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Tamron 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD (Model A057X)

A telephoto zoom lens comes in very handy for landscape and nature photography. Even when shooting from a single spot or focusing on just one subject, with a telephoto zoom you produce many variations that crop different parts of a scene, and you can easily zoom right in on creatures that are hard to get close to in the field. On this occasion I tried out the TAMRON 150-500mm F/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD, which is newly available for FUJIFILM X-mount, at my regular spot.

As the FUJIFILM X series is a system equipped with APS-C sensors, this lens turns into an ultra-telephoto zoom with a full-frame equivalent focal length range of 225mm-750mm. As I am a hybrid photographer who also shoots birds and other wildlife in addition to landscapes, I am delighted with the ability of this single lens to handle the 200mm focal length, which is generally easy to use, all the way to the 750mm focal length, which makes it easy to capture animals and other distant subjects. I think this zoom range will also be a good choice for field photographers who want to reduce the amount they carry. Another good point is the weight of the lens. Even with the tripod mount attached, it comes in at 1,865g (65.8 oz) that is relatively light.

In terms of rendering characteristics, at the wider angles, there is a solid sense of resolution, while at the telephoto end, there is a soft feel, making it an interesting lens in terms of how its character changes at different focal lengths. From the wide end to the intermediate focal length range, which is conducive to landscapes and similar scenes, image quality is extremely sharp from fast F2.8 aperture and is stable to the edges of the frame. At the telephoto end, contours and bokeh soften somewhat, matching the feel of images that make use of telephoto bokeh. I was also impressed by the MOD (Minimum Object Distance), which is quite short for an ultra-telephoto zoom at just 0.6m (23.6 in) at the wide end, and 1.8m (70.9 in) at the telephoto end. For someone like me who often shoots insects in the summer, I can really count on the close-up performance of this lens.

Another point is that since this product was originally designed as a full-frame lens, the image in the center of the lens is cropped to the APS-C size. That means that the shape and texture of the bokeh is impressively stable throughout the entire zoom range.

Other features make the lens easy to use: the FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism lets you easily lock the zoom ring at any position that stabilizes the task of framing shots and prevents the lens barrel from dropping under its own weight while being carried. In addition, the lens for FUJIFILM X-mount is equipped with an MF SPEED switch that allows you to slow down the focusing travel speed for more precise manual focusing. This comes in handy when you want to set up a tripod and carefully compose an image.

As a single lens that combines astonishing ultra-telephoto shooting, a moderate sense of size and stable image quality, the 150-500mm F5-6.7 is a lens that makes ultra-telephoto photography accessible to landscape and nature photographers.