Canon 24mm f2.8 IS Prime or Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC Zoom


I'm looking for a lens that has autofocus to cover me in the wide angle realm of 24mm. Generally I prefer shooting with primes, and don't own any zooms. On the occasion that I need a zoom I generally rent. Part of the reason why I invest in primes, is there speed that I would not normally achieve with a slower zoom.
The Canon 24mm f 1.4 although, awesome is way out of my current price range, so I've been checking out the new 24mm f2.8 IS, and have been pleased with it's image quality. However it's aperture speed is only at 2.8, so I can't help but wonder if I should be just looking to get a fast zoom, like the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 which also has Image Stabilization, but would give me versatile focal lengths, or if I'd be gaining a much better image by the 24mm f2.8 prime.
I mainly shoot either street photography portraits or studio or location portraits.
With my street photography, speed of autofocus is also key.

Would love to get peoples recommendation and thoughts.


Sep 16, 2012
If you favor the 24mm focal length and know beforehand that the majority if your shots will be at 24mm I suggest going for the prime as it will be faster and sharper.

If you require a walk around lens for general shooting, from landscapes to portraits and everything in between, the tamron is an excellent all around lens. You wouldn't need IS at 24mm anyways. You say you do portraits and if you don't want to switch lenses, you might be limited with just the 24mm so maybe Tamron is better for that particular purpose.
Which camera will the lens be used on?
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I own a 5D Mark III.

Yeah...I tend to use my 50mm f1.4 as my general walk around lens, and when I owned a 60D and a 17-55 Tamron Zoom, I hardly used the zoom. However I have been in situations, especially when using my camera for video where having a zoom made way more sense.
I am concerned about the level of vigneeting the tamron exhibits at 24mm wide open. I wonder if it would exhibit the same level of vignetting in video. In stills I can always adjust or remove it but in video I'm not quite sure...which leans me back to the 24 prime.

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For street photography, in my own experience, the Tamron 24-70 would be great albeit a little bit bulky. I personally prefer a wide + normal lens array for street photography. With my 6D, I would always bring a 50mm F1.8 and a 28mm F1.8 or my 17-40mm F4L if I know that I'll need an UWA. I would generally visualize first or do some research on wherever I'm going so that I can bring the lightest gear possible. However, I think I prefer the Canon 24-105 a little bit from the Tamron 24-70 due to size and weight. 24-105 F4 + a 50mm would be a great combo already.
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I own the tamron 24-70 vc, all in all I can say it's extremely good value. Nice quite beautiful muted skin tones and for a zoom, very good sharpness. I own a zeiss 35mm which overlaps one focal length (obviously) but I think for anything portrait like, the tamron is damn good. I would have brought another zeiss prime, still will but not in those focal lengths. Another bonus is that the tamron is weather sealed. It's a very good value zoom. Go try one first in a store. Then have a think. I'm quite happy with it. Good build quality too. It's kinda big however.
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Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
syrcular said:
I mainly shoot either street photography portraits or studio or location portraits. With my street photography, speed of autofocus is also key.

You wrote it yourself - if af speed and size (street) is your preference, better be critical about the Tamron... best check it at some shop for yourself, it has a "two phase" af lock that slows things down a bit. A good(!) copy of the Tamron otherwise is a fine lens and the wide end is very wide other than Canons 24-70ii, but for regular f2.8 shooting is has heavy vignetting and lacks sharpness to the edges (if the latter matters at all).
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