A different thought on 24-70 vs. 24-105 IS

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by david_naprstek, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. I normally shoot with a 5d MKII and my 24-70 f/2.8 (original version). One location that I often shoot at is an indoor setting that is lit by mercury vapor lights. In order to minimize the effects of the white balance shift of these lights as they cycle through the 60 hz cycle I often shoot at 1/60 of a second. The lighting in this location is hooked up in different phases so even if I shoot at a higher shutter speed and correct for the white balance in post processing there may be lighting in the background that is in a different phase and different white balance. By shooting at 1/60 I get a complete cycle out of every light fixture and the white balance is easily corrected. With this slow of a shutter speed I have often wondered if a 24-105 f/4 lens with its IS would be a better choice than the 24-70 lens. If I am shooting at 1/60 of a second then I don't really need the to use f/2.8. I can easily shoot at f/4 or smaller. In situations like this what are your thoughts, Is a 24-105 lens a better choice?
  2. Are you not concernced with corner, mid-frame and centre sharpness with minimal chromatic aberrations? Why not continue using the 24-70/2.8?
  3. I guess the decision would be different depending on whether you typically shoot at f/4 or, say, f/8.
  4. The 24-105 is a fine performer, so the snarky comment about "are you concerned with..." Is quite silly.

  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "If I am shooting at 1/60 of a second [and if] I don't [edit out 'really'] need the to use f/2.8. I can easily shoot at f/4 or smaller. In situations like this what are your thoughts, Is a 24-105 lens a better choice?"
    Yes - (assumimg you are hand held and the question is absolutely about IS).
    And apropos Colour Balance ONLY: it might (probably would) be better to shoot at 1/30s, if that is at all possible.
  6. I agree with Dan. I use my 24-105 f/4 on both a 7D and a Mark 3 ALL THE TIME and it performs magnificently. My preference for a lens is generally fixed however the 24-105 f/4 is the exception to my rule.
    Further, competing with light cycles is not a perfect science and probably never will be.
  7. You are touchy G. Dan. The test results in my link doesn't lie and the results would sway me towards the better lens for the OP's situation.
  8. David,
    It depends on whether you think you need the extra 35 mm of tele reach. I think that if it were me, I would be thinking more along the lines of using a tripod and/or flash and performing manual color balancing in post.
  9. Are 5Dlll, Canon 24-105mm or 24-70mm better choices - well, it depends. I have 24-105mm f4 but extensively and happily use Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC on 5Dll indoors and under available light, achieving better results than 24-105mm! Would I get better results with 5Dlll and Canon 24-70mm under similar conditions?
  10. I would agree with William's assessment. In this situation, the 24-105/4 is going to allow you a bit more flexibility. I'd warn you that it's not a panacea, and you may find that the 24-105 doesn't give you as good IQ (overall) as the 24-70. I certainly found that to be the case. However, with the new 24-70/4 IS coming out, I'd probably wait and see what it can do. There is no doubt that it's IQ will easily surpass the 24-105/4, but if you'd benefit from the added FL, the 24-105/4 may still prove to be a better choice.
  11. "You are touchy G. Dan. The test results in my link doesn't lie and the results would sway me towards the better lens for the OP's situation."​

    I suppose I am "touchy" - about forumtographers who spout off about lenses they "know" from some online test results and who, as a consequence, infer nonsense and share it as if it were "knowledge."

    I shoot that lens, among a good size group of lenses, to do careful and high quality work that often ends up being printed quite large. I can assure you that the description of the lens that you made up or inferred from some online stuff is far less accurate than what I know from shooting the lens extensively since almost the time it was released.

