Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Review

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens

When you want to cover all of your photo needs for a trip, an event, an outing, etc. with a single lens, you may want a super-zoom lens. When that one lens needs to be light, compact, and affordable, and you don't want to give up good image quality, that ideal super-zoom lens may be the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens.

The greatest value of the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens is made evident near the beginning of the (rather long) product name. The 28-200mm focal length range in a single lens is extremely useful, ready to ideally frame a very significant percentage of opportunities availed.

My standard reaction to a lens featuring a long focal length range, 7.1x in this case, is to question the image quality it delivers as compromises are usually involved. While not the 10x range available in some competing models, 7.1x is still very long. As always, we'll discuss image quality in depth in this review, and while most of us place a very high value on image quality, image quality is not everything. Sometimes having the right focal length immediately available gets a shot that an optically better quality lens not mounted completely misses.

Fun is another factor that plays into this discussion. Most of us define photography as fun. However, few of us find it fun to change lenses (some of us even cringe about the potential for imaging sensor dust to be acquired during this task), and few of us find it fun to physically carry lenses we're not using. Most of us do find it fun to go out with a single lens and be able to photograph a wide range of scenarios.

Like the other super-zoom lenses, this lens has a lot of convenience and fun built into it. This lens is a superb choice for travel. This lens is great for less-serious photographers such as a spouse or child. There are a lot of additional reasons to own and carry this lens.

That f/2.8 is included in the aperture range is attention garnering.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Angle View

Focal Length Range

At the top of the lens selection funnel is the focal length range needed for the task at hand. With 28-200mm availed, this lens offers a broad funnel.

The right focal length provides the ideal working distance and perspective for the composition to be captured. This lens's substantial focal length range, covering a range otherwise requiring at least two zoom lenses, suits a broad range of needs, providing ideal perspectives in a large percentage of encountered scenarios.

It seems easier to list what uses these focal lengths are not optimal for vs. listing the ideally uses for this range. With the ultra-wide-angles missing, interior architecture and some landscape uses may require a panorama technique at 28mm. Or, get the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens, a focal length efficient complement to this range. This 28-200mm lens will likely be found short for large field sports with significant cropping needed from 200mm captures. This focal length range on a full-frame camera is only marginally useful for wildlife photography, optimally, environmental wildlife portraits, or for large or close animals. Your pets likely qualify.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Sample Picture

This lens has great utility for landscape photography.

The 28-200mm focal length range is especially suited for family and travel needs, and there are a host of video uses for this range.

Here is an example of what this focal length range looks like:

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Focal Length Range Example

APS-C sensor format cameras utilize a smaller portion of the image circle. That means a scene is framed tighter, with 1.5x being the full-frame angle of view equivalence multiplier for Sony's lineup. With an angle of view similar to a 42-300mm lens on a full-frame camera, this lens on an APS-C camera has much-improved telephoto capabilities, ideal for some sports and wildlife uses. That combination eliminates the wide angles.

A question that often arises regarding lenses with exceptional focal length ranges is, "How accurate are the specified focal lengths?" At 28mm, our recorded distance to the test chart for this lens is in the mix with the measurements from 28mm prime lenses we've tested. At 200mm, we recorded a focus distance of 22.22' (6.773m), just slightly shorter than the Nikon 200mm f/2G AF-S VR II Lens's 22.62' (6.896m) measurement and modestly shorter than the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens's 23.44' (7.144m) distance. Lens focal lengths are rated at infinity focus distance, and geometric distortion can affect our chart framing.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Front View

Max Aperture

The f/2.8-5.6 in the name refers to the maximum aperture, the ratio of the focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil, available in this lens. Wider apertures (lower numbers) are always better to have available — until the price, size, and weight penalties are factored in. Want a long focal length range that includes telephoto lengths in a zoom lens without a large size, heavy weight, and high price? You are likely looking at a variable max aperture lens and the apertures in the variable range will not be too wide. That is what we have in the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens.

