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TAMRON 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (F050SF) Sony FE Lens $359.66 Delivered @ Amazon AU

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Lowest price ever according to the camels - RRP is $539 (although Amazon says it's $549)

A decent ultra-wide (in full frame/35mm terms, anything wider than 24mm is 'ultra wide') lens - although personally I'd call it something more like a 'super-wide'. Equivalent to a 30mm or so if for some reason you put it on an APS-C camera. Anyhow yes, it would be nice for it to be f1.8 rather than f2.8 if you want to use it for astro photography, yes the barrel distortion from it is awful so if you plan to use it to take architectural shots you will need to do post processing which in turn means losing some resolution, and yes the focus motor is apparently noisy so not great for video plus there is no image stabilisation. Did I mention vignetting? If you want a better lens, check out the sony sel20f18g, but expect to pay about $1,000 more for it.

On the plus side the Tamron is well made, has weather proofing, is small and lightweight, can take sharp photos with decent contrast, and is cheap. If you understand what the limitations are with the lens, you can work around them for the most part. I was thinking about getting a Rokinon/Samyang 18mm (for landscape and some astro shots), but they cost more and apparently the QA on them is marginal with many reports of bad units. I've had good experience with Tamrons in the past (their 90mm was/is a gem), so I ordered one a few days ago when it hit the lowest price ever, but was waiting for it to arrive so I could check it out myself before listing it as a bargain. It dropped in price again today so thought what the heck - someone else might be interested!

Again, this lens is far from perfect but for the price I think it is worth considering for some.

Lots of reviews out there, eg:
https://www.dpreview.com/products/tamron/lenses/tamron_20_2p...
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-20mm-f-2....
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/au/reviews/tamron-20mm-f2...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw-zz9eLxnE

Price History at C CamelCamelCamel.

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  • What's the focus speed like? I have an A7 mk1 and the Sony nifty 50mm but the focusing sucks big time.

    • It's a 20mm, so focus would not be a huge issue for most situations. Frankly, you could probably live with it in manual mode. According to the reviews, however, it's not too bad other than the noise that could be an issue for video.

  • Undeniably good value.
    As a person who is super compulsive about corner details in a wide angle lens…
    The only lens that has satisfied me is the 18mm Batis 2.8.
    Yes I know it’s more expensive, but it’s a truly brilliant lens. Can replace the 16-35 zoom which is a decent 16-20mm, but by comparison to standard zooms or 35mm prime is at best average at 35mm.

    • Hey, I hear you. I'm also a Zeiss junkie from way back - I used to use Contax with Zeiss glass in my film days. The Batis is probably closer to $2k more than the Tamron, so I'm going to have to wait for my Cardano crypto to go past $2k each before I might think about that…. ;-)

      • Excellent to encounter another Zeissist.
        It’s a tough call, between a 24mm that’s very well controlled or a 14mm prime that’s crazy wide

        • Yep. My favourite wide angle was/is 24mm so sometime in the future I'm looking at spending the money on either the Sony 24mm f1.4 or more likely because of my addiction the Batis 25mm f2. The super/ultra wide lenses are more of a novelty thing - I still have my old Tamron 17mm SP from way back when - which I did use, but not that much.

      • I originally bought my A6000 so I could use my Contax Zeiss lenses. Love them all. My 'go to' lenses are the Sony Zeiss 35mm and 55mm primes on my A7RII but I still return to the analog Planar 50 for the colour rendition.

    • the minimal focus distance for the tamron vs the batis 11cm vs 25cm is interesting for close ups.

      • I made the mistake of buying the Venus Lowoa macro wide angle.
        I sold it a week later.

  • update Price seems to be fluctuating all over the place. Has now gone from $359.66 to $388.63. Still not bad for local (not grey market) stock, though.

  • Thanks for sharing, in the title it says FE but on the product it shows: Compatible mountings Sony E

    • Correct. It is E mount, so will fit on all Sony E mount cameras whether they are full frame or APS-C. This is the case for all E mount lenses. If you put an E mount lens that is designed for APS-C cameras on a full frame camera then you will usually get a vignette because the image will not cover the whole frame/sensor. This is a full frame E mount lens, so when mounted on a full frame camera like an A7, it covers the whole frame. Technically there is no such thing as an "FE" mount but I used it (as does Sony) to indicate that the lens has been designed to work on a full frame sensor.

      If you only have APS-C cameras, and are certain that you will never get a full frame camera, then I'd stick with APS-C lenses as (for the same maker, IQ, focal length & max aperture) they are more compact and weigh & generally cost less.

      The APS-C 20mm I'd get would be the Sony SEL20F28, but then again that translates to 30mm full frame so is a good street photography camera, but for the most part does not appeal to me and the type of photos I take. For a general purpose wide angle I would normally reach for a 24mm which (roughly) equates to 16mm on APS-C. A 20mm full frame lens like this would equate to a 13mm. Speaking of which, Viltrox are releasing a 13mm f1.4 (https://www.pergear.com/blogs/news/viltrox-xf-13mm-f-1-4/) soon, which could be interesting for astro on APS-C cameras….

      • Remembering of course that if you only have APS-C lenses available you can switch the full-frame A7's to APS-C mode to crop the sensor area.

  • I am in the market for the 24mm lens and still not able to decide on Samyang / Tamron 24mm 2.8 versions. Mainly looking for videos on my Sony A7iii.
    I did look the 20mm 2.8 but its going to distort the sides since its in the ultra wide territory.
    Anyone using this lens or 24mm ?

    • I'd rule out this range of cheaper Tamron lenses with their OSD focus system for video because of the noise. The Samyang/Rokinon should be fine, but (if you buy one - and make sure it is both supplied and shipped by Amazon if you get it from there) check it out carefully for focus alignment issues as soon as it arrives and have it replaced if you are not happy. I believe that their QA is getting better, but bad eggs do slip through.

      Personally, I also wouldn't rule out the Sony SEL28F20 - yes it's not as wide as the 24mm and yes I personally prefer 24mm to 28mm but it's not a huge difference and the quality of the Sony is spot on. You can get that for about $500 - probably even cheaper if you hunt around.

  • OK - so the lens arrived today. First impressions: Light, but finished well so doesn't look cheap. The light weight is good on the A7 and feels balanced. Focus noise is definitely there, as indeed is noise from the diaphragm as the aperture changes. When switching to manual focus, the amount of turns required to adjust from near to far is crazy and it is not silent because of the noise as the aperture changes. I guess the large number of turns when doing manual focus means you have a lot finer adjustment available, but still. Images look good in camera, and yes the barrel distortion is there. Will see what happens when I check some test images out on the pc. As I assumed, this is more of a play lens.

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