The Tamron 17-70 F2.8 Di III-A VC RXD is a lens that really surprised many when it was released. First off, it’s an APS-C lens, which is a first for the current line-up of E mount lenses. Second, it actually has something many have been wanting in longer focal length Tamron lenses, Vibration Compensation, which helps with stabilisation. Why Tamron decided to put this in a 17-70mm lens is puzzling to some but we’re glad it’s included.
As far as the design and build quality of the lens, it’s exactly like its full-frame siblings in the E Mount line-up: Nothing to rave about or criticise if you are used to the other lenses. Simply put, it’s a good workhorse lens.
In terms of usability, this is where you see Tamron really focusing on the video aspect of this lens, with minimal focus breathing, fast autofocus for video and photography but again designed for the APS format, so unless you are using an A7R series camera or A1, you will take a significant hit when it comes to megapixels if you need them.
For the A7S III or FX3 users, if you want to crop in to remove the heavy vignette on the lens, you will only be able to shoot in 1080p. Yes, you can use clear image zoom, but it’s not the same.
Overall, the lens is a solid performer from Tamron. While I would have appreciated this as a full-frame lens with the focal range and faster aperture, I guess Tamron wanted to show some love to the A6000 series users out there, and they definitely succeeded in giving them a viable option for that one lens that covers video and photography.
Written by Bobby Tonelli