Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Tamron AF Aspherical 24-70mm f/3.3-f/5.6


Discovering this lens was a bit of a surprise for me. The reason? After literally decades of taking photos, there are still old lenses I had never even heard of. This Tamron AF aspherical 24-70mm is one of them. Or was, anyway, because I discovered one in a garage sale for only $20! A full-frame midrange zoom with autofocus at this price? What can we expect?

24mm can make a difference sometimes. But not always. Sometimes, 28mm is more than enough.


+ in all honesty, optical quality is quite decent. Yes, it's an old consumer lens, but it's usable
+ value. Are you kidding me? An autofocus midrange zoom for your full frame Nikon that starts from 24mm for only $20?
+ although it's plastic, it has a metal mount and overall it looks rather well built

- flare issues, especially @24mm and wide-open
- overall, wide-open performance leaves something to be desired. But seriously, for $20 you get way more than what you pay for.
- autofocus noisy, zoom not very silky. This is an old design and it shows.

Intended Users

Great for:
  • If you want 24mm and can't afford more than $25-30, this is it.
  • If you also have an older film camera, this Tamron has an aperture ring so you won't have any compatibility issues.
  • Trying to check 24mm before committing to a more expensive option? Again, this is for you.
Nothing is spectacular about this lens, but nothing is glaringly bad, either. Just as a decent midrange zoom should be

Not for:
  • I really can't recommend it if you can afford the superb Nikkor AFS 24-85mm - even the non-VR version will be a far better option than this Tamron.
  • Similarly, if you are OK with 28mm, there are many options for not much more money - e.g. the Nikon Nikkor 28-80mm
  • If you don't have to have a zoom, the Sigma 24mm f/2.8 is a far better lens for less than $100 (used)

Final Verdict

For $20, it would really have to be abysmally bad to be worth ignoring. This Tamron is not bad. It's not stellar either, but it will do the job if you don't have anything else. You get more than what you pay for, that's a given.

From all of us at AmateurNikon (that means me), enjoy the holidays!

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