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|Product:||Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF)|
Tamron AF10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Asph Macro - An ultra-wide angle zoom designed for digital SLRs with an APS-C size sensor, which covers a range that is perfectly suited for landscape photography.
Gary Wolstenholme casts his discerning eye over the Tamron 10-24mm Aspherical Macro.
This ultra-wide angle offering from Tamron cost £385, which is keenly priced when compared to the manufacturer's own offerings. Both Sigma and Tokina offer lenses in this range. Sigma current have two 10-20mm lenses available, one with a slower maximum aperture of f/4-5.6 and the other with a constant aperture of f/3.5. Both have silent focusing motors, but sacrifice 4mm form the long end of the zoom. Both are more expensive than the Tamron, with the f/4-5.6 version costing £400 and the f/3.5 version costing £530. Tokina's 12-24mm. Tokina also offer two lenses in this range – an 11-16mm f/2.8 which costs £491 and a 12-24mm f/4 which costs £486, both of which have a slightly shorter zoom range, but brighter maximum apertures.
Nikon's new 10-24mm, which is almost a direct equivalent in terms of its specification, costs almost double at £694. Canon's 10-22mm, which is a little shorter at the long end of the zoom costs £649. Both the Nikon and Canon lenses have the advantage of silent focusing motors. This shouldn't make too much of a difference with focusing speed, as wide angles generally focus quickly anyway.
Tamron AF10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro: Handling and features
Much of the exterior of the lens is dominated by the wide rubberised zoom and focusing rings, and overall the lens has a lightweight, but high-quality feel. The fit and finish is very good, with a gold band that denotes this is one of Tamron's top-line SP lenses.
Auto-focus is powered by a built-in motor, which makes no claims to be silent, but the noise produced isn't overly disturbing. I found the AF performed well during use, focusing quickly and accurately. The focus ring rotates during focusing, and there is no way to disengage it on this lens, so care need to be taken to ensure it doesn't catch your fingers as the rubber grip moves from side to side at quite a rate. There is also no depth of field scale on the lens, so I had to make use of a separate DOF calculator when attempting hyper-focal focusing. This is typical of many modern lenses
Tamron AF10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro: Performance
For this review, the lens was tested on a 10Mp Nikon D80 using Imatest.
This lens performs at its best when set to 10mm and f/8, which will produce images of very good resolution across the frame, with enough depth of field for most purposes. At 10, the centre resolution is very good from f/3.5, stopping the lens down improves resolution towards the edges of the frame until f/8. After f/8 diffraction takes hold, gradually reducing the resolution, although good sharpness can still be obtained at f/16.
As the lens is zoomed in, the resolution drops off a little, but is still very good in its sweet spot at f/8.
|Resolution at 10mm|
|Resolution at 18mm|
|Resolution at 24mm|
During testing, Imatest recorded chromatic aberrations exceeding 1 pixel width at 10mm, which may become visible upon close inspection of images taken in high contrast situations. Stopping the lens down a little improves matters, and by f/8 there is little to worry about.
In the middle of the zoom, colour aberrations better controlled, especially towards the edges of the image area. By 24mm, the overall level of colour aberration has increased again, approaching 1.25pixel widths across the frame, which will show a little upon close inspection, but shouldn't be too disturbing in most cases.
|Chromatic Aberration at 10mm|
|Chromatic Aberration at 18mm|
|Chromatic Aberration at 24mm|
Light falloff towards the corners is very well controlled on this lens. Througput the zoom range, the far corners are only 0.6 stops darker than the centre of the image. Stopping down to f/5.6 virtually eliminates any signs of falloff.
Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro at wide-angle.
Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro when zoomed in.
Distortion is also very well controlled for such a wide lens, producing 1.74% barrel distortion at 10mm, which will be noticeable, but not overly disturbing. The barrel distortion is pretty much constant through only the zoom range.
For an ultra-wide angle lens, flare and ghosting is kept in check quite well. Strong light sources outside of the frame will reduce contrast a little, whereas quite strong flare pattens are produced by strong sources of light in the frame typical of a lens of this type.
Tamron AF10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro: Verdict
This lens is a good performer resolution-wise, and should satisfy most photographers shooting APS-C sized sensor cameras, especially when used at its optimum settings.
This lens costs less than the competition, from third-parties and manufacturers, and so it represents excellent value for money.
Tamron AF10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro: Specification
|Construction:||12 elements in 9 groups|
|Angle-of-view:||108° 44' - 60° 20'|
|35mm equivalent focal length (on APS-C body ):||15-36mm|
|In the box:||Lens hood|
The Tamron AF10-24m f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical macro lens costs £385 and is available from Warehouse Express here:
Tamron AF10-24m f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical Macro