Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Review
A wide petal type lens hood is included that bayonets securely onto the lens. This bayonet surrounds a 77mm filter thread. Immediately behind this lies the zoom ring, clearly marked and firm in operation. It is smooth enough, although lacks the silky feel of more expensive optics.
The distance scale is between this ring and the thin manual focus ring, and is housed under a clear plastic window. Distances are marked in feet and metres. Focusing is down to 0.24m (9.4 inches), a maximum magnification of 1:5.3 or 0.19x. The manual focusing ring can be used at any time as there is full manual override of the AF system. The ring is much smoother in operation than the zoom ring. Placement of the manual focus ring is such that the hand has no tendency to nudge it inadvertently when zooming.
Closest to the camera body we find two switches. There is the usual AF/MF switch, plus the on/off switch for the VC (Vibration Compensation) system. A benefit of four stops is claimed. Tamron has managed to include VC in this lens for the first time, and have achieved this whilst hardly changing the size at all compared to the previous model. The instructions advise to turn the VC system off when using a tripod.
Weighing in at a modest 440g for both Canon and Nikon versions, the lens is quite compact. It is moisture resistant, something that has been particularly relevant during this review. There are 7 circular diaphragm blades, designed to improve the bokeh of the lens. This is also a first outing for Tamron's HLD (High/Low torque modulated drive motor) which is claimed to improve the speed and accuracy of AF. The diaphragm blades are also driven electromagnetically, now in both Canon and Nikon variants. Only certain Nikon bodies will support this.
Optical construction is 16 elements in 11 groups, which include 1 LD (low Dispersion), 1 XLD (Extra Low Dispersion), Aspherical and Hybrid Aspherical elements. Tamron utilise their BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) and Fluorine coatings.
The lens is compatible with the Tamron TAP-in console, which enables a USB connection to a PC. This makes firmware upgrades to the lens possible, plus fine adjustments to the AF and VC systems.
In use, the lens proves to be extremely comfortable to use and very efficient. Focusing is fast, the lens is compact and light, balancing very well with the Canon EOS 600D used for this review. 10-24mm is a very useful ultra-wide to wide standard lens, offering a powerful wide angle experience even when the APS-C crop factor is taken into account.
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