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The Best 24-70 Lens for Canon: 4 Great Models for Canon Photographers

If you own a Canon camera you have access to some of the best and most-varied lenses in the world – both official Canon lenses and third-party from manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron. One of the most popular lens types is the 24-70mm zoom lens. In this guide, we look at the best 24-70 lens for Canon for different lens mounts including the EF and RF mounts.

Why Choose a 24-70mm Lens?

First, let’s establish why the 24-70mm is such a great zoom range. This focal range covers multiple types of photography, and also covers a host of common focal distances that are featured as prime lenses. Essentially, you could buy the best 24-70 lens for Canon instead of spending a fortune on multiple prime lenses.

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens, Black
The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is a powerful 24-70mm lens for EOS R cameras

24-70mm covers wide-angle, street photography, portraits, and events photography, for example. It also covers popular prime lens focal distances like 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 70mm. The only type of photography it doesn’t really allow for is telephoto. But still – you could save on expense buying a 24-70mm lens, and a telephoto lens, as opposed to a handful of prime lenses.

Essentially, 24-70mm is one of the most versatile focal ranges for general photography use and this is why it is so popular.

The Best 24-70 Lens for Canon – List

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Constant f/2.8 aperture, USM autofocusing, L-series;
Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM
Constant f/2.8 aperture, USM autofocusing, Image Stabilization;
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM
Constant f/4.0 aperture, USM autofocusing, Image Stabilization;
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art
Constant f/2.8 aperture, HSM autofocusing, Optical Stabilization;

Best Overall 24-70 Lens – Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Best Overall 24-70mm Lens for Canon

This L-series lens remains a superb quality item and offers unparalleled image quality.

  • Weight – 805g
  • Dimensions – 88.5 x 113mm
  • Aperture Range – f/2.8 – f/22
  • Image Stabilization – No
  • Autofocusing – Ring USM

Our choice for best 24-70 lens for Canon has to be the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. This is an older lens but it still holds up really well and offers fantastic image quality and usability. It has an advanced lens construction that includes 1 Super UD element, and 2 UD elements – these help to reduce distortions like chromatic aberration.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

For autofocusing, it uses Canon’s Ring-type USM which allows you to focus quickly and accurately. This is great for wildlife photography or sporting photography where the subjects are moving quickly. Also, the aperture blades are circular which allows you to create a rounded bokeh effect. This is perfect for professional photo shoots where you need a clear separation from the background and foreground subjects. Also, for durability, this L-series lens is dust-sealed and has weather-resistant coatings.

The only downside is its relatively big weight and size. Regardless, if you want ultimate quality and a versatile lens, this is the best choice currently available.

Advanced autofocus system
High-quality lens element
Excellent maximum aperture range
No image stabilization

Check Price of Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L

Best 24-70mm Lens for EOS R Cameras

This lens offers ultimate quality and a consistent maximum aperture of f/2.8.

  • Weight – 900g
  • Dimensions – 88.5 x 125.7mm
  • Aperture Range – f/2.8 – f/22
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Autofocusing – Nano USM

For Canon EOS R cameras, the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is a superb choice. RF lenses, in general, are excellent quality, and this model is no exception. It includes optical image stabilization which corrects for up to 5 stops of camera shake. It also has a decent minimum focusing distance of just 0.69ft. It isn’t a macro lens by any means, but you can still use it to take some impressive close-up photos.

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens, Black
Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM

In terms of image quality, it has an advanced lens construction with an array of elements to reduce distortions and improve color depth and contrast. It has Canon’s advanced Nano USM autofocusing motor. For high-end photography, this will make a difference and allow you to produce the perfect shots that your clients are looking for.

Related Post: Canon RF Lens Roadmap

We also like that this lens has a control ring that you can program for various functions – this greatly improves its utility. For example, if you were shooting in varying light conditions, you could program it to change the exposure. Also, like other L-series lenses, this model is dust and weather-sealed with fluorine coatings which make it incredibly durable.

