Canon 24-70 f2.8 L vs. 24-105 f4 L IS

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by john_arnold|4, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I am going to purchase either the 24-70 2.8 or the 24-105 f4 L. I
    have read reviews and have become somewhat concerned about the folks
    referring to the fact that the 24-105 seems to have a lot more of a
    vignetting problem than the 24-70?

    I am using the lens on a 5D and don't mind some vignetting. I was
    just wondering if anyone has had any hands on experience with these
    lenses and can either confirm or deny the 24-105 tendency to
    vignette significantly more than the 2.8?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. Most people who own the 24-70 don't have the 24-105. Others who bought the 24-105 or who sold their 24-70 to buy the 24-105 will tell you the new lens is fantastic. I think the answer is obvious without reading any report. If you need 2.8, buy the 24-70. If one stop doesn't mean much to you, buy the new 24-105 with all the plus such as lighter, extra 71-105, and IS. You won't find your answer until you try them yourself.
  3. I passed on the 24-70, and snapped up a 24-105 a couple of months after they became available. (I waited for the initial round of user reviews, and then until Canon had the weird flare problem in the early production runs sorted out.) I love it, but then, I'm using a 20D, so not much help with your question about first-hand vignetting experience on full frame.

    *However* it's very easy to adjust for vignetting in Photoshop and other image editing tools. How much of this kind of adjusting you're willing to do, and how many images you take actually require it is a different issue entirely.
  4. WM


    Hi John, I haven;t had the pleasure of using the 24-70L because I waited until the 5d came out and got the 24-105 as a package, but I have found that the vignetting is significant if you are shooting at f4, and is most obvious with very light backgrounds, but after a bit of levels only in very severe shots (see picture), it is useable. Here is an example of the worst I have seen so far, unmodified from my camera, only resized. If you are doing architectural type work, I'd stay away from the 24-105, but if you are shooting people mainly, it is a very nice combo on a full-frame body. All the best.
  5. I wouldn't say the 24-105 vignettes a lot more than the 24-70 on the 5D. Both will on a
    5D when underexposed with the 24-105 being a bit worse, but I don't have a problem
    with either when properly exposed.

    I don't think this should be your deciding factor between these two lenses.
  6. I have not seen any full frame measurements of the 24-105 yet but here is one for the 24-70
  7. John,

    It's fairly simple really - unless you will use the 24-105 wide open against the sky the whole time you will not really see a difference in the results between the two. The 24-70 vignettes too - just not a much. With IS on and the ISO at 200 or so you can very happily handhold outdoor shots even in quite poor light with the 24-105 at f8 where the vignetting is all but gone.

    I sold the 24-70 for the 24-105 and still consider it an upgrade although I am a landscaper and tripods and f22 are my world. Some people swear by the 24-70 and who's to say they are wrong. It's just that f2.8 isn't a great deal better than f4 and if you need fast then 50mm f1.4 or 85mm f1.8 is a real advance.

    Good luck,

  8. If f/2.8 isn't a great deal better than f/4, who will spend $3900 on a 300mm f/2.8L IS instead of getting a 300mm f/4L IS at much lower price?
  9. I recently compared a 24-70 and two 24-105s on my 1Ds2 to decide which one to keep. Based on my tests of the lenses I had, overall image quality between the two is very similar, although the 24-105 is perhaps sharper. The 24-105 vignettes more than the 24-70, and also has more distortion. The vignetting and distortion are noticeable when you test for them. In real life, however, I have not found either to be a problem. Also, vignetting is easy to correct in Photoshop, etc. In my opinion, the vignetting differences between the 24-70 and 24-105 should not drive your decision. Rather, do you want f/2.8, or would the more compact size, extended range, and IS of the 24-105 be more useful to you? After considering these trade-offs, I chose the 24-105.
  10. Philip,

    We're not talking super telephotos here- it doesn't make much difference at the short end because - as you know - camera shake issues are less significant the wider you go. Right?

