Lens review

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

29 June 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

6. Distortion

Lenses like Tamron 10-24 use such projection (called rectilinear), which tries not to bend straight lines, so at a given focal length gives us a smaller field of view than the one in a fish-eye lens, and at the same time produces strong deformations in the corners of the frame. It’s worth to go back to geography lessons from primary school now, and recall the world map created in gnomonic projection, in which all the meridians and parallels are straight lines. As long as we were close to the equator and tropics the deformations of continents’ and countries’ surfaces were small, once we moved to placed near the North Pole Greenland, we were dazzled by monstrous size of if, as it appeared different on a normal globe.

Our tests show that ultra wide-angle variable focal length lenses never produce some especially large distortion. It’s easier to correct them with this aberration, as they usually have small zoom (the factor of 2x) and always operate on wide angles. Meanwhile, the distortion causes the most problems in lenses which have to work as wide angle and tele, which is the result of a large focal length factor.

Tamron 10-24 mm at the shortest focal length shows noticeable, but hardly onerous barrel distortion, whose level was measured to be -2.78%. For longer focal lengths the distortion is still barrel-like and amounts to-2.41% and -1.87% for the medium and the end of range respectively.

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These aren’t really stunning results. Both Sigma 10-20 mm and Canon 10-22 performed better here. The latter at its widest angle showed the barrel distortion of -2.4%, but for longer focal lengths this aberrations is practically equal to zero.

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

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

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