Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5 Di II Review
Focusing is internal, which means that the length doesn’t change and the front element doesn’t rotate during focusing. However the manual focusing ring does spin when autofocus operates, so you need to remember not to hold onto it. Manual focus must be enabled by sliding the MF/AF switch to the MF position before the focusing ring is turned. There is a distance scale, but no DOF markings.
While focusing is internal, zooming isn’t. The lens changes length very slightly when zoomed. There’s about 9mm difference between the longest it gets (at 24mm) and the shortest it gets (around 14mm). There are focal length marking on the lens corresponding to 10, 13, 15, 18, 20 and 24mm. Maximum aperture is f3.5 between 10mm and about 13mm, f4 up to about 20mm and f4.5 from there to 24mm. Minimum aperture varies from f22 at 10mm to f32 at 24mm.
While the Tamron SP AF 10-24/3.5-4.5 Di II is designed only for use with crop sensor cameras, it will mount on full frame bodies (including Canon EOS full frame bodies) and there is reasonably good full frame illumination from 14mm to 24mm, though of course the image quality outside the areas corresponding to that of an APS-C sensor is degraded. This lens is not meant to be used on a full frame camera, but at least in an emergency it can be.
Physically, the lens appears to be well built. Focusing and zooming are smooth, but as is usual for AF lenses, manual focus isn’t well damped. The lens is supplied with a “petal” type lens hood and is covered by Tamron’s standard 6 year warranty.
Tamron SP AF 10-24/3.5-4.5 Di II Specifications
Focal Length range 10mm to 24 mm Maximum Aperture f/3.5 – 4.5 Minimum Aperture f/22 – f32 Diaphragm Blades 7 Angle of View 110° – 62° (diagonal, Canon APS-C) Filter Thread 77 mm Minimum Focus Distance 9.45" (24 cm) Maximum Magnification 0.19x (1:5.1) Groups/Elements 9/12 Dimensions (DxL) 3.1 × 3.9" (7.87 × 9.91 cm) Weight 14.32 oz (406 g) Format Compatibility APS-C (cropped sensor) Available Mounts Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax
The Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5 Di II was tested using an 18MP Canon EOS 7D body. A variety of images were shot (at various focal lengths and apertures) of both normal scenes and resolution test charts. Focus accuracy was confirmed in many cases by using manual focus in Live view. In a number of cases, comparison shots were also taken using a Canon EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5 set to the same focal length and aperture as the Tamron lens.
The sharpness characteristic of the Tamron 10-24 were pretty consistent across the focal length range. Center sharpness was generally good wide open, with a small increase in sharpness observed when the lens was stopped down by 1 or 2 stops. Corner sharpness (and to a lesser extent, edge sharpness) was quite a bit lower than center sharpness wide open, but improved with stopping down and overall sharpness was at its best around f8. However edge sharpness never got as good as center sharpness at any focal length. The image samples on the right (100% crops) show typical behavior at a 10mm focal length setting
Compared with a Canon EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5, the Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5 showed similar sharpness in the center of the image, but lower sharpness at the edges and corners of the frame, even when stopped down.
Chromatic aberration is most pronounced at 10mm, Zooming out results in a significant drop in CA, though it’s still visible all the way through 24mm. The image sample on the right shows the worst case (100% crops from the extreme image corner at 10mm with the lens wide open). The effects of CA can be reduced using Photoshop as shown.
For the flare tests I shot images with the sun in the corner of the image at 10mm and 24mm, with comparison shots of the same scene but with the sun blocked. out. comparing the images it’s clear that the Tamron 10-24 had excellent flare resistance under these conditions. There was no visible ghosting and no apparent loss of contrast in the dark areas of the images. Overall, very good performance.
Some degree of barrel distortion is visible across the whole zoom range from 10mm to 24mm with the most pronounced effect seen at the shorter focal lengths.The distortion isn’t excessive for this type of lens and is unlikely to be noticed except perhaps in images with straight lines near the edges of the frame such as architectural images. Some degree of distortion correction is fairly easy to apply in most image editors such as Photoshop or Canon’s DPP RAW converter.
As you would expect, there was some vignetting at all focal lengths with the lens wide open, but it was most noticeable at 10mm. The extreme corners were around 1 stop darker than the center of the frame. Stopping down to f8 reduced this vignetting to about 2/3 of a stop .From around 15mm to 24mm the extreme corners were around 0.5 stops darker than the center with the lens wide open. Overall this represents good performance for a wideangle zoom of this type and the effect is unlikely to be noticed in most images. The examples on the right show images shot at 10mm and 24mm wide open. The images are deliberately slightly dark so as not to “blow out” the sky (which would mask vignetting). Even in these images it’s fairly hard to see corner darkening. Vignetting is another aberration which is fairly easily corrected in Photoshop or Canon DPP (for those shooting Canon).
Compared to the Canon EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5, the Tamron lens comes supplied with a lens hood (which the Canon doesn’t), a 6 year warranty (the Canon has a 1 year warranty), has a slightly longer reach (24mm vs 22mm), can be mounted on a full frame body (which the Canon EF-S lens can’t) and it’s around $350 cheaper. The Canon lens is however sharper at the edges and corners, even when shot wide open. Which of these factors is most important depends on the particular needs and circumstances of the purchaser.
I think the bottom line is that if you’re not making big prints which need corner to corner sharpness, the Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5 is a lens that’s decent value for most photographers at a price around $450 (after rebate). However if you need better corner to corner sharpness and you will often be shooting wide open, Canon shooters will get better results by spending $800+ on the the