The 10-24mm follows Tamron's current design idiom of functionality without fripperies; the styling is perhaps best described as 'plain'. Build is much as we'd expect at this level, with a metal mount and plastic barrel exterior; however (and perhaps dues to its short, stubby form) this lens feels overall more solid and better-finished than the 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 VC we reviewed recently. The barrel is dominated by the zoom ring towards the rear and the focus ring at the front, with a conventional focus-mode selection switch on the side of the lens next to the mount. Size and weight is very much the norm for this class of lens.

On the camera

The lens is short and stubby and, at 406g, reasonably light in weight; this relatively compact size means it will be perfectly at home even on smaller cameras such as the Canon EOS 1000D, Sony Alpha 200, or Nikon D60. With scarcely any extension during zooming, it also maintains its balance during shooting no matter what focal length you're using. The external controls are all well-positioned, and easy to find and operate with the camera to your eye.

It's worth pointing out that this lens isn't terribly compatible with the on-board flashes found on DSLRs; most of these only cover an angle of view equivalent to using an 18mm lens. At wider angles, the flash will give uneven frame coverage with darkening towards the corners, coupled with shadowing from the lens itself in the lower centre of the frame. This is absolutely normal for a wideangle zoom; if you really want to use this lens with flash you'll need to invest in a suitable external unit.


The 10-24mm features Tamron's now familiar micro-motor based system for autofocus, at least on Canon and Nikon mounts (we presume Sony and Pentax users will get a 'screw-drive' system driven from the camera body). This means that the lens will autofocus on 'baby' Nikon bodies, i.e. the D40/D40X/D60 series.

We've been critical of Tamron's AF systems in previous reviews, but that on the 10-24mm does at least feel a bit faster and more responsive than the ones used on either the 18-270mm F3.6-6.3 Di-II VC or the 70-200mm F2.8 Macro. This is at least in part due to the very small travels used for focusing a wideangle over the most commonly-used distance range; infinity to 3ft/1m requires less than 10 degrees rotation of the focus ring. Of course it's also important to realize that for typical uses of wideangle lenses (e.g. landscapes and interiors) AF speed is not terribly important anyway, as the subject is not exactly going anywhere. Overall this means the AF performance of this lens is quite acceptable in real-world use.

Lens body elements

The lens comes in versions for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLRs. Our sample was in Nikon F mount.
The filter thread is 77mm. It does not rotate on autofocusing, which should please filter users.

A note of warning though; normal 8mm-thick polarisers will vignette significantly with the lens set to 10mm, so you'll need to use a slim-mount one instead. Click here for an example of this vignetting (upper left quarter of the frame, 10mm F8, standard-type Hoya polariser).
The large petal-type AB001 bayonet-mount hood is provided as standard, and fits positively onto the front of the lens. It's made of thick black plastic and features ribbed mouldings on the inside to minimize reflections of stray light into the lens. White dots on the outside of the hood aid alignment for mounting.

There's plenty of space between the hood and filter thread to allow easy rotation of polarisers, but...
...this also means that you might struggle to fit the lens into a bag with the hood reversed for storage, as shown here. That hood is fully 10.7cm / 4.2" in diameter; not exactly a paragon of space-efficiency.
The zoom ring has a 37mm wide ribbed rubber grip, and the action is smooth and precise. It rotates 80 degrees clockwise from wide to, well, less wide; the 'right' way for Nikon owners, but opposite to Canon lenses.

The lens is physically shortest around the 14mm setting, and the front element extends just 10mm on zooming to 24mm.
The 12mm wide focus ring rotates 90 degrees anticlockwise from infinity to 0.5m, again matching Nikon lenses and opposite to Canons. A basic distance scale is marked in feet and meters. The focus ring travels slightly past the infinity position, and rotates during autofocus.

The feel of the focus ring is smooth, but slightly loose.
A large, positive switch on the side of the lens barrel turns the focus mode between auto and manual (and will presumably be absent from Sony and Pentax versions).

Reported aperture vs focal length

Here we show the maximum and minimum apertures reported by the camera at the marked focal lengths.

Focal length 10mm 13mm 15mm 18mm 20mm 24mm
Max aperture
Min aperture