Tamron 17-28mm vs 16-35mm f2.8 vs 16-35mm f4 – With downloadable Images

Today I’m going to be comparing the Tamron 17-28mm lens with the two Sony 16-35mm lenses Everyone should have a wide-angle lens
in their camera bags. I’ve had one for a while but it’s time to upgrade and I
might have dropped my old wide-angle lens so I do need one
I want ease-of-use and portability to be able to shoot the night skies but also
to be able to shoot cityscapes real estate and landscapes now this isn’t a
scientific test but a real-life one and what works for me might be different for
you if you want to see all of the images I took they’re available for download in
the link in the description below both the Sony lenses have really good
build quality they have a metallic body and feel like they’re well constructed
whereas the Tamron has a very much plasticky feel to it in saying that the
Tamron does have a weather strip around the mount which is really good the G
master also has this but the F for Sony doesn’t the Sony F 2.8 is the only one
with the extra button on the side it also has the manual autofocus switch
when it comes to built-in optical steadyshot the sony f/4 is the only one
with this now the Sony bodies do have that embody image stabilization so the
other two lenses will be stabilized with the Sony a7 series cameras they just
don’t have that extra optical steadyshot in the lens when it comes to weight and
size there’s no getting around it the sony f 2.8 g master is an absolute beast
and when it’s on your camera you know it it does add quite a bit of weight to
your camera bag and after a day’s shooting you can definitely feel it it
is 680 grams but it’s more the size that makes the difference the f4 is slightly
lighter at 518 grams and it’s smaller but not as small as the Tamron the
Tamron comes in as the smallest lens and it’s the lightest at 420 grams although
it does sit nicely on the camera putting the 16 to 35 2.8 in the bag was also a
challenge in my tactic for 50 aw at the bottom of the bag where it said it’s
narrowest I couldn’t put it face down and let’s be honest the thing is huge I
had to adjust my bag just to accommodate it it reminds me of my old canons
shooting days they are all fly-by-wire focusing lenses so you won’t get the
feel of a truly manual focus lens but you do get the benefits of having Port
au focus so first of all I’m going to look at the astrophotography shots I
haven’t used the f4 as this shouldn’t even be an option if you’re planning on
shooting the Stars with these lenses and let’s say you’re using a tracker looking
at the shots that I got I probably should have used a shorter exposure
length especially when i zoom in as the Stars are starting to drag a little bit
but I did get up at two o’clock in the morning so I think I must have been a
little bit tired so if we ignore my flagrant misuse of the five hundred rule
even a two point eight with both lenses there are no coma aberrations towards
the edges of the shots if you’re not sure what this is
check this image from my canon 50 millimeter F one point four and look at
those bird-like shapes that the stars are forming around the edges of the
frame this is due to poor optics being accentuated at the wider apertures so
going back to the wide-angle lenses they’re both really good wide open and
they don’t show any kind of coma aberrations another thing I noticed was
that the Tamron produced a slightly darker imager than the Sony G master but
then the sony did have this strange dark patch in the center of the image when it
comes to Vinnie etting I’ve done a quick edit on the next two in Lightroom and we
can clearly see that both have bad vignetting this can be removed
afterwards but it’s something to be aware of on the final set I’ve corrected
for the vignette and they do produce a good image however if you look at this
bottom right corner there is more light pollution and the sony seems to deal
with this a lot better the Tamron is giving more of a red glow in this haze
towards the horizon whereas the sony is a lot more neutral I’m gonna try these
two lenses again later in the month when I go to a much darker location and also
I might actually remember to use the five hundred rule properly so if you’re
thinking about one of these lenses solely for astrophotography I’d either
go with the Sony G master I would scrap these completely and go
with a fast prime lens but for the occasional astrophotography shoots they
will produce some great images next we’ll move on to cityscapes and what
better place to photograph than the tallest building in the world where
you’ll definitely need a wide-angle lens so I’m just going to have a look at a
few images here but I have a whole series of shots in the downloadable
folder wide open at F 2.8 if I crop in at 1 to 1 the Tamron actually looks a
little bit sharper than the G master and this is really surprising then closing
down to f/8 they all even out and all three of the lenses perform really well
which is to be expected although the f/4 is not as sharp around
the edges as for chromatic aberration even though the dynamic range in the
shot isn’t huge they all do seem to cope with it well at their longer focal
lengths both the G master and the Tamron again a very sharp and the f4 is
trailing just a little bit but it still does a good job as for starbursts both
the Tamron and the sony produced nice results and again the f4 has less
aperture blades so it has less of those starburst lines coming out from the
harsh lights if you’re not sure about starbursts and you want to learn more
click on the eye in the corner or the link in the description to another of my
tutorials next we’re going to look at the landscape shots these are shot from
a tripod and at f-16 at shoulder height everything is pretty much in focus
although if the foreground was any closer I’d probably take a few different
shots and focus stack them the center shot this seems really good on all three
lenses and again this is to be expected with the edge focus if we look to the
left at the pylons in the distance on the horizon they all look pretty close
to me but if you spot a difference let me know in the comments below next I
have the three shots at f/8 and by this point the Sun had come out the
foreground is a little bit blurry so you would have to focus stack with a 16 or a
