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.