Sony Showcase Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VXD

I remember when this lens was announced thinking it would be nice to have the extra 50mm below the standard 100-400 lenses. I didn't think about it much more until a few weeks ago when I started wishing for that added 50mm while shooting and rediscovered it while window shopping.

It's shaping up to be a very versatile lens. From normal to supertele and 'macro' of 1:2. All I've had time to do so far is some basic testing. In a nutshell:

Very well built. Excellent weather sealing. It is very sharp through the range, and the range is crazy. Relatively compact for a long zoom, it's about 1/2" shorter than the Sigma 100-400. Image samples are both SOOC jpegs and RAW. Focus is very quick. As long as you don't need a fast lens, this looks like a great choice.

All made with A7R III, it stands up to high resolution.

Range. These were made shooting almost into the sun, SOOC jpegs. Not meant to be great images, just show the range. It was quite a surprise to see just how broad the covered FL's are. Having one in hand is eye-opening.

You can click through all of these to get to Flickr and enlarge them.

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Some slow-ish shutter testing. Stabilization is ok, not great. Testers put it about 4 stops.
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Bokeh looks pretty good for the most part.
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Colors are vibrant. No saturation added.
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SOOC jpeg, shot across a park, 400mm:
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SOOC jpeg, 50mm:
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Closeup capabilities are really good. Produces 1:2 from 50-70mm.
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Not sure how close I was here.
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Crop of above:
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100% crop:
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150% crop:
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Well, what you've posted thus far doesn't look too shabby at all. Seems like there's potential for good clarity and colours, and at least enough sharpness. Though the Sigma 100-400 is no slouch either.
Agree. I've been using the Sigma for the last 2 years and am more than satisfied, but the added 50mm at the bottom end will be huge for me in the way I use it the most. The closeup is fun and very good, but it's that 50mm that makes it better for my situation. If it works out this weekend, and I don't see why it wouldn't, someone is going to get a great deal on a Sigma 100-400!

If you want to see how sharp it really is, watch this DPR review. I watched several that did comparisons between it and the Sigma, Sony, etc., but this is the one that sealed the deal. It's difficult to find 'everyman' type image samples right now, the lens is less than a year old and maybe hasn't caught on yet. Superzooms have a poor reputation for softness, which may one reason, but Tamron knocked this out of the park.

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Nice sharp lens - does make one wonder - imagine this or something like it as a successor to the PanaLeica 100-400 - same range, same brightness pretty much, but well built, sharp and an extra 50mm equiv on the wide end.

Don't have a Sony camera, but after watching the DPReview vid and looking through your samples, it does give one the feeling of missing out 😄
So for the avoidance of doubt - when it's a paying mission critical job (and in daylight) this is the lens at the behest of all the others you've used?
Well, it sure ain't no worse!

To me the IQ, color, contrast, etc are very good. Weather sealing seems good (since the lens still works after last Saturday! :p) OSS is fair to middling. AF is fast. To cinch the deal though, that low-end 50mm and the closeup ability make it an excellent choice for what I shoot. That doesn't mean it's perfect for what someone else shoots. Had it not been for the 50mm I wouldn't have considered replacing my Sigma 100-400. Also consider the Sigma can be had for $950 while the Tamron is $1300. So, one must decide if the 50mm, weather sealing, and closeup is worth $350.

If we compare the three lenses in this FL (discounting the 60-600 and other larger lenses), the Sony 100-400 is slightly faster by about 1/3 stop. It also allows for greater than 15 FPS shooting, if you need that fast. It is also the largest, the heaviest, and most expensive at $2500, but hey, it's white! :laugh1:

The Sigma and Tamron are virtually the same size, with the Tamron slightly shorter by about 1/2", virtually the same weight, the Sigma being slightly lighter by about 1/10 ounce, and the same apertures from 100-400 with the Tamron dropping to 4.5 at 50mm.

None of them are bad choices, but if you make me choose, the Tamron is the one for the reasons cited.
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In your opinion would a used one be worth $1k?
Maybe, maybe not Tamron sells it with a 6-year warranty that cannot be transferred:

[Print a copy of this Tamron Americas Six-Year Limited Warranty Statement]:
The limited warranty set forth below is provided by Tamron Americas and is applicable to new Tamron Photographic Lenses purchased in the USA & Canada through an authorized dealer. Open box sales or used equipment do not apply. The Warranty shall not extend to anyone other than the original purchaser of the lens or the person for whom the lens was purchased as a gift.

That in mind, you have to ask yourself if the 6 years is worth the extra $300 ($200 when on sale). To me, the answer is yes. It might smart a bit less if you were getting it from MPB or KEH, or some place that has a warranty of their own, but 6 years is awfully tough to turn down.