Lens review

Tamron SP AF 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF)

29 June 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The image resolution of Tamrona 10-24 mm has been measured on the strength of RAW files from Nikon D200. The measuring errors oscillated between 0.2 and 2 lpmm depending on the focal length and the aperture used.

Let’s first deal with the performance at the center of the frame. MTF50 values, depending on the aperture and for focal lengths of 10, 17 and 24 mm are presented in the picture below.

Tamron SP AF 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Image resolution

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We don’t have the slightest objections to what we can obtain at 10 mm focal length. What’s more! Here the lens deserves huge praise, as not only does the maximum aperture give us very sharp pictures (values on the level of 37 lpmm), but also at f/5.6 aperture we observe a maximum reaching over 44 lpmm.

Unfortunately, we encounter bigger problems at longer focal lengths. We don’t like the performance at the maximum aperture at all, which, giving results of 24-27 lpmm, doesn’t come to the bound of decency set at 30 lpmm. Fortunately, using f/5.6 aperture makes Tamron reach results that will satisfy every photo-amateur.

I don’t want to justify Tamron’s manufacturers here, but if I were to design such a lens and decide for a compromise, I’d follow a similar path putting emphasis on 10 mm focal length. That’s the main reason people buy this instrument. Focal lengths of 16-24 mm we get in most standard variable focal length lenses which we get with our DSLRs, and they can be eased off.

There are no justifications for the edge of the frame performance, though. Let’s have a look at the picture below.

Tamron SP AF 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Image resolution

Again, serious objections are raised to the maximum aperture, this time at all focal lengths. Even at the best 10 mm we obtain 26 lpmm results, so below the required 30 lpmm. At longer focal lengths MTFs don’t reach even 20 lpmm. After stopping down, only the 10 mm focal length will give us satisfaction from pictures taken. In the range of 17-24 mm even considerable stopping down of the lens will not cause exceeding the 30 lpmm level. Tamron 10-24 falls behind Canon 10-22 mm or Tokina 11-16 here, and it’s hard to justify it in any way.

At the end of the chapter, we present the clippings of our test charts obtained from JPEG files saved simultaneously with RAW files.

Tamron SP AF 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Image resolution