Similar in size and weight to its Sigma rival, the constant f/2.8 Tamron features a layout of zoom ring at the body end and focus ring by the front element.

Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony/Minolta fit, further similarities include zoom lock and AF/Manual focus switches on the barrel. What the Tamron doesn't offer is a macro facility, though it will focus to 0.27 metres.

Image quality was disappointing, however. The Tamron suffered from wide-angle barrel distortion and was softer at all zoom lengths and aperture settings, especially wide-open.

It also caused underexposure errors on our EOS 400D when shooting with the built-in flash, which didn't happen with any other lens. The last niggle is the loud, high-pitched autofocus motor.