A Review of the Versatile Tamron 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD Lens

Lenses like the Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD have shown the company has their eye on creating options that can replace several more specialized optics in a photographer's bag. The 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD continues that trend by offering everything from normal to supertelephoto focal lengths, and this great video review takes a look at the lens and the performance and image quality you can expect from it in real-world usage. 

Coming to you from Stefan Malloch, this excellent video review looks at the new Tamron 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD lens. No doubt, with an 8x zoom range, this lens looks like a potential dream all-in-one option for a wide variety of shooters, such as sports and wildlife photographers. On top of that, Tamron managed to include 1:2 macro at the wide end, making it all the more versatile. With an 8x focal length range, you probably should not expect ultra-sharp images, but as Malloch details, you will probably be pleasantly surprised by just how good the photos it produces are. If you do not need a very wide aperture or ultra-fast autofocus, it looks like a nice value. Check out the video above for Malloch's full thoughts. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I am surprised that your written summary of the lens and video does not include info on what mounts this lens is available in. If you could add that info, it would be quite helpful.

I am guessing that Tamron does not make this 50-400mm in a Canon RF mount, because Canon seems to be aggressively prohibiting any 3rd party manufacturers from making RF mount lenses. And this is why I will probably not be upgrading to a Canon mirrorless body. This new policy of Canon - not permitting any 3rd party lenses - is going to force me to switch to Sony.

I wonder - does Canon make this in the Canon EF mount?


Not in RF mount. Sony E mount only. Tamron does have some EF mount lenses for those still using a DSLR. I'm considering this lens or the 150-500mm. The 150-500 is a little slower at f6.7 at 500mm, but f6.3 if you back off to 485mm. For moving subjects, a few reviews show the 150-500mm has a better focus hit rate than the 50-400mm and similar Sigma alternatives.

Thanks for the info about the mount.

150-500mm doesn't really fit my needs at all. Actually had one, a Sigma, and returned it because that focal length range is just awkward for how I shoot.

My main interest in the 50-400mm is the ability to go from 1:2 magnification ratio at extremely short distances, right out to 400mm in just a second or two. This would be extremely useful for the close-up work I do with small reptiles and amphibians such as toads, snakes, tree frogs, etc.

I already have the mammals and birds covered with my 100-400mm f5.6, 300-800mm f5.6, and 400mm f2.8.

The 1:2 is nice for small animals up close. The other lens I mentioned at best gets you 1:3. I like the extra 100mm of the 150-500mm. I'm using a 100-300mm and it falls short on some of my aircraft photos.

Yeah, for aircraft in flight photography, that 150-500mm seems like an ideal range.