM
No, this is designed for Sony mirrorless cameras.
altitude50 18 23.0k United Kingdom
14 Jun 2021 12:51PM
I have just taken delivery of one of these for my Sony a7. Feels a lot lighter than it looks.
The result of a quick casual test hand held at 70mm & then 300mm appears to show a very sharp detailed contrasty (in a good way) result.
Very pleased.
altitude50 18 23.0k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2021 3:22PM
Just to confirm, after a couple of months of use on the coast and on a couple of walks in the country, still very pleased with this lens.

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