Best 24-70 Lens – The Ultimate Guide

Photography is an art that we all love to do. Some do it for the profession, while others do it for passion. Whatever be your purpose of using a Camera, the 24-70 lens stands for the personification of photography. This 24-70 lens offers versatility to capture pretty much anything starting from large group shots, wedding pictures, short-range sports, and also landscape shots.

BEST 24-70 LENS

These lenses undoubtedly have a lot to offer. But with so many options available in the market, how would you choose a particular 24-70mm lens. That's why I am here to help you.

I'm Nicholas Gilli, an experienced photographer for the past 15 years. Over these years, I have had a deep knowledge of different camera gears and lenses. And this article, I have curated the best 24-70mm lenses for you. I will also be taking you through the benefits of a 24-70mm lens and will help you choose a lens with the help of an in-depth buying guide. So, ready to begin?

WHY TO CHOOSE A 24-70MM LENS

There are several reasons why a 24-70mm is every photographer's favorite. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Tamron, and much more have numerous 24-70mm lenses that customers always demand. But what makes them so special to know is that kindly read the features given below.

1. DYNAMIC FOCAL RANGE

The main attribute of a 24-70mm lens is its versatility. It is also called a walk-around lens because you can use it for all types of photography: portrait, landscape, street, and much more. If you are looking for a go-to lens for your traveling purposes, this is a good choice because you get to work with 35mm, 50mm, and 70mm, which is supreme for travel photography.

2. GREAT FOR BEGINNERS AND PROFESSIONALS 

Both professionals and beginners alike can opt for a 24-70mm lens. In the case of beginners, you will get a chance to explore more about your photography. This lens will aid in wedding photography, taking professional close-up portraits, and sports photography for professionals.

3. CAN ALSO BE USED TO TAKE MACRO SHOTS

Yes though 24-70mm lenses are not made explicitly with macro capability. They help take close-up shots effectively because most 24-70mm lenses have a minimum focus distance of 38cm. So with this lens in your hands, you can take close-up shots of flowers, wedding rings, etc. However, for insect or bug photography, you need to go for a macro lens for sure.

4. OTHER FACTORS:

  • With less distortion it makes learning easy for new photographers.
  • It allows capturing a variety of shots without the need to change the lens.
  • The close focusing abilities are excellent for a subject in close proximity.
  • Comfortable built with solid and sturdy bodies.
  • Compatible and easy to carry around size and weight

REVIEWS OF THE BEST 24-70MM LENSES

Choose your appropriate Camera brand here,

BEST 24-70MM LENSES FOR CANON

1. CANON EF 24-70 F/2.8L L II USM

Canon 24-70 - best 24-70 lens

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • For Canon Full-frame and APS-C cameras. 
  • Fast, silent and full time mechanical autofocus.
  • Filter thread measures 82mm. 
  • Comes with a lens hood. 
  • Image stabilization -  NO
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds.

FEATURES:

What makes this lens take the first place in this list of best 24-70mm lenses is its image quality and AF speed. The lens uses a full-frame format so you can use it with any of your Canon full-frame cameras. 

The best part about its design is that it has a f2.8 aperture which will allow you to take beautiful shots even in dim lights. And if I have to speak about the lens's additional features, it has got an internal focus mechanism, it is weather sealed, full-time manual focus is possible with the lens.

DESIGN:

Want a quick comparison between the build quality of the Canon 24-70 f2.8 L USM and this Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM. Well, let me tell you first the Company has reduced the size of the lens. This Mark II is comparatively small and less bulky. It weighs around 700 grams. The lens is mainly made of metal with a little bit of plastic used in the lens's front. 

For delivering a fast and speed AF, the lens has a ring-type Ultra Sonic motor. We say a lens to be worth the purchase when it's downsides are very minimal. In the case of this lens, chromatic aberrations/ color fringing is minimal because it has 1 Super UD element, and 2 UD elements inside.

For giving an excellent bokeh there are 9 rounded blades in the aperture design. All this means that the lens is definitely a high performer.

PERFORMANCE:

I used this lens on my Canon 6D which is is a full-frame camera body to check if the lens performs to the mark. And yes it did, I was able to take full body shots and clear family portraits with this lens. 

I would like to compare the Canon 24-70mm II vs Canon 24-70mm I in terms of image quality.  The earlier version itself delivered crisp and clear images and with the Mark II version it is even better.

