Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 Review

November 24, 2021 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The new Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 is a better lens than the 3-year-old original version that it replaces, offering improved image quality, faster autofocusing and more features, making it even more competitive with its main rivals.

We praised the previous model for being a great all-rounder which didn't necessarily offer the best outright image quality, performance or build quality, but instead focused on a careful balance of all three at a very attractive price.

The fact that this G2 version ups the ante considerably in all three areas at a similar cost to the original and in a virtually identical form factor elevates it beyond being just a "jack of all trades" to something more refined and more capable.

The image quality in particular has taken a big jump forward. Boasting a more complex optical construction, the Tamron 28-75mm G2 offers better performance throughout the frame and the zoom range than the original version, especially at the edges which we found to be too soft when shooting wide-open.

The 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD produces very nice bokeh effects thanks to the 9-blade iris diaphragm, although again there's some obvious vignetting and barrel distortion at 24mm and pin-cushion distortion at 75mm which you'll need to remove in post-processing until lens profiles are widely available.

Although still using a polycarbonate construction to keep the lens light, the build quality is also better than before, with smoother-action zoom and focus rings and a more durable finish.

Finally, the VXD-powered auto-focus system is noticeably faster than the RXD motor in the previous lens, despite the more complex optics, and it's just as quiet too.

Surprisingly, Tamron have debuted the brand new Connector Port on this lens, which should make customising the lens and firmware updates slightly easier as you can connect the lens directly to a computer rather than having to mount it on a camera.

We're a little baffled about the complete absence of any kind of cover for this port, however, although Tamron do state that it's fully water-proof and therefore not something to worry about.

This lens also still doesn't have a built-in optical image stabilisation system, instead relying on Sony's in-camera system, which will be fine for everyone except those who own a first generation Alpha camera (which don't have built-in OIS).

The new Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 does have a higher launch price than the original did when it was launched back in 2018, especially in the UK, which makes it slightly worse value.

We think that all of the improvements that Tamron have made to this version definitely justify the price hike, although the original is still well worth considering, especially if retailers discount their old stock to make way for the G2 replacement.

Overall, the Tamron 28-75mm G2 addressed most of the complaints that we had about the already very good original and also adds some things that we hadn't thought of, making it even more of a contender to be most people's standard zoom lens of choice.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4.5