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Tamron closes in with quartet of fast f/2.8 lenses for Sony mirrorless E-mount

Tamron 35mm f/2.8, 24mm f/2.8, and 20mm f/2.8 Di III primes
(Image credit: Tamron)

We had expected Tamron to announce the arrival of its quartet of lenses for the Sony E-mount mirrorless range of cameras at PhotoPlus Expo 2019, but in the end the news was released a day and a half ahead of the opening of the New York show. 

Of the four new lenses one is a zoom, with a focal length of 70-180mm f/2.8 - and this is joined by three primes with focal lengths of 20mm f/2.8, 24mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2.8.  These are the first primes that Tamron has produced in the Di III Sony E-mount range. Tamron has been teasing the arrival of these full-frame autofocus lenses for some weeks - but now we have all the specifications and details… including the fact that all four offer impressive close focusing characteristics.

Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD

The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD is the latest of series of fast zooms that Tamron has produced for the Sony E-mount. Joining the 18-35mm f/2.8 Di III RXD and 28-75mm 18-35mm f/2.8 Di III RXD - the trio all offer a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, and have focal length ranges that are designed to overlap. All three lenses will also share a common 67mm filter mount.

Unusually, the telephoto lens, does not quite have the same reach as the 70-200mm f/2.8 that is must-carry lens for serious portrait and action photographers. However, we will have a bit more of a wait to see how much of a problem this presents as the lens is not actually scheduled for release until Spring 2020. 

(Image credit: Tamron)

A benefit of the construction, however, is that the lenses closest focusing distance will be and impressive 0.85m (33.5 in) – that's 11cm closer than Sony's FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS. However, unlike the Sony zoom, there is no optical stabilization built in.

The lens features a newly-developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor focus mechanism that is said to offer a quiet, quick autofocus drive. Other features include include a moisture-resistant construction helpful, and a fluorine coating for easy maintenance of the front element.

The lens measures 149mm / 5.9 in long, and weighs 815g / 28.7oz.

20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

(Image credit: Tamron)

'The Tamron 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is the widest of the three wide-angle primes that is being introduced. But despite its ultra-wide focal length, it will share the same 67mm filter ring as its two siblings. All three lenses will also offer an impressive 1:2 maximum magnification ratio – allowing you to get closer to the foreground subject than many rivals.

Key specifications for the Tamron 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 are:

Model number: Model F050
Focal length: 20mm
Autofocus: yes
AF drive: OSD (Optimized Silent Drive)
Mount: Sony FE
Filter size: 67mm
Optical construction: 10 elements in nine groups
Diaphragm: seven blades
Maximum magnification: 1:2
Minimum focus: 0.11m (4.3 in)
Maximum diameter: 73mm / 2.9in
Length: 64mm / 2.5in
Weight: 220g / 7.8oz

24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

(Image credit: Tamron)

The 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 has the same length and diameter as both the 20mm and 35mm lenses - and again the standout feature here is the minimum focusing distance... focusing down to 12cm and offering the same half-life-size 1:2 maximum magnification.

Its full specifications are: 

Model number: Model F051
Focal length: 24mm
Autofocus: yes
AF drive: OSD (Optimized Silent Drive)
Mount: Sony FE
Filter size: 67mm
Optical construction: 10 elements in nine groups
Diaphragm: seven blades
Maximum magnification: 1:2
Minimum focus: 0.12m (4.7 in)
Maximum diameter: 73mm / 2.9in
Length: 64mm / 2.5in
Weight: 215g / 7.6oz

35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

(Image credit: Tamron)

Last but not least is the Tamron. 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 which focuses down to just 15cm to get its 'macro' magnification.  its full specification list is as follows:

Model number: Model F053
Focal length: 35mm
Autofocus: yes
AF drive: OSD (Optimized Silent Drive)
Mount: Sony FE
Filter size: 67mm
Optical construction: Nine elements in eight groups
Diaphragm: seven blades
Maximum magnification: 1:2
Minimum focus: 0.15m (4.3 in)
Maximum diameter: 73mm / 2.9in
Length: 64mm / 2.5in
Weight: 210g / 7.4oz

Price and availability

The first two of these lenses that will reach the stores are the 24mm and the 35mm, which will go on sale in December. The 20mm will follow in January 2020, with the 70-180mm following in the spring.

The prices for the four lenses has yet to be announced, but we will update this article as soon as we have them.

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