It seems like every week, there’s a new Sony E-mount lens announced. There are more options than ever for Sony photographers, between Sony native lenses, Tamron, Sigma and more.
While Tamron is developing some amazing full-frame lenses for Sony cameras, they’re also starting to focus more on filling a void for the APS-C lens market.
I recently had the chance to test out Tamron’s new 11-20mm f/2.8 for Sony APS-C cameras. As someone who uses Tamron lenses regularly, this fit right at home, despite being limited to 10 megapixels on my Sony a7 III camera.
- Very compact and lightweight
- Great wide-angle focal length
- Excellent picture quality
- Fast to focus, even at night
- Bit of a plasticky feel to the exterior
- Use on full-frame cameras will reduce megapixels, resulting in smaller files (which may be trickier to edit)
- Format: APS-C
- Aperture: f/2.8–16
- Focal length: 11-20mm (APS-C); full-frame equivalent of 17-30mm
- Minimum focus distance: 5.9 inches
- Optical design: 12 elements in 10 groups
- Diaphragm blades: 7, rounded
- Image stabilization: No
- Filter size: 67mm
- Dimensions: 2.8 x 3.4 inches
- Weight: 11.8 ounces
The perfect walkaround lens, no matter where you might be
I took the Tamron 11-20mm out for the first time at a car show, as a part of the Riverwalk Festival in Lowell, MI. This small town festival has a huge car show every year, and there’s a wide variety of cars, ranging from old classics to modern rarities.
The 11-20mm was perfect for capturing not only a wide view of the car’s exterior, but also their interiors. The close focusing distance made it easy for me to focus on details that I found on cars, too.
Throughout my day at the car show, I had no issues with significant lens distortion (though, with a wide-angle lens, some can be expected) or chromatic aberration. Picture quality was spot-on.
Great at night, too
Being an f/2.8 lens, I was curious to see how the 11-20mm would do at twilight and after dark. I knew I’d be limited in terms of post-processing, as my 20-megapixel full-frame Sony a7 III cuts the megapixels in half — down to 10mp — due to it being an APS-C lens. This meant I didn’t have quite as much to work with compared to my usual photos.
If there’s one con to the lens, this meant that raising things like exposure and shadows resulted in some noise being present. Still, this was easily fixable in Lightroom Classic, or with a plugin like Topaz DeNoise.
Focusing at night was faster and more accurate than I expected — it showed me that Tamron really invested in the technology in this lens. When I went to photograph some leaves on a tree that were lit up by blue Christmas lights (yes, it truly is Christmas in July), I was surprised at how accurate the focusing was.
The lens also worked wonders when it came to capturing a long exposure. Using the new lightweight Fotopro X-AIRCROSS 2 tripod, the compact lens worked perfectly and let me capture a 5-second exposure of a local restaurant with a bus and car whizzing by.
Perfect for any type of photographer
One thing I love about Tamron lenses is how compact they are. This makes them seem more approachable to passerby’s. The 11-20mm lens is no exception here — it’s very approachable and you won’t find yourself getting any strange looks.
This also makes it perfect for travel photography. Not only is it easy to walk around with without creating some stares, it’s really easy to put in a small camera bag and have on all day.
The Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 was an absolute joy to use. If you’re looking for a wide-angle APS-C lens for your Sony, you can’t get much better than this.
Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens for Sony E
The dynamic 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A2 RXD Lens from Tamron is a fast-aperture ultra wide-angle zoom lens for Sony E-mount APS-C mirrorless cameras. It features the world’s first f/2.8 maximum aperture for Sony E-mount APS-C mirrorless in this category and has a compact and lightweight design. This ultra-wide lens is particularly suitable for landscape, astrophotography and architectural shooting. Its bright f/2.8 constant maximum aperture complements this range and affords increased control over depth of field along with enhanced low-light performance.