Canon 24-105 mm L vs. Non-L series

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. I am a fashion photographer and I am planning to buy a 24-105mm lens from
    Canon (I am using EOS 20D).

    My question is, since the price between the L and Non-L series (24-105mm) is
    so much different (approx 1000Eur vs. 350EUR), is it worth to buy the L series
    for my type of photography? (you can view my portfolio at

    Thanks in advance and hope to hear some feedback.

  2. I'm a big fan of the 24-105mm L as a lot of people on the forum know. But I've got to ask you if you are sure you will get on with a lens that has quite deep depth of field relative to buying yourself two or three of the more economical primes (35mm f2, 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.8)? If I was doing the kind of photography you do I imagine I would use that kind of lens instead should I want shallow DOF. I can't speak of the 28-105 myself having never even handled one but you do tend to get what you pay for. Also it depends how big you will print/display your shots. If it's not too big you can get away with more deficiencies in the lens - usually. You need to tell us more about what you do really.
  3. An 'L' lens will give better colour, contrast and bokeh than the consumer line of lenses. Most 'L' lenses can be used wide open and still give a crisp image that is better than a consumer zoom lens stopped down a stop or two. My 'L' lenses seem to have a clarity that I cannot duplicate when using a consumer zoom. For your type of work I would prefer the 24-70 f/2.8 L paired with a 70-200 f/2.8 L IS on a second body.

    If you are earning a living from your work or you are a serious amateur, certainly the 'L' is worth the extra expense.
  4. the 24=105 is an "L" series, and i read its quite good. but a fashion photographer needs 2.8 i agree w/ a few primes plus the 70-200 2.8
  5. I have both the EF 24-105 4L and 24-85 USM. Both are nice lenses in there own right, but the L zoom is sharp and contrasty wide open. The 24-85 needs to be stopped down to F8 or higher to be be critically sharp. Both have terrible barrel distortion at the wide end. So if you shoot at F8-F16 the diff is small, otherwise it is huge.
    Of course the L zoom is sealed, built like a brick (feels like one too) and has amazingly effective IS. It's the ultimate walkaround for doctors, lawyers and yuppie puppies. The 24-85 is petite, light and may be carried all day without whining.</ P>
    I agree with the others, neither one is the best choice for fashion. I'd suggest the EF 85 1.8 USM, EF 135 2L USM or EF 70-200 2.8L USM.
    My Review of the EF 24-105 4L IS USM
    My Review of the EF 24-85 USM
  6. forget them both. Go for the 24-70 2.8L . It's one of the sharpest zooms Canon makes, and totally outperforms them both. It's only improved my work. Check out for examples of my recent stuff, for old stuff
  7. I'd say forget the 24-70mm too and do the job properly with some faster primes. Indra, you need to tell us a bit more about what you're trying to do before you get really meaningful advice from any of us.
  8. I have both the 24-105IS f/4 lens as well as the 28-105 f/3.5~4.5 lens. In addition to the L lens being wider by 4mm (very significant on the wide end), it has image stabilization, which can be very useful in low-light situations, although it will not stop movement. Everything that others have said about the L lens having better resolution, color, contrast and bokeh are true.

    If your livelihood depends on having the best images, I would think that it's a no-brainer to spend the additional money on an L. Depending on your working distance, I agree with the other poster that you would want one of the faster, fixed aperture f/2.8 lenses; i.e., either the 24-70 or the 70-200. An alternative may be the 85 f/1.8 or 100 f/2 prime lenses, although the zoom will give you better flexibility, especially if you are shooting models on the catwalk.
  9. First of all THANK YOU all for the answers.

    I shoot fashion photography but not fashion shows or catwalk. I mostly work in a studio(or other indoor spots) with flash so most of the time working between F8 to F11. I would like to have a sharp image and better contrast since I feel that my 28-105 USM does not produce them. I would consider myself as a rather dynamic photographer in a way that I dislike working with tripod therefore I like to move around and therefore I feel that I need a zoom lense ( I also like to capture waist and above, so not full body). I've worked with 17-85 and its fine with me so as long as I have a zoom lense around 24-70 (doesnt have to be 28-105).

    So my main priority is to have a sharper image, better quality, better colour and off course some zoom. I hope this information helps.
  10. If you are working with flash. . .an image stabilized lens is not needed. You would use F2.8 more often than IS. In a studio setting, where you have time to switch lenses, primes are a very viable option. A 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 should produce superior results to either of the 24-xx "L" lenses.
  11. Indra,

    Sounds like either the 24-70mm or the 24-105mm are what you need. Given that you won't shoot wide open, don't need shallow DOF and don't want to use a tripod then the 24-105mm with IS would be a good choice. It will certainly give you crisper images than the cheapo 28-105mm will.
  12. James, Thanks for the answer. Yes that's the reason why I like the flexibility that 24-105 offers but I want to have a better performance lens therefore thinking to get the 'L' ones. If the L does enhance quality, colour, resolution and contrast, it sounds worth to spend a little bit more.

    Iori, thanks for your answer regarding 24-105 L as well. Its nice to hear from someone who uses both L and non-L.
  13. I have the 24-105 f4L, It is a great all purpose lens for landscape or as a walk around lens where you want one lens with a wide range. It has high contrast and resolution, but at times can be soft at full zoom. If you need just one lens to use than this is an OK studio choice as long as you stay above f/5.6. But their are better lens for the studio if sharp non soft images are your goal (fixed focal length primes 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 135mm f2 will do better). But if you need a zoom, you have to live with softer images at some of the week points in the lens design. Some reviews can help show you wher these week point are so you try to avoid them when shooting (see link to review)

    I like the reviews on this site, he also does softness testing, you should look at his 24-105 review at 100mm to see examples of the softness.

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