Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Review

June 16, 2017 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is a fast ultra-wide angle zoom lens for Canon and Nikon APS-C DSLR cameras. It features a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at the 10mm focal length, Vibration Compensation (VC) technology, new HLD (High/Low torque-modulated Drive) focus motor for fast and quiet AF operation, full-time Manual Focus override, and a moisture-proof construction. The optical formula comprises 16 lens elements in 11 groups, including one XLD (extra-low dispersion) element and one LD (low dispersion) element to reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations, and an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades. The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens officially retails for £579 / $499.

Ease of Use

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD ultra-wide-angle lens is both compact and lightweight, measuring almost 8.5cms in length and weighing in at 440g. On an APS-C camera like the Canon EOS 80D that we reviewed it with, the effective focal range is 16-38.4mm.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDThe Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens mounted on a Canon EOS 80D

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDThe Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens mounted on a Canon EOS 80D

Build quality is very good, despite Tamron traditionally offering lenses at the cheaper end of the market. The more premium-priced Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD feels solid in your hand, even if the outer barrel and the filter thread appear to be made from plastic.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDThe Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens mounted on a Canon EOS 80D

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDThe Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens alongside a Canon EOS 80D

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDSide of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

The zoom ring is fairly wide and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. The lens extends by about an extra 1cm when zoomed in to 10mm or out to 24mm.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDSide of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDSide of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDFront of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

The focusing ring is much narrower, making it difficult to locate in a rush. There's a distance scale that runs from the closest distance of 24cm to infinity, but no depth of field scale. An AF/MF switch on the side of the lens makes it easy to switch between the two focusing systems.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDRear of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

 

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDSide of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

The final control is the VC On / Off switch, which turns the lens' built-in Vibration Compensation on and off. In practice we found it offered around 4 f-stops of compensation, obviously dependant upon your own particular hand-holding technique, making it easier to use the lens in low-light.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDSide of the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDThe Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens in-hand

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDThe Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens with the supplied lens hood (HB023) fitted

The lens is supplied with lens caps and a removable petal-shaped lens hood - there's no bag included. You can use traditional 77mm screw-on filters with this lens.

Auto-focus

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD features a new HLD (High/Low torque-modulated Drive) that allows near-silent auto-focusing. Importantly, this solution allows instant manual override even when the focus mode switch is in the AF position. In use, we found the focusing to be indeed very quiet, and pretty fast - but definitely not instantaneous - with the lens mounted to a Canon EOS 80D body.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are impressively well controlled with this lens - the examples below show the worst-case scenario.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

Flare

Flare is a typical problem with wide-angle lenses, so we were curious to find out how the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD fared in this respect. As these examples shows the lens is is susceptible to flare when shooting directly into the sun, even with the supplied lens hood fitted.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

Light Fall-off and Distortion

With the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD wide open, you can see some very noticeable light fall-off in the corners. Stopping down helps, although to completely get rid of this phenomenon, you will need to use an f-stop of f/8 or smaller. There's also some distortion apparent at both ends of the zoom range.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDLight Fall-off at 10mm

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDLight Fall-off at 24mm

Macro

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is not a macro lens, but you can focus quite closely at 24cm from the film/sensor plane and the maximum magnification ratio is 1:5.3. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLDClose-up performance

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

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