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Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Review

John Riley reviews the wide-angle Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 lens for full-frame Sony FE-mount mirrorless cameras.


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Tamron 24mm F2,8 On Sony A7RIII
 

Here we have the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2 prime lens for Sony FE mount full-frame cameras. This is the second lens in the new trio of compact optics that also include the 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD and 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD, a set that has to be an exciting proposition. Add to this a macro close focus magnification of half life-size and things start to look very interesting indeed. Armed with the Sony Alpha A7R III 42MP body, the 20mm lens has already achieved the status of Editor's Choice, so let's see if the 24mm lives up to the same standard.


Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Handling and Features

Tamron 24mm F2,8 On Sony A7RIII Front View

The idea of the “plastic fantastic”, often applied to inexpensive but incredibly good standard lenses, might be where we would be tempted to place these lenses, modestly priced as they are. In fact, the plastic construction may result in a light unit, in this case, 215g, but the quality of the finish is extremely high. The only slight caveat to this is that the metal bayonet is a very tight fit on the camera body, not as slick as more expensive lenses. This is actually common to all three lenses received for review. Equally well, the standard of finish is also constant on all three lenses, indicating a very high level of consistency from sample to sample.

Starting our tour of the lens at the front, we have the same petal lens hood as the 20mm, which bayonets cleanly into position and shows no tendency to loosen. This surrounds a standard 67mm filter thread, the size being common to all three lenses.

The only control on the lens is the manual focus ring and the function of this is, as usual, set on the camera body. The options are AF-S (AF Single Shot), AF-A (AF Auto), AF-C (AF Continuous), DMF (Direct Manual Focus – MF can be used while AF operational) and MF (Manual Focus). It is electronic in operation and utterly smooth in its action. The amount of resistance is just right and absolutely identical in all three lenses provided, so again the consistency is excellent.
Tamron 24mm F2,8 Vertical View

Focusing is down to 12cm, or 4.7 inches, a maximum magnification of 1:2, or half life-size. There is no doubt that this is a huge bonus, being as close as most macro lenses used to be in the days of film SLRs. However, to achieve this magnification the subject does end up very close to the front of the lens, so at these distances, the lens hood may need to be removed to allow a little space for lighting. The front element is well recessed, so this is unlikely to be much of a problem.

Optical construction is 10 elements in 9 groups, including LD (Low Dispersion) and glass moulded aspherical elements. The diaphragm comprises 7 rounded blades.

The term OSD means Optimised Silent Drive and refers to the AF motor. The AF is almost silent as we would expect, all but for the occasional slight sound if the focus point isn't grasped immediately. However, this is rare and most of the time AF locks on silently, quickly and accurately.

Finally, the lens is moisture-resistant and the benefit of being able to shoot in poor weather conditions is well established.

Having already reviewed the 20mm, the 24mm looks and behaves in an almost identical manner. The lenses have clearly been designed as a unified project and it shows in the attention to detail. The feel is identical. The quality of construction is identical. We now turn to look at the performance to see how that holds up.
Tamron 24mm F2,8 Rear Oblique View
 


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Comments


Thanks for this early review. It is good and the verdict is unsurprising. I've compared your MTF chart for this lens with that of the Tamron 17-28/2.8 at 24mm and just like the performance of the 20mm lens, this prime lens performance shows a marked improvement over the zoom. Of course this should be expected. Like the 20mm lens I'm tempted to add this to my collection (more choice, more quality and less weight) but my business case is not entirely sound! Anyhow, kudos to Tamron for giving us more options and less cash in our wallets.

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