24-70mm f/2.8L vs. 24-105mm f/4L IS

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by auryel, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. I just bought the 30D, but have been debating over the choice for my main lens
    between the 24-70mm f/2.8L & 24-105mm f/4L IS for quite awhile (for weddings).
    I like the extra length in the 24-105... but want the 2.8 for low light and
    shallow depth of field. A guy in Samys told me that digital is not advanced
    enough yet to truly make a difference in depth of field between a 2.8 or 4 f-
    stop and the added focal length will serve me better... I've never heard
    this.. that the camera isn't truly reading every spot of the frame to match up
    with the aperture you've set?. I sure have thought I could tell the difference!
    What do you think of this comment.. and what lens would you choose?
  2. Hi Ariel,

    I have the 30D and the 24-70mm. I LOVE IT! I was a bit back and forth before my purchase as well, but decided I wanted the 2.8 for both the low light and depth of field (expecially for dim lit receptions). This is my primary lens. I also have the 70-200 2.8L IS, which goes on my second body, but I only take a handleful of pics with it. I've never tried the 24-105 but I love the 24-70. Good luck!
  3. Areil, the guy at Samy's does not know what he's talking about....as usual...I've shopped there many times over the years, but stopped as I found the help there to be sophomoric (they know an inch, but they think they know a mile's worth of knowledge).

    You said weddings...then what you need is to buy ONLY F2.8 zooms.

    I have both lenses and I only use the 24-105 F4 for travel to minimize lens changes, chance of getting the sensor dirty, and to keep the number of lenses brought to a minimum. Everything else in that focal range I use the 24-70L, but even then I prefer the faster primes, especially for weddings and events.

    For weddings get the 24-70L
  4. Camera salesman was full of stuff that horses don't want any more :)

    The solution to your problem is straightforward -- decide whether you prefer shooting in low light or having the extra depth of field. There's no one better situated to make that decision than you yourself.

    BTW, my choice would be the 24-105 because it just looks like a significantly sharper lens based on these reviews:



    In fact, the discontinued 28-70 f/2.8 L looks a lot better than the 24-70 to me:


    although that lost 4 mm at the bottom end might be a deterrent to this alternative.

  5. Dan is absolutely right about the salesman...he probably doesn't care which one you get since they are both over a grand.

    I think you can't go wrong with either. I also shoot weddings. I also have both but use the 24-105 more.

    Bokeh at 70/2.8 and 105/4 is similar. To me, color and contrast are similar.

    24-70 is more flare resistant. (main reason why I keep it) and better for closeups and near/far compositions.

    24-105 is sharper (my copies). Better IMO for portraits. Better in low light because of IS.

    But let me throw in that on the 30D, I use the 17-55/2.8IS as my workhorse lens regarding weddings.
  6. Take faster lens with f/2.8. You can always come closer or crop image so difference beetwen focal lenghts is not so big. I felt the difference beetwen slow and fast lenses after using my 100 macro f/2.8. If you can choose always take faster lens.
  7. Both have their pluses, I got the 24-105 for the longer reach and IS hand-holdability. You can search this forum as this topic has been mentioned many times before.
  8. I notice Grant beat me to the punch. Neither 24-xx is all that attractive on a 1.6x crop factor body. Despite the lack of the little red line I would also suggest the 17-55/2.8 IS merely for the range of focal lengths. It gives you both the benefits of f2.8 and IS but is an EF-S lens so cannot be used on a full frame body.
  9. Bruce C, I assure you, that the 24-105L is in fact NOT "significantly" sharper then the 24-70L. I have both.

    Also, the 28-70L is NOT "a lot better" then the 24-70L...I had the former and now have the latter. Frankly, it's a coin toss...they'er basically the same in providing image quality.

    It just goes to show you that many sites that show "tests" of lenses are pure cr@p.
  10. It's your livelihood so you should be 100% sure what is the best for YOU. Unfortunately, you can't do this over the net. Rent both for an occasion and see which fits YOU most.

    BTW, while I am not a wedding photographer, I know quite a few. Some use the 24-70 and others use the 24-105. All swear that they would not replace the one they have for the other...... :)

    Happy shooting,
  11. Ariel:

    Dan Lovell's comments above are exactly right.

    I own both lenses, and use the 24-70L for weddings and the 24-105/4L IS lens for travel.

    Both are excellent, but the 24-70/2.8L is sharper, and the extra stop is essential in dark settings and to control DOF.

    You might find you will need a wider lens, too, with the 30D's 1.6X crop factor. I find the 16-35/2.8L is great for wedding receceptions.
  12. Dan Lovell,

    Would find it fascinating when you post your methodology and results comparing the relative resolution of lenses. That way we can appreciate the value of your assertions more accurately and judge them against other public sources of information.

