Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Review

Specifications

Aperture
f/2.8 – f/22
Size
73 x 117.8 mm
Filter Thread
67 mm
Weight
550 g
Max Magnification
0.34 to 0.25
Min Focusing Distance
28 cm
Number of aperture blades
9, Rounded
Elements/Groups
15 / 12
Optical Stabilization
No
Weather Resistance
Yes

Build Quality

The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 DI III RXD E-Mount lens is much lighter and more compact than the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens that we owned previously. The weight of the Tamron lens is very well-balanced for the Sony full-frame E-mount bodies, whereas the GM lens felt front-heavy.

[Taken with Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM]

The Tamron lens features moisture sealing but no dust sealing. The lens body is made of black plastic and rubber, and the zoom ring does not come loose despite the lack of a zoom lock.

Autofocus

The minimum focusing distance is only 0.19m at the widest 28mm, measured in the distance of the object to the flange. This can work for some non-serious macro work, although it is tricky to get the focus just right. We took a ring shot at a wedding using the lens.

The autofocus is also snappy enough to use for the wedding reception, and the zoom range is very useful in event photography.

Image Quality

The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens is very sharp in the central areas wide open, and sharp across the frame when stopped down. It’s great for landscape and portrait work alike.

When shooting into the sun, the lens does a good job retaining contrast and detail. Not only that, but there is almost no discernible chromatic aberration, which is fantastic.

The lens can also be used for astrophotography work. The following photos were taken at 28mm f2.8, with 15 seconds of exposure.

We like the way this lens renders flowers and foliage at minimum focusing distance.

The bokeh balls are not perfect, but they generally look good.

There are times when the background blur can be a bit harsh, with artifacts and onion rings inside the specular highlights of a busy scene.

For environmental portraits with fewer bright highlights in the background, the lens performs wonderfully.

In general, we love the results from this lens.


Summary

Pros

  • Very inexpensive, light and compact compared to other f2.8 standard range zooms
  • Moisture resistance
  • Silent, accurate and fast autofocus
  • Good sharpness across focal lengths
  • Little to no chromatic aberration

Cons

  • Background blur can look busy sometimes
  • Not the best lens body quality

The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens is not quite as good as the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens, but it is by far the better value for the money. It costs less than half the retail price of the Sony 24-70mm GM while being 90% as good in terms of autofocus, image quality, and overall usability. It is also noticeably smaller and lighter, which pairs well with the smaller and lighter bodies of the Sony E-mount system. We have sold our Sony 24-70mm GM in favor of the 16-35mm GM for wide angle use, and we would definitely recommend the Tamron 28-75mm to anyone looking for a standard zoom f2.8 lens for the Sony mirrorless system.

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2 responses to “Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Review”

  1. Ben says:

    I like your editing. How do you edit your images?

  2. Charles says:

    Rose has spent countless hours making, modifying, tweaking, and sometimes remaking presets in Lightroom. For a given photograph, we will try a couple of the presets to see which one gets us closest to what we want. From there we will use a mixture of color adjustments, radial filters, and adjustment brushes to get the image the way we like it.

    Importantly, we usually do a quick first pass edit then spend a few days (or in some cases weeks) with the photo before doing final adjustments. That extra time can help us figure out the difference between “good enough” and “just right”.

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