Last Updated on 09/16/2022 by Feroz Khan
Lots of us don’t necessarily want to or need to upgrade our cameras every few years. But new lenses that are affordable yet fantastic can give our cameras new life. When I purchased the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD lens a few years back, I bought it with the intention of having a useful wide-angle lens. What it turned into is something so much better.
This piece is presented in partnership with Tamron. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.
Earlier this year, I got my old Sony a7 original (I still own one) converted to full-spectrum infrared. What does that mean? Well, for starters, it means that the potential of that little Tamron lens opened up a whole lot more creative opportunities for me. I could also shoot photos that were bound to mesmerize anyone with the right additions. On this site, we’ve featured tons of projects shot on Kodak Aerochrome. But there are also lots of photos shot on the older Kodak Ektachrome Infrared film. So, if you ever wanted to turn your greens into reds, pinks, or purples, then here’s your chance. And if you wanted punchier colors straight from the camera, the Tamron lens helped a lot.
This isn’t where it ends though. Living in NYC, one could think we don’t have a lot of green space. The native NYer inside of me would tell you you’re wrong. Some of my fondest memories are from various green spaces found in Queens and Brooklyn. And my most memorable explorations were done in places like the Bronx and Staten Island. So, what happens when you add a vivid layer and a surreal-colored filter on top?
We’ve been saying this for years in our reviews: Tamron lenses have their own unique colors. This was the case when DSLRs were still the mainstay. But with mirrorless cameras being the norm now, this philosophy hasn’t changed. It’s just like back with film photography; you chose a film for its look. Well, straight out of the camera, you’d clearly be able to tell the difference between a Tamron lens and others. Tamron’s colors are deep, vivid, and punchy. Some folks like adding saturation, clarity, and vibrance in post-production. But with a lens like the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD, it’s already there. Combine this with a color profile on Sony like the deep or clear settings, and you’ll get even more from the lens.
Keep in mind though, we’re adding an extra layer on top. Mirrorless cameras have a huge advantage over DSLRs with the exposure preview settings. So, by looking through the viewfinder, you can change the white balance and see what it does to the scene. Point it at a few oak trees and you’ll see their leaves change from red to orange, pink, or purple. With a Tamron lens attached, they’re that much more vivid. And this is the great thing about reaching for lenses that try not to be clinically sterile; you can get your creative vision straight out of the camera.
For the Explorer: Durable Yet Lightweight
Obviously, if you’re using a setup like this outside, you’re going to need extra durability. Rain can suddenly come from nowhere and dirt can be thrown up onto your camera unexpectedly. So, of course, you need durable camera gear. Luckily, Tamron finds a way to do that while also being super lightweight. An argument from manufacturers for not making a lens more durable is the weight. However, Tamron keeps things both lightweight and weather-resistant. It’s an exceptional value for anyone who wants durability but doesn’t want to be slowed down by heavier lenses with more metal in them.
As much as the staff and I enjoy the feeling of metal lenses, we also really like not having to haul a brick attached to our cameras around. You’d think that a lens like the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD would be super heavy, but it’s not. And in fact, it’s pretty small. This is the perfect combo for walking around, hiking, and trudging in the forest. Then add onto that there’s a very useful zoom range here. 17mm is pretty darned wide for most things. And then at 28mm, you’re still getting a very usable wide-angle option.
The Time it Saved
Lots of passionate photographers love editing after a long day of shooting. But in the pandemic, I changed a lot. I already spend time behind a computer running this website and I wanted to get it right in the camera to begin with. Sure, I still shoot in RAW, but I don’t need to do that because I’ve figured out ways to get the images I want right on the spot. And this lens combined with the methods I discuss here have done just that. There’s more though. And if you’re considering the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD, then keep these in mind as we recap and add on:
- The colors are very vibrant, so it’s going to already give your images fantastic, vibrant colors.
- You can set the white balance manually in-camera to see exactly what’s happening. This adds to the shooting experience by letting you see how the world is affected. And with a full-spectrum infrared camera, that just goes even further. How often do you walk into a pink forest?
- The light weight means I’m not having issues with camera shake. So I can easily stop the lens down and lower the ISO to get even sharper photos of the greenery turned whatever color I want.
- The durability means the sensor on the camera is well protected. If you don’t have a weather-resistant lens, we’ve sometimes seen camera sensors get very dirty even without lenses being changed. But that’s not going to happen here. So you can just focus on shooting.
- With all these things not on your mind, you can focus more on just creating the photo. It turns almost into a point-and-shoot affair. And when you post them to social media later, you’ll be amazed at the reactions.
So, if you’re a photographer in a creative slump, consider looking into what a new lens can do for you. This is especially the case if you’re a beginner. Sometimes we need to spend more time with a camera in our hand than behind a computer to make dreams come true. Check out the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD for yourself at an affordable price, or consider a selection of many of their fantastic lenses.