Is The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 The Best Value Zoom Lens For Sony?

If you have been searching for a more affordable zoom lens for your Sony mirrorless camera, then you should definitely check out this video and article. You are about to discover a real world comparison between the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens in the wilds of Arizona.

There is no doubt that the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is a more affordable zoom lens than Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens. But is the quality as good? Or for hybrid shooters does the Tamron handle auto focus as well, when recording video?

Check out the video below that I shot while on vacation in Arizona and let me know if you see a $1400 difference between these two lenses?

What Might Turn You off About the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Lens

The one major drawback with the Tamron lens is that it is only 28mm at its widest point. Depending on the situations you find yourself in, this could be a deal breaker for you. On the other hand, you do gain an extra 5mm on the long end making the Tamron 75mm which you may actual prefer.

The build quality of the Tamron does feel a little bit more plastic in comparison to the Sony lens but it did not seem to affect the visual quality of the lens optics. Also the zoom function performs a little different on the Tamron lens and it may take a little getting used to, for some users.

In conclusion, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens is much lighter and more compact than the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8G Master which makes it well suited for travel Photography.In regards to the quality of the image it is pretty similar in my opinion between these two lenses. If you don’t think you’’ll need the extra 4mm at the wide end then the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is worth a serious look.

What do you think? If you could only bring one lens with you on a vacation, which lens would you choose? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Jason Levine's picture

This lens was a huge part of the success of the A7III.

J. W.'s picture

Either I got a dud, or people are giving this lens a pass because it is priced so well. I bought this lens last week and sent it back the next business day. Very disappointed with its image quality. Center was only acceptable wide open at 28mm, center soft at 50mm until f/4, and the center was soft at 75mm until f/5.6. Forget about the corners, horrible. I compared it to a Fuji 16-55mm on X-T2, 24mp, same as the A7III, and the Fuji was far better at every focal length center and corners.

Spy Black's picture

Quality control is the Achilles Heel of both Sigma and Tamron. You might want to consider another sample. Actually, nowadays even OEM lenses have quite a bit of variance. Sometimes you have to go through multiple samples to get a good copy.

J. W.'s picture

I’ve thought about doing just that. But I really don’t feel like going through 2-4 samples until I find a good one. I’ve owned a few Sigma lenses and they were all very sharp, some had trouble focusing, but when focused in live view they were super sharp. This is the reason why I gave up on DSLR’s. AFMA adjustments beyond +/- 4 were too unreliable dock or no dock, it made no differance.

I’m thinking maybe I should get the new 24mm G master or the new Sigma 28mm 1.4 if it’s not too big.

Matt Williams's picture

Yeah, it's not just Sigma and Tamron. Sony and Nikon both have variable QC - I've had to send lenses back a number of times from both of them.

Actually, Tamron has had the best track record with me of anyone. I have three of their newer lenses (45 1.8, 85 1.8, 100-400) and my first copies were excellent. Can't say that of Nikon or Sony (esp Sony).

Jim Bolen's picture

Did you calibrate the lens to the body before testing it?

J. W.'s picture

The Tamron on the Sony? Calibration is not needed with native e-mount lenses. That is why I left DSLR. The Sony menu has a calibration option, but that is only for old Sony Alpha lenses in combination with the Sony LA-EA4 adapter.

Craig Beckta's picture

Mirrorless camera and lenses do not require calibration like DSLR camera and lenses do. They self calibrate which is another good feature of Mirrorless cameras.

Jim Bolen's picture

Good to know, thanks!

Jonathan Brady's picture

Did her arms get stuck?

Craig Beckta's picture

Almost, lol.

Xander Cesari's picture

The 24-105mm f4 G is always left out of these conversations, which I think is a much fairer comparison. The G gives up a stop of aperture but brings in OSS, dedicated controls and switches on the lens, and much more focal length on both ends. I picked the G over the Tamron because I just didn't need f2.8 for bright light shooting and landscapes. Between the low light performance of the A7 line and the longer shutter times available with an OSS lens the only real sacrifice is some bokeh.

They're also close enough in price to make the comparison more useful, more people actually cross-shopping. It still very much depends on what kind of photography you do but I suspect I'm far from the only person who would pick the G over the Tamron.

Michael Comeau's picture

What he said. Ever since I got the 24-105mm, it hasn't left my A7 III, even though I LOVE my Sony primes like the 35mm f/2.8. 55mm f/1.8, and 90mm macro.

I really wish someone would make a 24-120mm, even if it had a variable aperture.

dale clark's picture

I agree. If you only need the occasional low light performance, SONY's noise levels at higher iso's is very manageable on the newer bodies. The DR is so good one could shoot at lower exposure settings, assuming you shoot RAW, and bring up in post.

Luke Adams's picture

Bought the lens. Returned it a couple weeks later. Maybe I'm just used to shooting primes, and I expected too much from the glowing reviews, but I couldn't shake the "zoom lens" look this seemed to have.

Craig Beckta's picture

I prefer primes as well but for travel and since I am not primarily a landscape Photographer I prefer zooms when on vacation.

Spy Black's picture

This must be a reincarnation of an old Tamron lens. Some years back I bought the (then new) Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 G1 lens for my D600, and it was really bad, especially at 24mm, the edges were just a smear-fest, even stopped down. I brought it back. Some time later I picked up a used 28-75mm f.2.8 Tamron on eBay for peanuts, and it was surprisingly sharp, and light! It's been my primary FF kit lens ever since. I think not having to stretch out to 24mm makes for an easier optical formula and better quality lens overall, because you're not pushing the optics to extremes. When you look at those close-ups he posted here at 70 and 75mm, the Tamron was significantly sharper than the Sony. As I've said elsewhere tho, quality control is Tamron's and Sigma's Achilles Heel, so you may have to go through a few to get a good copy. For the price I think it may be worth the effort.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Just received mine yesterday. Shooting a full day Sunday so we'll see.

Edit: Why is that guy zoomed in at 300% and complaining it's not sharp?

Spy Black's picture

I think he's showing all the detail. At that magnification it was obvious the Tamron was sharper.

Craig Beckta's picture

If I did not zoom in people would complain I did not zoom in close enough. I guess you can't please everyone. lol

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I'm not saying you should not zoom. What I'm saying is you should not zoom to 300% and say the lens is soft. If you must zoom, zoom to 100% and judge it's sharpness at that.

With that said, I can tell right now, if those images are that sharp at 300%, they are going to be crazy sharp enough at 100%.

Going over 100% is pointless. You're going to make any image look worst than it really is.