Tamron has long supplied Canon or Nikon SLRs with rather cheap third-party lenses. Like most manufacturers, the Japanese optician then turned to hybrids, and, in a few years, built up a nice catalog of efficient and versatile optics, mainly for Sony’s E-mount, with a few incursions on the Fujifilm X mount.
Now Tamron is returning to its first love with the announcement of the development of the 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD telephoto zoom lens for 24×36 Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras. This is a small event, since it is the first “big” third-party lens manufacturer to launch on the Z mount. Before this announcement, besides Nikon’s native optics, only more obscure manufacturers like Viltrox offered “pebbles” with autofocus for the boxes of the brand with the yellow border.
An E-mount relative from Sony
This 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD does not come out of nowhere. Indeed, there is already a zoom of the same name launched at the end of 2020 for Sony hybrids. The zoom for Nikon is greatly inspired by it in form and substance. Aesthetically, it will be very difficult to distinguish between the two lenses, the Nikon version being simply a little longer by a few millimeters (15 cm against 14.8 cm) and heavier by 35 g. But with 580 g, the set remains generally quite light.
The optical formula remains identical with 15 elements divided into 10 groups, including an LD (Low Dispersion) element, and it uses the RXD autofocus motor, whose efficiency and silence we were able to appreciate during our test for the Sony model.
A bonus USB-C socket
The main difference between the two models can be seen near the mount of the Nikon version. The latter includes a USB-C port allowing the lens to be updated directly from a computer using the Tamron Lens Utility software. This is a feature implemented on some of the newer Tamron lenses. This may also explain the weight gain between the two models.
Price and availability
The 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD does not yet have an exact release date, Tamron only mentioning “autumn 2022”. It will be sold at the recommended price of €799, i.e. a price increase of €50 compared to the Sony model. This first Tamron long telephoto zoom for Z mount is interesting since it is placed on an optical range neglected – for the moment – by Nikon. It could therefore make its way to the wallet of those looking for a light and practical zoom for wildlife or sports photography.