That said, f/2.8 at the wide end is a relatively large opening for a zoom lens, and exceptional for a super-zoom lens. Here is this lens' max aperture step down by focal length:

28-30mm = f/2.8
31-42mm = f/3.2
43-53mm = f/3.5
54-77mm = f/4.0
78-112mm = f/4.5
113-146mm = f/5.0
147-200mm = f/5.6

At 28mm, the f/2.8 aperture is quite wide. Unfortunately, and as expected, f/2.8 is only available for a very short range of focal lengths. The max aperture steps down steadily until f/5.6 is indicated by the camera at 147mm. Overall, for this focal length range, these max apertures are relatively wide.

With these max apertures, this lens is not a good choice for stopping low light action such as indoor sports without flash (as a main light/overpowering ambient light) being involved – except at the widest focal lengths. When recording video, only a 1/60 second shutter speed (twice filming framerate) is typically needed (assuming you’re not capturing high framerate slow-motion video), and wide apertures are not often required for 1/60 second rates in typically encountered ambient lighting.

A downside to the variable max aperture is that, by definition, the same max aperture cannot be used over the entire focal length selected. The camera automatically accounts for the changes when in auto exposure modes, but making use of the widest-available aperture in manual exposure mode is complicated somewhat by the changing setting.

An advantage held by wide apertures and long focal lengths is their ability to strongly blur the background. This lens has both, but not in combination. Still, this lens is able to create a strong blur throughout the entire focal length range, as illustrated below.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Maximum Blur Example

Those results are dreamy enough to pull out your inner artist.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Extended Top View with Hood

Image Stabilization

The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens is not optically stabilized. A modern lens without image stabilization? Omitting the optical stabilization system reduces the size, weight, and cost of a lens. However, image stabilization is a very useful feature.

Fortunately, Sony takes care of that omission with Steady Shot IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) in their mirrorless cameras. On a traditional DSLR with an optical viewfinder, IBIS results in an unstabilized view, meaning that stabilization was not helpful for composition or for providing a still subject to the camera's AF system. With EVFs being prevalent in Sony's compatible E-mount lineup, the viewfinder image is directly from the imaging sensor, which is stabilized. Therefore, the viewfinder image is very nicely stabilized, and sensor-based AF takes advantage of the stabilized view for improved accuracy.

With no IS switch on the lens, the camera menu must be used to enable or disable IBIS, an additional step that is annoying when speed is important such as when going from tripod to handheld.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Side View

Image Quality

This lens's focal length range is an obvious strong advantage. The question in many of our minds is, what is the image quality penalty for the inclusion of such a long range?

In the center of the frame, throughout the entire focal length range, this lens is reasonably sharp with a wide-open aperture. Stop down one stop, and the results become very sharp. One stop at the long end means f/8, a rather narrow aperture.

In general, lenses are not as sharp in the periphery, where light rays must be bent more strongly than in the center. I'll discuss lateral chromatic aberration later in the review, but otherwise: The 50mm results aside, this lens's peripheral performance is good with a wide-open aperture and with a 1-stop narrower aperture, the corners look very nice. The review lens performed worse in the 50mm periphery, with f/8 needed for good results.

Below you will find sets of 100% resolution center of the frame crops captured in uncompressed RAW format using a Sony a7R III. The images were processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method with the sharpening amount set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

28mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0
70mm: f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/4.0 | f/5.6
200mm: f/5.6 | f/8.0   f/5.6 | f/8.0   f/5.6 | f/8.0

As always, find details in the plane of sharp focus to base your evaluations. Overall, these results are good, remarkable for the extensive focal length range.

In some lens designs, the sharp focus plane can move forward or backward as a narrower aperture is selected. This effect is called focus shift (residual spherical aberration or RSA), and it is seldom (never?) desired. At the longer focal lengths, this lens is some modest focus shift forward. This shift is most noticeable in the 300mm white birch tree crops shared above. Watch the background details become more blurred at the narrower aperture.

Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme-top-left-corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

28mm: f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0
70mm: f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/4.0 | f/5.6   f/4.0 | f/5.6
200mm: f/5.6 | f/8.0   f/5.6 | f/8.0   f/5.6 | f/8.0

Samples taken from the outer extreme of the image circle, full-frame corners in this case, can be counted on to show the worst performance a lens is capable of. Overall, this lens turns in good performance from a corner sharpness perspective.

Does corner sharpness matter? Not always, but landscape and architecture photography are two photographic disciplines that have frequent scenarios requiring sharp corners — at least at narrow apertures.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. With a wide-open aperture, expect between just under two stops of shading at 28mm ranging to just over one stop at 200mm. Of course, wide open is f/5.6 at 200mm, and 28mm has a similar amount of shading at this aperture. At f/11, about one stop of shading remains in the 28mm corners, with the amount decreasing as the focal length increases with very little light fall-off showing in long focal length, narrow aperture results.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the just-under one stop of shading showing at 28mm f/2.8 may be visible in some images, especially those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing in the corners.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern showing in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected, noting that the fall-off rate is relatively even with this lens.

The effect of different colors of the spectrum being magnified differently is referred to as lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration). Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better not to have this aberration in the first place. Any color misalignment present can easily be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a set of worst-case examples. These are 100% crops from the extreme top left corner of ultra-high-resolution a7R III frames showing diagonal black and white lines.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

As you likely noticed in the previously-discussed results, this lens generates a lot of color in the periphery. There should only be black and white showing, with the additional colors highlighting the presence of lateral CA. It is not unusual for a zoom lens to have noticeable color separation in the corners at the focal length extremes (with the fringing colors being reversed) with mid-range focal lengths showing little lateral CA.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light, or more simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains at least somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

In the examples below, look at the fringing colors of the foreground vs. background out of focus specular highlights. Any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects have been introduced by the lens.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

Though not dramatic, there is color separation occurring.

Flare and ghosting are caused by bright light reflecting off of lens elements' surfaces, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes-interesting but often destructive artifacts. "The application of BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating for suppressing reflections on lens element surfaces minimizes unwanted flare and ghosting to deliver sharp, crisp, high-contrast images." [Tamron] Even with the sun in the corner of the frame, this lens generates few flare effects.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident when shooting images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either meridional (radiating from the center of the image) or sagittal (perpendicular to meridional). Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The images below are 100% crops taken from the top-left corner of a7R III frames.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Coma Example

The 100mm results look nice.

This lens has slight barrel distortion at the wide end that transitions into strong pincushion distortion by 50mm. The pincushion distortion holds through the balance of the focal length range, with a slight improvement seen by 200mm.

Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced.

As seen earlier in the review, the amount of blur a lens can produce is easy to illustrate. Wide-angle lenses are disadvantaged in this regard, and telephoto lenses are advantaged — and this lens has both. The wide aperture at the wide angles reduces the disadvantage, while the narrow apertures at the long focal lengths reduce the advantage. Assessing the quality of the blur is more challenging due in part to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes.

Here are some f/11 (for aperture blade interaction) examples.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Bokeh Example

The first set of images show defocused highlights not being filled evenly. The second set of examples are full images reduced in size and looking nice.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round. That is the shape seen nicely confined to the deep corners here:

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder.

With a 7-blade count aperture, point light sources captured with a narrow aperture setting and showing a sunstar effect will have 14 points. In general, the more a lens is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. A narrow max aperture lens does not afford much stopping down before reaching apertures where diffraction causes noticeable softening of details, and these lenses typically do not produce the biggest or best-shaped sunstars.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Sunstar Effect Example

The 28mm star has a decent shape, and the shapes deteriorate as the focal length is increased.

