I have been using the original Tamron 28-75mm Sony E-mount lens as my studio workhorse few several years now. I love it. It’s small, lightweight and compact, but packs a punch. It’s quiet with quick autofocus and outstanding image quality, not to mention really good value for money compared to similar lenses in the field at the time.

In short, the complete package. And it wasn’t just me that thought so. This lens has been outstanding in reviews and bench tests. So … what’s new with the Tamron G2?

Tamron’s new 28-75mm f/2.8 G2 lens

First impressions

It’s about the same size but weighs 10 grams less (G2 is featured on the left). It looks solid, it feels solid. It’s shinier, but less slippery, due to the scratch-resistant coating on the barrel and improved ergonomics.

It has improved grips for zoom and focus ring, which are both smooth and fluid. The zoom has no wobble or flex and the focus is super smooth in its movement. It has newly revamped optics that offers increased resolution. A faster, more precise autofocus offers a minimum focus distance of 7.1 inches (1:2.7 macro).

So how does it compare?

The only real way to compare is to shoot side by side. Thankfully I have two Sony a7R III camera bodies, set up the same way. I put an original 28-75mm on one camera and the G2 on the other, and then put it through its paces.

I took both cameras to my favorite gardens and did some flowers and small landscapes. I then took them to a few local landmarks to check out the landscapes. And finally, I tried some portraits in the studio. The original version is on the left, with the G2 on the right in the comparison. In the galleries with multiple photos, you’ll see all photos from the G2 lens.

Macro and flowers

The ability to get in close (7.1 inches) is fabulous for flowers. The all-new Function button on the lens barrel for Focus Preset is handy (although I kept forgetting to use it) and the ability to assign custom functions could be handy. However, I did not get around to trying that out.

Landscapes

Whether at 28mm or 75mm the image is sharp and the focus is smooth and quick. I actually found there was a greater dynamic range in the G2 and deeper colors, with less chromatic aberration in high contrast areas than the original.

Portraits

Fast and sharp, super-fast really, when used with eye tracking and continuous autofocus. The high-precision AF was excellent. Again I found the colors deeper and brighter on the G2 than the original.

Final thoughts

The 28-75mm f/2.8 G2 is a great lens, certainly as good if not slightly better than the original model. In every instance the G2 allows more light in; I can presume the improved and revamped optics is the key. For every image with the same settings, the original was underexposed. So I ended up having to stop down in aperture on the G2 to get the same exposure. This is great for low-light situations.

The Tamron 28-75mm G2 is a versatile all-around lens, with fantastic performance and super-wide aperture plus fast focus and capture. Solid sturdy construction. It is smaller and lighter than similar in its class, not to mention real value for money. Check out our complete review here.

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 G2 on the Sony a7R III

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2 Lens for Sony E

Featuring an updated optical design and refined focusing system, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2 is a Sony E-mount zoom offering a versatile wide-to-portrait-length range and bright f/2.8 maximum aperture. Revamped optics yield higher resolution and improved sharpness over the previous generation and the focusing system has been replaced with a VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) mechanism that achieves faster, more precise performance to suit both stills and video applications.