It follows on from the firm’s 28-75mm f/2.8 and 17-28mm f/2.8 designs, completing a set of standard, wideangle and telephoto optics. By adopting the same design philosophy, with a zoom range that’s slightly shorter than usual for its class, it’s impressively compact and lightweight. Indeed at 149mm long, 81mm in diameter and 810g in weight, the lens is notably smaller than Sony’s FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, despite its stop-faster aperture.
Key features include a 67mm filter thread that’s shared with its f/2.8 siblings; a 9-blade diaphragm; and moisture resistant construction, along with a water-repellant fluorine coating on the front element. Autofocus employs a pair of newly developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear drive units, with a floating focus design for high image quality at all distances, down to a minimum of 85cm throughout the zoom range.
Switch to manual focus, and it’s possible to focus as close as 28cm at the 70mm setting, giving half life-size magnification, although with a significant drop in peripheral sharpness. The lens is fully compatible with features such as Eye AF, Direct Manual Focus, and in-camera lens corrections.
The Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD is due to ship in the middle of May, with a price of £1349.99.