Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR vs. Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 vs. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art lens comparison

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR ($2,196.95) vs. Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 ($1,199) vs. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art ($1,299) lens comparison video:

"If all three of these lenses were the exact same price, I would probably choose the Nikon but it's basically double the price of the competitors. The Sigma lens was certainly my favorite to look at but it couldn't quite keep up with the Nikon or Tamron when it came to ergonomics, image quality, and stabilization. For the past few years, I've owned the previous Nikon 24-70mm lens without VR and the previous Tamron 24-70mm with VC and I exclusively used the Tamron. Literally, my only gripe with the old Tamron lens was that it was ugly and it felt cheap. I'm happy to say that Tamron has fixed both of those issues and they have produced a lens that I think looks much better than the Nikon version and is actually on par with it functionally."

Via Fstoppers

This entry was posted in Nikon Lenses and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Lihkin

    I saw this video earlier and think something was wrong with his copy of the Sigma. I can’t believe that the OS was that bad…

    • funny photo, I know that expression 🙂

    • Ed Hassell

      The Sigma Art got panned over at LensRentals for several reasons.

      • cBBp

        I abandoned also, went to 20mm Art – small 35-70mm f/2.8. It is super sharp. I mean amazingly. puts these new lenses to shame. But only at f5.6 and below. old Nikkor-PC 28mm f/4 is stunning as well.

      • Marco

        I did the same and now I almost exclusively shot primes. To be fair with all the producers, the 24-70 zoom range is so difficult to design for so many different reasons. Had it be my choice, i would always sacrifice the image stabilization to get an uncompromising image quality. So, i guess, if you really want that focal range, you kind of need to compromise and accept the drawbacks.

      • akkual

        24-70 is the classic reporter lens. If I’d go make a story from unforseen and unpredictable circumstances, I would always select 24-70. That said, I do no longer do that, so I go with primes mostly.

      • ModifiedJason

        I’ve been pondering the 24-35 because I have the superb Nikon 14-24 which is great for landscapes, but I do a lot of photography in clubs and its actually TOO wide. I carry a 35 1.8, 50 1.8 and 85 1.4 mostly but sometimes the 35 isn’t quite wide enough for group shots in busy clubs. I’d probably swap the 35 out and carry the 24-35, 50 and 85 instead.

    • Eric Calabros

      Sigma OS is joke, at least in their 24-70 I happened to use. Its like OS element drops from high altitude.

    • Average Citizen

      That might put his assertion about Sigma build quality on “shaky” ground

  • Vinnie

    Tamron has been upping their game with the new G2 series upgrades. At the price difference between Tamron and Nikon it certainly seems the Tamron is the best buy and performs as well overall compared to the Nikon. While his copy of the Sigma was disappointing to say the least, he may very well have had a bad copy of the Sigma. I personally would not hesitate to get the Tamron over the Nikon.

  • Chris AonePhotography Bovance

    It actually bought the G2 this week. I cant what to shoot with it! I did toms of research like everybody else… it was hard to go with Tamron but i believe i made the best decision.

    • fanboy fagz

      ” hard to go with tamron” and then “made best decision”

      makes no sense

      • P. Turtle

        Perhaps what he means is that being a traditional Nikon user, it was hard for him to switch to a 3rd party lens, but he believes he made the right decision.

      • It makes perfects sense. Your answer makes no sense.

        • fanboy fagz

          how your momma made you makes no sense.

  • Graham Blaikie

    Regarding the more zoomed in look of the Nikon lens at 70mm compared to the other two, could that actually be evidence of focus-bleed with those? With the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f2.8G ED VRII it was found that at the 200mm setting at closest focus it would actually zoom out to 135mm. Possibly the same thing is happening with these. Another test focusing at long distance should show this.

    • I don’t think focus bleeding is a thing. Perhaps you mean breathing?

      • Michael Rauls

        If it breathes it bleeds…. Dutch.

  • No mention of AF accuracy / speed?

  • bobgrant

    Looks like Nikon has fixed the focus breathing on the 70-200 VR series with the latest 2.8E, but the Tamron and Sigma are breathing badly with these mid-range zooms. Looks like they only get to around 55mm at close range. Someone needs to look into that as it would be a deal breaker for those who want the 70mm end at typical distances for event shootings.

