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The Best 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens for Nikon


On this video photographer Lee Morris (co-founder of fstoppers.com) takes a look at 3 new 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses for Nikon cameras using the new D850 to test who is the new king and get some pretty interesting results.

Morris took the new Sigma, Tamron and Nikon 24-70mm lenses for a spin (all with image stabilization – well almost all we shall get to that in a second), and tested how they look, feel, function and perform in terms of sharpness and image stabilization.

First things first – the Nikon is considerably larger but has the zoom ring in the back which can be more ergonomic (at least Morris think so and we tend to agree), the Tamron has that ring in the front but at least the focus ring isn’t super close to it and the Sigma seems to have the least comfortable design but the build quality is top notch (actually all three are very well made).

In terms of sharpness – at least from this test all three seems pretty close the Sigma seems a bit behind but the difference isn’t huge as we mentioned (a more accurate test is needed in our opinion though). Finally, Morris tested VR in video and the Tamron seemed to be a bit better than the Nikon with the Sigma not making any difference what so ever (this can happen for many reasons – a defected lens, issue with lens firmware with the camera, video only issue or something else).

Overall and in terms of pricing the Tamron seem to be the best deal out of the three lenses (at least as it is reflected by this review and if you consider the fact that it is about $100 cheaper than the Sigma and about $1000 less expensive than the Nikon.

With all that said – there are a few caveats that we have about the testing of the lenses in this video. First, there is no AF speed and accuracy test (and yes this is a difficult test to perform sometimes but it is very important especially with third party lenses). Second, the sharpness test should have been done on a better target than this brick wall and there was no test for vignette or flare or chromatic aberrations which are all things that we normally test when we get a new lens for review. Looking at the comments on the video some users also mentioned that Morris didn’t look at the new Tokina 24-70mm. That is true, but in Morris’ defense that lens lacks image stabilization so if this is an important factor for you it might remove it from the competition (otherwise it can be an interesting lens with a very good build quality and superb sharpness and even better – it is even cheaper than the the Tamron).

That isn’t the first time that we have been looking at 24-70mm lenses here on LensVid. We actually published several videos on the subject including a big comparison called “The Big 24-70mm F2.8 Lens Shootout (Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax)” by the guys from the camera store in Canada as well as a head to head between the older Tamron and the Canon 24-70mm lenses by Tony Northrup.

You can check out more of videos from our photography gear guides section here on LensVid.

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