Today we’re taking a look at a great zoom lens for Sony APS-C Cameras. It’s the new 17-70mm lens from Tamron. This is a Sony e-mount lens. This is a great offering for APS-C sensors. Why is this so exciting? It’s exciting because it’s a great video lens and an ideal light weight all around travel lens. It’s a 17-70mm which is the equivalency of 25.5-105mm for full frame. See how we liked shooting with it!
So why would you buy an APS-C lens for an APS-C camera? An APS-C lens is optimized to cover the area of coverage on the sensor of the APS-C sensor. But a full frame lens is optimized to cover the entire full frame of the camera when you crop into it. Some people say, well it will be sharper in the middle. It is not. It does not resolve as well on an APS-C sensor. The full frame lens is made for a full frame sensor.
When you look at images side by side you will see an APS-C lens is sharper on an APS-C camera than a full frame lens is on an APS-C camera. When you get to 25.5mm you’re getting a nice wide angle at that point. But then it works through into a great portrait lens for like 70 into 100. And then a slight telephoto on the end.
(If you’re wondering about different formats check out our lessons on format comparisons. We have two of them. They show you great examples of all the different formats, and how the lenses compare with each other with regards to focus, depth, and all those kinds of things.)
But now, let’s talk a little more about this new 17-70mm lens from Tamron. When you get to an F/2.8 zoom, you’re really talking about a serious lens used for professional applications. And so that’s really what this is. It’s an e-mount lens, a serious lens for professional application both for stills and video. You can see some of the images we shot here. I took it up the coast and we shot some images of elephant seals.
I always like to look at the minimum focus distance on the lens. It’s really important to me to see how close I can get to things. At 17mm, which is equivalent to 25.5mm, you can get down to 7.5 inches. But when you go to 70mm, you’re more like 15.4 lens inches. When you’re able to get that close it gives you the ability to shoot things like ring shots or flower shots and those kinds of things. When you need to get a little closer, that really close focus helps you to do that and especially on that wider end. It’s a really a nice application.
The ergonomics of this lens are the same that Tamron has done through all of their e-mount lenses. Whether it’s for their full frame line, or now the APS-C line that is at 67mm which is usually that same millimeter as their full frame lenses. So your filters, your polarizers and all those things will work across all your lenses. Also it really gives you this lightweight form factor which is simple and light. All of your autofocus is not on the lens. It’s going to be worked through the menus inside the camera. You see that it’s very compact when paired with this a6600 from Sony. That lens becomes a great travel lens. I think it’s really almost an ideal travel lens.
So it’s got an RXD stepping motor. The autofocus is very quiet and fast. It worked extremely fast. I photographed these elephant seals and the autofocus is very quick. I mean, I’m sneaking up there and getting probably way closer than I should have, but it worked really fast. The autofocus worked extremely well on the setup with the Sony. It integrates perfectly with the Sony interface and worked really well.
This lens has the new BBAR coating from Tamron. It’s the coating on the lens that cuts down on chromatic aberration and gives you a beautiful image. It also makes it so you can’t flare. Sometimes I miss bad lenses that would flare really easily. But these lenses don’t flare very easily, which gives you clean images. You’re not going to pollute your highlights and your shadows because of flares. So that BBAR is actually a great thing.
One thing we haven’t talked very much about is the VC stabilization in the lens. It is a stabilized lens. It’s going to work with the stabilization in your camera, especially on the a6600. And together they’re going to give you really nice video. Let’s take a look at that and just see how it looks. See what you think.
So there you have it, that new lens from Tamron. The 17-70mm F/2.8 APS-C sensor lens. I’m excited to see them do more of these lenses that are F/2.8 in this APS-C sensor because I think there’s a place in the market that really needs it. So thank you Tamron and we hope to see more of it. So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.