    • fanboy fagz

      actually look at the 24mm of the nikon 24-70. bad vignetting AND not as wide as the other 2. how do you estimate at 55mm?

      like morrison said, id take the tamron all day everyday

      • Are you talking about the new one? Damn. That’s the actually useful end.

      • onthedot

        I did not experience the vignetting on my new Nikon VR version.

        • fanboy fagz

          yours is the special vip model. the one with no vignetting. the rest of the world got the non vip model that does.

          • onthedot

            Yes, whats your point?

    • vriesk

      OTOH, I actually do appreciate that my 70-200 G goes to 55mm when focusing close on the wide end for what I mostly do with it – things like street and public event photo, policital demonstrations and such – becaue I can still capture people close by without cropping them.

  • fanboy fagz


  • Aldo

    Have to agree on the outdated gold ring/font on nikon lenses… I’d much prefer the black/red look from canon… but I guess they have to stick to tradition

    • Richard Haw

      that black/red thing is also a traditional thing for brand C

    • Red highlights are the colour of the stripes on the A-Team Van and cheap knockoff hifi products from the 80s by the likes of Sansui and Akai. (Ok, I admit that the F4 made that chevron look good)

  • karayuschij

    Still waiting a good and light 24-70 f/4 for Nikon…

  • Originaru

    NO AF tests? No bokeh? No geometric distorsion, no CA, no vignetting?
    What a professional test!
    I just don’t trust in those guys, marketing and ingenuity are so close to each other.

    • Jim Huang

      They’re never that technical when comes to review.

      They have sort of cover the distortion, vignetting with the brick all test though.

      I mean if you really want those number, DXO or lensrental are probably the better place.

      These guys are mostly do “real world” tests.

      • How the lens looks outdoors…

      • Originaru

        Sorry, i’m not asking for a DXO test, but a proper review…
        he didn’t even cited those topics.
        I’m sure you are young and starting to read all of the camera BS on the internet, i know those guys since they launched the FSTOPPERS web site, i used to acces once a day, then i noticed they were not worth listening, i gave them a try since it was posted in Nikon rumors, regreted. Almost 3 years without touching their ULTRA SENSATIONALISTIC articles.

    • Max Verstappen

      Right. We all know most of these internet reviewers are not independent. I have one Tamron lens the 45 1.8. A nice lens but after a while you dind all kind of little differences with Nikon. Autofocus less accurate, exposure errors, little color shift and so on. By the way I am very satisfied with my Nikon 24-70mm without VR. You can buy used for bargain prices now.

    • onthedot

      The bokeh is so important for the portraiture I do. I wish he would have taken a few samples.

  • Jim Huang

    I’m just wondering if the sigma will perform better if they change the OIS setting from the dock.

  • sickheadache

    I was so disappointed with Sigma’s is a ok lens..not even worthy of “Art”. The Tamron’s motto here, is everything old is new again..same old lens..with new sheeps clothing..

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    Th comparison Dustin abott made showed the sigma to have far nicer colours than the tamron.

  • Fernando Costa

    Sigma seems to have the worst design, the zoom and the focus ring all most touch, and the zoom is in opposite direction of traditional Nikon is, I bought the new 70-200 g2 from tamron and if the 24-70 g2 is as good I would not blink twice.

  • Gerard Roulssen

    The NIKKOR lens is the best; best image quality, best focusing, best build quality, non-questionable compatibility, etc. That’s why it costs so much more.

    Fact is, in photography 5-10% better lenses cost 50-100% more, not as much as they’re better. We pay a lot higher prices for items being just a bit better. The 28/1.4E NIKKOR costs 2.500€ and Zeiss Otus 28/1.4 costs 4.500€ – and it doesn’t even have AF. Is it almost twice as good? No, it’s not – fact is, it’s just a bit better.

    So these reviews, where the reviewer “reveals” that a similar lens for half the price is actually the best, are pure and utter nonsense.

    • bobgrant

      You’re wrong about this. The Nikon lens is excellent, but the size is a KILLER. I own a lot of Nikon glass. Shooting events the last thing I need is another giant lens that looks like a bazooka. I already have the 70-200 2.8e. The Tamron will work just as well and the size advantage is meaningful. The only concern I have is the lens breathing, but I don’t want a mid range zoom of such size and weight. I have no limits on what I buy, but the Nikon lens is absurd for its size.

      • ITN

        In actual use the Nikon 24-70 E handles very well and the size and weight are not a problem at all. If you need a small lens for a specific situation, there are the f/1.8 primes.

