Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Review

This article reviews Tamron's 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD "all-in-one" zoom lens for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless digital cameras, which features a compact, lightweight design offering superior portability with zoom versatility.


The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD lens for Sony E-mount cameras. This lens is particularly useful for landscape photographers looking to lighten their load and simplify their gear.

Tamron recently released an incredibly capable lens (and a new personal favorite of mine), their 28-200mm lens for Sony E mount mirrorless cameras. This lens absolutely knocked my socks off when Tamron lent me one to use on photo trips to Death Valley and Iceland. I LOVE this lightweight, sharp, and compact do-it-all performer, which pairs perfectly with a wide-angle lens, allowing you to minimize your gear while simultaneously maximizing your creative potential.

Sunrise storm in Death Valley, photographed from a substantial distance away. The Tamron 28-200mm lens allowed me to zoom in and capture this distant landscape scene.

Financial disclosure

This is a completely independent review without compensation from Tamron. I don't have any relationship with Tamron, business or otherwise.


Editor's note: Tamron has been a sponsor of Shuttermonkeys, and founder Ian Plant has long had a sponsor relationship with Tamron. Also, affiliate revenue helps support this site. We are committed to 100% transparency regarding financial relationships with equipment providers and brand partners, and we strive at all times to ensure that reviews are independent, honest, and free of bias.


Specifications

Tamron's 28-200mm lens has a wide-open aperture of f/2.8 at 28mm, and by 200mm it is at f/5.6 (it is f/4 through 70mm, which is actually pretty good). The lens has a 67mm front filter thread, which is a design feature across all of Tamron’s latest E mount lenses, making filter swapping a cinch and keeping your bag lighter and wallet thicker.


This little lens packs down to 4.6 inches long when collapsed and weighs a mere 20.3 ounces. Clearly, this lens is optimized for portability and compactness, which means the sacrifice of a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the focal length range. The lens also has some surprisingly good minimum focusing distances; at 28mm your minimum distance is 7.5 inches, while at 200mm you can focus as close as 31.5 inches.


The Tamron 28-200mm lens in action in the middle of a crazy sandstorm in Death Valley.

One other item to note: there is no internal stabilization in this lens. The lens was intentionally designed this way, relying on the internal image stabilization found in Sony cameras to keep weight and size down for the lens. Being a landscape photographer, I shoot on a tripod 99% of the time, and the other 1% of the time when I’m hand-held I find the internal stabilization of my Sony to be perfectly adequate when combined with a slightly higher ISO. I want smaller and lighter for my style of shooting, so this lens hits my sweet spots all over the board.


I think it is fair to say that this lens has been designed with landscape and travel photography in mind, and it isn't really optimized for super serious wildlife or action photography.


Being able to shoot a landscape scene like this image here of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland zoomed out to a wide-angle perspective, and then zoomed in on small detailsall without having to swap lensesis a game changer.

Zooming in to 200mm on the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption you can see the detail in the flowing magma and other fine details within the frame.

Available mounts

Currently, the Tamron 28-200mm is only available for Sony E mount cameras. It is designed to work on full frame cameras; if used on a Sony E camera with an APS-C sensor, remember to adjust your effective focal lengths by applying a 1.5x crop factor.


Sharpness

Let’s get to what many of you are wondering and hoping to find out: how sharp is this lens? An answer in short: incredibly! I have created images from 28mm all the way through 200mm, never once worrying about how sharp these images would be. I am truly impressed with this lens.


When shooting wide open at f/2.8 you will notice a bit of edge and corner softness. If shooting wildlife or portraits, this might be an issue. If you’re a landscape shooter, this isn't likely to be a problem, as you will typically stop down to smaller apertures for increased depth of field. Stopping down enhances performance across the entire image field, and certainly by f/8 and f/11, overall image sharpness is exceptional.


I also really didn't notice much issue with chromatic aberration, especially after applying lens profile corrections in Lightroom, which easily took care of any color fringing that snuck by.


Performance

Like I mentioned earlier, this lens is a purpose built, minimalist lens: it’s l