Tamron may have set a record with the release of it’s new 17-70mm zoom for crop sensors – and it’s not the admittedly crazy-sharp image quality as shown by the MTF charts: it’s the fact that the name of this lens has 29 descriptive abbreviation characters in its official name. Tamron has breached the barrier that so many lens makers have failed to do: including more feature-implying characters in the name than are in the English alphabet.

Aside from this branding “accomplishment,” the new lens looks to be a corker, with a super wide zoom range; and an MTF chart showing such extreme sharpness that we’re using it as the lens image, rather than a picture of the lens itself. Even the 30 linepair measurements show a contrast ratio greater than .9, although there is some astigmatism apparent toward the edges of the frame.

The lens is moisture sealed; small; features a proper, complex set of lens elements in a large number of groups, including two aspherical elements; the Tamron vibration control system; and a minimum focus distance granting the lens a roughly 1:5 magnification ratio throughout the range.

The Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RX D will cost $600 and be available in Mid-January for Sony E-mount cameras.