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9 Best Standard Zoom Lenses for Canon in 2024

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 13 min read
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The best standard zoom lenses for Canon give you versatility, allowing you to shoot many different genres and styles with just one lens. Whether you’re interested in landscape, portrait, or events photography, finding the right lens is crucial.

Our guide dives into the best standard zoom lenses for Canon RF-mount and EF-mount cameras to help you find the perfect lens.

Our top choices are the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM for its exceptional low-light performance and the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM for its unparalleled sharpness. But we also have seven more lenses for both mirrorless and DSLR Canon cameras, so keep scrolling to find out more. 

Our Top 2 Standard Zoom Lenses for Canon
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM

What Is the Best Standard Zoom Lens for Canon RF?

In your quest to find the best standard zoom lens for Canon RF, you should consider factors like aperture, focal length, weight, and image stabilization.

Our list prioritizes versatility, low-light performance, and portability, ensuring all photographers, from beginners to pros, can find a standard zoom lens to meet their needs.

Our Top Pick
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
  • Versatile 28-70mm range for diverse photography needs
  • Bright constant f/2 aperture for low light
  • Superior sharpness and minimal aberrations
  • Robust build with professional-grade weather sealing
  • Fast, accurate autofocus with USM technology
Best Stabilization
Canon RF 24-70mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 24-70mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 24-70mm F/2.8L IS USM
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture across zoom range
  • Image stabilization for sharp low-light shots
  • Fast, silent autofocus with Nano USM technology
  • Durable, weather-sealed construction for outdoor use
  • Versatile 24-70mm range for varied photography genres
Best Value RF Lens
Canon RF 24-50mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Canon RF 24-50mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Canon RF 24-50mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
  • Compact and lightweight design for easy travel
  • Image stabilization enhances low-light performance
  • Stepping motor (STM) for smooth, quiet autofocus
  • Versatile zoom range for everyday photography
  • Affordable entry into Canon's RF lens lineup
Best APS-C RF Lens
Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
  • Ideal for everyday use and travel photography
  • Effective image stabilization for sharper handheld shots
  • Lightweight, compact design enhances portability
  • Stepping motor ensures smooth, quiet autofocus operation
  • Affordable entry into Canon's RF-S lens series
 

Our Favorite Standard Zoom Lenses for Canon RF

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite standard zoom lenses for Canon RF mirrorless cameras. Whether you’re shooting street, portrait, or travel photography, there’s a standard zoom for you in this list. 

1. Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

Our Top Pick
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
1430 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
28-70 mm

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM stands out for its exceptionally fast aperture and versatile focal length range.

Its constant f/2 max aperture is exceptional for a zoom lens like this one. It gives you complete control over your exposure settings, allowing you to capture sharp images in low light. It’s also constant, so you don’t lose any stops when zooming in. 

An aperture that fast also gives you an super-narrow depth of field, helping to produce a smooth background bokeh effect. 

You can expect exquisite edge-to-edge sharpness throughout the zoom range. Visual problems like ghosting and lens flare are also practically non-existent thanks to the Air Sphere Coating (ASC). 

The lack of image stabilization might be a drawback for some users, but the aperture range is fast enough for most situations. 

Weighing 1.4 g, this lens is heavier than alternatives like the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM. This might make it less appealing for photographers who prioritize a lightweight setup for travel or extended handheld use. But the weather sealing makes it a reliable lens for outdoor use. 

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM is the perfect blend of versatility and performance. You can use it for a wide range of photography disciplines, but it delivers pro-level results no matter what you’re shooting.

 

2. Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM

Best Stabilization
Canon RF 24-70mm F/2.8L IS USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
900 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is another standard zoom powerhouse for Canon mirrorless cameras.

Its f/2.8 aperture isn’t quite as fast as that of the previous lens, but it still performs well in low-light. It’s constant, so you get the same exposure control from 24mm to 70mm. It also gives you fantastic bokeh for portraits or product shots. 

One added bonus is the built-in image stabilization system. Giving you five stops of shake correction, you can work in lower light or shoot from hand without a tripod. 

A combination of aspherical and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) elements keeps distortion and aberration to a minimum. The outer glass also has Canon ASC on the outer elements, so lens flare or ghosting is rarely a problem. 

It’s lighter than some alternatives, making it easier to carry around. It’s built tough with weather sealing for shooting in rough conditions. 

Its superior Nano USM autofocus is quick and reliable, perfect for capturing fast-moving scenes. A 12-pin communication system ensures fast reactions between lens and camera. And a custom control ring gives you more hands-on control. 

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is a solid option for professionals and serious hobbyists looking for quality and versatility.