    • fanboy fagz

      “We pay A LOT higher prices for items being just a bit better.”

      paying twice as much for a lens thats just a tiny bit better. and if were talking about art lenses then youre paying A LOT more for something that is worse. and not this POS sigma 24-70 lens they shamelessly called art.

  • Michiel953

    “My favorite to look at”??? I thought you were supposed to look through these lenses.

    • ITN

      Yeah, the reviewer loses a lot of credibility by starting off by analyzing which lens looks the best (according to his personal taste) instead of starting from something actually relevant.

      Amazing also that he criticizes the Nikon lens for being longer than the others but complementing it for having a good separation between zoom and focus rings (which is a positive side effect of having a lens with enough physical length). Also it turns out to have narrower angle of view at 70mm … so it’s …. longer. That doesn’t mean it is longer than 70mm though; it’s far more likely that it is the other two lenses that are less than 70mm at 70.

      Basically it makes use of its physical length by providing a portrait focal length at the long end and excellent ergonomics. But hey that don’t mean it should be recommended …. where do they find these ”reviewers”?

  • James R Mercer

    Good review. My research with other sources match his conclusions.

  • Amir

    Why Nikon 24-70E lens makes photo to look closer than the others?Focus breathing?

    • ITN

      It’s common for lenses to lose focal length when focused close. Apparently the Nikon 24-70E does less than the others, which is a good thing if you’re doing head and shoulders shots at the 70mm end.

    • snappyuk

      It’s rare for zoom lenses to cover the exact focal length range stated in their specifications, so a 24-70 might really be a 25-68, or a 23-72 and, as ITN said, focussing the lens on a close-up subject may require the lens elements to move in such a way that the nominal focal length of the lens, and so the magnification, changes.

  • His review started out with a fashion critique. Hmm…….

    And then……..”For 99% of your photographs you will never be able to see these differences.”

    How does he know what my photographs look like?

    The VR test is interesting, but on video. I don’t shoot video. I want to see a VR test with stills, which might produce an entirely different result.

    And then let’s talk about build quality. How do you determine build quality by holding it in your hand. Drop each lens from six feet onto a sidewalk and show me how much it cost to fix. Shoot a half million shots with each and show me how each performs. That is what will tell me about build quality, not a hand test. Now of course most reviewers don’t have the budget for these tests so I can see why they might resort to a hand test. My point is that one has to take a critique about build quality with a real grain of salt.

    And a final note on his build quality commentary, after acknowledging that it is very well built, he commented that it is kinda similar to other Nikon’s that I have used in the past, not overly impressive. He sounds like he is dismissing the Nikon lens because he is seeing the same great quality that he is coming to expect from Nikon but is fawning over the Sigma and Tamron because they no longer seem like crap.

    I own the Nikon lens and I quite like it. The VR in particular makes it a very good lens for event photography. And with a lens like this, you are often shooting things where corner performance at 2.8 I’m important, like groups of people in dimly lit rooms. For this reason, VR and corner to corner performance wide open are the two factors that are most important to me and I still think the lens wins on this regard. Finally, I will find the focus breathing at 70mm very limiting on the Tamron and Nikon – it really limits your ability to get a tight shot.

    • fanboy fagz

      reading your comment , I get it. youre a nikon fanboy and youre sensitive because he didnt pick the nikon. boo hoo.

      and if youre in a dimly lit room with a group of people, use flash and stop down a bit to get them all in focus. even in a properly lit room, I wouldnt shoot a group of people from edge to edge at 2.8 and its because depth of field is not enough to get everyone in focus. people dont line up perfectly straight but tend to do curve around the photographer the bigger the crowd gets and because lenses also have field curvature. I always wind up having to ask people to step back a bit so they can come in focus. f/4.5 is the minimum for a group of 6+

      • Just Me

        Reading your comment, I get it. You’re a Tamron fanboy and sensitive because someone has a different point of view from yours. Boo hoo. smh

        • fanboy fagz

          actually bitch, he chose the tamron as the CLEAR winner. theres nothing for me to cry about. shake your head for dumb comment.

          • Just Me

            Yes, your comment was dumb. smh

            • You are more forgiving than most trolls would deserve.

            • Just Me

              I’m not nearly as forgiving as I’d like. In fact, he didn’t do anything to me to be forgiven for. I just have a sore spot for people who don’t allow others their opinions.