    Like other ethereal concepts, cr@p is often in the eye of the beholder.

  13. it's a good thing that there is *never* any sample variation in these lenses; therefore if two parties hold opposite opinions about the superiority of one lens over another, one party *must* be wrong and rude critique of that party is totally appropriate.

    Luckily we have Dan to set us straight. this used to be a less combatative forum before he showed up, and certainly none of us wanted that to continue.
  14. OK, well, I apologize for the tone of my reply.

    I should have said that objective/subjective evaluations are an eternal line of division between people, and that I can live with subjective evaluators who can live with objective evaluators. The thing is, when people ask for opinions on lens or whatever and don't say either:

    "Don't give me any of those pseudo-objective reviews!"

    or alternatively

    "Don't bother me with your subjective views!"

    I assume they are open to and appreciative of all the feedback they get and can sort out the grain from the chaff as they see fit.

  15. Bruce, it seems exceedingly funny that you don't take your own advise.

    While pundits like you jockey around so called lens testing sites, and often don't even own the lenses in question, people like me have all the lenses in question, have used same lenses over long periods of time, and shots, have have first hand knowledge of their qualities, differences, and the like.

    I found most so called lens testing sites to offer cr@p results, often profoundly contrary to my own hands on testing, to be sure. The better sites that I have found to be right on generally are www.fredmiranda.com and just a few others.

    Bruce, do what you will, but I would suggest you refrain from posting your opinions unless you, yourself have experienced with the lenses in questions, first hand knowledge, and thorough experience with them.

    Oh, and one last thing Bruce....try to get out this week and take some pictures, yea? ;-)
  16. Dan, I try to be civil in on-line forums, feeling that I should treat people the way I would like to be treated. Its tempting to make exceptions for special cases, but in the long run its not worth the effort -- nor are you.

  17. Well gosh Bruce, I agree with you, but I think you should go back and read your post, which ignited my ire, sir.

    If you want to be treated with civility, sir, I would suggest you give it. ;-)

    Best regards.
  18. For weddings get the 24-70L
    Why not a 35mm Canon prime instead, which is not only significantly cheaper but doesn't require being stopped down to F8 to perform decently?
    I know photogs that are still shooting MF film cameras without zooms, and not only making $3,000 a wedding, but deserve it. They aren't using zooms on their MF cameras, but it seems all the amatuers are using zooms.
  19. Dan,

    SFAIK what ignited your ire (which you seem to distribute with remarkable ease on this forum, making you a poster boy for the Equal Opportunity Ire program) was saying something with which you disagreed.

    For the sake of the community I suggest we exchange further off-topic comments in private. You may reach me at spambox (WhichIsAt) abcyr DOT mailshell DOT com.


    BTW, I'm preparing to a query to the community about useful online lens evaluation sites, which I invite you to look out for and respond to.
  20. Dan & Bruce - take it outside please?
  21. Bruce, disagreeing with you, in and of it's self, is not what concerns me...it is that you make certain claims that seem to be based on no experience with the lenses in question. You wrote モナ24-105 because it just looks like a significantly sharperナヤ, and モナdiscontinued 28-70 f/2.8 L looks a lot better than the 24-70ナヤ. As for disagreements in general, I disagree with many in the real world and in cyberspace with no ill feelings all the time. But when I read certain claims that are based on a 3rd party web site, and/or claims on lenses someone does not own or have used over a long period of time, I feel compelled to respond. I think that if you don't want the responses I gave you then I gently ask that you don't talk out of your hat....give me your opinion based on your own experience with the lenses in question, and if I disagree with you, then I'm cool with it, and will file it under "copy variations" or "everyday human error" as can often be the case with glass.

    Like I said I have both those lenses, and once had the 28-70L, another outstanding lens.

  22. Dan, you and I are going to have a long, interesting series of exchanges because I think you overestimate your lens assessment capabilities.

    Its great for lens users to share their impressions -- that's a key part of many of the best on-line sites, including photozone.de. A large part of their evaluation protocol is concerned with how the lens feels and works in practice. Consider, for just one example, their evaluation of the EF-S 17-85, which has not so good numbers but which in the end they really liked because its so darned handy and not that bad.

    The great value of on-line lens evaluations is that most of the people who do it are professional or at least prosumer photographers who love gear and taking photos -- that probably includes you. But unlike you, they get a chance to see and use tons of gear that you simply don't have the time or money to use in the same detail that they can devote to the task. They also follow systematic, documented procedures and publish their work in static content, unlike so many on-line hip-shooters who sling opinions about without a need to maintain consistency and fidelity from day-to-day (not, incidentally, your problem).