    Kind regards,

  11. James, I really want to learn from your experience, so please clarify my confusion. Do you think Canon make the 300mm f/2.8L IS is to avoid camera shake and the 300mm f/4 IS isn't as good as the 300mm f/2.8L IS to control camera shake? You said, "... the camera shake are less significant the wider you go ..." So is the IS feature less useful when comparing the 24-70 and 24-105? If f/2.8 is no longer an advantage, should Canon stop designing f/2.8 lenses? But why did Canon introduce the new EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8? If f/2.8 is no
    longer superior to f/4, is it true that f/4 is no longer superior to f/5.6?<p>
    Chris, you said, "...although the 24-105 is perhaps sharper,..." Can you prove it? the 24-70 has been recognized by its optic superior among zoom lense. If the 24-105 is sharper than the 24-70, it means that Canon can desgin a near perfect 4.375x zoom lens. Canon R&D has been known as not being able to design good wide angle lenses as Nikon R&D can. If the 24-105 is a perfect piece of glasses, why do Canon still have to rely on EF-S to make wide angle lenses? I know the 24-105 isn't a wide angle zoom. It's only a normal zoom lens.<p>
    I'll buy the 5D with the 24-105 along with the 70-200 IS. But I don't believe the 24-105 is better than the 24-70. It is being sold $150 higher than the 24-70 simply because it's newer.
  12. Philip, though James can certainly explain his point himself, maybe I can help.
    Everything else being equal (IS, focal length), an extra stop means more in a 300mm lens
    than a 24mm lens. A lot more.
  13. There are test reports showing 24-105 is in fact sharper than 24-70. Compare the MTF figures of the 2 lenses tested by



    You can see that 24-105 is sharper than 24-70 even at f4, where 24-105 is full open while 24-70 has stopped down already
  14. Another report from Luminous Landscapes also showing 24-105 is sharper than 24-70 even at f4.

    Read the section "Resolution"
  15. The 24-105 is sharper at f/4 and f/5.6. One of the first things I noticed/tested with both
    of the lenses.
  16. I consider the 24-105 f4L to be a great choice after comparing the results against my 70-200 f4L, both at 100mm, using aperture f4. The longer lens is only marginally better, but VERY close!
  17. Thank you Kevin! Yes, speed of lens is much more critical in a long telephoto than a wide angle. There is a rule of thumb that says you should consider the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens as the minimum hand-holdable speed. 24mm lens = 1/24th of a second and a 300mm = 1/300th of a second. That's why you have plenty of old photographs taken with folding cameras with slow lenses on ISO 12 film that are nicely sharp - although these oldtimers didn't have 300mm lenses to stick onto their folders the results would have been disappointing believe me! That's why you need all the light you can get with a telephoto and why it is much less critical (but not unimportant!) for wide angles. So back to our two Canon lenses. The one stop advantage of the 24-70 is exactly that - an advantage. I am not taking anything away from the fact that f2.8 is better than f4 - it is unquestionably the case. My submission is quite simply that that difference is - to me anyway! - virtually valueless. F2.8 is fast for a zoom lens but is slow by modern standards for the focal lengths that the 24-70mm covers. If speed is what is required above all than the 24-70mm does not satisfy. If shallow DOF is required the 24-70mm does not satisfy too well either. People requiring either of those two attributes are best served buying primes. Zooms exist for their flexibility and convenience - not for their speed, shallow DOF or supreme image quality. They are compromise lenses. Some zooms provide excellent image quality and these two Canon lenses both do but it is still not as good as the Zeiss wide angle prime lens I stick on my 1Ds MkII which knocks them both into the bushes. However, that's not news to anyone. Given that they both produce similarly excellent image quality (but NOT superlative), that the f2.8 vs f4 debate is mostly academic, that IS makes up for the slower speed most of the time (but not always), that the 24-105mm is MUCH lighter and is a more flexible lens because of its extra reach and that the vignetting problem is easily overcome by shooting at f8 with IS on and/or through image manipulation I advocate the 24-105mm. Unless you are shooting moving objects, where IS does not help you, then that extra stop is useful. Then again shooting moving objects at f2.8 is hardly great either and you would be better moving off to a fast prime. Hope I am making sense!? I am not saying that this is a definitive answer - a lot of people will prefer the 24-70mm for equally convincing reasons and I am not going to contradict them. This is just what I have found with the very particular kind of slow, methodical and almost always completely stopped down kind of photography I do. But when I do handhold the 24-105mm is just great. Please find below a photograph I took handheld at f8 on 1Ds Mark II on 24-105mm at 24mm. All the best, James
  18. Got my 24-70 a couple of days ago and all I can tell you is that it blows me away!
  19. Well John I am in the same boat... so this is not an answer to your question... I just got my rebate on the 5D and am planning on purchasing either the 24-70 or the 24-105 (double the rebate) and it seems to be a very hard choice for me also... I would be using whichever for mostly landscape and senic shooting and also have a 20D and 1.4x extender so either would be very versatile... I think if the tests confirm that the 24-105 is as sharp and contrasty as the 24-70 it will be the 24-105 for me due to the WT & IS + extra 35mm, but I have yet to make up my mind...
  20. Hey everyone. I am also considering these lenses and would like to get some advice. I am
    16 and don't often get the opportunity to drop $1000+ on a lens so I need to get the
    most versatile lens I can. I shoot a wide range of things ranging from school sports and
    events in the dark interior of my school gym to the bright sunny beaches of miami florida.
    I recognize that both lenses offer more versatility in one way or another. The 24-70 in
    aperture range and the 24-105 in focal length. I currently own the kit 18-55 and the 75-
    300 two of the worst lenses ever conceived by man. The goal in purchasing the L lens is to
    replace my current 18-55. I was going to but the 24-105 until the man at the store recommended that I consider the 24-70. I am at a loss to decide which lens is the better
    choice. I don't think I would be unhappy with either. I've heard that I should go with the
    24-70 because it is faster than the lenses i currently own and would fill a gap in my
    collection. Can anyone help me out? Thanks.

