Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens is less than half the price of Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Does this lens live up to the hype?

I had a chance to finally use the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD which was notoriously backordered for months and months after its release. Surprisingly, the lens’ performance blew past my expectations, especially when it came to sharpness. A couple things I never really paid attention to before testing were its weight and size, but it really was impressive to hold in my hands and feel that difference. It does not seem like a full frame f/2.8 zoom lens.

What I Liked

  • The Tamron is more affordable than Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens.
  • It’s very sharp and the resolution holds up on the 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV.
  • Slim and light for its class; has a 67mm filter size.
  • The continuous autofocus kept pace with Real-time Eye AF in a studio setting.
  • Some level of weather resistance. Not sure if it’s the lens mount’s rubber gasket making a good seal, but it’s a notably tight fit to get on and off the camera body. I guess if it’s doing its job, that’s a good thing.

What Could Be Improved

  • No physical buttons on the lens body.
  • Susceptible to a little color fringing wide open on high contrast edges.
  • While Eye AF worked well with a stationary subject just moving their head around, the continuous autofocus was a little slow for reliable tracking of faster subjects.

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is priced at $879 and in stock now.

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10 Comments

John Adams's picture

I was wondering whether to buy a standard lens to cover the focal lengths between 35mm and 85mm. Was debating with myself between the Sony/Zeiss 55 but decided to buy the Tamron. To be honest the lens is really sharp as they say and also the fit is very tight on the mount and it's definitely dust and water resistant. I personally like the design without buttons.

I cannot believe that the text does not mention the atrocious bokeh of this lens. I would only recommend it for shooting at F11 and above.

Rk K's picture

Calm down now, stop being a drama queen. The bokeh is not amazing, but unless you choose the worst possible background it's perfectly fine.

To each their own. I have yet to see a picture from the 28-75 with bokeh (ie not the entire frame in focus) that I find aesthetically pleasing. If that makes me a drama queen then be it. The videos examples of the cat and the bokeh shot would have been much more pleasing with a proper rendering. To be more nuanced I will say that it is possible to make very pleasing and sharp photos at the small apertures.

Yes, bokeh is soooo terrible - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dani0861/49277564993/in/pool-3111768@N25/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/51352527@N00/49238071877/in/pool-3111768@N25/
Do you really think people will think about bokeh when you show them your photos? If you do then you are greatly mistaken. The general public doesn't care about this sort of thing.

John Adams's picture

You don't know how lenses work do you to recommend such a thing lol

I think it's quite the opposite. My suggestion is that the lens is only for shooting without bookeh even if it means degrading image quality by diffraction.

John Adams's picture

Your suggestion doesn't make sense.

Danny Boyd's picture

I am happy with the lens so far on my a7ii. It is much softer when i use it on my a6400 though. I only paid $650 new for it so I might sell it and get the Sigma 24-70mm if reviews are positive.

Martin Melnick's picture

This lens almost never leaves my sony A7III. It's an absolute bargain. I use it for commercial fashion and portraiture and it's a great 'do almost anything' lens.