Programable control ring
Durable and weather-resistant exterior
A superb lens construction
Price tag
Quite heavy and bulky

Check Price of Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L

Best Budget 24-70mm Lens

This L-series lens still offers superb quality and just has a smaller maximum aperture.

  • Weight – 600g
  • Dimensions – 83.4 x 93mm
  • Aperture Range – f/4.0 – f/22
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Autofocusing – Ring USM

If you want something a little cheaper, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM is one of the best options. This is essentially the same lens as the f/2.8 version, but it has a slightly smaller constant maximum aperture of f/4. This does make a difference, but it can still take amazing photos. Even with the decrease in maximum aperture, you can still create bokeh effects and separate your central subject from the background.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens - 6313B002
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM

As the best 24-70 lens for Canon on a budget, this product has the Ring USM autofocusing system and has a minimum focusing distance of 1.25ft. The autofocusing system ensures you can focus quickly on moving objects, even in low contrast situations. The lens construction features 2 UD elements and 2 aspheric elements which drastically improve image quality.

Related Post: Canon STM vs USM Lenses

You can also use this lens to shoot decent macro shots as it has a 0.7x magnification ratio. We also like the built-in image stabilization which corrects for up to 4 stops of camera shake. This is perfect for hand-held photography and means that you don’t always have to rely on a tripod.

A great budget option
Has an advanced lens construction
Lighter and smaller
Only has a maximum aperture of f/4

Check Price of Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L

Best third-party 24-70mm Lens

This high-quality lens has an excellent design and offers consistent image quality and aperture.

  • Weight – 1020g
  • Dimensions – 88 x 107.6mm
  • Aperture Range – f/2.8 – f/22
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Autofocusing – HSM Motor

If you aren’t bothered about buying official Canon lenses, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art is an excellent third-party alternative. Sigma Art lenses are comparable to Canon L-series lenses and have an incredible build quality.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Canon
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art

This lens has a great lens construction that reduces ghosting, flare, and other distortions. You can expect consistent image quality and minimal softening even at the extreme edges of photos. Also, it has a great maximum aperture of f/2.8. This means you can produce beautiful bokeh effects, and create stylish out-of-focus backgrounds in portrait photography, for example.

In terms of autofocus, this lens has the HSM motor which allows for quiet and fast focusing. Also, it features Optical Stabilization which is Sigma’s form of image stabilization. This means that you should be able to comfortably use the lens handheld, even in challenging situations. Overall, this is a great third-party lens and a viable alternative to official Canon products.

Has IS and a fast AF system
Durable and weather-resistant
Has a great maximum aperture
Heavier than Canon counterparts

Check Price of Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8

Get Equipped with a Great 24-70mm Kit Lens Today

We hope you have found this article beneficial. A 24-70mm lens is a great piece of kit to have for your Canon camera. The best 24-70 lens for Canon can act as a versatile lens that you can take with you for numerous occasions.

This focal distance provides wide-angle capabilities at 24mm, covers the widely used 50mm focal distance, and even errs towards zoom territory at 70mm. Also, the Canon lenses listed above are all excellent quality in terms of focusing, color depth, image quality, and usability.

If you are looking for a kit lens for your camera for general usage, one of these 24-70mm options would make a perfect pick.

Canon 24-70mm Lens FAQ

Is 24-70mm good for portraits?

Yes! Any focal distance between 35mm through to 70mm could be used for a variety of different portrait compositions.

What is the best 24-70mm lens?

For Canon, we have chosen the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM as the best option. It provides fantastic image quality but is also easy to use.

Does Canon 24-70 have image stabilization?

The EF L-series f/2.8 does NOT have image stabilization, whereas the cheaper EF L-series f/4.0 does have built-in image stabilization.

What is the Canon 24-70mm lens good for?

This focal distance can be used for a range of photography including landscapes, street photography, events photography, and portraits to name a few examples.


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