3 Sony E Mount Lenses That Survived the Great Outdoors

The great outdoors are a fantastic place to clear your mind. Bring a camera with you. Distract yourself with your passion. And better yet, don’t give yourself anything to worry about later. By that, we mean you don’t need to break the bank. We dove into our reviews index to find some of the best Sony E-mount lenses to survive the great outdoors. Companies like Tamron make fantastic ones that don’t really make any compromises. Check out what we’ve tested!

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

This piece is presented in partnership with TAMRON. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this round-up already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.

Pro Tips for Using Sony E Mount Lenses in the Great Outdoors

Edited RAW

Sony photogs, here are some pro tips on using your e-mount lenses in the great outdoors:

  • Every Sony E-mount lens by Tamron in this roundup has been tested in inclement weather. Trust us, they work. 
  • If you take your camera into the rain or snow, take the hot shoe cover with you.
  • Exposure preview will slow down the autofocus performance of your Sony E-mount lenses. Take it off.
  • Photographing birds? Make sure you’ve got the appropriate settings on your camera for photographing animals. The AI technology in Sony’s cameras is pretty amazing.
  • Tamron lenses for the Sony E-Mount will always autofocus quickly. But make sure the lens contacts are clean. Use Isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs to get this done.

Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III OSD: Part of a Trio of Small Sony E Mount Lenses

ModelF050
Focal Length20mm
Maximum ApertureF/2.8
Angle of View
(diagonal)
94°30′(for full-frame mirrorless format)
Optical Construction10 elements in 9 groups
Minimum Object Distance0.11m (4.3 in)
Maximum Magnification Ratio1:2
Filter SizeΦ67mm
Maximum DiameterΦ73mm
Length*64mm (2.5 in)
Weight220g (7.8 oz)
Aperture Blades7 (circular diaphragm)**
Minimum ApertureF/22
Standard AccessoryFlower-shaped hood, Lens caps
Compatible MountsSony E-mount

In our review, we said:

“The Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III OSD was tested for a few hours in the cold and rain of late January, 2020. Specifically, we took it into the rain during the opening ceremonies of NYC’s Chinese New Year. It also traveled with us to a very foggy salt marsh. This lens shrugged off all that mother nature threw at it. For $350 you’re getting a fantastic value when it comes to build quality.”

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Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Di III VC VXD: The Call of the Wild

ModelA057
Focal Length150-500mm
Maximum ApertureF5-6.7
Angle of View
(diagonal)
16°25′-4°57′
(for full-frame mirrorless format)
Optical Construction25 elements in 16 groups
Minimum Object Distance0.6m (23.6 in) (WIDE) /
1.8m (70.9 in) (TELE)
Maximum Magnification Ratio1:3.1 (WIDE) / 1:3.7 (TELE)
Filter Sizeφ82mm
Maximum Diameterφ93mm
Length*209.6mm (8.3 in)
Weight1,725g (60.8 oz) (without tripod mount included) /
tripod mount 155g (5.5 oz)
Aperture Blades7 (circular diaphragm)**
Minimum ApertureF22-32
Standard AccessoryRound-shaped hood, Lens caps, Tripod mount
Compatible MountsSony E-mount

In our review, we said:

Giant telephoto lenses are hard to hold. But, the Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is equipped with stabilization. Tamron doesn’t list how much in the tech specs, but the company says it’s enough to use the lens handheld. Combine this with the image stabilization in Sony’s cameras, and you’ve got a winning combo. For the record, The Phoblographer’s editors are carefully selected to be able to handhold a camera to slow shutter speeds.

And, true to that statement, the lens barely ever touched a tripod during my review. With careful breathing and bracing my elbows, I could shoot at 1/125 at 500mm. But, more realistically speaking, I had a better hit rate at 1/800 when shooting soccer. That’s both from the motion of the athletes and my own motion holding such a large lens for an extended period. It may be lighter and smaller than some competing lenses, but it’s still a 500mm zoom.

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Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD: A Fantastic Photo Walking Lens

ModelA071
Focal Length28-200mm
Maximum ApertureF2.8-5.6
Angle of View
(diagonal)
75°23′-12°21′(for full-frame mirrorless format)
Optical Construction18 elements in 14 groups
Minimum Object Distance0.19m (7.5 in) (WIDE) /
0.8m (31.5 in) (TELE)
Maximum Magnification Ratio1:3.1 (WIDE) / 1:3.8 (TELE)
Filter SizeΦ67mm
Maximum DiameterΦ74mm
Length*117mm (4.6 in)
Weight575g (20.3 oz)
Aperture Blades7 (circular diaphragm)**
Minimum ApertureF16-32
Standard AccessoryFlower-shaped hood, Lens caps
Compatible MountsSony E-mount

In our review, we said:

“We used the Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD in the rain a bit. NYC was subject to a dust storm that came across the Atlantic ocean and hit us pretty hard for a few days. The Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD on the Sony a7r III survived it all. Its design lets you grip it with ease while remaining usable–even in slippery conditions.”

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.