Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Field Test: A very versatile lens for Sony APS-C cameras


posted Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 3:00 PM EDT

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Tamron 17-70m f/2.8 VC RXD Field Test


Tamron recently released the 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD lens for Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras. The lens is the first f/2.8 APS-C zoom lens to achieve a 4.1x zoom ratio. It's also Tamron's first high-speed zoom lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras. I recently went hands-on with the new f/2.8 zoom lens for my Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Field Test.

The $800 zoom lens features a moisture-resistant construction and fluorine coating. At 18.5 oz. (525g), the lens balances very well on the Sony A6600 camera I primarily used when testing the lens. The lens has good build quality overall, although the lack of physical controls for focus mode and Vibration Compensation (VC) on the lens barrel itself is a minor nuisance.


Optically, the lens has 16 lens elements arranged in 12 groups. There are two Glass Molded Aspherical (GM) elements and a single hybrid aspherical lens element among the 16 total elements. The resulting image quality is pretty good overall. In terms of sharpness, the lens is impressively sharp in the center of the frame, all the way from 17mm (25.5mm equivalent) to 70mm (105mm equivalent). Corner sharpness is a bit weak at 17mm, but improves by stopping down the lens and as you zoom in. To find out how the lens performs at controlling aberrations, head to the Field Test.

Shot on Sony A6600 at 68mm (102mm equiv.), f/7.1, 1/30s, ISO 200. Modified image.

With Tamron's RXD stepping motor unit, autofocus performance is very swift. The lens also supports Sony's Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF features in compatible camera models. The overall usability and versatility of the lens is one of its strongest features.

To learn more about the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 lens, its performance, and to check out different image samples, read the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Field Test. You can download a variety of images, both as RAW and JPEG files, from the Gallery Page.

Shot on Sony A6600 at 27mm (40.5mm equiv.), f/7.1, 1/3s, ISO 100. Modified image.

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Field TestImage Gallery