Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 Evaluation


Tamron has established itself as a real worth lens model for mirrorless photographers. We praised its low-cost 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD once we reviewed it just a few years in the past, and the up to date 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 ($899 for Sony E, $999 for Nikon Z) is just higher. This version makes use of a brand new optical system that delivers extra pleasing bokeh and sports activities a snappier, extra correct linear focus motor, so it stays a compelling, low-cost various to first-party f/2.8 customary zooms. Nevertheless it falls wanting the Editors’ Selection-winning Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Artwork and Nikkor Z 24-120mm F4 S for Sony and Nikon photographers respectively, which provide top-notch picture high quality and extra versatile focal ranges for $1,099.

Editors’ Word: This evaluate was up to date on March 27, 2024 to replicate Z mount availability. It was initially printed on January 18, 2022.

Accessible for Nikon and Sony

On the surface, the G2 version of the lens does not stray removed from Tamron’s first take. It is barely bigger at 4.6 by 3.0 inches (HD), weighs simply as a lot (1.2 kilos), and helps the identical entrance filter dimension of 67mm. One of many few variations is that the up to date model’s tapered barrel makes it really feel a bit extra pure to carry.

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Regardless of just a few useful adjustments to the outside, the black, composite plastic aesthetic stays. The G2 feels removed from flimsy, nonetheless, and options some protection towards the weather: Inside seals forestall moisture from getting inside, whereas anti-smudge fluorine protects the entrance glass.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 top view

(Credit score: Jim Fisher)

Photographers who purchased the unique 28-75mm F2.8 RXD early on obtained it for $799, however Tamron later bumped the value to $879. At $899 in E-mount and $999 for Nikon Z, the G2 prices a bit of extra, however you get up to date optics, a extra aggressive focus motor, and a USB-C port for firmware updates and fine-tuning its controls. The optics cowl full-frame sensors, so you should utilize it with a Sony a7 IV or Nikon Z 8 physique and luxuriate in its full angle of view. It is also appropriate with APS-C sensor fashions just like the Sony a6700 and Nikon Z 50 with a narrower angle of view (42-112mm equal). I reviewed the E-mount model on the full-frame a7R IV.

Sony homeowners can mull it towards the compact, value-minded Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Modern ($899.95) and mid-priced options just like the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Artwork and Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS ($1,299.99). In the event you’ve obtained an enormous funds, the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II ($2,299.99) can be an choice. For Nikon, I like to recommend this model over the Nikkor Z 28-75mm ($1,199.95), a re-badged model of the first-generation Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 RXD. However you also needs to contemplate the very good Nikkor Z 24-120mm F4 S for its wider vary of protection, particularly if dim-light imaging is not a precedence.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 profile view

(Credit score: Jim Fisher)

Versatile Dealing with and Fast Autofocus

The 28-75mm F2.8 balances properly on full-frame our bodies and is lighter than 24-70mm f/2.8 options. It isn’t the smallest or lightest lens of its kind, although—Sigma’s tiny 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Modern is a few ounces lighter and half an inch shorter however not as properly protected towards the weather. The Sigma zoom is an choice just for Sony and L-Mount programs.

The zoom management ring sits towards the entrance of the lens and options the identical rubberized ridges you see on most zooms. It turns simply, shifting from 28 to 75mm with a 90-degree twist. The lens does not embrace a zoom lock, however I did not discover creep to be a problem—it stays set at 28mm even should you maintain it going through straight down.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 sample image (Autumn leaves)

Sony a7R IV, 58mm, f/5.6, 1/250-second, ISO 100 (Credit score: Jim Fisher)

Tamron’s declare that the G2 delivers snappier autofocus efficiency than its predecessor holds up in testing. It racks from close-up to distant topics immediately with the Sony a7R IV and works as properly with Sony’s monitoring and topic recognition autofocus modes as first-party glass. The one caveat is one which it shares with each different third-party choice—the seize velocity tops out at 15fps on Sony’s quickest our bodies, the a1 and a9 III. Nikon doesn’t implement any such velocity restrictions, so the lens can sustain with the Z 8 and Z 9.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 sample image (Broken sign)

Sony a7R IV, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/800-second, ISO 100 (Credit score: Jim Fisher)

Guide focus is an choice, too. The main focus ring sits farther again on the barrel towards the mount and makes use of the identical textured end because the zoom ring. It turns with a bit of little bit of resistance, a plus for making cautious changes to focus. Nikon digital camera homeowners ought to observe that the guide focus ring doesn’t double as a customizable Management Ring, in contrast to on the Nikkor Z 28-75mm.

You’ll be able to select between a linear and nonlinear response for guide focus, in addition to set the path that it turns, through the Tamron Lens Utility software program app that is free to obtain on macOS and Home windows programs. The appliance additionally lets you replace the firmware of the lens.

Tamron Lens Utility app screenshot

Use the Tamron Lens Utility to configure the lens (Credit score: Tamron)

Photographers are prone to go for nonlinear focus, wherein slower turns make high-quality changes and faster ones rack throughout the main focus vary extra aggressively. In the event you’re extra into video, select the linear response choice. On this mode, the change in focus will depend on the quantity of adjustment, not the velocity. The linear focus mode is helpful for making repeatable focus racks.

