Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 Di III VXD review

The quirky Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 Di III VXD is highly competent and convenient lens for everyday shooting

Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 Di III VXD
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This full-frame compatible lens for Sony E-mount cameras packs strong all-round performance, lovely image quality and a versatile zoom range into a compact and lightweight package. It’s great for everyday stills shooting works every bit as well as a vlogging lens, thanks to its wide maximum viewing angle coupled with a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture. All in all, it’s a very smart buy at the price.


  • +

    Generous wide-angle coverage

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    Fast, constant f/2.8 aperture

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    Compact and lightweight


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    Lacking in telephoto reach

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    No optical stabilization

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    Basic onboard controls

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The Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 Di III VXD is yet another different take on the ‘standard’ zoom lens. Tamron already makes alternatives to ‘trinity’ wide-angle and standard zooms, with its impressive 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD and 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD G2 lenses for Sony E-mount cameras, which we’ve been thoroughly impressed by. Indeed, both of these lenses have been tweaked and rebadged as NIKKOR lenses for Nikon Z system cameras, as the equally alluring Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 and Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8.

The new 20-40mm retains the same fast and constant f/2.8 aperture rating but delivers a more unusual zoom range. In some ways, it’s similar to the Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 for L-mount cameras, although that one gives more telephoto stretch but with a slower, variable aperture rating.

The Tamron is a perfect fit for photographers who find they often want a wider viewing angle than a standard zoom can deliver, and aren’t so fussed about telephoto reach. On full-frame cameras, the zoom range works really well for landscape and architectural photography, and is also great for vlogging. The f/2.8 aperture also makes the lens a good choice for astrophotography.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.