The design of this lens is illustrated below.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Design

"A generous assortment of special lens elements that includes GM (Glass Molded Aspherical), hybrid aspherical, XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) and LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements is precisely arranged to effectively control chromatic and other aberrations, enabling high resolving power." [Tamron]

Tamron mentions that "In-camera correction features are utilized to mitigate distortion and shading to achieve uniformly high image quality from edge-to-edge at all zoom settings." Add lateral chromatic aberration to that correction list as you will want to use it.

Overall, the optical performance from the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens is remarkable considering the focal length range.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Top View with Hood


Made evident in its name is that the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens gets an RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) motor unit. "RXD uses an actuator to precisely control the rotational angle of the motor, allowing it to directly drive the focusing lens without passing through a reduction gear. A sensor that accurately detects the position of the lens enables high-speed and precise AF, which is ideal when shooting continually moving subjects or video" [Tamron USA]

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens autofocuses extremely quietly and quite fast. Keep in mind that the camera plays a role in the focusing speed. The Sony a7R III and a7R IV defocus the lens slightly before focusing on the subject in AF-S (single shot) focus mode, even if focusing at the same distance with the same subject, for an overall mediocre focus speed. Infrequently, but often enough to be a concern, the a7R III appeared to keep the lens in the defocused position as illustrated below.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Misfocused Example

The lens either focuses very accurately or misfocuses obviously. If paying attention, the photographer can easily discern the problem and refocus (occasionally multiple times) to get the sharp image.

In AF-C (continuous) focus mode, the defocus and focus routine abates, and the lens's fast focus speed can be fully appreciated.

This lens is not a good choice for low light AF.

Focusing is internal, and FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) AF mode. This lens supports the advanced AF features in compatible cameras, including Hybrid AF and Eye AF.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Side View with Hood

The focus ring positioned behind the zoom ring is seldom my preference, but this is a good location for the focus ring, making it easy to use, especially handheld as the focus ring can be at my fingertips while holding the mounted lens balanced in my left hand. This modestly-sized and only slightly grippy focus ring is nearly-flush-mounted and is not easy to find when wearing gloves. The focus ring has a modest resistance with no play.

With the focus ring being electronically-controlled (focus-by-wire), the focus adjustment rate can be made variable, based on the rotation speed of the focus ring and the focal length selected. This lens has that feature. How much rotation does the focus ring require for a full extents adjustment? At 28mm, a quick 120° turn gets that job done. Alternatively, turn slowly for 780°. At 200mm, a quick 90° turn or slow 1080° (3 rotations) is necessary.

Following is a look at focus breathing.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Focus Magnification Example

28mm: Far | Close   70mm: Far | Close   200mm: Far | Close

The 28mm and 200mm results show a relatively small change in subject size as the focus is full-extent adjusted. The 70mm results are excellent in this regard.

The reviewed lens shows near parfocal-like behavior. For the examples below, the lens was focused at 300mm and switched to MF to capture the rest of the samples.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Parfocal Example

While a distance window is not provided, a focus distance meter shows in the lower portion of Sony's electronic viewfinders during manual focusing.

This lens has a minimum focus distance of 7.5" (190mm) — at 28mm — where it produces an excellent 0.32x maximum magnification spec (1:3.1 reproduction ratio).

Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens19.7"(500mm)0.26x
Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens19.7"(500mm)0.27x
Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens7.5"(190mm)0.32x

At 28mm, a subject measuring approximately 4.2 x 2.8" (107 x 71mm) fills the imaging sensor of a full-frame camera at the minimum focus distance where there is a relatively short working distance. When manually focusing this lens to the minimum focus distance at 28mm, the lens (or camera?) repeatedly jumped to a slightly longer focus distance, an anomaly I didn't resolve and one that makes the just-reported number vague. At 200mm, where the tested minimum focus distance extends to 29.6" (752mm), and the focus jumping problem resolves, a subject measuring approximately 4.9 x 3.3" (124 x 83mm) fills the frame.