    One important upshot of this situation is that they don't fall in love with a particular lens simply because they happened to buy it and have to use it. They can give dispassionate reviews because next month there will be another lens or camera, possibly from an entirely different manufacturer.

    Now let me add that most of the lens evaluations that use objective tests to assess quality agree with each other and with subjective assessments like yours.

    In this particular example, I probably committed a fallacy common to what Ken Rockwall calls "measurebation", i.e., excessive fixation on pure numbers regardless of the practical significance of the numbers.

    Quite probably all three of the lens I mentioned are of professional quality and adequate for most uses, and also the differences detected by photozone.de's tests are probably quite valid. So, I think you possess a good deal of the stuff you like to sling around so freely (is that why you sling it?). There's nothing wrong with the measurements made by photozone.de -- what was wrong was my use of the data and your downright intemperate, uncivil reaction to that misuse.

    Like I said, we don't and can't end the discussion here because we're probably going to continue it for the indefinite future. But I suggest we redirect our passions towards the people asking for help rather than casting downright nasty, alienating aspersions against other contributors.

  23. Dan,

    You say:

    "Subject: 24-70mm f/2.8L vs. 24-105mm f/4L IS
    Bruce, disagreeing with you, in and of it's self, is not what concerns me...it is that you make certain claims that seem to be based on no experience with the lenses in question."

    That's a specious argument. By that logic, I wouldn't be able to judge that smallpox or terrorism are bad because I have no experience with them. That's nonsense -- lots of doctors, terrorism experts, and my reading all tell me they are bad things. Experience suggests I'm a good judge of these and other matters.

    Same with lenses -- by perusing evaluations by experts with systematic procedures, I can find out much of what I need to know about lenses. The rest I can find from reasoned feedback here and elsewhere.

    By your logic, you are the sole authority on lenses of interest to me and others, and that's nonsense. You seem to know a good bit about a few lenses, but frankly I take your judgments with a grain of salt because they don't always jibe with some of the other, more reasoned evaluations I've read on-line, both at evaluation sites and here on photo.net. Moreover, I can't tell whether your judgements are based on the fact that you have a subjective commitment to a lens because you own it or because you accept that it can do a given job.

    In short, there's too much of you in the opinions you offer.

    I bought five lenses based on positive reviews by photozone.de and other sites, and in view of my photographic interests. All five buys have worked out well. They aren't necessarily professional quality, but they all offer sufficient quality for the money spent and my needs -- never once did I feel I needed you, and even less so now that I know you.

  24. I use the OT/ST=BO=SOC test:
    I read others' views for an objective/subjective test, inject an emotive element of desire vs quality & price and then buy one, or not.
    So far, I've only found the 24-70UL fails with the fourth test, SOC, satisfactory opportunity cost. In this instance, having already acquired a 24-70UL, I do not have the means to justify buying a 24-105ISL for comparison and must make do and I would be better off buying another 85 f/1.8 as f/4-anything is cr@p for portraiture.
  25. Bruce C, it comes down to this....you cannot believe all the tests you see on the internet, and the test one reads in the photo mags are even worse, because in the photo mags, more often then not, everything is "excellent".

    Bruce, MOST of the claims I see in photozone, or whatever it is called are contrary to what I found with my own tests, and with the tests results of many others too.

    Had I believed the reviews from photozone (spelling?) I would not have the awesome kit I have today....I've returned too many of their "picks" over the years to believe their highly subjective conclusions. I was the 3rd party sig/tam king for many years, basing my purchases from lens sites, and the magazines, but more often then not, I found their conclusions to be contrary to my own findings and those of many others, especially on FredMiranda.com.

    Bruce, I've never used a Canon 200 F1.8L....but I believe it to be a fantastic lens. You know why? Because I've read countless reviews from people that actually have owned that lens, or have used it exstensively....it's about picking and choosing what one believes....not some site or magazine that might be beholding to sponsers, or whose tests are suspicious. And remember Bruce, most of these tests are HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE.

    By the way Bruce, I've never had the displeasure of meeting Hitler, but I do believe him to be a monster....it's about picking and choosing what source of information to believe.

    And Bruce, please explain to me why my 24-70L and my 24-105L have the same sharpness through overlaping f-stops and focal lengths? And why is this the case with most owners having both lenses? Now reconcile that with what the lens site says.

    I think at the end of the day, the best place to judge a lens is places like FredMiranda, and othe places that track reviews from actual owners. This is not perfect of course, but if one harmonizes the reviews there, and other reviews here, dpreview.com and other places, one has a good chance of ascertaining a lens.

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