Redefining the All-In-One Lens: Fstoppers Reviews the Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD

Does this new glass from Tamron live up to the expectations?If you’re someone who has been using Tamron for a while now, you would have expected them to eventually release an all-in-one lens for the Sony mirrorless system that they’ve been almost exclusively focused on for the past couple of years. Tamron may be the brand that has produced the most variants of walk-around lenses for digital cameras in general. They’ve had two versions of the 18-200mm, an 18-270mm, a 16-300mm, a 28-300mm, and even an 18-400mm, all of which were made for DSLR cameras and had maximum aperture ranges most commonly at f/3.5 to f/5.6 or f/6.3. By the numbers alone, this lens is first of its kind to have a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at its widest focal length of 28mm and it does offer a bit of value. ExpectationsWhen I first heard of the release of this new lens, my expectations weren’t generally that high. Tamron is well experienced in producing lenses like this one and since it would be their first for the Sony full frame system, I assumed it would be a typical zoom lens with a budget friendly price tag. To compare, the Tamron 18-200mm VC for APS-C DSLR cameras only sells for $199 and the Tamron 18-400mm, given that extended range, is fairly priced at $649. Those lenses are both bang-for-the-buck deals but their most convincing selling point was always their range. When I found out that this lens with a range of 28-200mm was going to be sold for $729, I must admit I had to adjust my expectations a bit. It was a given that it is partly due to the fact that a maximum aperture of f/2.8 should cost a bit more but with such a price point, (though still very affordable for a Sony full frame lens) there must be something more to it.Build and DesignThe Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD sports the standard modern Tamron lens aesthetic with a matte black finish and a silver ring adjacent to the mount. It weighs just 575 grams with a length of just 4.6 inches. It’s a bit bulkier than the typical all-in-one lens but is still much more compact than the already portable Tamron 70-180mm for Sony full frame that was released just a few weeks prior. An interesting point that has been raised quite often was that for photographers who don’t need f/2.8 across the range, it might be a more practical alternative than the recently released telephoto lens. At that point, the only important factor to consider would be image quality. If this lens proves to be as sharp as the 70-180mm, many photographers, specifically those who shoot outdoors for travel and landscape photography would definitely be torn between the two lenses.

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