The evergreen bagworm moth cocoon shown below, measuring just over 2" (51mm), was photographed at 200mm at minimum focus distance.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Maximum Magnification Example

While the maximum magnification value is stellar, the image quality derived at this distance is less so, especially at the 200mm end, with considerable lateral CA and a strong field curvature among the degradations.

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? An extension tube mounted behind this lens should provide a very significant decrease and increase, respectively. Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, allowing shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function as normal. Tamron does not publish extension tube specs, nor do they manufacture these items, but third-party Sony-mount extension tubes are available.

This lens is not compatible with Tamron teleconverters.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Front View 2 on Camera

Build Quality & Features

As with the other Di III lenses, the light weight and polycarbonate exterior design are not reminisce of a rugged design, but still, this lens feels like a high-quality product, and Tamron USA's 6-year warranty backs that premise. The tight tolerances on moving parts, including negligible play on the extended inner barrel, add some assurance that this lens has been carefully designed and that modern construction methods were utilized. The lens has a very nicely-smooth narrow shape, and the matte/satin black finish, along with the engraved white lettering with a modern, attractive font style, looks classy.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Product Images

MFD |    MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    MFD |    Rotated        Compare »

The nicely-sized, rubber-coated zoom ring rises very slightly from the barrel and is very smooth with no play. As I said before, I generally prefer the zoom ring to be located behind the focus ring, but this design works fine. The lens extends with zooming by 2.17" (55mm) at 200mm.

This lens has no buttons and one switch, a lock switch that holds the lens in the retracted state, though gravity zooming was not an issue on the reviewed lens. The AF/MF button is one that I do miss, and having to navigate a menu option (programmed to a custom button) for this commonly-used feature is inefficient. Those who do not use MF will find the lack of this switch an advantage, and the lack of switches should mean increased reliability and decreased the chance for dirt and moisture penetration.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Weather Sealing

"Seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to deter infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops and afford Moisture-Resistant Construction." [Tamron]

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Mount

"Also, the front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that has excellent water- and oil-repellant qualities. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, moisture or oily fingerprints, allowing for much easier maintenance." [Tamron]

The Tamron lens gives up some of the focal length range of the two comparison lenses I selected below, but it also gives up some of their weight (and gains aperture diameter).

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens26.5(750)3.2 x 4.8(80.4 x 122.5)722019
Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens27.5(780)3.2 x 4.7(80.5 x 118.5)722015
Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens20.3(575)2.9 x 4.6(74.0 x 117.0)672020

For many more comparisons, review the complete Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

As with most other Sony E-mount lenses, my knuckles uncomfortably press against the barrel of this lens when using the Sony a7R III and IV, though the rounded shape at the point of impact is helpful in that regard.

Here is a visual comparison:

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens
Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens
Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens to other lenses. I loaded that link with another comparison.

If you are following Tamron's Di III lens lineup, you knew the filter size for this lens would be 67mm. This size is relatively common overall, and within Tamron's Di III lineup, expected. Traveling with a kit of Di III lenses? You likely need to pack on 67mm effects filters (such as circular polarizer and neutral density filters).

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Angle View with Hood

The Tamron HA036 lens hood is included in the box. This semi-rigid plastic petal-shaped hood has a ribbed interior designed to avoid reflections. This hood offers some physical protection and, at the widest focal lengths, optimal protection from bright light. An advantage of this hood shape is easier installation alignment (simply learn the small petal to the top orientation), while a rounded hood enables the lens to stand on its hood. A push-button release is not provided, but this hood rotates smoothly and reassuringly clicks into place.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Cap

No lens case is included in the box, but finding a case for a common lens form factor is not challenging. Consider a Lowepro Lens Case or Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo for a quality, affordable single-lens storage, transport, and carry solution.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Front View on Camera

Price, Value, Wrap Up

Tamron's Di III lenses are defined by great value, and this lens does not depart from that definition. Helping the value proposition is this lens's low price.

