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Thread started 25 Mar 2016 (Friday) 00:15
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What is the best 24-70mm?

 
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aznkid248
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Post edited over 3 years ago by aznkid248.
     
Mar 25, 2016 00:15 |  #1

I shoot with a Canon 5D mark 3, I am wondering if the Tokina AT-24-70mm is better or the Tamron SP 24-70mm or Canon 24-70L 2? Unless, there is a better option than these 3.
I mainly shoot mainly portrait, some landscapes and street photography.




  
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Bassat
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Mar 25, 2016 04:06 |  #2

You'll need to define 'better'.

I'm guessing this is roughly in order of best IQ to worse:

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II - Best IQ, highest price
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC - Next highest price, next in IQ
EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM Macro (almost) - cheaper, but f/4, but IS, has focus shift issue at/near MFD
EF 24-70 f/2.8 - cheaper, still good, big & heavy
Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 - reviewed to be soft wide open, focus problems

I have no idea where the Tokina 24-70 fits in this list. My guess is near the top. I've had some Tokina lenses, and was impressed with the IQ. The old 19-35 was every bit as good as the EF 17-40, except it handled flare poorly. The 11-20 f/2.8 was also excellent, but huge and heavy, comparatively.

As a sidebar, I recently acquired a Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC. Right now I am still trying to figure out the appeal of such a large, heavy, relatively slow lens. The IQ and focus speed are just fine. Focus accuracy decreases in poor light, but that applies to most lenses. So far, I prefer the 24-105 STM to the Tamron 24-70 VC. Smaller, lighter, cheaper, more range. If I need aperture, f/2.8 is not the answer.




  
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bseitz234
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Mar 25, 2016 08:35 |  #3

I really like Roger's take for this:

Roger's Take
Roger Cicala
President of LensRentals.com

If I say there are 4 billion stars in the Milky Way, everyone accepts that. If I say the paint is wet, everyone checks for themselves. I’m not sure which path people are going to take with this statement: The Canon 24-70mm II is the best standard-range zoom ever made. By any manufacturer. Ever. It’s not close.

It’s also the most expensive 24-70 f/2.8 zoom made, but there’s a reason for that. Resolution is as good as most prime lenses throughout the zoom range. Distortion is low. Focusing is very quick and accurate.
If you need the absolute best, then this is what you need. That being said, there are a lot of very good choices in this range: Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, and the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC. All of them are very, very good. They just aren’t quite as good as this one.

January, 2013

source: http://www.lensrentals​.com …ge/canon-24-70mm-f2.8l-ii (external link)



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Bassat
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Mar 25, 2016 08:42 |  #4

Roger doesn't define best, either. He is assuming IQ. What if best means IS? Or less then $800, or smaller/lighter/faster​? Some folks don't want to pay $2000+ for a relatively slow, limited range zoom. Like me. I thought I'd give the Tammy a shot. Completely unimpressed with size, weight and aperture. If 'best' 24-70 means VC, IQ and low cost, the LII doesn't even come close.




  
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bseitz234
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Mar 25, 2016 08:51 as a reply to  @ Bassat's post |  #5

True. Although the size and weight of the canon are on par with the Tamron and Sigma 24-70s, and it's lighter than the Tokina (according to TDP). I think the only real weaknesses of the LII- compared to the other 24-70 2.8s available- are the cost and lack of VC. You can't really get smaller/lighter/faster in a 24-70 right now...



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don1163
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Mar 25, 2016 09:05 |  #6

I think the word 'best' sort of defines itself  :p


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Charlie
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Mar 25, 2016 09:47 |  #7

I've got the 24-70ii and it's great at what it does, however it's imperfect.

no IS.... problem is solved for me though, I shoot sony and have IBIS.

it has some field curvature, so double check group shots, some folks may be OOF.

there seem to be some defective units floating around, refer to this thread: http://www.canonrumors​.com/forum/index.php?t​opic=19396.0 (external link)

so warranty is very important when it comes to that lens. Give it a whirl to make sure it's not in the defective batch, mine is and canon demands 600+ for repair.

the tamron has an excellent warranty, which I have used in the past. Near end of term one of my previous zooms started getting sloppy, so I sent it into tamron for repair, got it back like new. Had to pay out of pocket for a tamron repair before as well, it was a LOT less than canon for the same repair. The 24-70ii indeed has the best optics, and in line with the 70-200ii, however the lack of IS makes it less desirable if I were shooting canon. For portraits, landscapes, and streets, you're probably better off with the canon 24-105 tbh. Sharpness stopped down is very close (yes I still own the 24-105). The 24-70ii is best used for events IMO, which I tend to shoot a lot of, and I like the lens for videos. If you shoot wide open often, both 24-70ii and VC are pretty sharp wide open, and if you stop down a bit, then just stick with the 24-105 or more specialized lenses. The 24-70 is NOT what you want for portraits. For the price of the 24-70ii, you can get close to a 24-105 + 85 1.8 + 135L, the combo will be MUCH MUCH better than just one 2.8 zoom.


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Mar 25, 2016 10:37 |  #8

If image quality is the is the most important reason for purchase, get the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II.


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maisak
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Mar 25, 2016 10:43 |  #9

IMO canon got the best quality.




  
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Bassat
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Mar 25, 2016 11:13 |  #10

Tapeman wrote in post #17948098 (external link)
If image quality is the is the most important reason for purchase, get the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II.

I think what you mean to say is that the 24-70L II is the best compromise available , at any price. For sheer IQ it loses on several fronts to several Canon lenses. I did not research other brands. If you are chasing IQ, there are a lot of 'better' options.

