There are a couple of reasons for choosing a third-party lens like the Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD over one of the maker’s own. One is a lower price, the other is specs that no own-brand lens has got.
The Tamron doesn’t do either by any great margin, but by combining in-lens VC (Vibration Compensation) with a constant f/2.8 aperture, it does go one up on Fujifilm’s pro-spec XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR, which does not feature stabilization.
The Tamron is also cheaper than the Fujinon lens, with an expected retail price of $799/£829 (about AU$1,146) versus $1,199/£979 (about AU$1,720) for the Fujifilm alternative.
Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD key features
The Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD is an APS-C lens already available in Sony E mount, and offers an equivalent focal range of roughly 26-105mm in full frame terms.
It features new Tamron VC (Vibration Compensation) technology powered by AI, which Tamron says makes it highly effective for video – it also features ‘strong suppression’ of focus breathing.
The new Tamron lens weighs 530g, which is somewhat less than the Fujinon 16-55mm at 655g. The Tamron looks a little longer, though, at 119.6mm vs 106mm. The new lens’s minimum object distance is 19mm at the wide-angle setting.
Tamron is claiming it’s the world’s first bright (f/2.8) 4.1x zoom for APS-C cameras, though it’s worth pointing out that the Fujinon XF16-55mm is not the only only possible rival. Fujifilm also makes the XF16-80mm f/4, which is a stop slower than the new Tamron, but has a wider and longer zoom range, has optical stabilization built in and is both smaller and lighter.
We look forward to reviewing the Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD as soon as we can get a sample. The Fujifilm version is not expected until mid-July, but the Sony E-mount version has been out for a while.