A few months back Tamron announced 3 new lenses – the SP 35mm F1.4 Di USD, the 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD, and now the reviews of the third lens – the 17-28mm f/2.8 FE are starting to appear online and photographer Richard Wong published one of the first English video coverages of the lens.
Let’s start with his view of the build quality – the lens is well built although it is plasticy and pretty small and light (it is said to be weather sealed).
AF speed seems very good (at least in stills). Sharpness in the center of the frame on all focal lengths is very good even wide open. Corner sharpness is better on 17mm than on 22mm wide open and you need to stop down to around f/5.6. On 28mm sharpness is good (better than 22mm) and should be very good at around f/4).
There is some vignetting at f/2.8 which disappears at around f/5.6 at 17mm – at 28mm there is far less vignetting. There is also very minimal CA (performance here is quite good).
As for barrel distortion – there is quite a bit of barrel distortion at 17mm (which is not that surprising for this type of lens). Bokeh in general very nice and flare is well controlled.
Looking at what Tamron tried to achieve here it is quite clear that they went for a light and compact ultra wide-angle full frame zoom lens for an affordable price that will give good results and can be an option for people who don’t want something like the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 (But do want something faster than the F/4 version and are willing to trade some wide angle and zoom for a faster lens).
As for pricing – this lens is about half the cost of the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens – with a price tag of just under $900 (and available starting in late July 2019).
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