Tamron Launches the 17-28mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

Tamron Launches the 17-28mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

Following on from the success of the 28-75mm f/2.8, Tamron has just announced the launch of its much-anticipated 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD. Will the price make it an affordable competitor alongside the solid ultra-wide angle zoom offerings that already exist from Sony?

The lens is now available for pre-order for $899, making it less than half the price of the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens ($2,198) and still significantly cheaper than the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 lens ($1,348). Size and weight savings are also significant: the Tamron comes in at 14.82 oz (420g), less than two thirds the weight of the Sony f/2.8 at 24 oz (680g), and still noticeably lighter than the Sony f/4 at 18.3 oz (518g).

Here’s how the dimensions stack up:

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8:  2.87 x 3.90” / 73 x 99 mm
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8:  3.48 x 4.79” / 88.5 x 121.6 mm
Sony 16-35mm f/4:  3.07 x 3.88” / 78 x 98.5 mm

Balancing these three factors — price, size and weight — against the compromised focal range will be the major consideration, assuming that performance is similar to that of the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. It’s something of a joke on Sony Facebook groups that the 28-75mm is the only lens that anyone needs to buy, such is its popularity among a more prosumer and budget-conscious crowd who are happy to trade millimeters for dollars. Whether the 17-28mm proves to be as popular remains to be seen.

Tamron seems to be carving itself a niche when it comes to Sony, offering good quality glass at very competitive prices albeit at focal ranges that are slightly compromised. Personally, I’ve never quite figured out if 28-75mm is going to fit into my work, but I’m interested in giving the 17-28mm a whirl as I’m keen to swap out my Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 that I’m currently adapting to my Sony a7 III using the Sigma MC-11. That is a heavy lens made even heavier with a rather meaty adapter, and as someone who likes to travel light and fast, finding an alternative that is affordable would be ideal. If I can’t afford or justify the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8, where should I compromise? Should my solution be a lens that is slightly slower or a lens slightly less zoomy?

Let me know if you share my dilemma and whether you will be putting in a pre-order in the comments below.

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michaeljin's picture

Are we considering 17mm to be "ultra-wide" at this point?

20mm is where the industry has long considered wide angle to end. 17mm is considerably wider. I think it fair, yes, to consider 17mm ultrawide. Especially if you're attempting to draw the line at 16mm.

michaeljin's picture

I'm just curious where the line is since we have rectilinear lenses on full frame that are 12mm and even out to 10mm. Compared to 16 or 17mm, that's a huge difference for lenses that are in the same category. So if we're drawing the line at 20mm, then the Zeiss 18mm is an ultra-wide? Seems odd to consider it as such.

The Zeiss 18mm is most definitely in the ultra-wide category. Technically speaking, given industry standards, a 19.9mm focal length would be classified as an ultrawide lens. Much as, given standards (again), a 51mm is considered a telephoto lens.

I got my sample, today. Very excited to get to work. A shame I've other things going this weekend or I'd have a set ready to go :) Still: thanks for giving us some love, Fstoppers. Looking forward to your thoughts on the new SP 35 f/1.4. I guarantee it'll surprise.

Andy Day's picture

Hoping to borrow one from your European colleagues in August to see how it performs and how it fits into my work. In my niche photographic world, this lens could prove to be quite popular.

I picked up a Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 for Canon E mount last Christmas for under $500. I'm using it with a Metabones adapter. The picture quality and weight are good. The autofocus works fine in single shot, but it a little spotty in continuous. It's not perfect, but for a bit more than half the price of the FE version, I will stick with what I have.