Best 24-70mm Lenses of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to photography as a passion or hobby, the 24-70mm lenses are like the epitome of perfection.

They are what every photographer starts with. Once you experience the ease and picture quality of a 24-70mm lens, you will fall in love.

​As the market is saturated with brands producing, what they claim to be the best 24-70mm lens, how will you choose the best fit? Here’s how.

Comparison of the Best 24-70mm Lenses

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS

  • Comes with electromagnetically handled aperture diaphragm
  • Due to the ultrasonic drive system, it comes with a speedy and silent autofocus
  • Even at the widest aperture of f/2.8, the image quality is sharp and with excellent contrast
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Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2

  • Comes with a typical zoom compatible for FX-format Nikon F-mount DSLRs as well as DX models
  • Bright f/2.8 constant maximum aperture perfect for low-light and indoor photography sessions
  • Designed with 3 glass-molded aspherical elements/ 1 hybrid aspherical element that reduces distortion and chromatic aberrations
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Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro

  • Best for the money
  • Fitted with 3 SD super-low dispersion glass great for combating chromatic aberrations/distortion.
  • SDM (Silent Drive-Module) accommodates the autofocus for quick and noiseless focus
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G

  • Best 24-70 Lens for Nikon
  • Comes with three extra-low dispersion elements for eliminating chromatic aberrations and color fringing
  • Bright constant f/2.8 maximum aperture is perfectly designed for selective focus techniques
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS

  • Best 24-70 Lens for Canon
  • Comes with ample extra features such as class-leading macro mode, sophisticated image stabilizer, and a four-stop system
  • Two aspherical/two UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) elements for maximum optical quality
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Sony 24-70mm f/4

  • Best 24-70 Lens for Sony
  • Carl Zeiss' T* coatings that eliminate flare as well as gives the lens a boosted contrast
  • Provides controlled chromatic aberrations at all focal lengths as well as all apertures
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What Does 24-70 Lens Mean?

A 24-70mm lens is what many photographers call the “walk-around lens.” It’s the most popular choice among the photographers for an array of shoots. Whether it’s fun, passion, or your bread and butter, a 24-70mm lens can seriously benefit you. 24-70mm is the focal length of the lens; it’s the distance between the sensor of the camera and the optical center of the lens.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS

It is a wide-angle lens that is perfect for teaching and learning photography. This lens will take a wide view, and it’s perfect for landscape, architectural, wedding as well as product photographers. 24-70mm lenses come with very large depths of field, so you can sharp focus both near and far objects with ease. 

What Should I Look For When Buying a 24-70mm Lens

To make sure that you get the best lens, it’s essential to take care of the following:

Learning Curve

How would it be if you can exactly capture what you see? This is the magic of the 24-70mm lens as it’s inspired by the human eye; you capture exactly what you see. Photography schools prefer teaching their students with the help of 24-70. You can shoot zoomed portraits as well as wide-angle shots with ease. 

Close Focusing Abilities

It’s not always easy to capture a close-range object, but with a 24-70mm lens, the work is a breeze. For minimum focus distance, the lens averages at 38 centimeters (15 inches) from the glass. It may not be a macro lens, but it does decently if you want to shoot close-ups of your subject.

Versatile Range

Versatility is the most prominent feature of a 24-70mm lens. You can shoot anything and everything if you have this in your arsenal. Whether you are looking for a zoomed-in shot or a wide-angle one, a 24-70mm lens can switch from one to another seamlessly. 

Comfortable and Sturdy Build

The lens is amiably termed as the “walk-around lens,” and that is mostly due to the comfortable build of the model. Many brands offer weather protection, and due to its sturdy build, it’s perfect for wildlife and adventurous photography destinations. 

Quick Take - Best 24-70mm Lenses

Before we dive into our review, here are the best 24-70mm lenses:

  1. Sigma 24-70mm f/​​​​​2.8 DG OS
  2. Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
  3. Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro

Review of the Best 24-70mm Lenses

Now that you know how a 24-70mm lens works and what you should look for while searching for one, let’s check out the top brands selling 24-70 and get your best fit. 

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Canon

PROS

  • The build is sturdy, compact and it balances well
  • Quick and silent auto focus with an ultrasonic drive system
  • Excellent auto focus as well as stabilization with smooth Bokeh
  • Provides remarkable image quality even at the widest aperture 
  • Exceptional build quality, handling, and performance even in low light settings

CONS

  • Extra-large 82mm filter thread
  • Comparatively heavy for an f/2.8 zoom
  • Not compatible for extreme whether photography as it’s not weather-sealed 

What Recent Buyers Report

With a high positive response, this Sigma model was compared to the 24-105 f4 L Canon, and Sigma won for its sharpness at length. Some reviews marked the lens negative for delivering soft and non-professional pictures. The lens might be heavy, but it’s the top choice for all photographers who love it for its sharp focus. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s the safest lens you can buy. With the sturdy build and compatibility, you can fit it on whatever model camera you have. Also, crisp picture quality, even at full zoom is a great plus. It delivers a decent bokeh, and it’s great for wide-angle shots. It’s the perfect all-rounder.

