Tamron has presented a “travel zoom” for the Sony E system: the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD. With a range from 28mm wide angle to 200mm telephoto, this is a zoom that you can use for many subjects without having to change lenses. The largest aperture, f/2.8 at 28mm, and the low weight are unique.
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TEST RESULTS Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD:
The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is a beautiful all-round zoom for a great price.
The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is a new all-round zoom for the Sony E system. Zooms with this range are popular for people who travel. That is why they are also referred to as the “travel zoom.” A range from wide angle to substantial telephoto means that you can handle almost all subjects: from landscapes and interiors to portraits, wild animals, and details. The Tamron must compete with two Sony zoom lenses: the FE 24-240 mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS and the FE 24-105 mm f/4 OSS. The first has a larger range but is optically not as strong; the second has a smaller range and is optically quite good. Both have the advantage that they have more wide angle and image stabilization. The Tamron has its own features to balance that.
First of all, this is the first travel zoom for full frame with a brightness of f/2.8 in the wide-angle setting. That is a half stop more than the 24-240mm from Sony and a full stop more than the 24-105mm. The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is also smaller and lighter than both Sonys and quite a bit cheaper. The filter size of the Tamron is 67 mm. That is becoming a standard size within the Tamron system. That is useful for those who already have one of the other new Tamron zooms or fixed focal points. The 28-200 mm can be beautifully combined with, for example, the bright Tamron 17-28 mm F2.8 Di III RXD wide-angle zoom or the Tamron 20 mm F/2.8 Di III OSD or 24 m F2.8 Di III OSD. With one of the latter two, the weight of your lenses stays under 800 grams.
The first generations of superzoom lenses did not have a terribly good reputation: to allow a zoom range from wide angle to 200 or 300mm, lens designers had to make compromises. A superzoom was never as good as two or three separate lenses with limited range. This has changed, thanks to the use of more special lens elements and software corrections to correct lens errors.
The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is almost as big and heavy as the previously released Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD. So, nicely compact and light. It is 117mm long and has a diameter of 74mm. The weight has been limited to 575 grams, partly due to the use of plastic for the outside. These are nice values for a lens that you may be on the go with all day. We now have a lot of practical experience with the plastic housing of the new Tamron. It does not feel as premium as a metal jacket, but the lenses are quite scratch-resistant and can certainly take a beating. An additional advantage of plastic is that it is not only lighter, but also feels less cold in winter.
The optical design consists of no fewer than 18 elements in 14 groups and contains the necessary (hybrid) aspherical, LD (Low dispersion) and XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and other lens errors as much as possible. The aperture consists of just 7 blades. Despite this, Tamron claims that the aperture remains nicely circular even after stopping down two stops. The lens has an extra gasket on the back, and the front element has a fluorine coating so that moisture and dirt do not stick as well. The lens has a zoom lock so that it does not slide out unintentionally while you are carrying it.
The design also allows an impressive shortest focusing distance, from 19 cm in wide angle to 80 cm in telephoto.
Tamron has been making such lenses for nearly 30 years, starting with the AF 28-200mm F3.8-5.6 in 1992. With the latest super zoom, the 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, Tamron has a premier: it is the first lens in this zoom range with a maximum brightness of F2.8 for wide angle. Similar lenses such as the Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS start at F3.5. The brightness remains relatively high over the entire zoom range: F3.2 at 32mm, F3.5 at 44mm, F4 at 54mm, F4.5 at 80mm, F5 at 115mm and F5.6 from 150mm. That is almost two-thirds more light than the Sony zoom mentioned above.
Tamron has opted for an RXD motor for the 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD. We know these from the 28-75 mm F2.8 Di III RXD and the 17-28 mm F2.8 Di III RXD. It is not as fast as the VXD motor found in the new 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD, but a lot better than the OSD motors that the fixed focal points have. The RXD motors are accurate and quiet.
The shortest setting distance of the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is 19cm in the wide-angle setting and 80 cm in the telephoto setting. This results in a magnification of 1:3.1 at 28mm and 1:3.8 at 200mm. Enough for capturing flowers and small details.
Despite the higher brightness, the 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 is relatively small (117 mm long and 74 mm diameter) and light (575 g), making it suitable for Sony system cameras. It has the same filter size (67 mm) as the other recent Tamron lenses with Sony FE lens mount. The compact dimensions and low weight can be explained by two factors. First, Tamron chose to start the wide-angle with a relatively modest 28mm instead of the 24mm that comparable superzooms offer for full-frame system cameras. On paper, the difference seems small – only 4 millimeters – but in wide-angle, it does make a big difference in field of view.
The second choice was to omit optical image stabilization. The lens works together with the built-in image stabilization (IBIS) in Sony cameras. However, IBIS is less effective at long focal lengths. At 150mm and longer, the image in the viewfinder was already restless.
The lens is sealed against dust and moisture. The front lens element has a water and fingerprint-repellent fluorocoating. The big zoom ring rotates in a quarter turn between 28 and 200 mm. There is a switch to lock the lens at 28 mm.
There is also a focusing ring, although this lens will probably be used most with autofocus.
Tamron’s Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive (RXD) motor handles focusing. As with the other recent Tamron zoom lenses, it works excellently for both static and moving subjects. Sony’s Eye AF also works smoothly with this lens. At the largest aperture and wide angle, the sharpness is excellent in the center of the image, but gradually decreases towards the edges.
At F5.6 and lower, the sharpness over the entire image is very good. As you zoom in, the sharpness is also very good at the edges. In practice, the lower edge sharpness will rarely be a problem, except for pixel peepers.
The built-in lens corrections (I used the Sony A7 III) remove the slight barrel-shaped distortion at 28mm and the pincushion-shaped distortion in the telephoto range. Vignetting is still visible at the largest apertures even with the lens corrections switched on.
|Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD|
|field of view||75°23′ – 12°21′|
|sensor size||full frame|
|min. setting distance||19 – 80 cm|
|filter diameter||67 mm|
|particulars||F2.8 at 28mm|
|list price||€ 869.00|
ConclusiON: REVIEW Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD
De Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 biedt een betrouwbare autofocus en over het hele bereik levert hij scherpe beelden met minimale vervorming.
The time when superzoom lenses meant inferior optical performance is gone. Smarter lens designs, better glass types and lens corrections ensure that the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 performs quite well. It offers reliable autofocus and delivers sharp pictures across the whole range with minimal distortion. The quality is not the same as that of a professional zoom lens or a fixed focal length, but you can’t expect that for this extremely reasonable price, either.