Updated: Aug 18, 2021
A lot of people have been waiting for this review and it’ll be especially useful for you if you’re into the Sony E-mount system. Of course, G Master lenses are world-renowned and everybody loves them, but it can be pretty pricey. Tamron has come in recently with a wide angle zoom, the 17-28mm F/2.8 lens.
First off, the Tamron is incredibly light for a wide angle zoom lens, weighing in at only 420g. That’s significantly less than the G Master at 680g. For the most part, the Tamron looks like a kit lens but it doesn’t shoot like it, and the image quality is way better than a kit lens.
The focal length could be a dealbreaker based on an individual’s needs. The Sony G Master is 16-35mm, giving the range for wide angle, landscape, sceneries and even street photography. The Tamron is more limited to wide angles, and more suited to photographers who don’t need that extra 7mm of length.
But after testing both lenses, there are many times that the Tamron looks better than the G Master, handles brighter light better, not as much glare and is similarly detailed.
The Tamron has warmer tones while the G Master has a greenish tint to it. Sony lenses tend to be on the cooler side, but we do prefer a warmer image when shooting people and landscapes. It’s just a matter of convenience, with one thing less to edit in post-processing.
The build quality is where the G Master wins out the Tamron. While the Tamron isn’t poorly built, the heft of the G Master makes it feel more robust in the hand. The quality of the lens is also superior, but that’s to be expected for a lens that costs more than double the price of the Tamron.
Pricewise, the Tamron is insanely competitive. Priced at US$899 versus the G Master’s US$2200, the Tamron is the way to go for most people, unless you really need the extra focal length or if money isn’t an issue.
There’s a lot of things that US$1300 can get, extra accessories, lenses and more. Sometimes, we think that third party lenses don’t have the same responsiveness as a native lens, but after testing, we can say that there’s no discernible difference between these lenses in terms of autofocusing speed.
Final thoughts? The Sony G Master 16-35mm is a phenomenal lens, one of the best 16-35s in the market, but if you’re willing to venture out a little, you could get the Tamron and even buy a 35mm prime with the extra money.