When Sony announced there first full-frame mirrorless camera back in 2013, the number of the lenses released at the time was limited and very expensive compared to glass you would buy for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras. Five years late, Sony now has released many essential and fantastic lenses for the E-mount system.
The number of third-party manufacturers adopting their own lens to the E-mount system, however, has been minimal, many releasing adapters such as Sigma MC-11 and many photographers/videographers using the Metabones system to adapt there Canon or Nikon glass.
When Tamron announced the 28-75mm f/2.8 would be released on the E-mount system, this caused big excitement for Sony E-mount community providing native lens support and priced at only £749, before the Tamron this lens was announced, the closest native lens you could buy was the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens at whopping £1,849.00.
Tamron has expressed that this lens has 15 elements in 12 groups, including several XLD, LD, and GM elements to help minimise aberration.
When I was deciding on which camera to buy, I knew that I wanted to buy a Sony A7III (a review soon) when Tamron announced this lens it seemed to be the perfect combination for anyone wanting to start out in the Sony mirrorless system.
However, I would compare this lens more towards kit lens that Sony offer's when you buy any Sony Full frame camera, the Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-F.5.6 which is not great due to low F-stops which hardly allows any light to be entered into the cameras which causes noise and darker images, the Tamron lens is above and beyond what anyone entering the mirrorless market needs.
I ordered my Tamron lens in June of this year, I've had to wait several weeks for it to arrive in my studio due to it's high demand. The moment the lens arrived, I fell in love with it's simple, and lightweight design. There are no buttons around the glass, with all functions needing to be done in-camera. You will find the zoom and focus rings to be on opposite sides compared to other Sony Lens. However, I never found this to be of an issue as my HXR-NX100 professional camcorder has the same rings layout.
The overall design of the lens is of high-quality plastic; however, I wouldn't rely on this lens if you are going to use this in all types of weather conditions. Although I've used the lens over last few weeks in hot and cold conditions and found no issues, I still wouldn't not use the lens in rain-type conditions.
Although you do loss 4mm on the wide end of the lens, I never really found this to be an issue when I was using the lens for photography and filmmaking purposes. During one weekend away I took the lens to London and in that time I spent a great deal using the camera in various bright-lit and very dark scene settings. The lens worked perfectly, it locked focus quick and I was able to use newly developed Eye-AF feature which also did an amazing job at keeping the eye in focus at all time.
(Eye-AF only works in photo mode and not Movie Mode)
I found that the lens performs well, very sharp throughout and keeps subjects in focus at around 95% of the time for both video and photography.
There is some noticeable barrel distortion on both the wide & telephoto end, however, this can be fixed quickly on programs such as Lightroom when correcting the lens profile for photography-based work. Additional work would maybe need on the video side, but, I've not noticed issues from my tests currently.
There are two small issues I have found with the lens.
The first one is, the long focus breathing issue when the lens is in manual mode. Usually you would turn around 90 degrees to get a slight focus on the subject; however, this lens requires you to turn around 180 degrees to get focus. I have found that the Tamron lens performs better when in automatic focus mode.
The second is the slight vignetting at f/2.8, but this completely goes when you reach at f/3.1 or f/4.0, which I find to be completely ok for the needs of video and photography work.
In conclusion, Tamron has created a brilliant lens which competes with the high-end G-master lens from Sony. If you are looking for an all-around lens to start you off in your photography or video work with the Sony Mirrorless systems, then this is the perfect lens for you. This lens is the ideal combination of buying an A7III and looking for your first zoom-lens.