17 millimeter at this aperture again in the center they all are comparable when
it comes to sharpness when we look at the edges both
Tamron and the G master very similar and the f4 is just a little bit softer
lastly we get on to the interior real estate shots I did a quick bracketed
sequence for each lens and then blended them in Lightroom this is a tricky shot
as it’s so bright outside and that is a daylight white balance light coming in
from the interior lights they have a warm glow so it really is a mixed
lighting scenario for a customer ID edit these a lot differently but this was
just a quick edit for the video and the DNG files are available for you to
download and play to your heart’s content again all three lenses coped
very well although they did distort a little bit towards the edges I’d be
comfortable in using any one of these lenses to produce online images for any
real estate company but if you really need as much wide-angle as possible I’d
go for either one of the Sony’s or if you’re solely getting this lens for real
estate I’d get a more specialized lens for the job obviously as they are
wide-angle lenses it’s a little harder to get the background out of focus same
compared to a 50 millimeter lens but the extra stop in the aperture will help the
Tamron and the sony 2.8 G master you have to get close to your subject but
you can do it one other thing is with the G master that extra focal range will
also help in this respect and talking of focal length both of the Sony lenses win
in this respect on the wide side it’s minimal and I didn’t really notice it
too much but when it comes to the longer end it really is noticeable and with the
Tamron 17 to 28 millimeter they really have cut it drastically this is how they
keep the weight and size down but it’s quite a sacrifice as 35 millimetres is a
really useful focal length one downside of the Tamron is when you’re zooming in
or out this front element does move in and out and even though it’s internal
and it doesn’t stick out past the front of the lens I wouldn’t like to shoot in
very harsh environments when I was in the desert the other day I did put a UV
filter on it and this was because I was thinking that the sand might
into this groove and cause the lens to sound really grindy and horrible and
that’s the last thing that I want it’s probably the last thing that you want so
if you are shooting in really harsh conditions you might want to invest in a
filter to cover that front up with the f4 from Sony it does lengthen slightly
as does the F 2.8 so if you’re going to be using this on a gimbal this might be
worth thinking about and talking of gimble’s you may have a problem mounting
the G master because it is so heavy if you’ve maybe got like the Zion crane – I
think it is or some of the bigger gimbals it won’t be a problem
but then again with all of that weight if you’re filming on a gimbal all day
you want the lightest possible setup the Tamron is seven point four eight inches
which is 19 centimeters and both the Sony lenses are 11 point zero two inches
or 28 centimeters as for the sizes even though the numbers don’t look that
different the G master does feel a lot bigger and on the peak design capture
clip the sony f4 and Tamron feel much better for hiking whereas the G master
feels really heavy and it pulls on your shoulder strap now I know this is quite
a strange title but you’ll see what I mean in a minute
if you’re into astrophotography these lenses will appeal to you not so much
the f4 but both the F 2.8 lenses however one thing that really comes in handy is
this little nipple on the side marking both the Sony’s have this but the Tamron
doesn’t it just has this white mark so when you’re kind of fumbling around in
the dark the nipple really helps put the lens on the camera
that sounds really wrong anyway a wish Tamron would put a nipple on it so you
can feel where the lens should be without having to turn a light on with
the filter sizes the sony f/4 has a 72 millimeter filter the sony f 2.8 g
master has an 82 millimeter filter and the Tamron has the 67 millimeter filter
now when it comes to price the Tamron wins hands down
at the making of this video it was 899 dollars a Sony f4 is one thousand three
hundred forty-eight dollars and the Sony G master is two thousand one hundred and
ninety-eight dollars and after looking at the image quality I don’t think that
there’s one thousand two hundred and ninety nine dollars worth of difference
in the quality of the images however in saying that it all does come down to
your budget so I went for a walk and took some photos with each of these
lenses and very quickly I noticed a few things that I wouldn’t have noticed if I
was just trying them out in the shop first of all as I’ve already said the
Sony G master is huge but it actually feels really good to shoot handheld with
and even though it is big it really isn’t that heavy it kind of reminds me
of my old Canon lenses with the size and the feel of it with the Tamron it did
feel really small and I’d be more comfortable in blending in with the
crowd with this lens however that loss of those seven millimeters on the longer
end does really make a difference and I did miss them it still is a decent range
but just not as good as the G master or F for Sony Zeiss lens so because of this
I’m really torn do I have the practical zoom of the 16 to 35 while sacrificing
that weight or do I have this smaller travel-friendly Tamron and sacrifice the
35 millimeter end now what do you think let me know in the comments below as
I’ve said I’ve got all of the images available to download so you can have a
look for yourself after looking at the sharpness and the look of the images I
really couldn’t justify spending that much on a lens I would like to have that
35 millimeter longer end but I can sacrifice that with a saving of almost
$1,300 and also if I need that 35 millimeter end I can always buy the sony
35 millimeter 1.8 and I’d still have five hundred and fifty dollars left to
play with now if you want to learn more about photography go to one of my
tutorials here and if you want to see more on the Tamron click here for Jason
Vaughn’s perspective and if you haven’t already subscribed for more tutorials
thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time

