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Jun 19

Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD (Sony E-Mount)

Conclusion

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight for the aperture and focal range
  • Weathersealed against dust and moisture
  • Very good image sharpness starting from f/2.8
  • Good control of longitudinal chromatic aberration
  • Excellent color and contrast
  • Close focus ability adds to versatility
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Bokeh is mediocre
  • Barrel distortion at the wide end and pincushion at the long end
  • Some lateral chromatic aberration
  • High spherical aberration at very close focus when shot wide open with longer focal lengths
  • Lens materials do not feel premium
  • Some hiccups with autofocus with standard camera settings

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is a fast standard zoom that is an excellent value for money. It’s rather sharp, and produces very pleasing images with a good overall image rendering. Bokeh can get a bit chunky at times, and there’s some distortion that you’ll have to correct, but when taken as a whole, the optical performance of the lens is quite good. Considering the reasonable $799 price tag, and the very high price of its competition, the bang for the buck is the best among all the standard zooms for the full-frame E mount.

In addition to the good optical quality and affordable price, the Tamron succeeds most due to its compact nature. In comparison with the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, the Tamron 28-75mm is so much lighter and easier to handle as a walk-around lens that it would be hard for me to entertain the GM even if their cost was similar. While improvements could be made, it’s a very solid effort from Tamron, and will fit the bill for a wide range of Sony shooters.  I started out a bit wary of the lens, but have grown more and more fond of it the more I’ve used it.  I’ve found it to be a very versatile lens with very good image quality, and it’s earned a permanent spot in my bag.

Image Samples

Click on an image to enlarge

Hayden Falls – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 75mm, f/16, 1sec, ISO 100

Legos – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 75mm, f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 5000

Statehouse Reflection – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, f/8, 1/40s, ISO 100

Statue – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 38mm, f/2.8, 1/2000s, ISO 100

Columbus Below Rich Street – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, f/11, 1/100s, ISO 100

Memphis Belle – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 57mm, f/5, 1/30s, ISO 2000

Glass and Stone – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 75mm, f/11, 1/100s, ISO 100

Portrait – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 75mm, f/2.8, 1/320s, ISO 100

 

Clifton Mill – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 29mm, f/11, 1/5s, ISO 100

Statehouse Marble – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 31mm, f/8, 1/20s, ISO 1250

Torah – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 32mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 100

Toad – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 75mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 100

Flowers in the City – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 40mm, f/8, 1/160s, ISO 100

Wing Light – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 75mm, f/4, 1/40s, ISO 800

Hayden Falls – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, f/14, 1/4s, ISO 100

Sundial – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1000s, ISO 100

Statehouse – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100

Columbus – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 35mm, f/11, 1/25s, ISO 100

McKinley – Sony A7 III with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, f/10, 1/160s, ISO 100

If you enjoyed this review, check out my other reviews in the Review Index

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad

5 comments

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  1. Bjoern

    Great review.

    I love your leather wrist. Where is it from?

    Best,
    Bjoern

    1. Jordan Steele

      Thanks! The wrist strap is from Gordy’s Camera Straps: https://www.gordyscamerastraps.com – This is my third one from them (the others are several years old and still in great shape…I have a black one with silver thread on my Fuji X-T20, and the other, a black strap with orange thread on my A7 II. This one is dark brown with green, as you can see)

  2. Bjoern

    Many thanks, Jordan!

  3. Bobby

    Thanks for the review Jordan.
    Howdoes it perform compared to the Sony 28mm f/2?

  4. Dominique

    I have a GAS question. Sorry…
    I want to change my camera system (Olympus with 12-40mm and 45mmf1.8).
    I hesitate between the Fujifilm X-H1 & 16-55mmf2.8 and Sony A7III & Tamron 28-75mmf2.8 for kid’s portrait, street photography and trips.

    I like the ergonomic and EVF of Fuji, and Eye AF, battery life of Sony.
    As you notice the bad bokeh on Tamron, I hesitate more.
    Have you some advice ?
    Thank you in advance.

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