The Tamron 11-20mm lens features a super-fast constant aperture of f/2.8 in an extremely compact and light package. With a 16.5mm to 30mm full frame equivalent focal length, it is ideal for travel, landscapes, real estate, vlogging, and more. Designed specifically for Fujifilm and Sony APS-C cameras, the 11-20mm is sure to become a popular choice for compact mirrorless shooters.
Build Quality and Handling
The body of the 11-20mm is made primarily of plastic. It does not feel cheap by any means, but it is lacking the heavy-duty feeling of many Fujifilm lenses and some of the newer Viltrox lenses, which have metal lens barrels. This was done to save weight, and at 335 grams, the lens is easy to take even for a long day of shooting (more on that later). The zoom ring is smooth and large enough to find easily while looking through the viewfinder. The lens has a metal mount as well as weather-proofing throughout. The zoom is external, and must be zoomed out to reach 11mm, so at its resting size, the lens is set to 20mm. The 11-20mm is missing a physical aperture ring, however, which may be a dealbreaker for some Fujifilm camera users. For a wide angle zoom with a constant f/2.8 aperture, the Tamron 11-20mm is extremely light and compact, and a great fit for a small camera like the X-T5.
I was impressed with the fast, silent, and accurate autofocus of the 11-20mm. On the Fujifilm X-T5, the AF speed and accuracy is on par with other high-end lenses, and when using face/eye detection, the lens locked onto my subjects with ease. The autofocus is completely silent, which makes it an excellent choice for vloggers and videographers. The autofocus worked well for both stills and video in my tests.
At 11mm and f/2.8, the lens is very sharp in the center, although the corners are noticeably softer. Stop down to f/5.6, and the corners are much sharper. Stop down to f/11 and the entire frame is quite sharp. At 20mm and f/2.8, the corners are soft, but not nearly as soft as at 11mm. Stopped down, the lens is extremely sharp across the frame. Wide open, there is also quite a bit of vignetting, which is expected with such a wide angle lens. Most importantly, the center of the 11-20mm at any focal length is extremely sharp. Putting aside sharpness, the lens offers excellent color rendition and contrast. When shooting family portraits as well as portraits at my studio, I was really impressed with the vibrant colors and rich detail. Because of the fast maximum aperture, I was also able to use the lens indoors without issue, and create very pleasing results. The minimum focusing distance is excellent, and for a super-wide angle lens, it even has good bokeh. The wonderful image quality is one of the best aspects of the Tamron 11-20mm, and more impressive because this is a super-wide angle lens.
A Vloggers Dream
As I mentioned, the 11-20mm is primarily made of plastic, which might be a turn-off for some. But the huge benefit in the design is how incredibly light the lens is, which makes it an excellent choice for vloggers. Mounted to a light camera like the X-T5, the 11-20mm is easy to hold on a selfie stick for long videos without getting tired. Plus, the ability to zoom in and out provides a lot more flexibility in getting the shot perfect than using a fixed focal length lens, all while benefiting from the fast constant f/2.8 aperture. Add to all of this the fast and silent focus, and the Tamron 11-20mm has a lot to offer to videographers, content creators, and photographers of all stripes.
There’s a lot about this lens that really impressed me. The autofocus will not disappoint whether shooting video or stills when it comes to speed and accuracy. The compact size and weight make this an ideal choice for many applications, and the fast f/2.8 aperture will please anyone who needs to shoot in low-light situations without flash. For portraiture, I appreciated the ability to zoom out to 20mm and create images with minimal distortion, so this is also an excellent choice as a vacation or travel zoom lens for those who want to capture architecture as well as scenic portraits. The vibrant colors, good contrast, and excellent sharpness also make the 11-20mm a great choice for Fujifilm and Sony shooters. After shooting with this capable lens for a few weeks, my main critique is not regarding the lens itself, but its price. At $829, the lens might be out of reach for some shooters, although when compared to a comparable Fujifilm lens, like the 8-16mm f/2.8, which retails for $1499, it is still a value. Overall, the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 is another excellent third-party option for Fujifilm and Sony shooters.
What I Liked
- Fast autofocus
- Excellent image quality
- Small and light
What I Didn’t Like
- External zoom mechanism
Get a Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 here.