Comments 53

  • Missing the Sigma :°(
    PS. the bass are too high man :O

  • Pah.. trying to pass off ancient space birds as photography errors…we all know they're real! ;D Thanks for the comparison!

  • Great timing, I'm getting crazy deciding between ultra wide zoom lenses. Thank you for the video!

    Think I'll go with the GM – the most expensive, but seems like the best option overall for various purposes. Let the copy lottery begin…

    Oh, and sorry to hear about your dropped lens😅

  • Great video. I, too, went with the Tamron and find it works really well.

  • 🙂 where you wnt to the walk???? nice landscape

  • Very nice topic…. Atm im stick with batis 18mm… But i like your vid cause i fount the topic intresting

  • Great discussion, Mike! I have the Tamron on order but am not in a hurry to get it as I am ( hopefully ) receiving the Sony 24 f1.4 tomorrow. The only thing that would give me pause to buy the Tamron is that limited focal range! I am very pleased with my Tamron 28-75 but it is just not wide enough. With apologies to Kasey of Camera Conspiracies, "all I want is the perfect (wide angle) lens!"

  • Would love to see a review of the sigma 14-24 f2.8 in the future. Still waiting for lightroom profiles for the Tamron 17-28 ::angry face::

  • Thanks posting this review Mike. I’m looking at the Sony f4 lens…

  • I liked the way you described the way your used, tested and detailed capabilities about the three lenses, nice job. Being just a hobbies and having the 16-35GM lens I always bring it with me. If I’m playing with primes lenses or big telephoto lenses that 16-35GM somehow gets used at some point in the day.

  • Hi Mike,

    Great video as always. I went through this same comparison and chose the Sony F4. I’m not a pro just an enthusiast and I’ve found the F4 to be a great compromise with fantastic performance but $1100 less than the F2.8. I love it. It’s my walk-around lens.

