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24-70mm Lenses Reviews Round-Up (Canon, Tamron, Sigma)

The 24-70mm is a wide-angle to medium telephoto range that’s popular with full-frame shooters (e.g. photojournalists), so I thought it would be a good idea to write a 24-70mm lenses reviews round-up. Canon, Sigma and Tamron are the brands of choice. If used on a APS-C sensor, the lenses give you an equivalent of 36-105mm.

Canon recently released the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II lens ($2300) to succeed the now discontinued EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM (still available on eBay for around $1800). Canon’s new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II has a rather hefty price tag, and no image stabilization. Being an “L” lens it is totally weather sealed, and the overall build quality is on line with Canon’s “L”-philosophy. The video above and the sharpness test below feature the “old” EF 24-70mm, which also comes without image stabilization.

The Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD ($1,299) is cheaper than both Canons and has image stabilization(VC), making it an interesting alternative. The weather sealing of the Tamron is defined as a moisture-resistant construction [that] helps prevent water from penetrating the lens. For a lab test of the Tamron click here. And then there is the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM ($899), no image stabilization, no weather sealing and definitely the less expensive of the three. A review of the Sigma can be read here.

At learningdslrvideo they were particularly interested to compare sharpness. They used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III for the tests. The results are discussed in the video above. That’s what they found out:

  • At 70mm
    • f2.8: Tamron beats Sigma (Sigma looks bad in the center and edges), Canon beats Tamron ever so slightly at center and edges
    • f5.6: Sigma beats Tamron at both center and edges, Canon beats Sigma only at center, edges are a tie
    • f8.0: Sigma and Tamron tie, Canon wins slightly
    • f16.0: All three tie
    • f22.0: Sigma does a nice job beating both Tamron and Canon
  • At 24mm:
    • f2.8: Sigma beats Tamron in the center, Tamron beats Sigma in the edges, Sigma beats Canon in center, Canon beats Sigma in the edges
    • f5.6: Sigma and Tamron tie, Sigma beats Canon in the center
    • f8.0: Tamron beats both Canon and Sigma
    • f16.0: All three tie
    • f22.0: All three tie
The Sigma may not have the excellent build quality of the Canon, nor it has any sort of weather sealing like the Tamron. Nevertheless, the Sigma has an excellent build quality), and its sharpness is good. Obviously sharpness is not the only concern for a photographer (though one of the most important). However, the Sigma is much less expensive than the Canon and the Tamron.
The next video shows a 24-70mm Canon vs. Tamron shootout (by youtube user TheCameraStoreTV). This time the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II lens comes into the game.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II price and availability:  Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM price and availability:  Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD price check: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM price check: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy

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