  21. To everyone who contributed to this thread previously:

    I just googled "24-70 vs 20-105" and found this site and this thread. I wanted to thank all of you for taking the time ask/comment/answer this question. Based on your collective insights, I think I'm going to get the 24-105 as my main "utilty" lens. I very much appreciate the generous contributions that you have all made.
  22. Hello John,
    I am not sure if the question is still alive but I will share my opinion anyway. (Merely my opinion not tehcnical facts) At the 24-70 or 24-105 zoom ranges IS don't matter too much which does a little for the moving subject but seems more effective for the hand/body shake. These lenses have a price difference not worth mentioning really and the major difference of 1 stop in between. I do own a 24-70, I can say that the wider apertures are addictive yet when it comes to lens sharpness Canon makes a lot of lenses cheaper than these two L lenses and they are way sharper. Cons of 24-70 is softer than 24-105 (naturally I think) and it's heavy! Also you're not blending in with this lens+hood. :) Still I believe 24-70 is more liberating over all.
    Fun fact, most common size prints look sharper than your monitor which means that your monitor does not indicate the true capabilities of your lens(es). Perhaps these two lenses are far superior to anything you have owned so far, which I am sure you have taken very sharp photos before AND very sharp/fast lenses are being made since 1900s so most of this testing and talk is really either provoked by the manufacturers, or by the fanatics who has time/money etc.
    My suggestion is to go to the store, try both. Whichever floats your boat is the better lens. Every lens has it's limitations, if you intent to find them you can, good photos come from people who works around these, and I think photography is about taking photos! Art galleries carry well done/high priced photos done by holgas! (24 bucks with a fixed focus lens 100% plastic at adorama I think, check it out)
    If you've already gotten one, HAVE FUN! Look through it not to it and be happy! :)
  23. Sorry so late to the party... assuming still subjects, the 24-70 gives you 1 stop of aperture over the 24-105, but the IS on the 24-105 gives you 3 stops of stabilization, resulting in a net 2 stops advantage for the 24-105 ASSUMING a still subject.
    Add to that the weight, focal length, sharpness advantages, and in MOST situations, the 24-105 is the better lens.
  24. Outside the 24-105 blows BUT when you shoot inside 24-70 has the upper hand. Suggestion, have both.

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