When the good people from Tamron Singapore and Cles Distribution ask if I would like to give the new Tamron 11-20mm F2.8 lens a try. My answer was a resounding yes! I did a quick post on my IG @fujifanboys earlier and some Fujifanboys ask how is this lens compared with the Fujifilm XF10-24mm F4 WR? Before we dive into it; as you would know, Tamron will never make a lens that will be in direct competition. This is what makes Tamron unique. Just like their other zoom lens which is 17-70mm F2.8. A very versatile focal range.
The strength of this lens is brightness. At F2.8 it’s a good start. If you are using an older X-series camera that doesn’t have IBIS; one thing to note is this lens doesn’t have OIS. Again, generally speaking, this is not a deal breaker but of course it’s good to have. The first thing I notice is the weight of this lens. Weighting at 335 grams; its pretty light weight.
To put it into perspective, XF8-16mm F2.8 weights 805 grams and XF10-24mm weighs 385 grams. The build quality is similar to its other sibling; 17-70mm F2.8 lens. Its has a smooth plastic texture and I am sure this help in reducing the weight of this lens.
Auto focus, is quick and certain. How is it compared with my own XF10-24mm? Not the WR version. As always it’s not a scientific test. After much testing; I feel the Tamron has just a slight edge over the XF10-24mm. Not that the XF10-24mm is slow. Next, optical quality. I did 2 shots below. One at 20mm and the other at their widest point. Which is 10mm for XF10-24mm and 11mm for Tamron. Both photos is shot at F4. At the 20mm focal range; the Tamron is a tad sharper. And at the 11mm wide side; I could see this lens controls chromatic abbreviation better. As for Sunstar effect; its average. If money and size is never an issue; the XF8-16mm F2.8 sits comfortably on the top. Period.
At USD $839 this lens is in XF10-24mm territory but it’s a F2.8 lens. The price difference is about 16%. Which is pretty close. But they are created for different segment. My conclusion, If you are using the X-series without IBIS; I would stick with XF10-24mm F4. Even though I lose a stop but I would like to have OIS. With a wider focal range and of course an aperture ring and WR are added advantage.
If you are using X-series cameras with IBIS, I think this lens will be a good match. Provided one could live with the focal range of 11-20mm, no OIS and no WR. But it claim to have moist resistant. Which I think its fine for very light drizzle. But hey it’s a F2.8 lens plus it’s lightweight. That alone is a winner for many.
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Here are some comparison below.