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REVIEW: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2 (Sony FE mount)

TAMRON 28-75MM F2.8 Di: Tamron’s second-generation, standard-range zoom lens has a constant f2.8 maximum aperture and lighter weight than its predecessor. It’s a pleasure to use, offering a nice combination of light weight, a fast maximum aperture and good all-round performance. Unfortunately, that constant f2.8 maximum aperture puts it in a higher price bracket.
RRP: $1599
Featuring an updated optical design and improved autofocusing, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2 is 10 grams lighter than its predecessor, while retaining its compact size. It also offers better handling, with new texturing on the zoom and focus rings and better abrasion and fingerprint resistance on the outer barrel. A new Function Button and USB C Port make it easier to customise the lens and apply firmware updates, eliminating the need for the lens to be on a body or separate console.

The optical design has also been revised to improve resolution and colour definition. There are 17 elements in 15 groups including two LD (Low Dispersion), and two GM (Glass Moulded Aspherical) lens elements to control optical aberrations and ensure high resolution across the zoom range. Tamron’s proprietary BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coating is applied to suppress internal reflections and the front surface of the lens is fluorine-coated for easy cleaning.

Revisions to the focusing system introduce a VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) mechanism, which is faster and more accurate and suits both stills and video applications. The minimum focusing distance is 18cm at 28mm and 38cm at 75mm, which is slightly closer than the previous model. Seven rubber gaskets seal vulnerable regions against possible entry of moisture and dust. Like its predecessor, the new lens lacks built-in stabilisation, relying instead on the SteadyShot Inside systems in Sony’s cameras. It is supplied with front and rear caps plus a petal-shaped lens hood.

Imatest testing showed the lens to be a good performer and capable of delivering high resolution across a wide range of focal lengths with measurements taken across most of the frame. Lateral chromatic measurements made with all in-camera corrections disabled showed this aberration to be negligible-to-low at all aperture settings. Vignetting was only visible at maximum apertures and tended to disappear when the lens was stopped down by one stop. Backlighting was handled well, although flare artefacts could be produced when a light source was within the frame. Sunstars at f22 were often poorly defined.

Purchasing Points:

1. A versatile zoom range that covers a wide variety of genres, including landscapes. portraits, street photography and casual snapshooting.
2. The fast f2.8 maximum aperture across the zoom range provides plenty of scope for hand-held shooting in low light levels as well as differential focusing.
3, New VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor autofocusing technology provides faster, more accurate focusing as well as support for the latest Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF functions and subject detection and tracking modes in Sony’s recent cameras.
4. The minimum focusing distance of 18 cm at 28mm provides 0.37x magnification, while at 75mm, the minimum focus of 75mm gives a 0.24x reproduction. Both will produce nice close-ups of flowers and small animals.
5. The lens has an extending inner barrel that increases the overall length by approximately 18 mm when it is zoomed in to the 75mm position. It accepts 67 mm diameter filters and comes with a petal-shaped lens hood.
6. Although this lens lacks built-in stabilisation, it works very well with the SteadyShot Inside systems in Sony’s cameras.
7. Seven rubber gaskets seal vulnerable regions against possible entry of moisture and dust.
8. Its relatively light weight and constant f/2.8 maximum aperture make this lens a good choice for travellers as well as for everyday shooting and video recording.
– Margaret Brown

For a more extensive review with optical performance charts, click here.

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