Tamron announces a fast ultra-wide 11-20mm f/2.8 zoom lens for APS-C Sony E Mount

Apr 22, 2021

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 announces a fast ultra-wide 11-20mm f/2.8 zoom lens for APS-C Sony E Mount

Apr 22, 2021

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’s doubling down today. As well as the new 150-500mm f/5-6.7 full-frame lens we posted about earlier, Tamron has also announced their new 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD ultra-wide zoom lens. It’s designed for Sony APS-C E mount cameras, and proclaims to be the world’s first ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Sony E mount APS-C cameras with an f/2.8 aperture.

Despite that wide aperture, though, it’s a pretty small and lightweight lens, coming in at a mere 350g – significantly lighter than the 11-16mm f/2.8 APS-C lens that Tokina released last year for Nikon and Canon DSLRs.

The Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 uses an RXD motor unit, which utilises an actuator to control the rotational angle of the motor. A sensor precisely detects the position of the lens for quick and accurate autofocus. But with a lens this wide, you’re often shooting things like landscapes, or astrophotography, where you’re focused at infinity and autofocus doesn’t really even matter.

Focal Length 11-20mm
Lens MountSony E, Fuji X
Format CompatibilityAPS-C
Focus TypeAutofocus
Optics12 elements in 10 groups
Minimum focus distance15cm (wide) / 24cm (Tele)
Maximum Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/16
Angle of view105° 20′ to 71° 35′
Aperture blades7, rounded
StabilisationNone
Filter Size67mm
Dimensions73 x 86.2mm
Weight335g

The new lens is strictly for APS-C format Sony E mount cameras. You can likely use it on your full-frame bodies, although you’re not going to get full sensor coverage. Being an APS-C lens, it’s quite small and light, too, measuring only 86.2mm long and weighing 335g. When you consider that it’s an f/2.8 constant aperture lens, though, that’s pretty impressive!

The lens contains 12 elements in 10 groups, including two GM (Glass Molded Aspherical), two LD (Low Dispersion) and one XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) elements to help suppress chromatic aberration and create sharp, crisp images. Tamron says that Sony’s lens correction features further enhance the sharpness of the lens.

As with the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD lens, the 11-16mm f/2.8 doesn’t seem to be available to pre-order yet, but it will cost around $829 when it is. The lens is expected to start shipping on June 24th, although Tamron says that due to the current global health crisis, that release date or product supply schedule is subject to change. For now, you can find out more on the Tamron website.

I think this could prove to be quite a popular lens amongst landscape, astro and architecture photographers, but also particularly amongst vloggers using Sony APS-C cameras. Now Sony just needs to release an APS-C body that has a flippy out LCD like the Sony A7c.

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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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