Field Report: Tamron Made the Perfect Zoom Lens for Fujifilm

I’ve been a Fuji shooter for a long time. In fact, the X series system is teetering on being a decade old. For years, the staff and I have far preferred their prime lenses. And from what we know of the lenses you folks buy, so have you! But this year, things changed. A lens came out for Fujifilm that majorly altered things. The Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD arrived and things changed a lot. Now, Fujifilm users have a fantastic, all-in-one lens that can do everything they need. Taking a vacation soon? Well, you might want to have a look at the perfect zoom lens for Fujifilm cameras.

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

The Stats

Here are some important tech specs from our review:

  • Model: B061
  • Focal Length: 18-300mm
  • Maximum Aperture: F3.5-6.3
  • Angle of View: (diagonal) 77°24′- 5°30’ (for APS-C frame mirrorless format)
  • Optical Construction: 19 elements in 15 groups
  • Minimum Object Distance: 0.15m (5.9 in) (WIDE) / 0.99m (39 in) (TELE)
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:2 (WIDE) / 1:4 (TELE)
  • Filter Size: φ67mm
  • Maximum Diameter: φ75.5mm
  • Length*: 125.6mm / 4.9 in (Sony); 125.8mm / 5 in (FUJIFILM)
  • Weight: 620g / 21.9 oz (Sony / FUJIFILM)
  • Aperture Blades: 7 (circular diaphragm)**
  • Minimum Aperture F22-40
  • Standard Accessory Flower-shaped hood, Lens caps
  • Mount: Sony E-mount, FUJIFILM X-mount
  • $699

Let’s face it; Fujifilm photographers are pretty discerning. For the most part, they have a lot of experience in photography. They care about retro aesthetics. And best of all, they can create a great photo with anything you put in their hands. Folks that scoff at all-in-one lenses these days are making excuses or arguing a moot point. As cameras have gotten better, so too have lenses. And in this lens body, Tamron made a 28-450mm lens equivalent. Plus, there’s vibration compensation to cater to your shaking hands. And if you plan on traveling this winter, you’ll need it.

Specifically, if you’re a Fujifilm X Pro series camera user, you’ll probably really adore the new Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD. It’s fast, accurate, weather-sealed, and provides loads of image stabilization. In fact, we like it a lot on this camera body. The entire package is nice and small!

The Functional Range

The Fujifilm camera system took a major step forward with the introduction of this lens. They’ve had a few zoom lenses, but other reviewers and I agree they lacked magic. The feeling of them is surely great. But the new Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD is something different. It doesn’t necessarily feel like a prime lens, but it’s just as lightweight while being weather-sealed. Most of all, it’s fairly small. We’ve stuffed it into smaller camera bags with ease. 

Do you Photowalk often? Well, this is a lens that lets you shoot day to night with little issue. At slower apertures, you can rely on the image stabilization. When you’re walking around, you can shoot with ease and the reassurance that you’re going to get the shot. Raise your ISO all you’d like. After all, this is Fujifilm! Embrace the film simulations and you’ll fall in love with the convenient range.

To prove this, I took the Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD out at night in NYC. After the pandemic, I decided it was the perfect time to be a winter tourist in my own city. There’s so much this can offer:

  • Capture a photo of your NY hot dog
  • Iconic buildings and architecture are no challenge
  • Street photography is amazingly easy
  • Neon colors will pop when using the right Fujifilm Film simulation
  • Handheld long exposures
  • Selfies never looked better!
  • Acros, Astia, Classic Chrome, and Classic Negative will tug at your heart’s strings.

Let’s dive in further!

Over One-Second Exposures Handheld? Yes, Please!

One of my favorite things to do is to slow down. Modern photography marketing puts a lot of emphasis on capturing the moment as quickly as possible. The problem is that everyone ends up getting the same shot. But with the Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD, you’ll sometimes want to slow down. At a certain point, I decided to capture fast-moving motion across NYC. At some points, I shot at 1.5 seconds to capture the drama of the city. As cars passed by, they made streaks. However, the rest of the scene stayed perfectly still and sharp!

Combine this with Fujifilm’s film simulations and film-white balances, and you have yourself a lens that you’ll fall for.

All the Beauty of Fujifilm’s Colors

On Sony cameras, we’ve found that lenses like the Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD were always very vivid. Indeed, they’ve got a distinct color. On Fujifilm, things are more vibrant, but you can still tell that you’ve got Fujifilm colors. Isn’t that the point of buying a Fujifilm camera?

Best of all, you won’t even need to edit your photos. Just shoot them as is in-camera and then beam them over to your phone. Post them immediately to your favorite photo-sharing service.

The Perfect Zoom Lens for Fujifilm?

So is the Tamron 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD really the perfect zoom lens for Fujifilm? I’d say so. I’ve often done this walk with just a few Fujifilm prime lenses. Because of that, I’d need to switch things up at times and think differently each time. That’s a wonderful creative challenge for sure, but this lens makes me feel like the system has truly been liberated. This one lens can complement all your primes perfectly. 

Best of all, it’s only $699. Why would you not get it?

Chris Gampat

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