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Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens Review - Performance

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Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Performance

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8
 

At 17mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good from f/11 to f/16, but soft at f/22. The edges are excellent from f/2.8 to f/5.6, very good from f/8 to f/11, good at f/16 and soft at f/22.

At 24mm the centre is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good from f/11 to f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are excellent from f/2.8 to f/5.6, very good from f/8 to f/16 and soft at f/22.

At 35mm the centre is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good from f/11 to f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are very good at f/2.8, excellent from f/4 to f/8, very good from f/11 to f/16 and soft at f/22.

At 70mm, the centre is very good at f/2.8, excellent from f/4 to f/8, very good from f/11 to f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are soft at f/2.8, very good from f/4 to f/16 and soft at f/22.

The sharpness results are of an excellent standard, and even at the longest focal length hold up well.

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Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD MTF Charts

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution and sharpness as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A5100 using Imatest. Want to know more about how we review lenses?

 

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is measured with all camera corrections switched off, as far as it is under our control. Centrally CA is very well controlled and will not be a problem. The edges stray rather more, varying with focal length, but correction is camera or in software can easily be applied. It only becomes an issue with demanding subjects, such as bare branches against a bright sky.

 

Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A5100 using Imatest.

 

Distortion is also measured with camera corrections switched off. The distortion of the lens without corrections applied is actually quite high and definitely noticeable. At 17mm we have -3.05% barrel, after which we move into pincushion distortion that measures +1.12% at 24mm, +2.62% at 35mm and +2.79% at 70mm. As we move closer, the distortion becomes very severe as we can see from the “closest focus” shot in the sample images. This is all correctable in-camera or in software, but it does show the underlying performance of the lens on its own.

The issue of distortion in zooms is interesting if maybe somewhat academic, in that traditionally we would expect a standard lens to show a slight amount of barrel distortion if anything. That would be around 35mm for APS-C, but of course, here we have pincushion distortion which is quite the opposite. It's a matter of what the viewer is used to, and irrelevant for many subjects, but many zooms do reverse the previous norms. Perhaps ultimately there are no rights and wrongs, just fashion trends, and we will have a new norm and new expectations.

Bokeh is a description of the gradation and smoothness of the out of focus areas in an image. An obvious example is where we want a beautifully defocused background to a portrait. The bokeh of the lens is very nice and smooth. The slight wide aperture softness at 70mm could also be usefully employed to enhance the nature of portraits

Flare control is absolutely fine in general use, although with severe situations it is possible to generate multiple artefacts and there is a slight loss of contrast.

Vignetting, apart from wide open at the extreme ends of the zoom, is rather impressively low for a zoom lens.

 

Aperture 17mm 24mm 35mm 70mm
f/2.8 -2.1 -1.1 -0.8 -2.1
f/4 -1.3 -0.6 -0.5 -1.7
f/5.6 -1.1 -0.5 -0.5 -1.2
f/8 -0.8 -0.5 -0.5 -1.1
f/11 -0.7 -0.5 -0.5 -1.1
f/16 -0.7 -0.5 -0.5 -1.1
f/22 -0.7 -0.5 -0.5 -1.1

 

Finally, the VC system is a very useful addition, and this reviewer found a reliable 4 stop advantage, definitely not to be under-estimated. This benefit will of course vary from user to user and it is worth checking out our own results.

 

Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Sample Photos

 

Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Aperture range

 

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


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Comments


josa 8 25 Czech Republic
27 Jan 2021 10:09AM
Nice lens!
Oxygenum 8 3 Poland
27 Jan 2021 11:23AM

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