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Tamron 24mm f/2.8 review: Exploring the great outdoors with this versatile lens


As someone who loves to get away from the hustle and bustle of my usual work, taking Tamron’s 24mm f/2.8 lens out in the great outdoors offers superb image quality without the massively large footprint of other primes.

Offering a nice background separation, accurate autofocus and a superior sharpness, the Tamron 24mm is a joy to use. If you’re a landscape or nature photographer, definitely give this lens a look. The addition of 1:2 macro capabilities is a huge win, too.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight; perfect for traveling
  • Fully weather sealed, surprising for a lens in this range
  • Superior sharpness
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Macro capabilities are great for outdoor photographers

Cons

  • Autofocus can be a bit slow, but is accurate
  • Some barrel distortion present

Tamron 24mm f/2.8 — Technical specifications

All technical specifications for the Tamron 20mm f/2.8 have been taken from B&H Photo:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8–f/22
  • Angle of view: 84° 4′
  • Minimum focus distance: 4.7″ / 11.94 cm
  • Maximum magnification: 0.5x
  • Macro reproduction ratio: 1:2
  • Optical design: 10 Elements in 9 Groups
  • Diaphragm blades: 7, Rounded
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Filter size: 67mm (front)
  • Dimensions: 2.87 x 2.5″ / 73 x 63.5 mm
  • Weight: 7.6 oz / 215 g

Tamron 24mm f/2.8 — Ergonomics and build quality

Despite not really looking too fancy, the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 feels like a well-built lens. It matches Tamron’s exterior styling, so if you’ve used Tamron lenses, there should be no surprises here on what you’re getting.

The lens features dust and splash resistance, a rarity for a lens at this price point.

The exterior of the lens. has no buttons, and a small manual focusing ring. The minimal look here is a breath of fresh air, compared to the dials, buttons and more that other manufacturers have been putting on their lenses. It lets you focus on one thing — taking great pictures.

As I’ve said before, Tamron’s lens hood can sometimes be difficult to screw on. The lens cap is Tamron’s standard, which works well.

The compactness of this lens makes it ideal for anyone on-the-go or looking for a lighter setup. Personally, I can see myself using this lens while on nature walks, as it’s easy to capture both wide-angle landscapes and up-close still life.

For videographers, the size of this lens matches its 20mm and 35mm cousins, making it easy to swap out on a gimbal.

Tamron 24mm f/2.8 — In the field

The Tamron 24mm is a super fun lens to use, and is approachable due to its compact size and lighter weight. The lens has no image stabilization, but that’s not really needed given the lens’ footprint.

Autofocus performance

While the 24mm isn’t a fast focusing machine, it does so accurately. It can be a bit noisy at times when finding focus, but for what this lens is meant for, it’s more than acceptable. The lens is very accurate with Sony’s Eye AF technology, too.

With a minimum focus distance of 4.7 inches, this lens gets you get incredibly close to your subjects. It’s by far best in its class for up-close focusing.

Macro capabilities

Like its 20mm and 35mm counterparts, the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 offers a 1:2 magnification ratio, making it a great macro option if you don’t want to pick up a dedicated macro lens. I used this on some flowers and it worked incredibly well, letting me to go in on the center of the flower to capture it in ways I wouldn’t dream of with a typical lens.

Being able to focus up to 4.7 inches is one of this lens’ best qualities, making it versatile for both landscape and up-close nature shooters, alike.

Tamron 24mm f/2.8 — Image quality

The Tamron 24mm f/2.8 is a workhorse lens through and through. It gets the job done, whether you’re shooting in open sun or at night. Image quality is great. While bokeh, depth of field and other characteristics won’t blow your socks off, it offered fantastic image quality at a fraction of the cost of other brands.

Distortion control, vignetting and chromatic aberrations

If there’s one area where this lens falters, it’s with its distortion control and vignetting. Without profile corrections, you’ll see a strong vignette and distortion in the center of the frame. This is easily fixable in post-processing, however, so it’s not even close to a deal-breaker.

Sharpness

The sharpness here is surprising, as the lens can capture objects sharp whether you’re shooting wide-open or closed down. Corners can be a bit soft, but improve at f/8.

Bokeh

While not a bokeh powerhouse, the lens can produce some nice background separation. When shooting objects up-close, you can achieve nice, round bokeh balls, which are relatively soft and don’t distract from the main subject of focus.

Color rendition

Like most Tamron lenses, colors tend to lean just a bit warm. They’re still very realistic and pleasing to the eye. If you’ve used a Tamron lens on a Sony body in the past, you’ll immediately know what to expect here.



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Rafael Jones

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