Optical Limits: Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD – A Solid Performer At A Reasonable Price


Optical limits released its review of the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, which you can read in full here or read the important parts of the conclusion below:

The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD delivers a quite convincing performance with just a few caveats. Considering its ultra-wide character, it’s pretty sharp where it counts the most – the wider settings. The center quality is great and the borders/corners also on a comparatively high level between 17mm and 21mm. Many ultra-wide zoom lenses struggle a bit at their “long” end and the Tamron is no exception in this respect. While the results are good from f/5.6, the outer image field could be better at larger aperture settings here. The native distortion characteristic is very decent for such a lens and there’s nothing to worry about with image auto-correction. The vignetting figures are roughly in line with other lenses in this class. Reads: there’s some hefty vignetting at f/2.8 in RAW images. Auto-correction eases this is a bit but, a bit surprisingly, Tamron chose a non-aggressive correction profile here so you may still be able to spot some light falloff depending on the shooting conditions. The bokeh has its pros and cons. Out-of-focus highlights are comparatively nicely rendered whereas the overall rendition can be a bit harsh.

The build quality is very good relative to its price tag… advantage of this approach is the very low weight of just 420g – and we are talking about an f/2.8 lens here. Unlike its fast, in-house zoom mates, it doesn’t extend when zooming which is always something that we book on the plus side. The “moisture-resistant construction” seems to be somewhat inferior to other manufacturers – namely, there’s no word about dust protection. However, we are talking in the context of a consumer-grade lens here. We quite liked the RXD AF motor on the 28-75mm f/2.8 but on the 17-28mm f/2.8, it’s a bit on the slow side…

Overall, the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is a solid performer. It doesn’t excel in any criteria but it does the job and, possibly more important than that, it does so for a reasonable price.

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Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD FE: B&H Photo /  Amazon / Adorama

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