What does "Di III" mean? Tamron's Di III lenses are designed for use on mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including both full-frame and APS-C sensor format models.

"This product is developed, manufactured and sold based on the specifications of E-mount which was disclosed by Sony Corporation under the license agreement with Sony Corporation." [Tamron] Tamron USA provides a reassuring 6-year limited warranty.

The reviewed Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens was online-retail sourced.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens on Tripod

Alternatives to the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens

Logical for Sony camera owners is to also consider the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens. Immediately apparent is that the Sony lens has a focal length range advantage over the Tamron lens.

In the image quality comparison at wide-open apertures, the Tamron lens shows a slight sharpness advantage and often a 2/3-stop aperture opening advantage. At the long end, 200mm vs. 240mm, the Tamron holds a strong sharpness advantage that holds through f/11. The sharpness differences become lesser at the wide end at f/8.

The Tamron lens shows less peripheral shading at the focal length extents and slightly more in the mid-range. Equivalent wide apertures increase the Tamron advantages. At the wide end, the Sony lens has considerably stronger barrel distortion. The Tamron has slightly stronger pincushion distortion in the mid-range and somewhat less at the long end.

Regarding specs and measurements, the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens vs. Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens comparison shows the Tamron lens lighter and slightly thinner. The thinner aspect leads to a smaller filter thread diameter, 67mm vs. 72mm. The Tamron lens has a higher maximum magnification (0.32x vs. 0.27x). The Sony lens has Optical SteadyShot coordinating with IBIS vs. IBIS only. Your checking account likes the Tamron lens, at roughly 70% of the Sony price, best.

While the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens requires a different camera brand to use, it is still interesting to make the comparison. Again, the Tamron lens has a shorter focal length range and a wider max aperture.

In the image quality comparison, discernment in test camera resolution is required until the Canon lens is tested on a higher resolution body. That said, with a wide-open aperture, the Tamron has a very slight advantage at the wide end, and the Canon wins at 50mm. I like the Tamron lens center and the Canon lens periphery at 100mm. The Tamron lens performs best in the 200mm vs. 240mm comparison. Stopping down to f/8 reduces the differences, but they remain.

The Tamron lens shows less peripheral shading at the long end, less at equivalent wide apertures, and less when stopped down at the long end. The Canon lens shows less geometric distortion and more flare effects in our tests.

Regarding specs and measurements, the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens vs. Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens comparison shows the Tamron lens slightly thinner and modestly lighter. The narrower aspect leads to a smaller filter thread diameter, 67mm vs. 72mm. The Tamron lens has a higher maximum magnification (0.32x vs. 0.26x). The Canon lens has image stabilization coordinating with IBIS vs. IBIS only. The Tamron lens has a modestly lower price.

Use the site's comparison tools to create additional comparisons.

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens Top View


With the Di III lens lineup, Tamron has been impressing, repeatedly delivering lenses with excellent image quality, wide aperture openings, light weight, compact size, quality AF systems, classy designs, and low prices being especially notable. Some of these lenses, including this one, shorten the industry-standard focal length ranges. Still, these lenses minimally match, or in this case, exceed the widest aperture openings in comparable lenses. The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens aligns with expectations from the DI III moniker.

A super-zoom lens holds substantial advantages, but image quality, at least over a subset of the focal length range, is often sacrificed. While other zoom lenses may optically perform better within their focal length ranges, the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Lens equates to the full range of two them, and this lens is a strong performer overall with, relatively speaking, impressive image quality. This lens is not perfect, creating some colorful aberrations and showing some misfocusing, but it is a solid performer in its class.

Again, the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is a light, compact lens that delivers class-leading image quality and bears an affordable price. It is an excellent choice for those looking for a travel lens or merely wanting a fun, burdenless lens to take everywhere with them.

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