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Tamron was originally slightly late to the party in marketing an ultra-wide zoom for APS-C/DX sensor DSLRs, with the company's 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 appearing in June 2005. This lens turned out to be the last in a flurry of releases that also included Sigma's 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC, Tokina's 12-24mm F4 DX and Canon's EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM (Nikon had stolen a march early on, with the 12-24mm F4 DX appearing two years previously). With all of these competing lenses offering more compelling specifications in one way or another (i.e. the wider zoom ranges of the Sigma and Canon, or the faster constant maximum apertures of the Tokina and Nikon) it's perhaps not surprising that Tamron has now become the first to introduce a second-generation lens in this category, with this, the SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF). Announced at Photokina 2008, the new optic clearly aims to trump its rivals with a significant boost to the specification; the zoom range jumps to being the largest in its class, and the maximum aperture is increased by two thirds of a stop throughout the range.

Tamron has managed to deliver this upgrade in a lens only marginally larger and heavier than its predecessor, and the optical design required to achieve such a feat is suitably impressive. The formula features 12 elements in 9 groups, with a plethora of special elements to minimize aberrations; namely one high-precision, large-aperture glass-molded aspherical lens element, three hybrid aspherical elements, two LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements and one HID (High-refractive Index) glass element. The design also promises enhanced peripheral illumination (i.e. lower vignetting), combating a common problem with ultra-wide angle lenses, and improved coatings to minimize image degradation due to flare.

The 10-24mm enters the market keenly priced to compete with similar lenses from Sigma and Tokina, and is therefore substantially cheaper than the wide angle zooms available from the camera manufacturers themselves. This combination of high specification and relatively low cost will no doubt appear compelling to many potential buyers; let's see how its performance measures up in actual use.

Headline features

  • Ultra-wideangle 15-36mm equivalent focal length range
  • F3.5-4.5 maximum aperture
  • To be available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts (Nikon includes built-in AF motor)
  • Designed for APS-C/DX format DSLRs only

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to less wide (on Nikon DX format, 1.5x).

10mm (15mm equivalent) 24mm (36mm equivalent)

Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.4-4.5 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) specifications

Street price • US: $475
• UK: £360
Date introduced September 2008
Maximum format size APS-C/DX
Focal length 10-24mm
35mm equivalent focal length • 15-36mm (1.5x DX)
• 16-38mm (1.6x APS-C)
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 109º - 60º
Maximum aperture F3.5-4.5
Minimum aperture F22-29
Lens Construction • 12 elements/9 groups
• 2 LD glass elements
• 1 HID glass element
• 4 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus 0.24m
Maximum magnification 0.20x
AF motor type Micro Motor
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization None
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood AB001
Weight 406 g (14.3 oz)
Dimensions 83 mm diameter x 84 mm length
(3.3 x 3.3 in)
Lens Mount Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony Alpha

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area