In terms of sharpness, the lens is much sharper than its previous 'I' version. The sharpness remains constant throughout the focal range with perfect center sharpness. People who are interested in getting shallow depth of field techniques will love this lens. So wedding and portrait photographers shouldn't miss out on this lens.

Mid range sports photographers can also opt for this lens because it can track fast moving objects with perfect clarity.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Fast autofocus.
  • Great for photojournalists and wedding photographers.
  • Sharp image quality.
  • Accurate, life-like color.
  • Vibration reduction.

2. SIGMA 24-70MM F/2.8 DG OS HSM ART LENS

sigma 24-70 - best 24-70 lens

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Allows full-time manual focus override. 
  • Internal focusing.
  • Filter thread measures 82mm.
  • Image stabilization: YES
  • Lens's front element is dust and moisture resistant. 
  • Compatible with Sigma USB dock.
  • Weight: 2 pounds

FEATURES:

If you search for a third-party 24-70mm lens for your Canon cameras, then this could be a good buying choice. You can pair this lens with Canon APS-C cameras and enjoy an equivalent full-frame length of 38.4-112mm.

With this lens shooting in different climatic conditions is not a challenge because the lens is completely weather sealed.

DESIGN:

Comparing the Canon 24-70 vs Sigma 24-70, this lens has a better build quality and optics. It weighs over a kilogram, so it isn't a lightweight lens, but it looks very compact. The metal lens mount with a weather-sealed gasket at the lens's end adds to the lens's durability.

In terms of autofocus, this lens's focusing is also tack sharp, speedy, and accurate—the reason being the "Stepper Motor" included in the design. Moving on, the lens has 9 rounded blades for giving you perfect defocus effects.

The biggest plus with this lens is that it is optically stabilized, unlike the previous lens. This is one of the best features of this lens!

PERFORMANCE:

Apart from delivering high-quality pictures and videos, the lens also handles negative effects like distortion, flaring, aberration and ghosting in a controlled way. Because the optical structure of this lens is good, it has 4 aspherical glasses, 3 SLD elements that are given a Super Spectra coating.

The scope for using the lens remains as that of the previous lens. You can use it for shooting mid-range sports, wildlife pictures of large animals in a zoo, and even take family photographs of around 5-8 people in a frame.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Excellent value for money.
  • Great build quality.
  • Virtually no chromatic aberration.
  • Sublime image quality.

3. CANON RF 24-70MM F2.8 L IS USM

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Nano USM for delivering fast auto-focus.
  • 9 rounded blades. 
  • Comes with a lens hood.
  • Diameter: 88mm
  • Weight: 2.36 pounds

If the above stated Canon 24-70mm lenses didn't convince you this lens will surely win your heart. This Canon RF lens is for for your  mirrorless cameras like M50 and other Rebel cameras, this is a solid choice.

The best features of this RF 24-70mm L lens include a 5 stop Image stabilization, fast AF, and a fast aperture of f2.8. The only big difference is the lens's price. Yes, as this is designed for mirrorless cameras, it will cost you more. But definitely worth purchasing the lens.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Built-in stabilization.
  • Broadly usable zoom range.
  • Great optical properties.
  • Has a zoom lock feature which is very useful.

4. TOKINA ATXAF247FXC 24-70MM F/2.8 PRO

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Multi-layer coatings to reduce lens flare.
  • 9 rounded blades. 
  • Sensor format: Full Frame/EF
  • Large filter thread measuring 82mm.
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

I am wrapping this category of best 24-70mm lenses for Canon with this third-party lens from Tokina. This lens is comparatively less pricey when compared to the lenses stated above, so those looking for a budget option can consider purchasing this lens.

The construction of this lens is also commendable; it has got an internal focusing mechanism, one-touch clutch mechanism on the lens barrel to switch between auto and manual focus.

Photographers love this lens for the silent and speedy AF it provides. The lens is capable of doing so because it has a Silent-Drive AF system.

Lastly, chromatic aberrations and distortion are minimal because the lens has specialized glasses, including 3 SD (Super-low Dispersion) elements and three molded aspherical elements inside.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Gives a pleasing bokeh effect.
  • Great optical properties.
  • Allows full-time manual focus override.

