Tamron is on a roll. After launching three lenses for the Fujifilm X-Mount, a fourth is already in the works. On the 19th, Tamron shared a sneak peek of an upcoming lens under development: the Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 Di III A RXD for Fujifilm X Mount. As a Fuji-tographer who’s traveled with a Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 E Mount, I’m excited to see this lens join the growing list of Tamron’s X-Mount lenses. The character and versatility for the price point are hard to beat, and I’m eager to see how the lens mixes with Fuji colors.
What we know about the Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 For Fujifilm
Tamron hasn’t released a full specification sheet or price yet, just shared that the 11-20mm is currently in development. But, the development announcement includes a few key details:
- The 11-20mm will have a minimum focus distance of 5.9 inches, for 1:4 close-ups.
- It uses an RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) autofocus motor.
- The lens will be weather-sealed.
- It’s designed to be a compact lens, though Tamron hasn’t yet specified just how small.
Why the Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 for Fujifilm is exciting
When Tamron launched the 11-20mm lens for Sony, it was the widest APS-C lens for the E-Mount that still maintained an f2.8 at that time. Fujifilm, however, already has a wider option: the Fujifilm 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR. Do we even need another ultra-wide zoom for Fujifilm? For two big reasons the answer is yes: price and size.
While we don’t have a full list of specs yet, but we can look to the Sony E-Mount (APS-C) variation to give us a few clues. While weight is something that can easily fluctuate between different fits, Tamron’s Sony mount lens is significantly lighter than Fujifilm’s most similar lens, the 8-16mm. The Fujifilm 8-16mm weighs more than 28 ounces. The E Mount Tamron 11-20mm weighs just 11.8 ounces. While that exact number is likely to change with the new X Mount variation, it’s unlikely Tamron is going to need to double the weight of the lens to make it X Mount compatible.
Price is another thing that hasn’t been made clear ahead of the launch. But, again, the E-Mount variation can at least give us a clue: $829. Fujifilm’s 8-16mm f2.8 lens retails for about $1,500. If the price stays the same as the E-Mount, that’s 670 reasons to be excited about Tamron’s upcoming lens.
While there are several details that are unclear this early, the expected size and price point could be a big lure for Fujifilm shooters. The 11-20mm isn’t as wide as Fujifilm’s ultra-wide zoom, but it also hits the 35mm equivalent on the long end, which is a great focal length if you want to capture a wide scene without quite so much perspective distortion.
While the size and price are likely to be the biggest draw, the Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 will likely have other perks similar to the E-Mount variation. The lens has a great minimum focus distance, and mixing the perspective distortion of an ultra-wide with close-ups can create some real character. The ultra-wide view and wide aperture and tendency to flare should also lend some character.
There could also be a few reasons to skip the Tamron 11-20 for some photographers. The existing version doesn’t have issues with color fringing, but the edges aren’t as sharp as the center, and there’s some barrel distortion. The lighter weight is also due to a plastic build, and it’s hard to go back to plastic after trying one of Fujifilm’s metal barrel optics.
But, if the upcoming Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 for Fujifilm has a price and weight similar to the E-Mount variation, it’s going to be a great optic for travel. Tamron hasn’t yet shared a ship date, price, or full spec sheet.