Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2019


While mirrorless systems have been around for quite some time, the uptake by the "big 3" third-party lens manufacturers was neither fast nor overly broad. Of course, in the end, it is a number game. The DSLR user base is still massive in comparison but the tide has finally turned and the flood is coming in now - especially for Sony E-mount. Tamron was the first of the big 3 with the release of a full format E-mount lens - the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD in 2018. While the paper-spec may feel familiar, it has no design relationships with the older DSLR version. Interestingly, Tamron was caught on the wrong foot because they weren't able to fulfill the initial demand (and history seems to repeat itself with the new 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD) - which isn't all that surprising because Sony's pricing policy leaves the door wide open to alternatives. The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD has a price-tag around the 800EUR/900USD mark which is less than half the amount you have to pay for Sony's own 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. However, a more realistic competitor is probably the Zeiss Vario-Tessar 24-70mm f/4 OSS ZA.

In terms of build quality, it is more on the consumer-grade side of the game. This doesn't mean that the quality is bad, it's just not on Sony GM level. The longish, yet slim Tamron lens is based on a smooth plastic body on a metal mount. The rubberized control rings operate smoothly. Typical for most standard zoom lenses, it extends when zooming towards the long end of the range. There is no wobbling of the inner lens tube even at 75mm. Tamron does point out that the construction is moisture resistant. A petal-shaped lens hood is supplied.

The RXD in the lens name stands for "Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive" thus the AF motor. It is indeed pretty quick as well as silent. Typical for Sony FE lenses, manual focusing works by wire and is pretty precise. It's worth mentioning the lens is designed to provide an unusually high object magnification of 1:2.9 (at 28mm) to 1:4 (at 70mm). While you shouldn't expect wonders in terms of close-focus performance, this may come handy at times. An optical image stabilizer is not provided but, of course, available via most Sony cameras.

Optical construction15 elements in 12 groups inc. 1x molded aspherical, 1x hybrid aspherical, 1x LD and 1x XLD
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.19-0.39m (max. magnification 1:2.9-1:4)
Weight 550g
Filter size67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresmoisture resistant
MountSony FE

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