  • Great video Mike, had a good giggle have way through as well 🤣 Keep up the great work 👍🏻

  • Great job as per usual, Mike! When I purchased my A7III about a year ago, Tamron had just come out with the 28-75 but didn't have the wide lens and so I ended up getting the 16-35 GM which I love along with the Tamron 28-75. If the 17-28 Tamron was available at the time, I'm sure I would have purchased that and then with the extra money saved I could have gotten a couple of prime lenses. I'm hoping to see an E mount Sigma 70-200 with Stabilization in the near future since I don't want to drop $2,600 on the Sony GM. I am not considering the Tamron 78-180 because it does not have Stabilization and it comes up short on the zoom range. I am also hoping for a quality 1.2/1.4 wide angle prime for astro, something between 14-18mm – the Sony 24mm is just a bit too narrow.

    Regarding your audio, I listen through desktop speakers and it sounds fine for me. Keep up the great work!

  • Tamron should make a 12-24mm version of the f2.8 for us APS-C guys.

  • rock the 17-28 and 28-75

  • Great video Mike, thanks for the omparison, I always struggle to find astrophotography reviews for zoom lenses. I would have loved if you included in this comparison the new sigma 14-24mm 2.8 for FE. Hopefully you can review that one soon. Cheers from México.

  • HI Mike! Great Review! (and almost in time. 😀 ) Last month i had to make a decision too which wide angle lens to choose. After watching all reviews i decided to go with the GM. Wasn't a bad decision. 🙂 Now i'm watching super telezoom reviews… 100-400 vs. 200-600. Any thoughts? 🙂

  • Nice video Mike!
    In the next weeks ill order the Tamron. I have a few weeks now the a7iii and I think Tamron is the best wide lens for my camera. Next lens I think it will be the Tamron 28-75 and all we are waiting the 75-210. With these 3 lenses I think my gear will be ok!!
    Have a nice day!

  • Too expensive for tiny better performance.
    Think about this:
    Tamron 17-28mm ($899)+ Tamron 28-75mm ($879) = $1778 (USD$)
    *Sony 16-35mm f2.8 ($2,198)
    Easy decision.!!

  • I got the tamron 17-28 cause my first Lens was the 28-78 they match pretty nice together! Also the price was the biggest hint! I’m happy with it!

  • Sony 16-35gm all day. My Favorit lens

  • Great video Mike – thanks for sharing the results from the test 👍🙏

  • Great review Mike thanks for posting it. I have the Zeiss 16-35 I bought it second hand and am pretty happy overall, I have the GM 24mm 1.4 which is phenomenal and the manual focussing 15mm f2 Laowa which is really nice too both great for astro (yes I have GAS baaad) I probably have at least 1 lens too many but I'm thinking of trading the zeiss and buying the Sigma 14-24 I would love to see a review of that to help me decide 🙂

  • Great information thanks. Could you also review two viltrox lenses made for sony, 20mm manual and 85mm f1.8 AF if you had a chance of having them of course 🙂

  • Mike, I’ve got both the Sony f4 16-35 & the f2.8 gmaster, The f4 is only a 2nd lens/backup now! The advantage of gmaster other than being sharper is that you only need one lens for landscape & Astro. 😀👍

  • Interesting video Mike. I have been debating this for a while now.
    Think I will end up going with the Tamron.

  • Excellent real world comparison, Mike! Camera bag segment illustrates the ergonomics point very well. Tit for tat on the lens mount alignment chinch 😁. Would a spot of super glue be enough to solve that one?

  • Go for a native lens, so what about the Sony FE 12-24mm.f.4 …..

  • Hi Mike, just thought I'd share my experience with the Sony 16-35mm f4. I use it primarily for real estate photography and have found it a great workhorse lens. I would love to see a brief comparison between the three lenses as far as stabilazation goes as that is really the only point you made in favor of the Sony F4 :D. It's my go to for travel/personal photography and though it generally does well, I do regularly find myself wishing it had a little more zoom. When I'm not shooting for a client, I generally only have one lens with me so I would gladly trade the softer images for more usable focal lengths. That being said, I find that I don't really use the 16mm side of things, and plan to add something in the 25-100mm range. Currently looking at the Sigma 24-105mm F4.0 Art DG HSM, any thoughts?

