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Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm review: Lightweight with superior optics


If there’s one thing Tamron does great, it’s produce high-quality, compact zoom lenses that perform spectacularly in low-light situations. So with their most recent entry into the Fujifilm XF market, it was no different.

Simply put, the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD lens truly shines in a space where there’s not really any other competition. Here’s why.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great in low-light, thanks to f/2.8 aperture
  • Full-frame field of view of 25.5-105mm provides flexibility
  • Quick, accurate autofocus
  • Weather sealing makes this lens a must for travel shooters

Cons

  • No aperture ring, which might confuse some Fujifilm users
  • Some minor distortion and vignetting is present, especially on the wide end

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm — Technical specifications

All specifications for the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm are directly from Tamron:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8–f/16
  • Angle of view: 79° 55′ to 23° 0′
  • Minimum focus distance: 7.5″ / 19 cm
  • Maximum magnification: 0.21x
  • Optical design: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Diaphragm blades: 9, Rounded
  • Focus type: Autofocus
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Filter size: 67 mm (Front)
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 4.7″ / 74.6 x 119.3 mm
  • Length at maximum extension: 5.77″ / 146.5 mm
  • Weight: 1.2 lb / 525 g
  • Weather sealing: Yes

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm — Ergonomics and build quality

If you’ve used a modern Tamron lens before, the 17-70mm will feel right at home. The design of the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 is very minimal, with no switches or buttons on the lens. This should be no worry to Fujifilm shooters, as you can change between single, continuous and manual focus modes on most camera bodies. But it does mean you’ll need to adjust the aperture either through the menus or assign it to a button or a dial on the camera.

Coming in at just 1.2 pounds, the Tamron 17-70mm is incredibly lightweight. It’s great for a long day of shooting. While the lens is made of lightweight composite plastics, the mount is metal. And regardless, the lens feels very solid and well-balanced when being used.

The lens also has image stabilization and weather sealing, making this the perfect lens no matter what camera body you’re using it with.

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm — In the field

Coming in with a full-frame equivalent view of 25.5-105mm, the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 is a great lens to tote around with your Fujifilm XF camera. The lens is lightweight and compact, and has image stabilization and weather sealing for those taking this out in the elements.

One thing to note — the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 doesn’t have an aperture dial, like most Fujifilm XF lenses have. When I took out this lens while shooting with a friend who uses Fujifilm often, that was his first comment. It might take some adjusting of your camera’s dials or settings, then, in order to change the aperture easily. All that said, that same person that made that comment … went out and bought the lens the next day.

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm — Focus performance

Autofocus was quick and accurate with the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8. I did have a few misses when it came to challenging backgrounds, but that might be more due to the camera used (Fujifilm X-T30 II) than the lens. I had no problem capturing swimming fish, a chipmunk, swing dancers and a “Dan” out in the wild. The lens is capable of focusing up to 7.5 inches away from your subject, and focusing is nearly silent.

We’ve tested this lens for video on the Sony side, so I have no doubts about its capabilities there, either. You can read more about that here.

Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 for Fujifilm — Image quality

Tamron’s second entry into the Fujifilm XF space is absolutely stellar. This lens has some amazing traits to it, with a nice depth of field background blur, stunning bokeh, superior sharpness and more. Anyone looking for an all-in-one walk-about lens will be pleased with the Tamron 17-70mm.

Distortion control and vignetting

The Tamron 17-70mm does have some noticeable vignetting and distortion (especially on the wide end). But both are relatively controlled, and can be eliminated using profile corrections in Lightroom or other tools. And once you hit around f/5.6, vignetting is reduced quite a bit.

Ghosting, flaring and chromatic aberrations

I never really had a problem with ghosting or flaring with the Tamron 17-70mm. Flaring can come in when capturing a sun star, but it seems well-controlled, and only appears in the immediate area around the sun star. At f/11, the sun star is super sharp, letting you really open up some creative options with the light you capture.

When it comes to chromatic aberrations, these are non-existent.

Sharpness

Sharpness reigns supreme with the 17-70mm. Center points are tack sharp, and even going out to the edges, you’ll find some nice sharpness here. I found that edges of objects really came through nice and sharp, which helped to make them pop when using a shallow depth of field.

Bokeh

This is honestly where I was most surprised. Most zoom lenses aren’t known for their bokeh, but the Tamron 17-70mm is an exception to this rule. Bokeh balls are gorgeous and round, and produce a nice fall-off in the background. For anyone shooting portraits on Fujifilm, this will be a great option.

Color rendition

Colors on the Tamron 17-70mm were a bit green-leaning, but nothing too extreme. Still, colors are pleasing and work well. Photos in this review were edited with the Standard Fuji color profile, so your results may vary depending on which profile you rely on.



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Rafael Jones

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