Tamron 20mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44492 date: Apr-3-2020
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6 EX DC
Samyang 12 F2
Sigma 12-24 EX DG HSM
Opteka 15 F4
Rokinon 16 F2
Sony E 16 F2.8
Tamron SP 17-35 F2.8-4
Tokina AF 17 F3.5
Samyang AF 18 F2.8
Sigma 19 F2.8 DN Art
Sigma 20 F1.8 EX DG
Sony E 20 F2.8
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Tokina AF 20-35 F3.5-4.5 I & II
Canon EF 22-55 F4-5.6 USM
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD M1:2
price paid:250 USD (new)
Flat field
No coma
Low lateral CA
Very close focusing
Lens Compensation
"Camera-based lens unit firmware updates"
negative:Barrel distortion
Image bounces with refocus
Clunky focus
67mm filter size
comment:Another completed Greentoe offer. I now own all three of these F2.8 OSD triplets. Tamron is currently offering a $50 instant savings on these. This is the most competitive of the three lenses, there was no direct competitor until Sony released the FE 20 F1.8 G. Sony's older full-frame 20mm F2.8 is a Minolta design from 1986. I like that old lens, and while it has a good amount of support in A7 cameras, I found the Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 to be much better lens. Despite the more normal focal length, the Tamron is heavier and larger than the Samyang. "This product is developed, manufactured and sold based on the specifications of E-mount which was disclosed by Sony Corporation under the license agreement with Sony Corporation." "MADE IN VIETNAM"

The body is very similar to the Sony FE 50 F1.8. The plastic focus grip feels good, but it is not as nice as a rubber grip. The rear barrel deforms easily near the focus ring. The Samyangs feel more solid with a more durable finish. The OSD motor is quieter than the Sony, but it is still fairly audible--similar to the 18-135 SAM.

This lens has a high amount of barrel distortion more than the 24 mm. Unlike with the Sony FE 28 F2 the electronic distortion correction is not forced enabled, so it is always visible in the live-view with the older camera bodies (A7II/A7RII). The Tamron supplied compensation corrects it fine in-camera or in Capture One. Unfortunately Capture One mistakes this lens for the little APS-C Sony E 20mm F2.8 pancake. I reported this to Phase One. Like most unit-focus primes the angle-of-view decreases with close focus.

This lens is well-aligned, but the Sony FE 20 F1.8 G is noticeably sharper. The image quality is not optimized with flat-field at 1:2 magnification, but it produced much sharper wide-angle semi-macro shots than the Opteka 15 F4 Macro.

The main photo here here shows the lens at minimum focus distance. The front element is more recessed at infinity, and even more recessed when powered off. There is a substantial gap between the moving front section and stationary outer barrel.

This uses the same HF050 petal hood as the 24 mm. The hood bayonet is very similar to the ones on the SP F1.8 USD primes. Tamron has used 67 mm filter thread at least as far back as their 35-105mm F2.8 in 1992.

Tamron claims that firmware updates can be done through the camera body, but no updates have become available.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.83
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 3.67
  • flare control: 4.33
  • overall: 4.43
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