Why Tamron is the Beginning of a Beautiful Thing for Fujifilm

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When I woke up and read Tamron’s press release on June 21st, I was seriously shocked. It seems like Fujifilm has finally lowered its walls a bit. Tamron announced earlier that the Tamron 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD would be the first lens in their lineup to be made for Sony and Fujifilm. I can’t be more excited. Fujifilm has desperately needed to work with third parties more. They’ve worked with Zeiss in the past, but Zeiss has more or less pulled an Irish Good-Bye on the photo industry. Fujifilm also worked with Profoto and a few other brands, but this is incredible. And Tamron will provide something that Fujifilm really doesn’t have but needs.

Granted, the Tamron 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD news mentioned earlier was for a development announcement. By my guess, it’s coming before the end of the year (maybe around the new Photo Plus show): the timing would be perfect however much I loathe that Photo Plus is back as a show. The Tamron 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD would need to launch before Black Friday and be in the hands of the media before then too. So I have a feeling we’ll be testing one in the coming months. 

Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD Features

  • The world’s first 16.6x all-in-one zoom.
  • Extremely fast and precise autofocus—the highest-level in its class— with TAMRON’s VXD linear motor focus mechanism.
  • MOD: 5.9“ / maximum magnification ratio: 1:2 at 18mm wide end.
  • The best image quality in its class.
  • Outstanding VC.
  • Comfortably compact.
  • User-friendly features (Moisture-Resistant Construction, Fluorine Coating, Zoom Lock switch)

A Good Move for Fujifilm

The world is changing for Fujifilm. Most of Tamron’s mirrorless camera lenses have weather resistance. Slap those onto a Fujifilm camera and you’ve got a lot to offer. This also makes me wonder if more of their APS-C lenses are coming. We finished reviewing the 11-20mm f2.8 and the 17-70mm f2.8. Both are great! I stated that the 17-70mm should come to the Fuji system, and I still think that’s the case. Sony, to me, treats their APS-C lineup like bastard children. But Fujifilm embraces it with the X Trans sensor. Tamron’s colors are also really unique. So just imagine them with the Classic Negative film simulation or ProNegative. I really think it would feel like one were shooting with an old Bronica medium format camera.

While I’m also honest, I really hope this relationship doesn’t get compromised somehow. Usually, when third parties work with first parties, there are autofocus communication issues. Sometimes the lenses even freeze up. Sony owns part of Tamron, so I hope the Fujifilm autofocus system doesn’t impede Tamron’s focusing abilities. Tamron lenses are lightweight and designed to be quick while also weather resistant. I’d hope they don’t get held back at all here.

Fujifilm has argued with us for years to say they don’t need third parties. But here’s why it’s important. We can look at Sony for this:

  • Overall lens options means that someone may buy your camera, stick to your system, and look at different lenses.
  • Filling in the gaps you can’t fill in for yourself
  • Variety is healthy for the industry
  • Technology trades, which usually happen anyway.

This makes me wonder if Fujifilm will work with other brands too. Maybe Zeiss will come back to work with Fujifilm, or maybe Sigma will adapt some of their DC DN lenses. (I’m not counting on the latter.) For what it’s worth, Fujifilm’s primes are superior to Sigma’s DC DN lenses. Fuji also designs lots of their lenses for full weather sealing. We’ll just need to see what happens this year.

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