Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD for Sony APS-C mirrorless E-mount

Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
(Image credit: Tamron)

Sony's full frame mirrorless cameras get all the attention these days, and its A6000-series APS-C cameras trail along in the background. Or that's how it seemed. But last year Sony launched a 16-55mm f/2.8 G Master constant aperture zoom for these cameras, and now Tamron has launched a cheaper alternative with a slightly longer zoom range.

This gives the A6000 series a significant boost, and should reassure users that it's still moving forward. Sony's own G Master lens is expensive, however, so the Tamron Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD's significantly lower price is another bonus.

• Read more: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD review

Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD key features

Tamron’s new lens offers an equivalent focal range of 25.5-105mm, so it’s not quite as wide as the Sony G Master lens, but has a significantly longer 105mm equivalent maximum focal length.

What’s significant is that this is Tamron’s first high-speed zoom for an APS-C mirrorless camera. It also has Tamron’s VC image stabilisation system built in, which the Sony lens does not have, and of the cameras in the A6000 range, only the A6600 and old A6500 have in-body stabilisation. What’s more, Tamron says this system uses AI for improved stabilisation when recording videos.

The new lens is compatible with Sony’s hybrid AF and Eye AF technologies and in-camera lens corrections, and is designed to be moisture resistant, with a fluorine coating on the front element. 

The optical construction consists of 16 elements in 12 groups, with two glass molded elements and one hybrid aspherical element. The close focus distance is an impressive 0.19m, stretching to 0.39m at 70mm.

Tamron describes the 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD as “portable and compact”, though at 119.3mm long and with a weight of 525g, it is a little longer and heavier than its rival, the Sony 16-55mm f/2.8 G Master, which is itself quite a big lens to mount on the compact A6000-series bodies – but this is typical of high-end constant aperture zooms.

Price and availability

The new Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD will be available from January 2021 at an expected retail price of $799/£779.99.

Read more:

Best Sony lenses
Best Sony cameras
Best cameras for vlogging
Best cameras for enthusiasts

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com