    Like all lenses, the 24-105 falls short of divine perfection. Lens selection is a trade-off and the "right" lens always depends on the photography and the photographer. The weaknesses of the 24-105 are fairly well-known (as are the weaknesses of other fine lenses) and they include:
    • noticeable barrel distortion at 24mm
    • a bit more vignetting than some alternatives at 24mm and wide open
    • a tendency to develop "zoom creep" over time
    With the exception of zoom creep, should that affect your copy (it does affect mine), the other "issues" are not really issues at all in a normal workflow given that all current post-processing software will automatically correct lens characteristics such as these if you wish.
    However, the mantra about this lens having problems with softness or CA or similar is just not borne out by actual photographic results. While there are sharper (and less sharp) lens in the fine lens category, the resolution performance is quite good throughout the FL range, and especially so between, say, 24mm and perhaps 85mm+. At 105 it is still quite good and most of the time I will continue to use it at that FL rather than removing it and fitting a 70-200mm zoom.
    While your "touchy" comment may have some truth to it, that does not have anything at all to do with the facts about this lens - and that is my issue. As we all know, forum recommendations are often worth just about the cost of reading them... if you get my drift. Since people who are less experienced that perhaps you and I often look to these discussions for advice about the features and capabilities and then make expensive decisions based on what they read here, I think it is important to correct nonsense and silliness when it is offered up as fact.
  12. Dan. I did not really own the 24-105 and 24-70 at the same time as I traded one for the other and I never shot the 24-105
    on APS-C as when I owned it I only had full frame and APS-H (my first APS-C was the 7D). That said at least my copy of
    the 24-105 was softer at the edges than the 24-70 when shot full frame. This was not a major issue and on a print you
    had to look for it (it was much easier to see pixel peeping). While I never used it on APS-C I would expect the differences
    in real world use would be almost undetectable. I personally swapped to the 24-70 as I preferred the extra stop to IS and
    extra reach. Of course the 24-70 is also not a perfect lens as it has some issues and is very large and heavy for its focal
    length. I actually like the fact that Canon makes both these lenses as you have a real choice. The same is true with the
    17-40 and 16-35. My concern is that Canons latests efforts on primes seem to be removing choice as they appear to be
    going for IS only. I would much rather they continued to off both versions. In terms of online tests I have never been that
    convinced by them as I prefer to see the images myself. Most good camera stores will allow you to shoot both lenses
    and take the card home and see for yourself which one you like. The DP review tests would seem similar to my own -
    they show the 24-70 being slightly better at the edges than the 24-105. This is not a major surprise as the 24-70 is
    stopped down one stop and my 24-105 was weakest at the extremes. Indeed if you use the same source but at 70mm the
    105 looks sharper. As I say in the real world the difference is so small you have to look for it. I find that there is an over
    emphasis on resolution these days as this is easy to measure. I personally find contrast, bokeh, and the IF / OFF (3
    dimensionality) of the lens make much more difference to an image - especially when printed. Of course these other
    attributes are much harder to measure and post on the web so they get less focus. I do agree that most good lenses
    these days are capable of top quality images.
  13. Like all lenses, .... falls short of divine perfection. Lens selection is a trade-off and the "right" lens always depends on the photography and the photographer.​
    and how!
  14. I thank everyone for their thoughts. I did not intend to start a war. I appreciated all of the opinions. I started the thread because I was asking myself if I am forced by conditions to shoot at 1/60th of a second would a slightly lower optical quality lens with IS be a better choice than a optically better lens without IS. The content and composition of the photographs will make more of a difference that the choice of either of these lenses.
  15. I think for your specific shooting needs, David, I would go for the 24-105. I owned one (before it got stolen) and on more than one occasion, shot with 1/8 shutter on the long end, with IS on, yielding pretty sharp images. With a steady hand, 1/30 should be a breeze.
  16. I can assure you that the description of the lens that you made up or inferred...​
    A baseless accusation. What proof do you have that I "made up" a description of the lens.
  17. I've had both the 24-70/2.8L and 24-105/4L (and now have a 24-70/2.8L II), and was always a little underwhelmed by the longer zoom. It was excellent outdoors in good light, but I found it wanting in less than optimal light. The shorter zooms just seem to have better resolution and contrast in lower light, not to mention much better bokeh.
  18. I tried three or four different 24-105mm f4L lenses and while I had high hopes I was never really satisfied with the
    resolution I was getting out of it. This was both handheld, with and without IS on, and with the camera on a solid tripod,
    and at all apertures. It just didn't do it for me. The camera was an EOS 1Ds Mark III.

    As with all comments about lenses, my experience is anecdotal and yours might be different.

    On the other hand it covered 90% of the focal lengths I regularly used and there is obviously something to be said for

    As to which lens will be a better performer: I'd expect the 24-70mm f/2.8L to be better stopped down 1 stop than the 24-
    105mm f4L wide open. That is the nature of optics.

    The 24-70mm f2.8L II is wonderful by the way. Outstandingly crisp detail rendering throughout its range. Canon's lens
    designers really improved the lens.
  19. Husain Akhtar , Nov 08, 2012; 09:31 a.m. ..... Would I get better results with ....​

    I believe some changes in lighting and getting rid of the horrid background would be the first steps to better results. You might want to ask for photo critiques to get some good suggestions. ... but hey the camera and lens are fine.
  20. I've taken a lot of photos with the 24-105 f/4L IS mounted on a 5DmkII. These images are way better than "acceptably sharp."

    I've made large prints from dozens of these files. At one of my shows, a lady commented that the prints looked
    "sharper than real life."

    I tested my 24-105 at 24mm against the 16-35 f/2.8L II and the TS-E24 f/3.5L II. I expected the 24-105 to be the softest of the three.
    But after I corrected the shots from the two zoom lenses for distortion and falloff, the results from all three lenses were virtually indistinguishable.

    Unless you happen upon a bad copy, there is no reason to be concerned about the optical quality of the 24-105 f/4L IS.
    The IS works very well, and the longer zoom range make this lens my preferred midrange Canon zoom regardless of
  21. I should add that distortion correction is highly recommended with the 24-105, but I find this to be the case with almost all zoom lenses.

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