So you want to shoot motorsports photography (or really anything where you're shooting something relatively far away), but don't have the spare kidney to sell for a 70-200 f/2.8 right? That's where the Tamron 70-300 comes in to save your sad, empty wallet. But How does the budget lens do when it comes to the fast paced action of motorsports?

To test this lens out I took it to the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Thankfully I can say that the sharpness and image quality is still more than enough to create amazing looking photos. This lens was absolutely phenomenal paired with my A7III, and definitely defied my expectations of the quality I thought I would be pulling out of it.

This 70-300 also happens to be the worlds lightest and most compact telephoto zoom lens on the market for full frame mirrorless cameras! This made my 10 hour day of shooting so much easier not having to lug around a massive brick of a lens everywhere. The smaller form factor makes this lens the perfect option for travel and anywhere else you'd want a more compact but efficient kit.
So what are you giving up when buying this $500 lens? The first big downside you'll notice is the f/4.5-6.3 variable aperture. If you want that super creamy bokeh and extremely shallow depth of field, you won't get that here. But, due to the high speed nature of something like motorsport we can still create even better subject/background separation by actually slowing the shutter speed way down. 

For example in that image at the top of this page, I used 1/80 of a second to create the motion blur I wanted, and I just tracked the image as steadily and as closely as I could to make the car look perfectly still. this can be a tricky technique to figure out at first, but once you do you will get some amazing looking shots from it.

Due to that limited aperture, it's low-light performance is also reduced quite a bit. It's particularly noticeable at the 300mm end of the zoom range with it's f/6.3 aperture. Even with this little handicap in low-light condition, the A7iii was able to comfortably pump up the ISO enough to get this shot below without too much distracting grain.

I will mention that both of these issues can become a little less intrusive now thanks to Adobe's new AI features in Lightroom. The lens blur effect works amazingly for emulating a more shallow depth of field, and even let's you customize how you want the bokeh effect to look! And with the de-noise feature, I'm now much more confident that higher ISO ranges will still produce perfectly usable images.

So how about for video? I did shoot just some test clips to see how it did. The autofocus works perfectly, I never had any issues with it whatsoever. The lack of image stabilization was however a biiiit distracting. I was shooting handheld and at the longer zoom ranges there definitely is some camera shake, however with Sony's in-body stabilization it does help a bit with that.

The only other real issue that I noticed wasn't even an issue while taking photos. While I was walking around holding my camera at my side, the lens creep is absolutely awful. I do wish it had a lens lock on it to prevent it from sliding around when walking or if you use one of those peak design capture clips.

Overall my experience with this lens was very positive! I mean yeah it may not have all the bells and whistles that a Sony 70-200 GM II might have, but I was also able to find good used examples of the Tamron for 7 times less than the cost of the Sony. If you are someone looking to just get into sports or travel photography and don't have a trust fund to go lens shopping with, then I do think the Tamron 70-300 will be the first lens to look into.
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