Focus respiratory, the impact wherein the angle of view blooms and shrinks together with the main focus adjustment, is not fully absent, however is minimal. It is noticeable solely if you change the main focus from very shut topics to very far ones or vice versa. In any case, I am snug utilizing this lens for focus rack photographs. As a third-party mannequin, the 28-75mm G2 does not profit from the respiratory compensation that Sony first launched with the a7 IV, nonetheless. Nikon cameras don’t assist in-camera respiratory compensation.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 sample image (Tree with red-orange leaves)

Sony a7R IV, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/500-second, ISO 100 (Credit score: Jim Fisher)

The lens focuses very carefully (at a distance of about 7.1 inches) and the very best macro outcomes are at 28mm (1:2.7 life-size). The minimal focus distance will increase to about 15 inches at 75mm, however that is nonetheless ok for first rate, 1:4.1 macro outcomes. The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 presents comparable macro capabilities, however the smaller 28-70mm F2.8 Modern does not focus as shut—its greatest macro outcomes are 1:3.3. The Nikon Z 24-120 presents as much as 1:2.6 magnification, for reference.

The lens does not function any picture stabilization, although all however the earliest appropriate a7 and all full-frame Z cameras embrace 5-axis in-body picture stabilization (IBIS). Your expertise will range primarily based in your digital camera and the stableness of your fingers, however I used to be in a position to get sharp outcomes at as much as 1/4-second handheld exposures with the Sony a7R IV.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 G2: Within the Lab

I paired the 28-75mm G2 with the 60MP Sony a7R IV and Imatest software program to get a deal with on its optical efficiency. It delivers good outcomes with the high-resolution sensor at 28mm and f/2.8, exhibiting round 3,400 traces. Decision ticks up at narrower apertures, and the lens nets outcomes towards the highest of our scale (4,700 traces) by f/8. Picture high quality stays sturdy by way of f/16, however particulars soften on the smallest f-stops. Take care to not cease right down to f/22 except you are going after panorama photographs with multi-point sunstars—the lens attracts them most crisply at its narrowest f-stop.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 sample image (Landscape with pier and sunstar)

Sony a7R IV, 28mm, f/22, 1/200-second, ISO 100 (Credit score: Jim Fisher)

Broad-open decision is a bit of higher (4,200 traces) on the 50mm focal size, and the lens delivers equally sturdy outcomes stopped down as at 28mm. Decision at 75mm is correct in keeping with what we see at 28mm, f-stop by f-stop. That is all excellent news—you will get sharp outcomes on Sony’s most demanding picture sensor and are available near maximizing its potential by narrowing the aperture solely a bit. The lens will not have any downside maintaining with the extra mainstream 33MP sensors within the a7C II and a7 IV.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 sample image (Cemetery monument)

Sony a7R IV, 48mm, f/2.8, 1/400-second, ISO 100 (Credit score: Jim Fisher)

Mirrorless cameras leverage computerized corrections to compensate for distortion and vignette. In the event you use your digital camera in JPG mode, you do not have to fret about both. Uncooked pictures present some barrel distortion at large angles, the inward pincushion impact at longer focal lengths, and a vignette at f/2.8. In the event you use Adobe Lightroom Basic to course of recordsdata, you may apply fixes for these points with a single click on and retain the additional modifying flexibility the Uncooked format supplies.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 sample image (Autumn leaf)

Sony a7R IV, 62mm, f/5.6, 1/125-second, ISO 100 (Credit score: Jim Fisher)

The primary version of the lens confirmed the onion ring impact in highlights at 75mm, however Tamron paid consideration to the bokeh high quality with this revision. (Onion rings are a results of molded aspheric optics, and present as a faint sample of concentric round traces in defocused highlights.) The G2 optics reduce the impact and draw highlights extra cleanly. It is a delicate change, however price mentioning.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 front angle view

(Credit score: Jim Fisher)

A Worthy, Inexpensive, and Vibrant Customary Zoom

Tamron’s 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 presents the identical focal vary and glued f/2.8 aperture as the unique, however updates the optical system and swaps in a quicker linear autofocus motor. It is properly made, too, with moisture safety and anti-smudge fluorine glass. The sealed, on-lens USB-C port additionally is useful for firmware updates and fine-tuning the guide focus response. It is a competent, value-minded various to first-party customary zooms, however finally falls wanting our Editors’ Selection award. The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Artwork wins our prime honor for Sony photographers because it begins at a wider angle and presents aggressive picture high quality, whereas the excellent Nikkor Z 24-120mm S comes out forward for Nikon creators because of its broader protection.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2


  • Crisp f/2.8 optics

  • Moisture-resistant construct

  • Full-frame sensor protection

  • Snappy, linear focus motor

  • USB-C-configurable focus controls

  • Accessible for Nikon Z and Sony E programs


The Backside Line

Tamron’s 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 lens does not cowl the 24mm focal size like different customary zooms, however its f/2.8 optics, quick focus, and moisture-resistant development make it a robust worth.

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