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Last month, Tamron announced three Sony E-mount lenses:
In other words: If you’re thinking of switching to Sony but don’t want to pay a premium for full-frame E-mount glass, you have a way in. Each of these lenses is debuting for an ultra-low price of $349 USD; compare this to some of Sony’s full-frame E-mount lenses, and you’ll understand why these Tamron offerings are so exciting.
Of course, there’s always a question of optical quality. Can a sub-$500 USD lens really be equivalent to Sony’s current 24mm and 35mm glass? The answer is undoubtedly “No,” but not everyone requires the sharpest, fastest, most perfect lenses money can buy. And Tamron has proven themselves to be very capable lens manufacturers in the past, making me think that these lenses will be optically satisfying, even if they can’t go toe-to-toe with some of Sony’s fastest primes.
According to Tamron, we should expect “superb high-resolution performance,” and that “these lenses can be used with complete confidence for a wide range of applications from casual family snaps to serious professional photography.”
While these are bold words from Tamron, I wouldn’t dismiss them out of hand. Plus, Tamron has made sure to include some extra features that make these lenses impressively flexible. For instance, the lenses themselves are relatively small, which makes them ideal for walkaround shooting and travel photography. And all three lenses also offer 1:2 close-focusing capabilities. This won’t get you to true macro magnifications, but you’ll be able to capture some gorgeous close-ups, even as you use the lenses for more general wide-angle photography.
Speaking of wide-angle photography:
For me, the main drawback of this announcement is the lack of focal length diversity. While lenses in the 20-35mm focal length range are undoubtedly useful for a broad range of Sony photographers, I’d have liked to see a telephoto in the mix.
Here’s the bottom line:
For hobbyist and enthusiast photographers who like to work with lightweight wide-angle primes but don’t require f/1.2-f/1.8 apertures, these Tamron lenses are definitely worth a look. The 24mm f/2.8 is available for pre-order, while the 35mm f/2.8 has begun to ship. The 20mm f/2.8 should hit the shelves in January.
What do you think of this announcement? Are you interested in these lenses? Would you have preferred different focal lengths? Share your thoughts in the comments!