Data culled from PZ.de. (all compared to 24-70L II)

24-70 f/4L - lower distortion everywhere, sharper corners at any aperture or focal length
24-105 STM - sharper corners at the wide end
40 STM - equal center sharpness, better corners at any aperture, lower CA
85 1.8 - lower distortion, lower vignetting, sharper midframe and corners at any aperture, lower CA
24 2.8 IS - less distortion
35 IS - less distortion, less vignetting, less CA, equal sharpness from f/2.8 - f/5.6, @ f/8-11 the 35 is better in the corners

Like any and all lenses, the 24-70L II is a compromise. Given, it is the best compromise available. It is not the best at everything. The biggest drawback (for me) is the price. And like I said above, paying that much for limited zoom, relatively slow, non-IS lens makes no sense to me. I am surely not the only one who can see a LOT of BETTER options. "Best" depends on who is spending the money.




  
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Tapeman
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Mar 25, 2016 11:31 |  #11

Apples to apples.
Sure there are better performing primes out there.
There are also longer and wider primes.

There are other lenses that may perform better at a particular focal length or have less distortion in some areas.
A 24-70 is not be the best choice for all types of photography.

I still think the 24-70 f/2.8L II is the best available at this time.


Canon G1X II, 1D MKIV, 5DSR, 5DIV, 5D MKII, 16-35/2.8L II, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, IS, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS II, 500/4 L IS II, 24-105/4 IS, 50/2.5 macro, 1.4x MKII, 1.4X MKIII, 2X MKIII,580EX II, 550EXs(2), ST-E2.
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Bassat
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Mar 25, 2016 11:43 |  #12

Tapeman wrote in post #17948174 (external link)
Apples to apples.
Sure there are better performing primes out there.
There are also longer and wider primes.

There are other lenses that may perform better at a particular focal length or have less distortion in some areas.
A 24-70 is not be the best choice for all types of photography.

I still think the 24-70 f/2.8L II is the best available at this time.

These statements are mutually exclusive. If A is the best, there are by definition no better choices. Yet you present better choices. "Best" what? needs to be qualified, or it means nothing. "This is the best you can get, but these are better." makes no sense.

I don't think anyone could present an argument that the 24-70L IS is NOT the best compromise available. Still, it is a compromise, on several fronts. The cost alone makes it not the best choice for me. Its size, weight, and aperture don't sweeten the appeal a bit.




  
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amfoto1
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Post edited over 3 years ago by amfoto1.
     
Mar 25, 2016 12:21 |  #13

aznkid248 wrote in post #17947774 (external link)
I shoot with a Canon 5D mark 3, I am wondering if the Tokina AT-24-70mm is better or the Tamron SP 24-70mm or Canon 24-70L 2? Unless, there is a better option than these 3.
I mainly shoot mainly portrait, some landscapes and street photography.

Without a doubt, the Canon EF 24-70/2.8L Mark II is the best of them all optically. Some reviewers refer to it as "a bag full of primes" zoom. It also is the most expensive of them all by a fairly large margin.

If you prefer something a little more compact, I'd recommend the Canon EF 24-70/4L IS USM. It's virtually as good optically, plus has image stabilization.

The Tamron and Tokina are actually pretty darned good, but not quite up to the standards of the Canon. If the Tamron you're looking at has USD focus drive, it would be more comparable to the Canon's USM. Tokina for the large part is still using micro motors that aren't as quick focusing.

The current Tamron is a VC lens, with stabilization that the Canon f2.8 and Tokina don't have.

Be aware that with third-party lenses there's no "future proofing". If you upgrade to a 5D Mark IV or some other future Canon camera model, the 3rd party lenses may or may not work properly. In contrast, Canon L-series are guaranteed to be compatible with all EOS cameras past, present and future. Sigma, in particular, has seen a lot of compatibility issues over the years. Tamron has had some issues, too, though not as many. Tokina has had the least, but also has made fewer models of lenses (Sigma has made the most) and uses a relatively simplistic form of autofocus.

That said, the Tamron has a generous 6-year warranty and the Tokina a more typical 2 year. The Canon's warranty is one year.

And, to be completely honest, on full frame cameras the 24-70mm is not my favorite portrait lens. It just feels a little "short" to me. I prefer 85mm and 135mm. OTOH, I do find my 24-70mm nice for portraits on a crop sensor camera. And, of course, you might feel differently.


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Mar 25, 2016 12:57 |  #14

When I first started researching for a 24-70 purchase, it became apparent that the Canon MkII was optically the best, followed by the Tamron, then the Canon MkI. (For some reason, I never even considered the Tokina because I didn't see anything about it.) However, due to tremors, I need stabilization. So, the "best" for me was a no brainer, and I bought the Tamron. AF gets a bit slow in dim light, but it's something I have to deal with.

Anyway, the "best" choice for one person may not be the best for another.


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sploo
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Mar 25, 2016 13:24 |  #15

Bassat wrote in post #17948159 (external link)
Data culled from PZ.de. (all compared to 24-70L II).

I take some of photozone's sharpness results with a pinch of salt; especially as I've seen a few odd readings at times.

Sample variation is always an issue, which is one of the reasons I like Cicala's data; as he usually compares a good number of lens x against a good number of lens y. In fact, he even sometimes shows why two reviewers have an opposite take on the same pair of lenses (with lenses that have a fairly wide range of results across different samples).

My take: the 24-70II is staggeringly good, but very expensive. It's not the right choice if you need IS for your style of shooting either. Case in point: I use the 16-35 f/4 IS for "tripod not allowed" interior shooting.


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