Do you want professional results from entry-level camera gear? Read this article! When we hear the term “everyday lens,” we usually think of a lens that is a bit of a compromise. Oppositely, if it’s a lens that “has it all,” we assume it has to be large, heavy, and expensive! This is what makes the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens the best everyday lens that is capable of professional results. It’s lightweight, compact, relatively affordable, and yet the performance is professional-grade.
Priced at $799, the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD for APS-C Sony E-Mount and Fujifilm X-Mount is a one-of-a-kind lens. In our opinion, many lenses that are made for “everyday” photography are actually not very good. Zoom lenses, in particular, usually have a very slow aperture and/or a limited zoom range. Many are only “professionally sharp” at one end of their zoom range, but not the other.
With a constant f/2.8 aperture through its impressive zoom range, however, the Tamron 17-70 2.8 really does do it all. In this article, we’ll get into the details of exactly why we believe this!
4.1X Zoom | The Most Range Of Any F/2.8 Lens On The Market
Most f/2.8 zoom lenses are just 2-3x zoom ratio (24-70mm, 70-200mm, etc.). The Tamron’s 17-70mm zoom range, therefore, is quite unprecedented, not only for APSC cameras but also their full-frame competitors (it’s equivalent to a full-frame 25.5-105mm, to be precise).
Admittedly, we would have been even more impressed if it was 16mm instead of 17mm, of course. However, the whole point of this Tamron zoom is to balance zoom range and portability. With that in mind, the size and weight of this optic will definitely have you feeling surprised that it is an f/2.8 zoom with 4x range.
Think of it this way: Tamron could have made a 16-50mm f/2.8, but in our opinion that would have been less useful as an everyday lens.
A Mid-Range F/2.8 Zoom With Stabilization
The vast majority of mid-range f/2.8 zooms do not have stabilization, whether it is a full-frame 24-70mm, or an APSC 16-55mm. This is unfortunate, considering that they’re supposed to be “do everything” mid-range lenses!
Yes, a lot of full-frame camera bodies now have stabilization built-in, of course. However, most affordable APS-C bodies from both Sony and Fujifilm lack IBIS. The Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 solves that problem, bringing stabilization to the most compact, affordable cameras such as the Sony A6100.
(NOTE: Sensor-based stabilization is excellent at wider focal lengths, but it loses its effectiveness at more telephoto focal lengths where optical stabilization shines.)
Professional Level Image Quality
Of course, numbers on a sheet don’t mean anything if the images aren’t visually impressive. In the case of the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8, “impressive” is definitely the right word to describe its image quality, from sharpness to bokeh and other characteristics.
For everyday snapshots like the above, most photographers will settle for underwhelming bokeh, (background blur) and mushy-soft detail. With the 17-70mm f/2.8, image quality is professional-grade, even for your casual photos at home.
Everyday Portability with the Tamron 17-70mm Lens
We mentioned this earlier, but when you think of a lens that has amazing optical quality, an impressive zoom range, and even stabilization, you don’t exactly think of a compact lens that fits in the palm of your hand. Yet, somehow, Tamron managed to “fit” all of this into a rather compact package that barely weighs 1 lb, or just over half a kg (1.2 lbs, 525g).
Portability is more important than you might think because, in the long run, it will determine if you bring a camera+lens everywhere you go or leave it at home more often than not.
It doesn’t matter how good a lens is if it weighs a ton. You’re just not going to want to take it out, especially if you don’t have any specific photos in mind.
The Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 is admittedly still a bit too big to just slip into your pocket, especially when mounted to a camera body. However, it is far more portable than virtually all other mid-range f/2.8 zooms, and it’s definitely petite enough to fit inside virtually any bag, whether for work, a family outing, a hike, etc.
Tamron 17-70mm’s Adventure-Ready Durability
You may now know this lens is perfect for everyday use, however, it’s ready for big adventures, too! The plastic barrel exterior is surprisingly durable, and internally there is, in fact, weather sealing.
Whether you are down at your local wetland letting your camera sit for hours to run a time-lapse as clouds pass, or you are taking the kids to the beach, having a lens that is versatile and durable is great for peace of mind.
Of course, depending on where you live, your “everyday” photography may also frequently involve light rain, snow, or even dust storms! So, that weather sealing may come in handy year-round.
Honestly? This lens was simply fun to take everywhere and look for creative visuals everywhere. Some of the images I captured with it are my favorites from the entire past year, even though most of them would have never even happened at all if I hadn’t gotten in the habit of taking this lens (and just this lens) everywhere I go!
We hope that you feel the same way we do, that artistic imagery is always happening all around us. “The right place at the right time” is an opportunity that occurs often, even in everyday life, if we merely observe. Having a good camera and lens with us can often reveal some of the most beautiful moments we never expected to witness or capture!
If you’re passionate about photography like we are, then you’ll truly enjoy these moments. The camera gear that allows you to capture them will become an essential part of your everyday life, too.