Tamron unveils its most versatile zoom lens ever for Sony full-frame cameras – and it looks perfect for travel

Tamron 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD lens on a Sony camera held up to photographer's eye
(Image credit: Tamron)

Tamron just added its most versatile zoom lens for Sony E-mount cameras to its growing lens line up: the 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VCD. It's a full-frame lens for cameras such as the Sony A7 IV, although you can pair it with an APS-C camera like the Sony A6700 and further extend that impressive zoom range to 75-450mm. 

It offers a little extra reach at the wide end over Tamron's popular 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 from 2020, plus it boasts better close focusing capabilities, with up to half life size macro at the 50mm wide end.

These two feats are achieved without increasing the overall lens size and weight by much at all, although the price of Tamron's latest zoom has snuck up by around 25% over the 70-300mm – the 50-300mm costs $799 / £819 (Australia pricing TBC). 

For most people it's a price worth paying given the added versatility, plus it's worth knowing that Sony's own lenses are typically about twice the price of Tamron's. The closest Sony-own alternative is the FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS, which costs another 25% over the 50-300mm.

Tamron 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD lens on a white background

(Image credit: Tamron)

If all you want on the road is a camera and one lens, the 50-300mm is a compelling option, ably covering scenarios that your camera phone might struggle with, ranging from portraits to macro and distant sites of interest.

We don't get quite the versatility as the recently announced and bulkier Nikon 28-400mm lens, the Tamron lens is impressively compact, measuring just 5.9in / 150mm, while it only weighs 23.5oz / 665g – making it the right fit with Sony's mirrorless cameras. 

It's also a robust moisture-resistant lens equipped with optical image stabilization, which Tamron calls Vibration Compensation (VC), and a linear motor for quick and quiet autofocus – that's the VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) in the lens' full name. 

Photo of a gray cat taken with the Tamron 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 lens set to 51mm

This photo of a gray cat show the new wide end of the lens un use. Paired with a Sony A7R V, the Tamron 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 lens is set to 51mm and f/4.5. (Image credit: Tamron)

Minimum focus distance is just 8.66in / 0.22m with the lens at its wide 50mm setting, while at 300mm it's 35.4in / 0.9m, which results in a maximum 1:3 magnification ratio – about one third life size. 

Tamron's latest lens is due to be available from June 27 just in Sony E-mount. There's no word at the moment if it will be made available in other lens mounts – although if the 70-300mm lens is anything to go by, there's hope for a Nikon Z-mount version. 

The 50-300mm could be one of the best Sony lenses available for three-digits, especially for people looking for the one lens that picks up where their cameraphone naturally finds its limit. You get an impressive zoom range and close focusing capabilities, all in a lens that appears a decent fit with Sony cameras. 

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.