Review: Tamron 24mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Sony FE Mount)

The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a compact, affordable ultra-wide-angle prime lens for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless shooters.

Introduced late last year, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) is part of a trio of affordably priced prime lenses designed for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless cameras. Lightweight and compact, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 is also weather-sealed, sports a magnification ratio of 1:2, and can focus as close as 4.7 in (12 cm). We’ve been putting the final production version of this ultra-wide-angle lens through a bevy of real-world tests the last few weeks. Available for just $349, find out how the Tamron 24mm f2.8 performed in our full review.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Small footprint
  • Lightweight (7.6 oz / 215g)
  • Very robust weather sealing
  • Excellent image quality overall
  • Close minimum focusing distance
  • Affordably priced at just US $349

Cons

  • Plasticky build quality
  • Quite a bit of optical distortion (although correctable in Capture One)
  • Subpar autofocus performance under low light and low contrast conditions

Gear Used

We tested the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) with the Sony A7R III, Sony A7R IV, Haida M10 Filter System, and MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition Tripod.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) taken from the official Tamron press release.

ModelF051
Focal Length24mm
Maximum Aperturef2.8
Angle of View (diagonal)*84°04′
Optical Construction10 elements in 9 groups
Minimum Object Distance4.7 in (0.12m)
Maximum Magnification Ratio1:2
Filter SizeØ67mm
Maximum DiameterØ73mm
Length**64mm (2.5 in.)
Weight7.6 oz (215g)
Aperture Blades7 (circular diaphragm)**
Minimum Aperturef22
Standard AccessoriesLens hood (Flower-shaped), Lens caps
Compatible MountsSony 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.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics section for the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) taken from our First Impressions article:

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 provides 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 to a Sony E Mount Full Frame Mirrorless body.

Build Quality

Despite the plasticky feel, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is robustly built. The weather-sealing on this lens performed as advertised. Neither torrential downpours nor freezing temperatures had negative effects on the Tamron 24mm f2.8’s performance. Like its 35mm counterpart, the focusing ring just felt too loose. Added resistance when turning would make manual focusing more precise. This is particularly important for long exposure work.

Ease of Use

“Weighing in at just 7.4 oz (210 g), the Tamron 24mm f2.8 feels well balanced when mated to a Sony A7/A9 series body.”

Simply mount the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 onto your Sony camera, turn it on, adjust your settings, and you’re good to go. It’s a straightforward design overall. The only manual control you’ll find on the lens is the focusing ring. No additional buttons or mode switches are present. As previously mentioned, the focusing ring could use more tension when turning. Weighing in at just 7.4 oz (210 g), the Tamron 24mm f2.8 feels well balanced when mated to a Sony A7/A9 series body.

Autofocus

The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2’s autofocus performs reliably under most conditions. While less responsive than native Sony glass, it’s still reasonably quick. Although we did encounter some focusing hiccups under low light/low contrast situations, it’s more than capable for everyday use. The focusing motor does click quite a bit when focusing. While this shouldn’t be much of an issue for street shooters, event and wedding photographers may want to reach for quieter glass.

Image Quality

Overall, you’ll be happy with the images produced by the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2. The results are in-line with Tamron’s other Sony FE Mount lenses that pair quality optics with affordable price points. We found quite a bit of distortion with images produced by this lens (not uncommon for ultra-wide-angles), but we were able to compensate for it easily in Capture One 20.

Bokeh

Thanks to the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD’s close minimum focusing distance (4.7 in / 12 cm), it renders some of the more pleasing bokeh we’ve seen from an ultra-wide angle lens. Understandably, it’s not going to have the same dream-like bokeh from a lens with a brighter maximum aperture. Nevertheless, it’s more than adequate to help isolate your subject from its surroundings. For photographers obsessed with perfectly round bokeh balls, note that out-of-focus light sources will appear increasing like cat’s eyes as they approach the edges of the frame.

Chromatic Aberration

The BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coating on the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD does a good job of minimizing flares. They’ll still occur if you’re shooting towards strong light sources (i.e. the Sun), but the results are far from distracting. While we noticed slight green and purple fringing under super contrasty conditions, you’ll really only notice them when pixel peeping and it’s not terribly distracting. You’ll also notice a small amount of vignetting when shooting wide open, but this can be mitigated easily in post-processing.

Color Rendition

Colors rendered by the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 are vibrant and true to life. You’ll be consistently rewarded with pleasing images as long as they are properly lit and your white balance is set correctly.

Sharpness

You better have some Band-Aids in your camera bag because the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is sharp! Subjects in focus will appear tack sharp throughout the entire frame, even when shooting wide open. There’s also no significant loss in sharpness as we move from the center of the frame towards the edges and corners.

Extra Image Samples

Here are some additional sample images shot using the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 lens. These images were processed using Capture One 20, ranging from color grading, cropping, levels adjustment, and/or perspective correction. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images seen within this review have been retouched so that you can judge the quality of the images produced using this lens for yourself.

Conclusions

Likes

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Stellar weather sealing
  • Excellent image quality
  • Close minimum focusing distance
  • Attractive price point

Dislikes

  • Distortion (easily correctable in Capture One though)
  • Autofocus performance in low light/low contrast conditions

Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of large-aperture lenses being introduced for Mirrorless cameras. While a bright maximum aperture is always appreciated, these lenses tend to carry considerable bulk and heft. A brighter maximum aperture also tends to equate to a higher price tag too. Sacrificing practicality in the name of image quality isn’t always feasible, particularly for photographers who need to travel light. This is where we feel Tamron’s strategy for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless lenses are paying off.

The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) is an affordably priced lens for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless cameras that combines outstanding image quality and robust weather sealing with a compact and lightweight form factor. At press time, it’s cheaper than Sony’s entire native Full Frame E Mount lens lineup, with the exception of the 50mm f1.8. While it’s ever so slightly slower than native lenses in terms of autofocus performance, everything else about the Tamron 24mm f2.8 more than makes up for it. Colors appear true to life, bokeh quality is pleasing, chromatic aberrations are well controlled, and this lens oozes sharpness.

The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 lens for Sony FE Mount earns four out of five stars. It’s a great overall value that delivers solid all-around performance. The only thing holding it back from perfection is its autofocus performance under low light and low contrast conditions. We’re hoping the autofocus performance can be improved with future firmware updates, but only time will tell. You can pick one up for yourself at Amazon for just US $349.

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.