Who Would Use This Most

The versatility of the camera makes it perfect for all types of photographers, and whether you are into product photography or cover weddings and other such events, the zoom will give you extremely sharp and clear pictures up-close. Moreover, it’s great for landscape and architectural photography due to its wide-angle aperture. 

Bottom Line

For a novice or a professional photographer who is looking to add a new 24-70mm, this Sigma model is perfect. There are complaints about the weight, but if you can ignore that, you will have a great lens at your hand. It delivers perfectly crisp shots at all angles. 

Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 G2 Di VC USD G2 Zoom Lens for Nikon Mount

PROS

  • Nine blade diaphragm for smooth Bokeh
  • Limited color fringing as well as chromatic aberrations 
  • Suitable for an inclement condition with a moisture-resistant build
  • eBAND as well as BBAR coatings to eliminate ghosting and lens flare
  • Comes with dual VC modes for image stabilization and panning movements

CONS

  • Lacks smooth manual focus
  • Zoom doesn’t work well for videography
  • Visible vignetting at 24mm and f/2.8, and lacks sharpness at 70mm 

What Recent Buyers Report

The Tamron G2 comes with high praise regarding its sharp and clear picture quality at both zoom and wide-angle shots. There are a couple of lightly negative remarks about tiresome calibrating, but all in all, it’s a great lens. Compared to the Sigma lens in quality and build, this is a clear winner. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many features that stand out when you talk about the Tamron G2. These include the exceptional build class and handling, as well as the sharpness of Bokeh and the excellent 5-stop stabilizer. G2 competes neck to neck in every aspect with other brands but takes the lead when it comes to affordable prices. 

Who Would Use This Most

The lens is built to accommodate all kinds of photographers. Since it’s the ultimate beginner’s lens, it’s perfect for aspiring photographers who love photography as a hobby and want to pursue it as their profession and future career. Moreover, its picture quality makes it the top priority of professional photographers as well. 

Bottom Line

The Tamron G2 is an exceptionally well-designed lens, with a sturdy build and weather shield coatings. Furthermore, it’s been highly praised for its ultrasonic silent drive auto focus that gives the most precise and quick clicks without a sound. VC image stabilization up to 5 stops is yet another great feature. 

Tokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens for Canon EF

PROS

  • Smooth and sharp bokeh
  • Provides edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Serves well in low-light conditions and interior photography
  • Super-Low Dispersion (SD) glass provides perfectly distributed illumination 
  • Exceptionally compatible with various cameras including Canon 1DX, Canon 1DX Mark I and more

CONS

  • Takes time to focus
  • Considerably heavy for an all-purpose lens
  • Stiff switching between auto focus and manual focus

What Recent Buyers Report

The only complaints that users had with this model was that it is pretty heavy for regular use. Apart from that, all the reviews have been extremely positive regarding the performance as well as the picture quality. Many have praised the smooth and sharp Bokeh of the lens as well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most promising feature of this Tokina lens is its versatility to shoot a variety of sessions, including portraiture, landscape, travel, and all kinds of event shooting. It comes with innovative technology that provides controlled aberrations as well as distortions. It also promises less flare and ghosting with enhanced color and contrast. 

Who Would Use This Most

The beauty of the Tokina 24-70 model is that it’s perfect for all kinds of shooting, so it’s like the perfect companion for both novice and professional photographers. One can shoot a variety of subjects, whether they are looking for wide-angle shots or sharp close-ups. It’s perfect for event and product photography. 

Bottom Line

Once you get past the heaviness of the lens, you will be able to appreciate the overall quality and sturdy build. It’s a solid performer in all aspects. Despite not being a high-end model, Tokina lenses give a tough time to celebrated brands like Nikon and Canon. It’s a purposeful lens that every photographer should have. 

Best 24-70 Lens for Nikon:
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Optimized edge-to-edge sharpness 
  • Gives superior clarity as well as color accuracy
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm for focus quality
  • Silent Wave Motor for speed, precision, and near-silent clicks
  • Dual coating suppresses internal reflections, ghosting as well as flare

CONS

  • Fair to poor Bokeh
  • Fixed, rigid front lens
  • Heavy and expensive compared to the other models available

What Recent Buyers Report

There have been brilliant reviews on this one, with high recommendations for Nikon. Despite the weight, many consumers have loved the feel and build of the lens along with its superior quality image resolution. Plus, it keeps ghosting and flares at bay, giving clear and sharp pictures with both close-ups as well as zoomed-in shots. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Among the many models available, this one by Nikon stands out as it doesn’t get in your way, keeps everything in line, and is a great versatile lens for all kinds of photography sessions. The build is really sturdy and designed with metal alloys to make it extra tough, thereby making it perfect for adventurous photo sessions. 