 

3. Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

Best Budget RF Lens
Canon RF 24-50mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
210 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.3
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
1

The Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is a compact, lightweight, and affordable standard zoom lens. The wide-to-standard focal range gives you excellent versatility, allowing you to shoot landscapes, portraits, and street photography. You can even use it as a vlogging lens. 

Its variable f/4.5-6.3 aperture means it’s not the best in dim lighting. But the built-in image stabilization does provide compensation when you’re working in difficult lighting conditions. 

This lens is easy to carry at only 210 g, making it ideal for day-long shoots or travel photography. It’s built mainly from plastic, which keeps it light but less durable compared to metal-constructed lenses. Despite this, it offers good image quality, with sharpness that impresses in the center even at wide angles.

Canon’s STM focus system isn’t as quick or powerful as the USM, but you still get fast focusing with minimal noise. 

The Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is great for beginners or anyone looking for a lightweight, versatile lens for everyday photography.

 

4. Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

Best APS-C RF Lens
Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
130 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 6.3
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
18-45 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens is a versatile and affordable lens for Canon’s APS-C mirrorless cameras. Its focal length range is equivalent to 29-72mm on a full-frame camera, making it a practical choice for everyday photography.

Its variable aperture of f/4.5-6.3 means it might struggle in low-light conditions. However, the IS system gives you a few extra stops of exposure compensation when you need a helping hand. 

Weighing just 130 g, this lens is notably lightweight and compact, making it an excellent companion for travel photography.

Despite its plastic construction, it offers surprisingly good image quality, particularly when there’s plenty of light.

Thanks to the STM motor, autofocus is quick and reliable in well-lit environments, ensuring you won’t miss those fleeting moments.

While it may not be the top choice for professional use, the Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM stands as a good option for beginners or anyone seeking a simple, effective lens for general photography. Its ease of use and portability make it a valuable addition to any camera bag.

 

What is the Best Standard Zoom Lens for Canon EF?

This section focuses on the best standard zoom lenses for Canon EF-mount DSLR cameras. Selections were based on optical quality, versatility, and additional features like image stabilization and weather sealing. The list includes top picks from Canon and Sigma, ensuring all photographers find the standard zoom lens they need. 

Our Top Pick
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
  • Versatile 24-70mm zoom range for diverse shots
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture for low light excellence
  • Robust, weather-sealed construction for durability
  • Exceptional sharpness and clarity across zoom range
  • Quick, accurate autofocus with manual override option
Best Value Full Frame Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM
  • F/4 constant aperture for consistent exposure control
  • Hybrid Image Stabilization for sharp, handheld shots
  • L-series build quality ensures durability and reliability
  • Macro mode for close-up photography versatility
  • Fast, silent autofocus with full-time manual override
Best Wide-to-Standard Lens
Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM
Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM
Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM
  • Wide 17-40mm range perfect for landscapes, architecture
  • Constant f/4 aperture across zoom range
  • Durable, weather-sealed L-series construction
  • Excellent sharpness with minimal distortion
  • Fast, accurate Ultrasonic Motor (USM) autofocus system
Best APS-C EF Lens
Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS USM
  • Bright f/2.8 aperture for low-light performance
  • Image Stabilization for sharp handheld shots
  • 17-55mm range ideal for versatile shooting scenarios
  • Superior optical quality with minimal aberrations
  • Fast, silent autofocus with full-time manual focus
Best Sigma Art Lens
Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 DG OS HSM | A for Canon EF
Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 DG OS HSM | A for Canon EF
Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 DG OS HSM | A for Canon EF
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture for excellent low-light performance
  • Optical Stabilization for sharp, handheld images
  • Art series quality ensures superior optical performance
  • Fast, accurate HSM autofocus system
  • Durable build with weather-sealed protection
 

Our Favorite Standard Zoom Lenses for Canon EF

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite standard zoom lenses for Canon RF. From wide apertures ideal for low light to robust build quality for outdoor adventures, there’s a lens here for every scenario.

Whether you’re a professional looking to improve your kit bag or a hobbyist eager to explore different perspectives, these lenses provide plenty of options to enhance your photography skills.

1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Our Top Pick
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
805 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM stands out for its sharpness and fast aperture. Its classic 24-70mm focal range is one of the most versatile in photography. Its optical design includes elements that reduce chromatic aberrations, ensuring images are clear from 24mm to 70mm.

The f/2.8 aperture is great for low light and creating a shallow depth of field. However, it lacks image stabilization, which can be a drawback in handheld shooting scenarios.

Sharpness is guaranteed at any focal length. Thanks to two UD, one Super UD, and two types of aspherical element, distortion and chromatic aberration are rarely a problem. 

