Lens Comparison 24-70mm f/2.8 – Canon Versus Tamron


If you’re looking to upgrade from your kit lens the 24-70 f/2.8 lens is a common choice. It’s got a good range zoom and wide largest aperture of f/2.8 for the entire range. But which one to choose? Brand name or third party?

In this video Matthew Gore does a really comprehensive lens comparison between the brand name Canon brand name version, and the Tamron third party one. He takes a look at focusing and how much noise each produce, sharpness at different focal lengths and apertures and chromatic aberration.

There is a significant price difference, as he mentioned. Take a look at both:

Also available are:

At $600 more (almost 50% higher) is it worth it to you? See which he recommends in the video and which he would purchase and why.

Do you own one of these lenses? Which one and why did you select it? Please share your thoughts in the comments on whether you feel the third party lenses measure up to brand name ones.

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Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • I bought the Tamron about a year ago and I love it. It may not focus as fast as the Canon version but it does very well most of the time. I wish the low light focus speed was better during weddings but I have faired well so far. Other than focus speed in low light it’s fantastic. Even if the canon is sharper I do not need it. I already do skin softening in post so why would I need any sharper?

  • a_eh

    Great casual comparison between the two lenses. I upgraded from the original 24-70L to the tamron for over a year now and it has been great. It’s slightly sharper than the original canon and regardless if the mkii is slightly sharper still, the VC is simply incomparable. The VC is great for weddings and event photography, and a godsend for some video work (hand-held, steadicam, some dolly work, etc). For any occasion that you need image stabilization, all the sharpness in the world isn’t going to help. Never even considered the mkii, to be honest.

  • a_eh

    Agreed. And when you need absolute sharpness, you go to a prime anyway ?

  • Anand joshi

    Tarun 24-70mm 2.8 is amazing.. I use It With My Nikon D7100..

  • Joe

    Can’t justify the price of the canon, I went with the tamron and never looked back. The same goes for the 70-200, the tamron is half the price.

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  • Dale Brokaw

    I love the Tamron. Most of my shooting is off tripod and the image stabilization is great. When testing both lenses in the store, I did much better with the Tamron especially at focal lengths of 40mm and greater. I don’t even drink coffee but the VC sure helped me get clearer images. I would have bought the Tamron if they were the same price.

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  • Dave Helps

    I own the Tamron. Bought it about 6 months ago. I also have the 28-75mm on my second body. I had 3 Canon lenses that all jammed. After the 3rd one jammed I phoned Canon Canada and asked them if there was a recall on them. Was told no and there was nothing they would do as the final lens was just out of warranty. Having numerous other Tamron lenses for my film cameras I bought the 28-75. It has not disappointed me yet so the 24-70mm was a no brainer when I got my new camera body. Focus is always tack sharp. Fast and quiet. Love all my Tamron lenses.

  • David Seward

    I own the Tamron. Cost wasn’t warranted for the level of photography that I am at.

  • Channah Lerman

    I have the Tamron, for my Nikon D750. And I love it. It is a very good lens for daily use.
    I even use it for photography kids in kindergarden.

  • Ali Baba

    I bought the Tamron 24-70 about two years ago, and fell in love with it. It was my work horse lens for about 90% of the time. But then it all went pear shaped . . . .
    The grip around the manual focus ring somehow loosened over time and came off?!
    Same thing then started to happen to the zoom ring?! Baffled as to how this happened.
    Not a huge problem, but then during a wedding the lens suddenly seized up on me and refused to work at anything other than wide open at f2.8, not ideal for group photos, I always carry a couple of back ups so it didn’t ruin the day. I sent it for repair and the aperture ribbon had broken, sent it for repair, was returned, worked solidly for about a month and aperture ribbon snapped again – this time aperture stuck at f22.
    Overall very pleased with the lens performance but build quality simply does not compare to the Canon L series.

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