Who Would Use This Most

Due to its versatility, the lens is an all-rounder. It’s perfect for event photography such as weddings and baby showers as it works great with low light settings. The sturdy and weather-resistant design makes it tough enough to accompany you on your camping, wildlife photography, and trekking trips. 

Bottom Line

To cap it all, the Nikon 24-70 lens is what you call an exemplary lens. The only drawback is slight distortion at 24mm, but even that is easy to amend. For some photographers, the seamless switch between MF and AF can be annoying, but it’s a great lens that can be used in an array of photography sessions. 

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens - 6313B002

PROS

  • Ultrasonic auto focus for silent and fast clicks
  • Maximum magnification ratio to a 0.7x reach
  • Comparatively compact as well as light design
  • Designed with fluorine coatings and weather seals
  • Image stabilizer that detects/corrects vibrations when in macro mode

CONS

  • Potential severe vignetting
  • Bokeh is not so smooth or clear 
  • Slight focus shift while zooming needs readjusting

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers claim that it’s not a low-light lens as the focus loses when the light drops. In addition to that, recent reviews are great with people praising the lens for its image quality as well as the sharp resolution and economical price. Overall, they love how promising it is. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Two points that prominently stand out are the economical pricing as well as the compact and light design. While all other models on the list are heavy, the Canon 24-70 is exceptionally light and easy to carry. The image stabilization technology is another plus point.

Who Would Use This Most

The uses of this model are endless, which is why the targeted audience is pretty wide. Those who love to do event photography, adventurous photography, as well as wildlife photography, will greatly benefit from this lightweight model. Word to the wise, this isn’t a low-light photography lens, so make sure you have an alternate while shooting at night

Bottom Line

Best for people who are just starting out, this lightweight camera is the best one to learn photography. It’s affordable and gives you almost as good pictures as the high-end competition. You get clear, clean, and sharp pictures. Other than the poor Bokeh, everything about this lens is next to perfect. 

Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar T FE OSS Interchangeable Full Frame Zoom Lens

PROS

  • Solid build with a compact and lightweight design
  • Under one-second focus with precise and silent shots
  • Perfect for landscapes, portraits and everything amid those
  • Has a rugged build quality with dirt and moisture resistance
  • Designed with The 7-bladed and rounded aperture diaphragm 

CONS

  • The picture quality is noticeably soft 
  • A lot of Vignetting especially at 24mm
  • At 0.2x magnification, it’s not a lens for macro photography

What Recent Buyers Report

More than half the consumer reviews are great; however, a couple of the most recent reviews reported that it’s way too soft for professional photography. The positive reviews have commended the build quality as well as the pre-set AF settings. Most recent consumers praised the OSS that helps in shooting at slower shutter speeds

Why it Stands Out to Us

Many features make us like this model. Such features include the reasonably premium build with justified weight, silent and precise auto focus, color rendition, remarkable contrast, eliminating flare as well as near perfect stabilization. The lens is way better than any kit lens and should be the perfect choice for beginners.

Who Would Use This Most

Every photographer pursuing photography as a hobby and who wants to learn the ropes of taking great pictures can use this model. This is a great lens for polishing ​your photography art. As long as you aren’t fussy about the sharpness of your image, this should suffice nicely. 

Bottom Line

Despite the soft corners, this particular model is a popular choice for people who want to pursue event photography as well as photography as a hobby. Although professional landscape photographers don’t really prefer the lens due to the softness on edges, it can be great for event photography. 

Advantages of Investing in a Quality 24-70mm Lens

Here are some major advantages that you can enjoy by investing in an all-rounder 24-70 lens; it’s not called the “walk-around lens” for no reason.

Beginner’s Lens

Whether you are taking up photography as your career or your hobby, you should start with a 24-70 and polish your skills. Investing in a 24-70 will pay off in the long run, as it’s the best lens to learn photography and focal techniques. 

Variety

The variety of shots that 24-70 gives you is unmatchable. You can shoot anything and everything with a decent 24-70. It’s great for wide-angle shots as well as portraits. The resolution stays sharp at all focal lengths, and you can do great justice with all your clicks. 

All Climate Lens

Whether you are thinking of shooting in a desert or at the North Pole, your 24-70 will be your best companion. Most 24-70 lenses come with weather shield and dual coating that makes them perfect for extreme climates. It also protects the camera from moisture as well as dust. 

Size

On average, a 24-70 is around 3.28 x 3.28 x 4.86 inches and weighs around 2 pounds (900g). It’s not larger or heavy compared to other lenses out there, so it’s a sane choice to have as your go-to lens.

Conclusion

To sum it up, buying a 24-70mm lens is going to be the best thing you will ever do for your photography passion. These are all-rounder lenses that can do it all and more. Before purchasing, checking our detailed reviews once more will help you select the best 24-70mm according to your requirements.