BEST 24-70MM LENSES FOR NIKON

5. NIKON AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8E ED

Nikon 24-70 - best 24-70 lens

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • 9 rounded blades.
  • Fast f/2.8 aperture with an electromagnetic diaphragm
  • Sensor format: Full Frame 
  • Vibration Reduction.
  • Weight: 2.36 pounds
  • Internal focusing
  • Filter thread measures 82mm.

FEATURES:

If Nikon is the brand you're searching for, I would recommend you to go with this lens. Though the lens is designed for Nikon's FX cameras, DX users can also purchase this lens. However, you have to take the crop factor of 1.5x, which will give an equivalent field of view as 38mm to 112mm.

One of the top features of this lens is its speedy AF, thanks to the Ring-type USM motor present inside the lens!

DESIGN:

When comparing this lens with its predecessor Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, there are few changes in the optical design. Today there are many lenses with ED glasses; however, this was the first Nikon lens to introduce this glass in the design. In addition to this, there are HRI glasses inside to tackle the negative effects of chromatic and spherical aberrations.

Also, this improved version is 370 grams heavier than the old model. In the lens' tag, you must have noticed an E tag. This means the lens has an "electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism" to provide a consistent exposure for motion shots.

Like how Canon uses Super Spectra coating on its glass elements to reduce lens flare, Nikon uses Nano and Fluorine coating to improve the optical performance of a lens, and this lens has that.

PERFORMANCE:

Be it fashion photography, concert photography, or headshot photography; this lens will aid you. You needn't use extra flash or lighting gear as the lens' f.8 aperture to make your dim shots brighter.

I call this the best Nikon 24-70mm lens because its image correction of up to 4 stops gives me smooth footage even in low-light.

Coming to the main part, which is image quality: This lens renders sharp and accurate color reproduction. The lens focuses accurately on the subject when the autofocusing is turned on.

Lastly, the bokeh quality of this lens is splendid. The pictures look natural with perfect blur effects.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Built-in stabilization.
  • Broadly usable zoom range.
  • Great optical properties.
  • Dirt repellant Fluoro coating.
  • Durable construction.

6. TAMRON F/2.8 DI VC USD G2 - BEST LENS FOR LANDSCAPE

TAMRON F/2.8

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Eband coating provides superior anti-reflection properties
  • Dedicated MPU delivers the highest image stabilization
  • Ideal for backlit photography
  • Length: 111mm
  • Filter thread measures 77mm.
  • Weight: 1.98 pounds

FEATURES:

A completely weather-sealed lens that can take your portrait and landscape photography to the next level! I would say this is an all-in-one lens because it is equipped with all the top-notch features such as Vibration Compensation, excellent build quality, ultra HD image quality, and a wide aperture of 2.8.

DESIGN:

If I have to compare this Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 G2 version with its predecessor, there are no significant changes in the optics. In terms of build quality, this lens is made of high-quality plastic, giving a solid feel to the lens. Adding to it, the metallic lens mount with a weather sealing gasket is present at the back of the lens.

Like most lenses mentioned in this list, this also has a 9 bladed diaphragm to give you a breathtaking bokeh effect. When you compare this 24-70 Tamron lens vs Nikon 24-70mm lens, Tamron lens has added benefits.

Firstly, unlike the Nikon 24-70mm lens, where there was only internal focus, this lens outranks it by providing an internal zoom facility. Also, the image stabilization is rock steady with this as it has a 5 axis stabilization.

It has also got a focus limiter switch on the lens barrel. You can either switch to "FULL" or set it to infinity '. The lens comes with a zoom lock switch to make your night or day shoots even easy, so don't worry about the lens falling from the barrel.

PERFORMANCE: 

With executive details, improved best-in-class, and high-speed zoom, Tamron is designed to maximize the potential of the latest high-pixel-density. The use of high-quality glass material offers great optical transmittance.

This is just the lens for someone who uses the gear for 12+ hours and is looking for high reliability. It has a ring-type ultrasonic system and comes complete with the usual manual override.

The high-performance Micro Processor for Auto Focus improves the autofocusing accuracy and speed of the camera, thus enabling you to capture pictures fast. Last but not least, the Eband coating in the lens gives you impressive anti-reflection properties and reduces flare and ghosting.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Excellent weather sealing.
  • Great sharpness even when wide open.
  • Good for one lens setup.
  • Accurate consistency.
  • Ultrasonic drive provides a smooth autofocus

BEST 24-70MM LENSES FOR SONY

7. SONY F/4 - BEST SONY E MOUNT LENS FOR VIDEO

SONY  F/4 - Best 24-70 Lens

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Moisture and dust resistant design.
  • Auto focusing and minimum focusing distance.
  • Circular 7-blade aperture for beautiful defocus effects.
  • Weight: 0.93 pounds.
  • Filter thread measures 67mm. 
  • Comes with a metallic lens hood.
  • Closest focusing distance:40cm

FEATURES:

Sony is known for producing some top-notch camera lenses, and this SONY 24-70MM F/4 is not an exception. It is designed for Sony's full-frame mirrorless cameras. The lens is branded by Zeiss Tessar for Sony.

This general-purpose zoom lens is weather-sealed and image-stabilized, making it another best 24-70mm lens.

DESIGN:

The lens is slightly big; it weighs almost 0.4 kilos. In terms of the lens quality, it's reassuringly solid as it is fully made of metal.
When comparing this Sony 24-70 lens with other lenses mentioned in this list, the bokeh quality is not very creamy.

So if you ask me If you could do this for professional use, I will say not really? However, beginner-level photographers can make the best out of this lens.

PERFORMANCE:

The autofocus speed is not splendid, but it is not worst either. It is mediocre; it has a Linear Autofocus Motor inside. But I appreciate the AF performance in total it is accurate and also less noisy. Adding to it, the lens is weather-sealed and also image stabilized.

IMAGE QUALITY: The center sharpness of the lens is top-notch throughout the zoom range. However, the corners look a bit soft at longer focal lengths. That's why I prefer this lens for beginners and not professionals. 

If you're planning to purchase this lens, make sure the camera has an in-body stabilization because you will notice some barrel distortion and vignette at 70mm. Apart from that, everything else works great in this E-mount Sony lens!!

What I liked about this lens:

  • Impressive color rendition.
  • Comparatively cheap.
  • High quality image in the middle of the zoom range.
  • Effective image stabilization.
  • The focus and zoom ring turns smoothly.
  • Splash and dust proof.

8. SONY SEL2470GM E-MOUNT CAMERA LENS

SONY SEL2470GM

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dust and moisture sealed design.
  • Nano AR coating to reduce surface reflections.
  • Length: 136mm.
  • Weight: 1 pounds.
  • Diameter: 82mm. 

In the new era of standard zoom performances, the Sony SEL2470GM E-Mount Camera Lens offers a no-compromise design and technology that can fully utilize the performance potential. Favored for its versatility, the lens has a wide-angle design for E-mount mirrorless cameras. 

What I liked about this lens:

  • Natural, life like images.
  • Outstanding sharpness.
  • High manufacturing quality.
  • Resistance to flare.

BEST 24-70MM LENSES FOR PANASONIC

9. PANASONIC LUMIX S PRO 24-70MM

PANASONIC LUMIX

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • High speed aperture for smooth defocus gradation
  • Rugged dust and splash resistance.
  • Length: 140mm .
  • Filter thread measures 82mm. 
  • Weight: 2.06 pounds.

FEATURES:

This professional-grade lens is designed for Leica's full-frame cameras. If you own an S1-225 camera, then this lens is a perfect match to it. It is a fast lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8.

DESIGN:

The lens itself speaks the story. Panasonic has done its best in this lens' manufacture. It is sturdy as it is made of metal.

It weighs almost 1 kilogram in terms of lens weight, so it is a slightly heavier lens. However, the reason for this weight is because the lens has good quality specialty glasses inside.

PERFORMANCE:

The bokeh quality of this lens is what made to list this lens here. It is creamy and perfect for taking photographs of human subjects with good compression.

Video makers will find it as their best partner because the zoom and focus rings add to comfort. They are non-sticky and provide a good grip on your fingers. While tracking fast-moving objects, the lens does lose a bit of its focus.

However, for slow-moving and still photography, this lens is ultimate. I don't consider the lack of image stabilization in this lens a big drawback because most prominent Panasonic cameras have in-body stabilization.

So wedding photographers and filmmakers looking for a 24-70mm f 2.8 lens for their professional Panasonic and Leica cameras should try this lens.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Excels in video recording performance.
  • Fast, high precision AF to ensure photo details.
  • Travel friendly light lens.
  • Depth expression with beautiful bokeh

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST 24-70MM CAMERA LENS?

