Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2021


Tamron has been an early adopter of the mirrorless concept so it's not surprising that they are offering a vast number of corresponding lenses across most segments by now. One of them is the Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD. Tamron is following an interesting philosophy with their fast f/2.8 zoom lenses. While Sony and Sigma (ART) are embracing high-performance priority, Tamron is going for compactness and low weight - which is certainly an attractive proposition for many buyers. And light-weight f/2.8 zoom lenses are an even rarer breed. Just to give you an idea - its main competitor, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DN weights almost twice as much. At around 900 USD/EUR, it also undercuts the competition quite a bit. Thus it's hardly surprising that Tamron had quite a run among buyers lately.

In terms of build quality, it shares much of its characteristics with the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD or in other words - it feels more "consumer-ish" rather than professional grade. This applies primarily to the choice of materials. The longish, yet slim Tamron lens is based on a smooth plastic body on a metal mount. However, it's also very obvious that it has been precisely assembled. Nothing is wobbly and the control rings operate smoothly. The physical size remains constant across the zoom range although, the inner lens tube moves a bit. When adding a filter and combined with the moisture-resistant construction, this should provide decent protection against the elements. A petal-shaped lens hood is supplied.

The RXD in the lens name stands for "Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive" (=the AF motor). It's not exactly on the fast side of the spectrum but it's fast enough for this kind of lens. Typical for Sony E-mount lenses, manual focusing works by wire and is pretty precise. Tamron has always pushed the capabilities of their lenses for close focus photography. While they didn't go as far as with some of their other lenses, a max magnification of 1:5.2 to 1:6, it's better than most in this class. An optical image stabilizer is not provided but, of course, available on most modern Sony cameras.

Optical construction13 elements in 11 groups inc. 2x molded aspherical, 1x hybrid aspherical, 2x LD and 1x XLD
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.19-0.26m (max. magnification 1:5.2-1:6)
Filter size67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresmoisture resistant
MountSony FE

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