Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600

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José B
José B Forum Pro • Posts: 19,520
Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600

I'm seriously considering this lens for sports, events and some portraiture. I've seen the reviews and they're all great. However, I'm looking for opinions here from A6500 and A6600 owners. If you have this lens, how's the IBIS performance with it? How's the AF? Bokeh?

Thanks in advance.

José

 José B's gear list:José B's gear list
Sony a6500 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +13 more
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math guy Senior Member • Posts: 2,698
Re: Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600
1

I use it with the A6400, so I can't comment on IBIS. My primary use of the lens is for sports, anyway, so IBIS wouldn't really be a factor for me.

I used it this season for shooting my son's flag football games, and I was very happy with it. I'd say the IQ is on par with the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 I used to shoot on a Pentax DSLR, which was a very good lens. The AF is consistent, with very few complete misses (something I used to deal with frequently when shooting Pentax). The eye AF works well so long as the camera can see the face. That's been a real game-changer for me, giving me a lot more quality keepers than I ever got with my old system.

As far as portraits go, it holds its own pretty well. The bokeh doesn't stand out as being super dreamy, but it's also not busy and distracting. It's just there and allows the main subject of the image to be what attracts all the attention. And the IQ is already very good wide open, so no need to stop down - especially for portraits.

The only criticism I can think of is that it isn't an internal zoom. My old 70-200 was, and that is definitely a nice feature... just gave the lens a more upscale feel. I'm happy with carrying only 70% of the weight (even less when you throw in mirrorless vs. DSLR), so it's a good trade-off in my opinion.

All in all I'm very happy with it. I can't imagine too many people would buy this lens and be disappointed with its performance.

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-- Joe S.
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 math guy's gear list:math guy's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony E 20mm F2.8 Sigma 30mm F1.4 (E/EF-M mounts) Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN (E/EF-M mounts) Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +4 more
José B
OP José B Forum Pro • Posts: 19,520
Re: Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600
1

math guy wrote:

I use it with the A6400, so I can't comment on IBIS. My primary use of the lens is for sports, anyway, so IBIS wouldn't really be a factor for me.

I used it this season for shooting my son's flag football games, and I was very happy with it. I'd say the IQ is on par with the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 I used to shoot on a Pentax DSLR, which was a very good lens. The AF is consistent, with very few complete misses (something I used to deal with frequently when shooting Pentax). The eye AF works well so long as the camera can see the face. That's been a real game-changer for me, giving me a lot more quality keepers than I ever got with my old system.

As far as portraits go, it holds its own pretty well. The bokeh doesn't stand out as being super dreamy, but it's also not busy and distracting. It's just there and allows the main subject of the image to be what attracts all the attention. And the IQ is already very good wide open, so no need to stop down - especially for portraits.

The only criticism I can think of is that it isn't an internal zoom. My old 70-200 was, and that is definitely a nice feature... just gave the lens a more upscale feel. I'm happy with carrying only 70% of the weight (even less when you throw in mirrorless vs. DSLR), so it's a good trade-off in my opinion.

All in all I'm very happy with it. I can't imagine too many people would buy this lens and be disappointed with its performance.

Thanks Joe for a detailed field report. Most likely I will buy this lens because it's what I've been waiting for in the A6xxx for sports and travel. It's going to be more on the sports than the latter thus the IBIS on my A6500 (or future A6600) will suffice.

Like you it would have been great if it is internal focusing. However, it's light, it's black and doesn't scream 'hey dude where's your press pass?' when I take it to stadiums and indoor arenas. At first I contemplated on a Sigma 135/1.8 or Batis 135/2.8. However the former is very heavy and the latter kinda expensive for an f/2.8 lens albeit it's a Zeiss.

I'm in no rush to get it since I don't imagine sports will be back to normal until summer of next year. Who knows Sigma might re-engineer the 135/1.8 and make one for mirrorless like what they did with the new 85/1.4. If not, I'll get the Tamron. F/2.8 should suffice even for indoor sports as the DXO PL4 Elite Deep Prime is outstanding in removing noise without hurting details. I'll have no qualms shooting at ISO 12800 RAW.

Thanks again.

