Is the 24-70 f/4 IS the update to the 24-105 f/4 IS?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dan_south, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. I have been hoping for an improved 24-105 zoom lens for quite some time - sharper, less distortion. The announcement of the 24-70 f/4 IS seems like an indication that they are NOT planning to upgrade the 24-105, at least not anytime soon.

    Has Canon given up on the 24-105? Any speculation? It's such a useful zoom range. I hope that it's not being retired.
  2. Not retired. The 24-70/4 L IS is in competition with the 24-70/2.8 L, at least for those who believe IS is useful, or for those who actually need it, in this range. Neither the 24-105 L IS or the 24-70 L IS has the imaging quality of the pro f2.8 L.
    The 24-105 L IS is meant to be a good general purpose lens so I would not expect it to be upgraded to anything more than that, anytime, sooner or later. Given the reduced range, and the price point of the 24-70 L IS, it may be moderately better than the 24-105 L IS. The most significant image quality upgrade would be through the 24-70/2.8 L or by adding a couple of primes.
  3. I think that each of the three lenses has its place and can do things that the others cannot do or cannot do as well. I'm a bit surprised that Canon decided to produce three lenses in the 24-XXmm zoom space, but all three are excellent lenses with different balances of strengths and weaknesses that will adapt them to different sorts of shooters.
    • The 24-70 f/4 offers image stabilization, a macro function, a compact design and coverage of the same range as the more expensive f/2.8 24-70.
    • The 24-70 f/2.8 gives up the macro functionality and the image stabilization in exchange for one stop larger aperture and perhaps a bit better image quality - though all three lenses really are excellent in real-world optical terms.
    • The 24-105 f/4 also gives up the f/2.8 maximum aperture and does not have the macro functionality. However it has the largest focal length range of the group, with essentially a 2:1 FL ratio between its longest FL and "normal" 50mm.
    The good news is that Canon shooters now have quite a range of options in such lenses.
  4. This is how the Canon EOS 6D will be packaged as a kit with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM in the Toronto area:
    This may (and should) lead to a change in the kit lens being packaged as a kit with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Which lens? Probably the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM which will appeal to enthusiasts wanting to enter onto the 5D playing field.
  5. Just remembered... I posted something on this topic earlier:
  6. For some, the 24-70 pairing could make sense, but for at least as many buyers (more, in my view) the 24-105 would still be a more useful lens.
  7. The 24-105 f/4 also gives up the f/2.8 maximum aperture and does not have the macro functionality.​
    Actually the 24-105 does have a "macro" functionality, though the magnification is not much (0.23) . Arguably this is not a true macro functionality, more akin to close focusing than anything else, but it is roughly the same functionality as the 24-70 2.8 (the 24-70 provides slightly more magnification).
  8. There are very few of the 'normal' range zooms from any vendor which are marked "MACRO" on the barrel (as indeed the 24-105mm is) that are anywhere close to the strict definition of macro as 1:1, or even the relaxed definition of 1:2.
    So far, the lens makers do seem to have "true" macro if the lens name is actually a "Such and such Macro". The others are just labeled on the side as "MACRO .45m" - making it clear that they are simply talking about close focus.
    There is another Canon lens in this range - the EF 28-135mm IS lens. It's still usable and still shown in the lineup, so I don't see the likelihood that the new lens necessarily means the demise of the 24-105mm
  9. At least one review ( indicates that the 24-70/4 is a better performer than the 24-105. This is to be expected given the smaller zoom range and the higher price. Canon offers a lot of options in the standard zoom range but only Canon knows which ones will stay.
  10. The resolution tests on show the 24~70/4 falling a little below the 24~70/2.8II but above the original 24~70/2.8, and definitely better than the 24~105. Also, the 24~70/4 has the lowest distortion figures, although still nowhere near as good as a macro prime lens. The 24~70/4 is only a little smaller and lighter than the 24~105. The macro capability of the 24~70/4 is certainly intriguing, but its usefulness is rather compromised by the combination of short working distance with quite a fat lens barrel, potentially creating a problem over lighting. And, of course, the 24~70/4 is not compatible with Canon's macro flashes. Even if the combination of a stepping ring and a Macrolite Adapter allowed a macro flash to be mounted, it would almost certainly cause vignetting – it would be valuable to have confirmation of this guess, since if the combination is useable it could, for me at leat, be a deal-maker.
