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| p.1 #15 · 24-105 or 24-70 for weddings, events, travelling (priority in that order) |
As of this moment, I am a stronger believer in shooting only prime lenses (I own 35L.85L.135L), however, I'm tempted to get a zoom for Weddings, Events, and Travelling.
I'm a "strong believer" that a primes-only strategy makes sense perhaps even less than a zooms-only strategy. Primes and zooms, for many serious photographers, form a complementary pairing that has many more advantages than limiting yourself to only one or the other type of lens. (I can imagine situations in which it makes sense to use "either/or," but most of those lead to zooms and only a much, much smaller number of scenarios lead to only primes.)
As to the 24-105 versus 24-70 question, I'll first point you and others reading the thread to something I wrote on the subject a while ago:
(This was written before the newest version of the 24-70 was released, but the conceptual points remain much the same.)
Let's say that your goal is to complement the functionality of your primes and not replace it - e.g. you can keep primes for the times when you need their very large apertures and narrow DOF and are willing to live with their lesser degree of flexibility... and then use the zoom to do things that the primes don't do so well, mainly adapt quickly to changing shooting situations and work fine with flash. In this case, the larger focal length range of the 24-105 probably trumps the 24-70 since it enhances the very flexibility that you are looking for when you consider the zoom option.
(Quick note about me. I'm very critical about image quality. I own more primes than zooms. The 24-105 is more or less my "default" lens in many situations. It is a fine performer. Some of the criticisms in this thread hold a grain of truth but are overstated, while others are roughly nonsense. Image quality from the lens in terms of resolution is excellent. Its primary weaknesses are greater barrel distortion at 24mm, noticeable vignetting at 24mm and f/4, and a tendency to develop "zoom creep" over time. The IQ issues are rarely visible, and current post-processing software automatically compensates for them.)
If you are trying to "come as close as possible to a zoom that sort of works like a prime," then the 24-70 could be your lens. You'll give up some significant focal length relative to the 24-105, notably in the range often used for portrait work. You will not have image stabilization, which will somewhat limit your ability to use the lens in low light for certain types of work. You'll get one additional stop of aperture for just a bit narrower DOF, though the quality of the OOF stuff is smoother with this lens than with the 24-105. Oh, and you'll spend about twice as much... or more.
Both of these are fine lenses that can produce excellent photographic results. They have somewhat different strengths and weaknesses, but that cuts both ways.
Edited on Dec 09, 2012 at 09:43 PM · View previous versions