            • Frankly I am amazed that it is not banned.

            • fanboy fagz

              mirror that back to you bitch

            • Just Me

              Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? After you graduate high school, as unlikely as that seems, perhaps you could take a college class in composition so you can learn how to make a compelling argument. smh

      • please watch your language – last warning

        • fanboy fagz

          Apologies. I will

          • no problem, thanks!

    • ITN

      I agree that the flatness of field of the 24-70E and its edge to edge sharpness are very helpful when shooting groups which is often a part of the program at events. This gives the new lens a decisive advantage over the G version which was not well suited for groups due to its pronounced field curvature.

      I think generally it is a good idea to stop down a bit for groups (f/4+) but if the light is low and the group is not too formal/serious, f/2.8 might be used. Using a larger aperture allows more atmospheric existing lighting to be used. With flash I would stop down to f/4.

      I also think the focal length loss at 70mm of the third party options reduce their usefulness for events and portraits. 70mm better be 70mm and not 60mm.

      • By nature, I am not an event photographer. I got the event lens because as the guy with the camera, people are often asking me for favours. In practice it means that I do things other event photographers would not normally do, like carefully lining up a group so that they are in the same focal plane. I find that this works fairly well for small groups. All in the name of getting a little extra bokeh or shooting at a lower ISO or avoiding flash, which often is not nice.

        But despite all that, I still do compromise by stopping down a bit or using an off camera flash, bounced whenever possible.

        But with any lens, I often find myself composing with the subject on the edge of the frame and often wide open. So while I don’t place much importance on extreme corner performance, I like the near edge of the frame in landscape mode to be sharp. The 24-70 2.8E is very good for this. So is the new 105 1.4 which I own. Absolutely brilliant actually. I have been thinking about the new 28 1.4 where sharpness does decline near the extreme edge. I can probably compose around that, however.

        Does this make me a Fanboy?

  • ITN

    No photographs of people or events in a 24-70/2,8 review?! No test of focus speed, no low light images, in other words the review touches nothing that could possibly be relevant to a purchaser of an f/2.8 wide to tele zoom. The fact that it starts off by commenting on the looks of the lenses may be a good thing as probably most sensible people will stop watching right away.

    • Delmar Mineard Jr

      +1. Looks are one thing but there are other criteria that are a whole more important. Thanks for your assessment.

  • Scott M.

    Does it expand when zooming? Tamron-yes Sigma-yes Nikon-no. That is why the two cheap ones are smaller. No mention of this obvious fact. Resale value? Nikon wins again. In photography, I have found that you almost always have to pay for quality. Very few real deals for newer lenses or bodies.

    • Spy Black

      So the Nikon is bigger because it has internal zooming. So good for certain reasons, right? But what if you need the smallest and lightest gear for a project? Not so good then, right?

      Buying gear for their resale value is comical at best. Certanly unprofessional.

      I buy gear that does for me what needs to get done, and done right. That might require buying Nikon gear, or it may require third-party. Whatever can get the job done, done right, and serves me well. That’s all that matters.

      • Vinnypimages

        Which is the best lens for a shooter will always be what matters to them. What would be crazy would be to buy the Nikon if the Tamron was a better lens for you, or go without something important to get the Nikon over the Tamron.

        I would pay a lot for internal zooming, and get a different lens for when size and weight are the issue. The thing is, once a telescoping lens, is away from it’s parked position it’s durability and sealing suffer, plus, since the temptation is to always zoom it in, then it’s harder to leave it at the focal length you are most likely to want to use when you grab it so it can be slower in some situations. It does make it heavier bulkier and more expensive to make. You do get some value from going OEM and some compatibility advantages, but I do think that if budget, weight are important issues then the Tamron is of course going to be the best choice.

        • Spy Black

          I wouldn’t argue with any of what you’ve said, because yes, it’s what matters to the individual. The advantage today is in third-party options that have improved dramatically from their previous selves and make good alternatives for any number of shooting styles and conditions, regardless of budget. We live in a great ocean of options today, and it pays to explore.

          • Vinnypimages

            I agree, I have the Tamron 35mm 1.8 and for handholding there is currently nothing to touch it as far as I can see. I have the Tamron 150-600 as it is the lightest way to get that kind of reach and 400mm up edges the Nikon 200-500. The Sigma Art 24 and 35s are simply too good for the Nikon equivalents at 1.4 which is where I use them most and I replaced the Nikkors with them. So I am a long way from Yay Nikon everything else sucks.