Yes, I agree that 24 to 70mm lenses are versatile and can be very useful. However, not all 24-70mm lenses need to be the same, and anything should be best for you. They may vary in the aperture settings, sharpness, lens mount, and much more. So, kindly read the factors given below before you head out to purchase a 24-70mm lens. 

1. LENS MOUNT

The first thing to keep in mind while purchasing any lens is to see if it is compatible with your camera. In the case of lenses, the lens tags like EF, EF-S, FX, etc., stand for the different lens mounts from other brands. This is a critical factor because you may end up buying a Nikon mount lens for your Canon camera. It is also essential to check if the lens is a full-frame or APS-C format lens. 


If you want a table comparison of the different lens mounts, kindly click this link.

2.  AuTOFOCUS CAPABILITY

If you're a beginner wanting to take casual photographs, then the autofocusing speed may not be very critical to you. But say you're a professional filmmaker or sports photography, you need a fast AF system to track the action shots.

In that case, go for a lens that has a reliable autofocus motor like Ring-type USM. It would give you fast, accurate, and speedy AF.

3. APERTURE

Are you going to take shots indoors or under bright sunlight? Will you need background blur effects for your pictures and videos? The reason behind asking you these questions is because a lens' aperture is involved here.

Wider the aperture, the more effective your low-light shots, and the background isolation will be supreme. Most of the lenses mentioned in this list have wide-aperture (f-stop of 2.8). However, if you're particular that you shoot in normal lighting conditions and don't want only a particular area in focus, you can consider purchasing the f/4 lenses as well. It is totally your choice.

4. IMAGE STABILIZATION

If you wish to take blur-free pictures and videos, it is necessary that the lens has this feature. Also, for taking longer shots at night, this feature is very important. But one thing to keep in mind is different brands call this IS feature in different ways. As this article sticks to Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Tamron, and Panasonic, I will tell you how these brands call their stabilization feature.

CANON - IS (Image Stabilization)
NIKON - VR (Vibration Reduction)
SONY - OSS (Optical Steady Shot)
SIGMA - OS (Optical stabilization)
TAMRON - VC (Vibration Compensation)

4. BUILD QUALITY OF THE LENS

As 24-70mm, lenses are pricey; these lenses are robust. However, if you need particular features like metal mount, weather sealing, internal focus, you need to check if the lens has these.

When it comes to size, as most 24-70mm lenses are pro-grade lenses, they are generally heavy, so you may need to carry a tripod or monopods with you while shooting.


If you want to take your photography to the next level, know about the camera lens filters. Even professionals photographers sometimes find it hard to hound the exact differences and function of every individual lens. But learning more detailed info on lens functionality, focal lengths, and uses will help you employ it in the right situation.

FAQs

1. Is a 24-70mm lens useful for taking portraits?

Well, yes.  The lens is beneficial for taking full-body close-up shots and environmental portraits. You just have to fic the focal length at about 50mm or 70mm to achieve a beautiful subject photography. In case you want to take environmental portrait with focus on the background as well just set the focal length at 24mm or 35mm and you're good to go.

2. Tokina 24-70mm f2.8 vs Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 which is better?

Both provide value for the money. However, I would prefer a Tamron 24-70mm lens for few reasons. Firstly its AF is fast and less noisy. The center sharpness is excellent at smaller focal lengths in a Tamron lens; also, they provide a better bokeh quality than Tokina 24 to 70mm f2.8 lenses.

CONCLUSION

Choosing a lens always depends on an individual’s purchasing choice dedicated by his/her budget, choices, preferences and overall needs. But choosing a perfect 24-70mm lens for your DSLR depends on more than just choices and preferences. Certain considerations like the manufacturing details (date, company, year, etc.) should also be paid attention to.

With the knowledge of best 24-70mm lenses, you are now ready to pack your bag with a worthy arsenal to take on your photographic adventures. Regardless of your needs, this list should help you get started in the right direction!

Share your views on the comment section below.

Nicolas Gilli
 

Hi, I'm Nicholas Gilli, I'm a blogger who is very much interested in blogging about film-making gadgets. I have experience as a cinematographer in the film industry for more than 15 years. My blogs would comprise of articles about film making gadgets and guides on how to use them. Even if you are a beginner you will learn a lot about cinematography here. Happy reading.

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