José

 José B's gear list:José B's gear list
Sony a6500 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +13 more
Shiny Object Contributing Member • Posts: 597
Re: Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600

José B wrote:

math guy wrote:

I use it with the A6400, so I can't comment on IBIS. My primary use of the lens is for sports, anyway, so IBIS wouldn't really be a factor for me.

I used it this season for shooting my son's flag football games, and I was very happy with it. I'd say the IQ is on par with the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 I used to shoot on a Pentax DSLR, which was a very good lens. The AF is consistent, with very few complete misses (something I used to deal with frequently when shooting Pentax). The eye AF works well so long as the camera can see the face. That's been a real game-changer for me, giving me a lot more quality keepers than I ever got with my old system.

As far as portraits go, it holds its own pretty well. The bokeh doesn't stand out as being super dreamy, but it's also not busy and distracting. It's just there and allows the main subject of the image to be what attracts all the attention. And the IQ is already very good wide open, so no need to stop down - especially for portraits.

The only criticism I can think of is that it isn't an internal zoom. My old 70-200 was, and that is definitely a nice feature... just gave the lens a more upscale feel. I'm happy with carrying only 70% of the weight (even less when you throw in mirrorless vs. DSLR), so it's a good trade-off in my opinion.

All in all I'm very happy with it. I can't imagine too many people would buy this lens and be disappointed with its performance.

Thanks Joe for a detailed field report. Most likely I will buy this lens because it's what I've been waiting for in the A6xxx for sports and travel. It's going to be more on the sports than the latter thus the IBIS on my A6500 (or future A6600) will suffice.

Like you it would have been great if it is internal focusing. However, it's light, it's black and doesn't scream 'hey dude where's your press pass?' when I take it to stadiums and indoor arenas. At first I contemplated on a Sigma 135/1.8 or Batis 135/2.8. However the former is very heavy and the latter kinda expensive for an f/2.8 lens albeit it's a Zeiss.

I'm in no rush to get it since I don't imagine sports will be back to normal until summer of next year. Who knows Sigma might re-engineer the 135/1.8 and make one for mirrorless like what they did with the new 85/1.4. If not, I'll get the Tamron. F/2.8 should suffice even for indoor sports as the DXO PL4 Elite Deep Prime is outstanding in removing noise without hurting details. I'll have no qualms shooting at ISO 12800 RAW.

Thanks again.

José

Jose: How much improvement in noise reduction (while keeping details) would you say PhotoLab 4 has over PhotoLab 3?

 Shiny Object's gear list:Shiny Object's gear list
Ricoh GR Sony RX10 III Sony a6000 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro +6 more
José B
OP José B Forum Pro • Posts: 19,520
Re: Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600

Jose: How much improvement in noise reduction (while keeping details) would you say PhotoLab 4 has over PhotoLab 3?

For me it is a significant improvement. You can also check out other views from the Retouching forum here. I haven't tested any shot beyond ISO 12800 but at this level it really looks good using Deep Prime. I'm not sure if there are any Black Friday sale at DXO but a few weeks ago I upgraded (from 3 Elite to 4 Elite) with a 30% discount.

One drawback though, the processing takes a lot of time especially with a relatively old PC like mine.

 José B's gear list:José B's gear list
Sony a6500 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +13 more
Shiny Object Contributing Member • Posts: 597
Re: Tamron 70-180/2.8 with A6500 or A6600
1

José B wrote:

Jose: How much improvement in noise reduction (while keeping details) would you say PhotoLab 4 has over PhotoLab 3?

For me it is a significant improvement. You can also check out other views from the Retouching forum here. I haven't tested any shot beyond ISO 12800 but at this level it really looks good using Deep Prime. I'm not sure if there are any Black Friday sale at DXO but a few weeks ago I upgraded (from 3 Elite to 4 Elite) with a 30% discount.

One drawback though, the processing takes a lot of time especially with a relatively old PC like mine.

Thank you, Jose. I usually use Capture One but also sometimes use DXO PL3. I will check out the retouching forum. DXO seems to have 30% off quite often so I will be on the lookout for an offer.

 Shiny Object's gear list:Shiny Object's gear list
Ricoh GR Sony RX10 III Sony a6000 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro +6 more
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