  • Mike – Sony recalled the 16-35 GM with a range of serial #'s. Possible issue of mount on lens interfacing with camera. Ugh! my copy is impacted – my favorite lens.

  • Great vlog Mike, Get the GM, you know you won't regret it.

  • I LOVE the 16-35GM 2.8…I use it for landscape and ASTRO work….Worth the extra money!!!

  • I'm thinking of going with Tamron 17-28 f2.8 + Sony 35mm f1.8 + Sony 85mm f1.8. However, I have always been set to only carry and own 2 lenses, so in this regard the GM would come in handy along with the 85mm f1.8. But then, considering the weight of the GM it would almost equal 3 lenses mentioned above. Or, I'll just skip the wide angle and use the FE 35mm 1.8 for landscape as well. Hope my feets will help me out for those wider shoots 😀

  • Another great video full of useful information. Thank you!

  • I purchased the Sony 16 – 35mm f2.8 earlier this year. Pricey. Yes. Fun? Absolutely. This lens is permanently attached to my camera. Zero regrets.

  • I bought the 16-35gm f2.8 with my Sony a7III in hong-kong at a crazy low price. But this lens is a beast!! Thank you for your video. Always clear and concise. Thumbs up!

  • Thanks Mike , i bought the Tamron 🙂

  • The new 14-24 obviously wins, why was it even left out?

  • Great review. Bought the Tamron. Really happy, especially when working with a gimbal. Cheers from Norway!

  • Sweet and fair comparison … Now take your little nipple over to Kansas MOE and drop off my lens 🙂

  • Hi Mike! Following you channel for a year now, always educative and helpful videos. Living in Dubai, do you know any rooftop spots for shooting above the clouds in Dubai?

  • Thanks for this. I almost pulled the trigger a month or so ago but decided to wait. Between your review, Jason’s review and some online research, I have decided on the Tamron. I’m ruling out the sigma 14-24 mainly because I’d have to invest in a new filter system (I do a bit of landscape and trying long exposure and would like to dabble in astro). At $1400 plus a more expensive filter system, the cost is less attractive, to me at least. The GM, while a wonderful lens, is just too far out of the budget and the G doesn’t seem to be a good choice for astro.

    Tomorrow is Saturday and I have the day off, early Christmas present for me.

  • Wow super detailed and useful information! Also the lens hood on the tamron isn’t the best quality and sometimes fiddly to get on. Glad I got the tamron tbh

  • Great sharpness in the Tamron , 17-28 and 28-75 the perfect combo to invest

    What mic was used to record the voice and if can make a video on the process to render the audio record, great voice though.

  • hm, but what about the sigma 14-24 f2.8?.. seems crazily sharp and wider than all of these while still keeping f2.8

  • Nice review. Definitely wish the Tamron 17-28mm was out before I bought the 16-35GM.

    12-24mm plus 17-28mm is the perfect wide angle combination for the system IMO.

  • what more can I say, This is a perfect comparison review. I own a tamron 17-28 by the way. Thanks for the review mike!

  • Nice Mike, nice. I love it. Cant wait for their tele in the series its going to be a killer headshot lens.

  • vs Batis 18+batis25? Vs loxia 21? Thanks for the video!!

  • Solid comments on all three lenses. Although you lose 7mm on the long end, this could be challenging for some. In my case, I have the sony 24-105 f4 so I just have to change the lens. Buying any of the 2 sony 16-35 lenses will give more overlap. The price difference is substantial even with the sony 16-35f4. Too me it makes more sense to get the Tamron based on my needs, not to mention the excellent reviews I've seen on the Tamron. Thanks for sharing your comments!

  • Great review of these lenses, Mike. I always enjoy your perspective and love the extensive real world testing that you do. Keep it up.

  • looking forward to the comparison with sigma 14-24 art sony😍

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