    An ineresting standard zoom that Canon do not make would be a 28~135/4L IS. A lot of the bulk of a standard zoom is associated with the WA end of the zoom, and by moving from 24mm to 28mm at the wide end such a lens could well be about the same size as the 24~105. It would combine well with the 17~40 as a carry-round kit for FF.
  11. An ineresting standard zoom that Canon do not make would be a 28~135/4L IS.​
    Huh? See the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at
    Admittedly it crosses over from f/3.5 to f/5.6, but f/4 is surely in there somewhere, nor is it 'L'-bent, but I've had the lens and it works very well. Much underrated. I wonder what Canon would gain by tweaking it into the L lineup?
    And very cost effective it is; and it's been in the lineup since a long time.
  12. I think Canon panicked when Tamron put out their 24-70/2.8 VC, with Canon's non-IS version just announced. Hence this lens.
  13. Huh? See the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at (link)
    I am perfectly familiar with this lens. My wife had one for a time, and I used it occasionally. It is of pretty flimsy construction (soon wobbles when at 135mm), run-of-the-mill optical quality, has first-generation IS, and is a stop slower at the long end than what I would be interested in. Not an alternative at all.
  14. With FF the 70mm is nothing more than a "long" 50mm. The 105mm is much more useful. Given a choice I'd go for the 24-105mm. If you need real macro capabilities a single focal length macro is the way to go. Good luck with your photography, Dan.
  15. sorry repeated post from above
  16. I hope Canon will follow the zoom lens focal range on their Canon PowerShot G12 (28-140mm/2.8-4.5). It is the perfect garden variety travel zoom lens range .
  17. "Actually the 24-105 does have a "macro" functionality, though the magnification is not much (0.23)."​
    Correct. Think of the 24-105 as a lens that focuses a bit closer than some alternatives, but it really isn't a macro or even a particularly close-focusing lens. The 24-70 f/4, on the other hand, really does provide some real (by some standards) macro functionality.
    "At least one review ( indicates that the 24-70/4 is a better performer than the 24-105."​
    This is a great example of how important it is to think about what "better performer" really means. First, all three of these lenses (f/2.8 and f/4 24-70mm and f/424-105mm) can produce excellent image quality. It is clear that the f/2.8 24-70 can do better than the others, particularly in the corners and wide open. It appears that the f/4 24-70 has optical performance that lies somewhere between the f/2.8 lens and the 24-105.
    However, there are a number of things that can determine what makes a lens a "better performer, " and how their value can differ depending on the needs of the photographer. I can certainly imagine situations in which thoughtful, talented photographers might choose any of the three for their "better performance" relative to their specific needs. Other things that are components of performance might include presence or not of IS, focal length range, bulk/weight, and so forth.
    As I wrote earlier, Canon shooters now have three fine L zoom choices in this range.

  18. Part of the theory of the 24-70 f2.8L is that it matches perfectly with the 70-200mm f2.8L. Many photojournalists carry those as their primary lenses. Nikon ofcourse makes the perfect wide compliment to that duo with their 14-24mm f2.8. But that's another forum. Good shooting out there!
  19. Nikon ofcourse makes the perfect wide compliment to that duo with their 14-24mm f2.8.​
    Canon users can use a Nikkor F to Canon EF adaptor to enjoy their excellent 14-24mm f2.8.
  20. The ver 1 24-70mm f2.8 has a more useful close focussing feature than the ver II - something they gave up to improve size and weight (and maybe performance). My feeling is that, for me, if the 24-70/4 has performance only in between the 24-105 and the 24-70 f2.8 ver II then I will not bite. If you are interested in close ups though the new f4 lens is useful - most people will not be using it at maximum magnification most of the time anyway, so the distance to the subject is not a deal killer in my book.

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