Gear Tech

Tamron’s 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD is a versatile zoom for Sony APS-C shooters

Photographers using APS-C E-mount cameras like the a6600 have an impressive new lens to add to their kit bags…

There’s times when photographers just don’t want to head out on a day’s picture-taking with a bag full of glass that is going to slow you down and burden your shoulder, so the alternative is to stick to a zoom lens that will cover the focal lengths you need. One new option to add to the list is Tamron’s latest optic for E-Mount shooters – the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD

Built to work with crop sensor APS-C Sony cameras – think Sony a6000 or a6600 – the lens offers an equivalent focal length of 25.5-105mm, which should cover off everything from landscape scenes, street photography, portraiture and general travel photography. What’s more, the Tamron lens features a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire focal length, enabling users to create shallow depths of field and to capture bokeh in their frames.

Built around a 16 elements in 12 groups design, the Tamron 17-70mm features a pair of GM (Glass Moulded Aspherical) lens elements and one hybrid aspherical lens element for enhanced image quality and in-camera lens correction features such as shading, chromatic aberration and distortion are available too.

Photo taken with the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD / image by Luke Stackpoole / Tamron

Eagle-eye readers will have spotted the VC letters in the lens’ title and these of course stand for Vibration Compensation, meaning the lens is stabilised to help reduce any shake in image – particularly those taken at longer focal lengths in low light where shake is more of a problem. Interestingly, Tamron explains the VC system is; ‘especially optimized for video shooting’, which will come as good news for Sony shooters who want to add the 17-70mm to their kit bag for making movies.

Photo taken with the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD / image by Luke Stackpoole / Tamron

Complementing the advanced features of the Tamron 17-70mm is a robust build, with the lens featuring seals to resist against moisture and dust – all of which will reinforce the lens’ credentials to professional photographers or those who work in harsh conditions. Despite all this tech however, the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD is fairly compact and lightweight, tipping the scales at just 535g and measuring under 12cm in length.

Photo taken with the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD / image by Olivier Wong / Tamron

Compatible with Sony’s Hybrid AF and Eye autofocus features, the 17-70mm RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) stepping motor unit, which Tamron explains is fast and quiet, which is particularly useful when shooting video as no lens hum is picked up on the video footage.

Photo taken with the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD / image by Olivier Wong / Tamron

Other features include a closest focusing distance of the 19cm at the wide end of the focal length and 39cm at the long end, enabling users to capture frame-filling objects and the 17-70mm uses the same 67mm thread size as other lenses in the Tamron range, so you’ll be able to swap over filters in an instant.  The new Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD is expected to start shipping in mid-January and carries a price-tag of $799/£779.

Photo taken with the 17-70mm f/2.8Di III-A VC RXD / image by Luke Stackpoole / Tamron