        • snappyuk

          The Nikon cheats at the internal zooming thing, though, just like my old Tokina AT-X Pro did.

          There’s a point in the video at which he zooms the Nikon lens while it faces the camera and you can see the front element retract into the barrel. All Nikon have done is to extend the outer barrel to the length the front element reaches at the widest setting, so there is still potential for the seal to be compromised. True internal zooming can be seen in most fast 70-200 lenses, where the front element is stationary and internal lens groups do the zooming.

          As for durability, there is certainly some advantage in having a solid tube round the outside of the moving parts as it will tend to keep everything parallel, though.

          • ITN

            No 24-70/2.8 by any manufacturer has an internal zoom. The lens has to go from wide angle to telephoto and that’s extremely difficult to do well. The front of the lens in the Nikon lens moves to the appropriate position for the lens hood to work effectively at each focal length. An internal zoom would not allow for this. The 24-70E’s build quality and impact resistance has been substantially improved over its predecessor.

            • snappyuk

              I completely agree, but my point was that people who would “pay a lot for internal zooming”, like the poster above, may be disappointed to find that’s not exactly what they’re getting.

            • Vinnypimages

              As an aside I do have one so I know it’s not a constant length, but it extends at the wide end as a mechanism to deal with the fixed hood not to increase focal length at the long end.
              Turning to durability here is what mine looked like after falling (attached to the body) from about 6 feet onto rocks. Sample of one but the body and lens were fine, Just the smashed hood.

            • dabug91

              ewww take that ugly gaffers tape off your gear

    • fanboy fagz

      who the fuck cares about resale value when the price is half that of the nikon.

      resale value is not a good excuse for buying the nikon. pro photogs use gear for aprx 5 years then sell it after a lot of use and get a decent price. maybe sell it for half price then add another $600 and get the next gen. with nikon the price increase jumps so much that youll need to add a ton for the next gen . and thats hoping your lens is in minty condition.

      you can get the vr2 for $1300-1400 used in mint condition. which means you need to add another $1500 aprx to get the new model. not including tax. not exactly a great deal.

  • Average Citizen

    At least the Tamron has the same twist direction as the Nikon. The Sigma and Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses zoom ergonomics are the reverse of most Nikon lenses.

    If one needs to frame fast and often, it helps if one’s core lenses require the same motion for zooming.

  • onthedot

    It killed me to sell my 24-70 mm Nikon VR, but it was way too big. I went back to a 35-70 mm f/2.8. It gives me 90% of the image quality of the new lens. The 24-70 mm is a magical lens. Superb flare control… but I did find a lot of CA.

  • Webdomi

    A totally stupid comparison, according to the fact that DXO mark has not yet edited the performances of 2 of these lenses, so the “reporter” has to complain about the design of these lenses. If Tamron has not a very good look, just bye some rubber envelop with flowers, isn’t it? Am fed up with these guys talking so quickly that enormously unuseful ideas can’t be understood.

  • Nikita

    Shows how outrageously priced Nikon lenses are, And it’s waaaay too big. Nikon thinks the Nikon name is worth far more than it is.

  • Average Citizen

    You would think that he’d compare the zoom twist direction in the video. The Tamron and the Nikon seem to have the usual Nikon zoom twist orientation. Sigma appears to be reverse of most Nikon zoom lenses.

  • spicynujac

    Tamron just released its “G2” or second generation of the 24-70, which is reviewed here. However, it did not change the optics from the older G1 at all. You can pick up a G1 lens right now for around $650 new from a number of high feedback Hong Kong ebay sellers. Mine just arrived today. Most reviews say it has better optics than the $2,200 Nikon. Plus it’s lighter. The AF is likely not as good and no VR, but for 1/4 the price, I can deal with that. The Tamron G2 is better, but I don’t think it’s twice as good as the G1, when they didn’t change the glass at all.

  • How do each compare in terms of auto focus speed and accuracy? I just ordered the Nikon 24-70, 2.8E. I am very excited about it. I am an event photographer. I know that the Nikon has more consistent sharpness edge to edge and fewer focus breathing problems than the other two tested here. I want to know about AF performance. Nikon lenses tend to be better in this area than 3rd party lenses, but would like to know about others’ experiences.

  • Back to top