Eric L. Woods

My favorite wide FE lens. Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 FE.

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I currently only own one wider than 20mm AF rectilinear full frame lens for Sony. The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD.

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

Not only is it a great zoom lens, but it has knocked a number of f/2.8 primes out of contention as well.

And there are a number of primes available. Once had the Rokinon/Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE.

Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE
Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE
Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE
Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE

Then there are the other f/2.8 prime options on the market:

I have kept one because a) I already own it and b) is a great fit for the A7c and c) it is worth more to me than what I would get for it.

Sony A7c
Rokinon/Samyang 24mm f/2.8
Rokinon/Samyang 24mm f/2.8
Rokinon/Samyang 24mm f/2.8

Common wisdom dictates that primes are better than zoom lenses. But that has not been the case with the Tamron FE f/2.8 trio in general or the 17-28mm variant specifically. This lens is easily a match for the wide lenses I have owned:

  • Matches their aperture.
  • Matches and often surpasses their IQ.
    • In my opinion this lens has better IQ than both the Rokinon/Samyang 18mm and 24mm. The 24mm remains mainly due to it having a compact build that goes well with the A7c.
  • Matches or surpasses their AF performance.
  • Offers focal length variability without much size sacrifice.
  • Comparable to the price of multiple third party primes needed to cover the range and not much more than the newer Sony 24mm f/2.8 option.

Sure there are other f/2.8 wide zooms available. Some point to them having broader focal ranges. This is true, but I prefer the lower cost, smaller size, and lower weight of the Tamron f/2.8. It is a nice compromise between these zooms and the primes mentioned above.

This all came to mind after I took it out for a few quick shots the other day.

Tractor Trailer
Dash
Chips, Wheels, and Chicken Strips
Tractor Trailer
House Mscot

It was perfect for a quick road trip through the hills that my wife and I took.

Road Trip
Road Trip
Road Trip
Road Trip
Road Trip
Road Trip

These occasions and any other time I take this lens out I am impressed. I am usually one to be tempted by new and existing prime lenses, but wide angle FE lenses on the market do not tempt me. Faster aperture primes in this focal range could do it potentially. The only issue is that I am fine with f/2.8. None are worth the additional cost or loss of flexibility for my purposes anyway. This is a great lens.

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