If you ask an experienced photographer what they would keep if they had to work with only one lens forever, many would answer “my 24-70.” It may not be as budget friendly (ok, not anywhere close to as budget friendly) or as fast of a first lens as the ever-popular ‘normal’ 50mm f/1.8, but once a photographer is sure they’re ready to dive in with a monetary commitment, a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a great starting place that covers a really useful range and is still fast, though it can’t really compete with a prime in that arena.

Revisiting classic DigitalRev before they parted ways with their quirky mascot, Kai, this video sums up some great reasons to think about purchasing a 24-70mm lens if you haven’t got one already.

The 24-70mm marketplace is ever-expanding and price points are falling. Most major brands have one and you can find multiple offerings from Canon, Nikon, and Sony. The third party manufacturers are, of course, waiting in the wings, should you decide you’d like a lower-budget but still a high-quality option. Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma all have versions, with Sigma recently announcing a new 24-70 pony for their stable – an eagerly awaited addition to their coveted Art series that comes in much cheaper than Canon or Nikon.


It’s arguable whether a 24-70mm lens benefits much from image stabilization, but for those who know they’re shaky shooters, there are now a couple of options to help.

Nikon’s most recent 24-70 release, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens, will set you back further than most, currently priced at $2,396.95 at B&H, but if you don’t want to spend as much and don’t mind third-party, Tamron has got you covered with their SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens, priced at a more modest $1,299 (but catch it on sale at B&H now for $1,099 after a mail-in rebate!)Tamron-A007_24-70mmF2-8DiVCUSD

The problem with the Tamron listed above, however, is two-fold. First, Tamron will be releasing a new 24-70 2.8 this year, and then of course there’s the Sigma which is not only brand new, but is in the much-loved ART-line, and costs only $1,299.

However, if you want to stick with a first-party lens there are options that are also more budget friendly. If you’re a Canon shooter and can handle a little bit slower of a lens, look into Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens for a scant $899. This is a particularly good deal if you’re one of the aforementioned photographers who could use a little help staying steady, as this lens offers image stabilization at a much lower price point than the two mentioned above.

Sony’s got a similar offering in their Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens, still swimming in the shallow end of the price pool as far as these lenses go at $1,198 (but grab $100 off in instant savings if you’re ready to pick one up now!)As you can see, many of the options available depend on what camera brand you use, but it will be interesting to see what Sigma’s new 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens brings to the table for multiple brands once we’ve got it in our hands.

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