Tamron’s philosophy of designing practical, lightweight, and compact lenses for Sony E Mount Full Frame Mirrorless lenses has proven to be extremely popular, as is the case with their 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD and 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD zooms. The Japanese lens manufacturer is now turning their attention toward prime lenses, unveiling a trio of primes designed from the ground up for Sony E Mount at the annual PhotoPlus Expo in New York City last week. The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 joins the 20mm and 35mm as part of Tamron’s Full Frame E Mount prime lens lineup, which follows the same design philosophy of balancing a small footprint while maintaining portability. The Tamron 24mm f2.8 is exceptionally lightweight, weighing less than half a pound. At just 2.5 inches in length, it also won’t take up much room in your camera bag either. The 20mm and 35mm f2.8 primes weigh less than half a pound as well and share the same exterior dimensions as the 24mm.
We tested the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) with the Sony A7R III.
Tech specs for the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) taken from the official Tamron press release.
|Angle of View (diagonal)*||84°04′|
|Optical Construction||10 elements in 9 groups|
|Minimum Object Distance||4.7 in (0.12m)|
|Maximum Magnification Ratio||1:2|
|Length**||64mm (2.5 in.)|
|Weight||7.6 oz (215g)|
|Aperture Blades||7 (circular diaphragm)**|
|Standard Accessories||Lens hood (Flower-shaped), Lens caps|
|Compatible Mounts||Sony E-mount|
|* for full-frame mirrorless format|
|** Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face.|
|*** The circular diaphragm stays almost perfectly circular up to two stops down from maximum aperture.|
The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) comes with a flower-shaped lens hood, seen here mated onto a Sony A7R III. Like the 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD and 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD zooms, and the 20mm and 35mm f2.8 primes that Tamron announced alongside it, the 24mm f2.8 features a 67mm filter thread. This gives you the ability to share the same set of filters with all of Tamron’s lenses designed for Sony E Mount Full Frame Mirrorless cameras.
At just 2.5 inches in length, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 is rather compact in size. Weighing in at under half a pound, the lens feels remarkably balanced when mounted onto a Sony E Mount Full Frame Mirrorless body.
Minimalism is the name of the game when it comes to the design of the Tamron 35mm f2.8. Aside from the Focusing Ring situated towards the front of the lens barrel, you won’t find any other controls on the lens.
Although the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) we got to shoot with was a pre-production sample, it felt well built and solid despite being lightweight and compact. While the 24mm f2.8 is said to be moisture resistant according to Tamron, we only got to shoot with it on a convention floor. We will need to call in a final production unit for review to put the purported moisture resistance to the test.
Ease of Use
The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) is an autofocusing lens that’s extremely easy to use. You’re basically good to start shooting with it as soon as you mount the lens onto a Sony Full Frame Mirrorless E Mount camera body. The short focusing distance of 4.7 inches lets you get up close to your subject. Eye AF performance felt on par with what we’ve experienced with first-party lenses. There’s also a Focusing Ring towards the front of the short lens barrel that’ll allow you to dial in your focus when you’re shooting in Manual Focus or Dynamic Manual Focus modes.
While the autofocus performance of the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) felt quite snappy, please note that our shooting time with the lens was quite limited. Thanks to its Minimum Object Distance of only 4.7 inches, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 was able to acquire focus on close subjects quickly without any significant hunting. Environmental portrait shooters will be glad to know that Eye AF worked consistently as well. So far, so good, Tamron, but we will surely need to spend more time with the lens before we can render a complete verdict. Please stay tuned for our forthcoming full review.
All sample images seen within this First Impressions article are straight out of camera JPEGs captured using an early pre-production prototype Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) mated to a Sony A7R III. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images have been retouched so that you may judge the quality of the images for yourself.
Tamron’s approach with their Sony Full Frame Mirrorless E Mount lenses has proven to be a successful formula thus far, filling gaps that aren’t already addressed by other first and third-party lenses. By focusing on lightweight and portable design rather than competing with Sony and other lens manufacturers offering lenses with wider apertures, Tamron has struck a chord with Sony Full Frame Mirrorless shooters that favor practicality and lower price tags. Despite being just f2.8 when wide open, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) is able to remain extremely lightweight at just under half a pound while maintaining a small footprint, measuring at only 2.5 inches in length.
Tamron was also able to keep costs down by sharing its lens design amongst its trio of E Mount prime lenses. The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) has an MSRP of only US $349. The same goes for the 20mm and 35mm as well. While Sony’s own 24mm f1.4 G Master is one hell of a lens (earning our coveted Editor’s Choice Award), you’ll need to fork over more than $1,000 over what the Tamron 24mm f2.8 will set you back. Unless you absolutely need those extra two stops of light, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 is one hell of a compelling option for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless shooters on a limited budget that are in the market for a wide-angle lens. Whether those two extra stops are worth spending more than $1,000 for is a question only you can answer.
We look forward to reviewing the final production version of the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) comprehensively once review units are available, please stay tuned for our upcoming full review. The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) will be available on November 20th and is available for preorder now from Adorama.