Our 3 Favorite f2.8 Zoom Lenses for Professional Photographers

One of these is bound to be your favorite f2.8 zoom lens after you try them!

The venerable f2.8 zoom lens is one of the darlings of many photographers out there. It’s a staple for portrait photographers, photojournalists, wedding photographers, and more. It’s also a fantastic lens for passionate photographers who do this as a hobby. They prove to be some of the most useful lenses in almost any situation you can name. Better yet, they’ve become more affordable for what they offer of the years. We dove into our Reviews Index and found some of the best f2.8 zoom lenses you can get. You’ll love these!

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Pro Tips on Using f2.8 Zoom Lenses

Here are some professional tips on how to use f2.8 zoom lenses for your photography.

  • Shooting ambient light? Then there’s almost no reason to take the camera off of the aperture priority setting.
  • F2.8 zoom lenses are so great for professional photographers because they give a shallow depth of field and lots of light at every focal length.
  • At wider focal lengths, you can shoot at slower shutter speeds. At longer ends, you need to get to faster shutter speeds.
  • Don’t forget to stop the lens down. It will get a bit sharper when you stop down to f5.6 or f4.
  • All of these lenses that we’re recommending are very well weather-sealed. So they’ll survive while being on your camera in dust and rainfall.

Canon RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM: A Fantastic f2.8 Zoom Lens Overall

In our review, we state:

The Canon RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM is an excellent lens for the Canon photographer. It makes the system more usable and sensible. It’s a lens targeted to professional photographers. Those photographers will be able to justify the investment not only because of the image stabilization but also because of the lightweight and small size. The lens is portable when working on location. Beyond that, the image quality is outstanding. While it’s such, it’s still not going to outdo Nikon’s 24-70mm lens. Canon’s zoom lenses have typically been their best, and to me, this isn’t comparing to the 28-70mm f2 that much. If I were to compare the Canon RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM and their RF 28-70mm f2 L USM, I’d say the f2 lens is designed for the photographer who really demands the highest-end image quality and the most innovation. The Canon RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM is more of a lens that helps it catch up to the rest while also providing image stabilization. To that end, it’s a lens I’m considering purchasing because of how satisfied I am with the results (while also balancing the fact that I need a zoom lens these days).

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Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 Z S: The Best Image Quality

In our review, we state:

As a photographer who tends to gravitate toward prime lenses, I was genuinely surprised by the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70 f2.8 S. Nikon’s Z mount mirrorless cameras are still playing catch-up with more established mirrorless systems on the market, particularly in terms of autofocus performance, but the new 2.0 firmware certainly helped improve the overall experience. As a result, the Z mount 24-70 f2.8 was a much more reliable and enjoyable lens to use when stacked up against its f4 cousin. Despite costing more than twice the price of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70 f4 S, the stellar optical performance of the newer and faster f2.8 variant will undoubtedly be its most significant selling point. The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70 f2.8 S’s hefty price is further justified by the lens’ ability to produce vibrant yet color-accurate images, the consistent sharpness throughout its focal range, and its ability to minimize chromatic aberrations and distortions. For many photographers who have made the switch to Nikon’s mirrorless Z mount, their wait for a fast and reliable workhorse zoom lens is finally over. As far as innovation goes, the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 S adds a top OLED screen. This makes it stand out from a lot of the rest when it comes to usability. Whether or not this justifies the price tag is up to you. It’s still more expensive than Sony’s option.

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Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD: An f2.8 Zoom Lens That’s Super Lightweight

In our review, we state:

“In the case of the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD, I want to emphasize to many that ignorance will be bliss. The Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master is much more expensive and does what the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD does slightly better in certain respects. It’s going to focus slightly faster with Eye AF and it’s going to be slightly sharper. The warmer feel of the optics may also appeal more to certain portrait shooters. But the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD is arguably just as weather sealed, can focus quickly in most situations, and has more vivid colors that will make landscape photographers want to pick it up.”

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.