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Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Fujifilm X Mount - Hands On

John Riley has been hands on with the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD new standard zoom lens for the Fujifilm X Mount APS-C mirrorless camera range.

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Introduction

Tamron have an enviable reputation for quality lens manufacture at realistic and affordable prices and now extend that into Fuji X fit, with the new 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD standard zoom. This involves more than just putting a Fuji X mount on the back of an exisiting product, and the new lens has been designed specifically for the Fuji X mount APS-C format mirrorless cameras. The “35mm-format equivalent” field of view is around 25.5-105mm, an extremely useful range for the vast majority of general photography. The lens is aimed particularly at Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10 and X-H1 users, although obviously it can be used to advantage of any of the X series cameras. We are fortunate to have here a pre-production sample and have had the opportunity to use this for several days at various sites around Carlisle. It has been coupled up with the 26.1 MP Fujifilm X-S10. It should be borne in mind that as this is a pre-production sample the performance has not been finalised, so the final quality is yet to be tested. With that in mind, first let's look at the lens in use in the field. In the near future, when a production sample becomes available, we can add to this review and run the usual tests.


Handling and Features

The lens is obviously well made, and everything works as well as expected. There is a supplied petal lens hood that bayonets securely into place. There is no sign that it could become dislodged in use and a catch is not provided nor is it needed. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 67mm filter thread.

Weighing in at a modest 530g the lens balances very nicely with the X-S10 and in terms of ergonomics should suit those used to DSLRs very well. Fujifilm knew what they were doing when they designed the X-S10 - Tamron are also well up to the mark and the end result with the new Tamron is very satisfactory.

There is a wide zoom ring that is clearly marked at 17mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 70mm settings. The zooming action is very smooth, but not so slack that there would be any zoom creep when in transit. Again, no catch is provided and none is needed.

The manual focusing ring is electronic, super-smooth in action and controlled from the camera body. There are MF, AF-S and AF-C options. Minimum object distance is 0.19m at 17mm and 0.39m at 70mm, for a maximum magnification of 1:4.8, usefully close. With videographers in mind as well as stills photographers, Tamron use a Rapid eXtra-silent Stepping Drive (Hence RXD) and indeed this is fast, quiet and accurate. Minimal focus breathing is claimed, plus enhanced VC (Vibration Compensation) including for video.

Optical construction is 16 elements in 12 groups, including 2 Glass Moulded Aspheric, 1 Hybrid Aspheric and 2 LD (Low Dispersion). The diaphragm comprises 9 blades, for enhanced bokeh. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant and the front element has a Fluorine coating to repel dust, grease and moisture.

Handling is brilliant, the lens being light and responsive, blending seamlessly in operation with the camera it was designed for. This sample may be a pre-production one, but there are no signs that anything manufacturing-wise is anything but the usual high quality. There are of course many things “under the skin” that may be being adjusted and honed as we write.


Performance

We are holding back the technical tests until a production sample is available but, suffice it to say, for now, that subjectively the results look very encouraging.

 

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD - Fujifilm X Mount Other sample images

 

Value for Money

The Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD lens is priced at £829.99

Alternatives available for Fujifilm X users include:

Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 OIS WR, £699
Fujifilm XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 LM R OIS WR, £749
Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR, £899
Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 LM R WR, £979

The choice seems to be between price, range and aperture and seem to all be in a similar ball park area.


Preliminary Verdict

The new lens is an exciting prospect for Fujifilm users, being fast and efficient, and if the final quality is as good as it looks it could be a winner. The range offered is perfect for general use, and the lens lends itself to many different styles of photography, be it reportage/street, architecture, close sports, portraiture, landscape or still-life.

We await with keen interest a final production sample, so watch this space!

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Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD - Fujifilm X Mount SEARCH

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD - Fujifilm X Mount SEARCH

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