Recently I was loaned another lens from Tamron Australia. This time it was the 11-20mm F/2.8 Di III-A RXD. It was nice to see another option for a 2.8 lens. It is good that another lens has been released for the Fujifilm, but it is also frustrating that they come out so slowly. If you use a Sony mirrorless then there are a lot of lenses available, 15 of them, but for Fujifilm there are 4 available.
I don’t really know why there is a massive difference. I have wondered if it is because Sony lenses are very expensive. Who knows.
I was told about the lens when it first came out, but I asked if I could borrow it for June when I was doing the Great Ocean Road with my mum. I ended up borrowing it for just over a month, which was a great amount of time.
One of the first things I noticed when it arrived was the weight, it was a lot lighter than I expected. Often lenses that are 2.8 are quite heavy. This one was a pleasant surprise. Part of the reason I wanted to go mirrorless was because of the weight of my Nikon gear. I hated coming home after a day out with it and my neck and back would be aching.
I don’t think the weight really means that it isn’t a good lens and I didn’t have any problems with it at all.
This refers to the biggest aperture and lenses with f/2.8 are usually highly prized. It usually means good quality and better photos.
That can be true and I can remember years ago having a crappy lens and then replacing it with a f/2.8 lens. I was amazed how different the photos were. I shouldn’t be that surprised, as the other lens really was crappy and you had to be careful because it was only sharp in the middle, but the new one was great.
I think I have expected the same thing with my Fujifilm lenses, but the truth is none of the lenses I have for it are cheap and those that aren’t f/2.8 still take great photos. So then the question is do I need that extra wide aperture.
That would be a no really. The only thing I do that really needs it is Astrophotography and I don’t think I do enough of that to warrant the expense of the lens. I have some other lenses that will do in a pinch, so I should be fine.
If I’m really honest I would say that I tend to use f/8 far more. So it isn’t important to me, but I think it would be a great lens if I was really into astrophotography.
Well it doesn’t have one.
If you use Fujifilm lenses you know that most of their lenses are like retro ones and have an aperture ring. You need to turn it to change the aperture. However, the Tamron lens doesn’t have it, so you need to use the front dial on the camera to change it.
I don’t find it a hardship as I had to do the same thing with my Nikon camera. However, if you have been using Fujifilm for some time you might find it harder to adjust to.
The lens has this, but it is internal which means you need to switch it off in camera. I do find that a little annoying. It takes longer to do and then it is set for any lens rather than just one. If you forget that you turned it off then the next lens you use you will be taking photos with no stabilisation again.
I have to admit that I have nearly always turned off the stabilisation on lenses so I don’t have to worry about it when I am using a tripod. I don’t have many issues getting shots in focus and sharp so far. I’m sure at some stage that will change, but for me it has been fine. I guess it depends on you and how important it is.
Photos with it
The photos have been great. I haven’t had any issues with that. The photos, from my point of view, are great and I think the lens is as good as any other lens I have.
I’ve shown you many photos taken with it and all the ones here, which most of you have seen before. I also used it for the first time-lapse I did of Melbourne and the Docklands. This is the one I’m talking about.
I think the images were great for it. So big tick for this point.
It is a very wide lens, meaning angle. It can be too contricting for many people. If you love landscapes, or cityscapes then it is a good lens. You might find it hard because you can’t zoom in, but if you love wide angle photography then you won’t care about that.
I really enjoyed using it on my Fujifilm X-S10 as it is a fairly light camera and then with that lens it was great to just wander around with it.
I have asked if I can borrow it again for a trip I am taking next year. Hoping to do some astro on that trip so it will be ideal.
Like most Tamron lenses it isn’t astronomical, especially when you conside it is a f/2.8 lens. I tried to find a price for it and found a few. The cheapest I found, from a reputable store, was $1020. The most expensive was $1450. Big difference, but I find the lenses always seem to be on sale somewhere.
The question I always ask myself is would I buy it? I wouldn’t buy this lens, but not because I don’t like it, but because I already have a 10-24mm lens for my Fujifilm cameras and a 16-55mm that is also a f/2.8 lens. The 11-20mm wouldn’t fill a hole in my lenses, so I don’t need it.
However, if you are looking for a wide angle lens then it is a great option. It is around the same price as my 10-24mm which isn’t a 2.8 lens so it could be a better lens than that one. You should always get the best lens you can for the money you have. So choosing between the two, I would go the Tamron. In this instance it is a better option.
If I had it I would probably want to do more astrophotography with it. For now, I have to be content with my 16-55mm.
Here is a gallery for you to look through.