The Best 24-70mm F2.8 Lenses We’ve Tested, and Why They’re Great

When it comes to lenses that offer extreme versatility, you can’t help but think of 24-70mm f2.8 lenses.

If you went up to any working photographer and asked if there was one lens they couldn’t live without, or if they could only carry one lens with them, chances are, they would quickly say 24-70mm f2.8 lenses. This focal range is loved by many thanks to the sheer amount of versatility, and when you throw a fast aperture of f2.8 into the mix, you can start to understand why these lenses are adored by many. 24-70mm f2.8 lenses are perfect for event photographers, documentarians, portrait photographers, landscape photographers, photojournalists, and so many more. Join us after the break to take a quick look at a few of our favorite 24-70mm f2.8 lenses.

If you’re a working pro or are considering becoming one, 24-70mm f2.8 lenses should be high up on your list of wants and needs. Sure, there are cheaper f4 alternatives out there, but that’s a different article. The beautiful thing about 24-70mm f2.8 lenses is the extra stop of light will help you get the shot in less than ideal conditions. The focal range lends itself well to so many different genres as well.

Captured with the Canon RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM

If you’re a portrait photographer, you can go from shooting full body shots to 3/4 and even head and shoulder shots in an instant, and that fast aperture will help create some beautiful bokeh. If you’re an event photographer, you will be able to capture wide shots of the event, and you can zoom in and capture more candid moments easily too. It’s this flexibility that makes these workhorse lenses so invaluable. Below, you will find a few of our favorite 24-70mm f2.8 lenses. All of them exhibit outstanding build quality, and they all have exceptional optics and overall performance levels that will not disappoint.

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fast-focusing abilities
  • Sharp image quality
  • Very lightweight
  • Built incredibly well
  • Well balanced and smaller than the Sony G Master
  • Image stabilization
  • Fairly priced

Cons

  • We don’t have any

Buy now: $2,299

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 S

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Robust weather sealing
  • Solid build quality
  • Fast maximum aperture of f2.8
  • Outstanding image quality

Cons

Buy now: $2,296.95

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD

24-70mm f2.8 Lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Sharp optics
  • Fast-focusing in pretty much any situation
  • Nice bokeh
  • Small and lightweight
  • Considerably under $1,000
  • More than good enough for what most photographers will need to do

Cons

  • Some folks may gawk at the fact that it isn’t a Sony G Master lens and will fetishize the G Master series in the same way Canon shooters put L glass on a pedestal

Buy now: $869

Captured with the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM

Pro Tip: One thing we cannot stress enough is just how important it is to keep your lenses clean. Dust, water, grease, and so many other things can wreak havoc on your lens, and if you don’t clean your lenses often, they simply will not work (nor last) as they should. You don’t need an expensive cleaning kit to take care of your 35mm primes: in fact, this one will do nicely. Keep it in your bag and clean as you go. 

Olympus 12-40mm F2.8

24-70mm f2.8 Lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best built Micro Four Thirds zoom lens we’ve ever held
  • Fast-focusing
  • Snapback focusing ring for manual focusing
  • Excellent color rendition
  • Super sharp
  • Extremely versatile zoom range
  • Weather Sealing

Cons

  • Expensive

Buy now: $849

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art

24-70mm f2.8 Lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Sharp for a zoom lens
  • Optical stabilization
  • Weather sealing
  • Nice build quality
  • The reliability of a 24-70mm f2.8 lens is always really nice

Cons

  • Nothing really

Buy now Canon EF: $1,069

Buy now Nikon F: $1,078.99

Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2

24-70mm f2.8 Lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fantastic sharpness
  • Great colors if you white balance and edit the right way
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Image stabilization
  • Weather sealing
  • Feels good in the hand
  • Very versatile
  • Not too heavy
  • Not badly priced

Cons

  • Tamron’s colors may not be to your liking right out of the camera

Buy now Canon EF: $1,082.49

Buy now Nikon F: $1,069

Pro Tip: While the lenses listed here offer weather sealing, your camera itself may not. If you are unsure about whether your camera can withstand being taken to areas where water, sand, or any other particulates could be a problem, use a weatherproof camera and lens cover. You don’t have to spend a fortune for some added peace of mind. These will do the job nicely.

Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 LM WR (24-82.5mm Equivalent)

24-70mm f2.8 Lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Solid image quality
  • Nice bokeh, sharpness, and color rendition
  • Weather sealed
  • Fujifilm’s best general zoom lens yet
  • Fujifilm gave this an actual aperture ring instead of what they did with their previous kit lens zooms (gave the user a switch)

Cons

  • Feels weird in the hand

Buy now: $1,199

Sony 24-70mm F2.8 G Master

24-70mm f2.8 Lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Well built
  • Lots of versatility
  • Sharp output
  • Fast autofocusing abilities
  • Fairly compact for what this lens is

Cons

  • We’ve seen better bokeh, but this isn’t horrible.
  • Tends to be heavy, though not as heavy as Nikon’s and above everyone else’s offerings

Buy now: $2,198

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.