Tamron admits autofocus issues with new 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III E mount lens – firmware fix coming

Jun 1, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Tamron admits autofocus issues with new 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III E mount lens – firmware fix coming

Jun 1, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Tamron couldn’t stop shouting about its new 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD full frame lens for Sony leading up to its launch. I must’ve received a dozen press releases from them since the beginning of the year announcing its release. Now that its out, though, it seems that it has one big flaw. The autofocus randomly dies, requiring a power cycle of the camera in order to get it working again.

The issue was reported by That1CameraGuy during his initial review of the lens. But now, Tamron has acknowledged the existence of the problem. They don’t know what’s causing it, but they say that they’re trying to figure that out and that a fix will be coming via a firmware update which can be applied through the camera.

YouTube video

A few people in the comments for that video also mentioned experiencing the same problem. Other reviews have also mentioned it. So, it’s not just an isolated incident. Although some users report that they’ve experienced no issues at all. So, there must be a certain set of conditions that cause it.

But Tamron has been quick to respond. They mention that the issue occurs when using video recording mode, although you can see in the video above that it happens when shooting stills, too.

Dear Tamron product users and potential purchasers.

Thank you for your interest in Tamron products.

We would like to announce that we discovered some issues with the auto focus of our new lens, 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) for Sony E-mount, 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras, released on May 24, 2018. The issues occur primarily when using the camera in video recording mode.

Rest assured, we are evaluating the cause of the error and for the solution to this matter. We expect this issue to be resolved very shortly and we will release a firmware update at that time.

Regarding the firmware updating process, please be assured that the process is accomplished directly through the Sony camera and supported by the Sony firmware updating function. As soon as the process is finalized, we will explain the process in detail on our website.

We sincerely apologize to all users and potential purchasers for any inconvenience this issue may cause.

When it works, it seems to be quite a well-performing and very sharp lens, from what I’ve been reading. Of course, you can’t really trust a lens that may randomly die on you to go out and shoot real jobs for clients. The last thing you want is to be at a wedding or other non-repeatable event and miss the big moments because your lens wouldn’t focus and you had to power cycle the camera.

I suppose, in a way, it’s good that Tamron hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand. It means that fewer people are going to be having problems with the lens. You can’t have a problem with a lens you don’t have, right?

Of course, the cynic in me wants to think that Tamron discovered the issue much earlier than announced, and are just holding back on shipments until they figure out how to fix it.

Hopefully, they’ll be as quick to issue a fix as they were to address it after the people started reporting it.

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Tamron admits autofocus issues with new 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III E mount lens – firmware fix coming”

  1. Antonios Chamaletsos Avatar
    Antonios Chamaletsos

    The problem still exists even with the firmware upgrade and even in Still photography (AF-S and AF-C modes). The problem shows up when you take more or less 200 shots, something that make it problematic on wedding coverage. I had check it with two different bodies with same issues. If you zoom out at 28mm it makes the focus more speedy and accurate but you have to full power cycle to fix the problem.

  2. Oleg Vorkunov Avatar
    Oleg Vorkunov

    Lens still suffers from focusing issue in video mode, even after upgrading firmware to V3. Video starts and lens, if was out of focus, unable to gain focus no matter where you point it, unless you press shutter button during the video.
    Testing: A6500, Focus mode – AF-C, Focus Drive speed: Fast.

    The same test was done with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 and it did not suffer from this issue. What does it mean? Once lens loses focus for some reason, for example you are panning via solid color wall, and then panning to a subject, subject never gets in focus unless you force it by pressing shutter button during video mode. That is not acceptable.

    Another issue – it takes several turns (more than 270 degree) of the focus ring to focus from min to max. Kind of useless if using on gimbal with focus motor.