The Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a moderate wide-angle and one of the three wide-angle lenses that Tamron released in 2019 for Sony cameras with an E mount. They are wonderfully light, affordable, good and can also focus very close.
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- Overall score: 91
- Sensor size: full frame
- Mount: Sony E
TEST RESULTS Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2:
The Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a wonderful lens to always keep on your camera.
Tamron surprised friends and foes alike with three new wide-angle lenses for Sony: a Tamron 20 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, a Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 and a Tamron 35 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2. The lenses have a fixed focal point and are not very bright. You would expect that they would be nice and small, but that is not really the case. Tamron has chosen to give them all the same 67mm filter size, which is also the standard for the f/2.8 zooms for Sony, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD and the Tamron 17-28 mm f/2.8 Di III RXD. Because of this, they have the same diameter as the zooms. If you look at the amount of glass in these lenses, you can see that the lenses could have been a lot slimmer. They are, of course, a lot shorter and also considerably lighter. In addition to the standard filter size, a uniform building method probably also results in lower costs. The three Tamrons are very affordable, especially if you look at the good optical performance.
With a brightness of f/2.8, the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is no brighter than the previously released Tamron 17-28 mm f/2.8 Di III RXD wide-angle zoom. It does, however, weigh half as much as the zoom and is a lot shorter. This lens is therefore, for example, a nice addition to, for example, the Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 Di III RXD. It can also be a good alternative to the wide-angle zoom for photographers who like to travel light. And it is a wonderful lens to always have on your camera. Because it is short, it doesn’t get in the way so much. The three new wide-angle lenses have a great feature that you will not find on the zooms, and that’s the ability to focus to a magnification of 1:2. Because of this, you can get almost-macro photos with a lot of background in view. That creates different images than you can make with a longer macro lens.
BUILD AND autofocus
The Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 has the same plastic housing as the 20 mm and 35 mm. The use of plastic makes it feel less high-quality than, for example, a Zeiss Batis lens. But that’s a purely emotional argument. High-quality plastic does not have to be less good than metal. The advantage is that the housing feels better in cold weather and that the whole lens is a bit lighter. It is sealed against dust and moisture and has a gasket at the rear. The lens is also fairly simple. The only control element is the wide focus ring. The lens has no AF/MF switch or Focus Lock button. This makes it easier to seal this lens, of course.
The Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 focuses reasonably quickly and quietly. It uses the OSD (Optimized Silent Drive), not the RXD motor that we find in the zoom lenses. A difference between the 24 mm and, for example, the 17-28 mm f/2.8 zoom is that with the 24 mm there is no internal autofocus, but the entire lens group moves for focusing. Partly because of this, the autofocus is a fraction slower. You will also see a significant change in the image ratio during focusing. That’s not great for video, because it creates a lot of focus breathing. The focus is very accurate. The manual focus is not linear. That’s a problem for video, though, and hardly or not at all for photography.
The Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 performs exceptionally well. We don’t expect anything else from a not-too-bright fixed-focal-length lens, but it’s not always as good as with this Tamron. The sharpness is excellent at full aperture, with only a very small gradient from the center to the corners. Stopping down one stop causes a slight increase in sharpness, but then the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is already at its peak. Some chromatic aberrations can be seen in the uncorrected RAW files, but with the lens corrections on, they disappear almost completely, and the files look nice and clean.
The vignetting is not much, both in RAW and in the jpegs. In RAW, it’s 1.1 stops at f/2.8 but a fraction more than in the corrected jpegs. That means that the corrections hardly cause any decrease in the dynamic range, and that’s good. Stopping down one stop halves the vignetting, but after that it doesn’t really decrease. All in all, a very nice result.
The Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 has a seven-blade diaphragm that ensures beautiful round bokeh balls at full aperture. The bokeh is very nice, with hardly any hard edges and little restlessness in the soft areas. If we close the diaphragm to f/16 or f/22, you can get sun stars with the 24 mm, although Tamron’s BBAR coating doesn’t make that very easy. The points also always remain a bit woolly and do not become sharp. On the other hand, the 24mm hardly suffers from flare at all due to that good coating. The contrast and colors are beautiful.
The values for the distortion look very different from those for vignetting. In RAW, distortion is out of control at more than 5.5%. But we increasingly see today that many modern lenses are designed for corrections. Normally, correcting so much distortion would cause less sharpness in the corners, but we don’t see that at all with this Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2. In short, the corrections result in reasonably little distortion, 0.8% barrel-shaped, and the sharpness remains high, even in the corners. So it’s really not a problem. That 0.8% is perhaps just a little too much for critical architectural shots, but for documentary photography or landscapes, it’s negligible.
What’s great about the Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, and that also applies to the 20 mm and 35 mm, is that it can focus very close. In the case of the 24mm, that’s up to 12 cm. This produces a magnification scale of 1:2. A subject of about 6 centimeters in size is almost full screen. Because the Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a wide-angle lens, you can get more background in view than with macro lenses with a longer focal length. You can use that when photographing flowers or insects in their environment. Of course, your depth of field with very short shooting distances is very small. And then the quality of the bokeh is important. And that’s perfectly fine on the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, with no hard edges or restless artifacts in the soft areas.
With this Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, there is again more choice for lovers of wide-angle lenses. A logical competitor is the Samyang 24 mm f/2.8 FE. It is even lighter and much smaller and therefore wins if you want to keep your set really compact. But it cannot quite compete with the Tamron in terms of sharpness and contrast, and the sharpness in the corners is also lower. For a little more than double the price and weight of this Tamron 24mm, you have the excellent Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD. So if you’re considering purchasing both the 20 and 24 mm, that might be a more logical choice. Then there’s also the Zeiss Batis 25 mm f/2.0. That is even better optically, as well as brighter, but you can buy all three of Tamron’s fixed focal lengths for about the same price. And for a little extra, you have the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM. A big, heavy, expensive, but also very bright, uber-wide angle. However, both the Zeiss and the Sony are in a completely different segment. If you’re looking for an affordable and good wide angle, then the Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a good choice.
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 SAMPLE IMAGES
Curious about the performance of the Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 in practice? Click on the button below and visit our renewed web gallery with sample images. The images can be downloaded in full resolution to be viewed at 100%.
ConclusiON: REVIEW Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 oN Sony A7R IV
The Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a good lens for basically everything you want to use a wide angle for.
The Tamron 24 mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a very nice wide angle for Sony cameras. It’s nice and light, nice and short, and above all, it performs very well. This is a good lens for basically everything you want to use a wide angle for: discreet and unobtrusive for street photography and sharp from corner to corner for landscapes. It’s a great addition to the 28-75 mm, or a fine lens in combination with a standard lens and a light telephoto to put together a light and good-quality set of fixed focal lengths. The low price makes it extra attractive. With this Tamron, there is again more choice for wide-angle enthusiasts.
- Overall score: 91
- Sensor size: full frame
- Mount: Sony E