The USM AF system is quick and reliable, making it a good option for capturing moving subjects.

The lens’s build quality is also noteworthy, featuring weather sealing for shooting in challenging conditions. Compared to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM, it offers a wider aperture but at the cost of image stabilization.

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is a pro-level lens photographers rave about. It’s an all-time classic and a must-have for serious photographers with a Canon DSLR camera. 

 

2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Best Value Ful Frame Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
600 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
1

Similar to the previous lens, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is a classic standard zoom lens. The versatile focal range gives you flexibility, often serving as a one-lens solution for many types of photography. 

The maximum aperture is slower at f/4, which does affect the low-light performance. It also means you can’t get the same super-shallow depth of field.

However, this lens does have image stabilization built in. This gives you more freedom with your exposure settings in low light and helps you shoot from hand without a tripod. 

There’s also very little lost in terms of picture quality. Like the previous model, it uses aspherical and UD elements to suppress visual imperfections like distortion and chromatic aberration. 

More compact and lightweight, it also makes a better travel companion. You’ll have no problem stowing it any any decent travel camera backpack. 

At nearly half the price of the 24-70mm f/2.8 model, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is more budget-friendly. But despite the reasonable price, it still delivers high-quality images. It’s definitely one to consider. 

 

3. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Best Wide-to-Standard Lens
Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
500 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
17-40 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is a great choice if you need a wider angle. Its wide-to-standard focal length gives you a different perspective compared to other lenses, helping you shoot landscapes, architecture, and street photography. 

While the f/4 aperture isn’t the widest available, it strikes a good balance between size and performance, offering decent low-light capabilities and control over depth of field.

Optically, the lens delivers good sharpness in the center with only a little softening at the edges when wide open. Stopping down improves performance across the frame.

The lack of image stabilization might be a drawback for some, especially in low light. However, its quick autofocus and the ability to manually fine-tune focus ensure that users can capture crisp images in dynamic environments. This lens is particularly useful for those who shoot outdoors, thanks to its durable build and weather sealing.

The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is a reliable workhorse for photographers who value wide-angle views and durability. Its construction and optical performance make it a popular choice with a wide range of photographers. 

 

4. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Best APS-C EF Lens
Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
645 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
17-55 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is the best standard zoom lens for APS-C Canon cameras. It stands out for its constant f/2.8 aperture, which makes it a top choice for those shooting in low light or aiming for a shallow depth of field.

Its focal range is equivalent to 27-88mm on a full-frame camera, and it covers everything from wide landscapes to tight portraits. This lens is especially useful for event photographers who need to quickly adapt to changing scenes without swapping lenses.

Its built-in image stabilization is a game-changer, offering up to three stops of shake correction. This feature is invaluable for handheld shooting in dim settings or when capturing video.

The lens is fairly lightweight and balances well on most APS-C DSLRs, providing a comfortable shooting experience.

The lens impresses with sharp, detailed images and well-controlled aberrations throughout the zoom range. Quick and quiet autofocus further enhances its appeal for both stills and video.

The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a versatile, high-quality option for APS-C users seeking a reliable all-round zoom lens.

 

5. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | A for Canon EF

Best Sigma Art Lens
Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 DG OS HSM | A for Canon EF
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
1200 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes

The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | A is a brilliant lens in Sigma’s Art series. It offers a versatile zoom range and a constant f/2.8 aperture, perfect for photographers who need to quickly adapt to changing light conditions or subjects.

Its wide aperture not only excels in low light but also provides beautiful bokeh, making it ideal for portraits and close-up shots.

Picture quality is sharp at all points in the zoom range, thanks to its advanced glass element design. 

The inclusion of Optical Stabilization (OS) is a big advantage, compensating for camera shake and allowing for sharper images in challenging lighting.

The lens is built to last with a body that combines metal and Thermally Stable Composite materials. Weighing in at 1 kg, it’s hefty but balances well on most DSLRs.

Autofocus is quick and quiet with Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), making it suitable for both still photography and video. 

The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | A demonstrates the quality of Sigma’s Art lens series. It’s a beautiful piece of kit for pros and enthusiasts, and you can pick one up at a reasonable price. 

 

Conclusion: The Best Standard Zoom Lenses for Canon

With fantastic RF-mount and EF-mount options, we’ve showcased the best standard zoom lenses for Canon cameras. We’ve covered lenses that excel in various scenarios, from low-light photography to capturing wide landscapes, ensuring there’s a lens for any photographer.

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM stand out for their exceptional image quality and versatility. The RF 28-70mm f/2L USM is praised for its low-light performance, while the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is noted for its sharpness. 

Our Top 2 Standard Zoom Lenses for Canon
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM