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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

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515 895262 Mar 11, 2014
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86% of reviewers $1,515.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.48
8.03
9.0
24-105lisusm

Specifications:
This easy-to-use standard zoom lens can cover a large zoom area ranging from 24mm wide-angle to 105mm portrait-length telephoto, and its Image Stabilizer Technology steadies camera shake up to three stops. Constructed with one Super-UD glass element and three aspherical lenses, this lens minimizes chromatic aberration and distortion. The result is excellent picture quality, even at wide apertures. Canon's ring-type USM gives silent but quick AF, along with full-time manual focus. Moreover, with dust- and moisture-resistant construction, this is a durable yet sophisticated lens that meets the demands of advanced amateur photographers and professional photographers alike.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 24-105mm f/4

Lens Construction: 18 elements in 13 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 84 - 23 20' (with full-frame camera)

Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with focusing cam

Closest Focusing Distance: 1.48 ft./0.45m

Zoom System: 5-group helical zoom (front group moves: 32.5mm)

Filter Size: 77mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.3 in. x 4.2 in., 23.6 oz. / 83.5mm x 107mm, 670g (lens only)



 


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borderlight
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1745
Review Date: Jan 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Good focal length, well-made, IS works fine.
Cons:
Flare

I heard about the flare problem so I waited about 6 weeks until B&H restocked the recalled lenses. Since I am shooting with a 20D vignetting was not a factor. The only thing that I wanted to be sure of was that my 24-105L wouldn't have any problem with shooting into the sun. For this lens the answer was NO - it produced heavy flare with a milky white, contrast killing smear across the entire image. When pointed down, or used with different focal lengths the problem still was apparent. I switched to the 17-40L and shot the same scene which produced only one speck of green flare - easily removed in PS.

At one time I owned a 24-85 f3.5-4.5 which turned out to be a very sharp lens with good contrast, especially in the studio. I would say the $285 24-85 is comparable to the $1250 24-105L minus the IS. There may be better 24-105L copies out there since it is obvious that a lot of photographers love this lens, but I didn't get one of them. I returned it to B&H and will continue using my present (3) lenses.



Jan 31, 2006
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brimo
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 80
Review Date: Jan 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: BRILLIANT WALKABOUT lens, very natural colours, nice contrast and sharpness.
Cons:
none really apart from maybe the price, but then who likes parting with money!

My copy of this lens is off a new canon batch from Wharehouse Express UK (very good high volume retailer with an excellent service reputation).
I got this as an upgrade for a 28-135 IS, and that is exactly what it is, better contrast, better more natural colours and overall considerably sharper and no zoom creep when walking.

The images 'out of the box' are very natural and give a good reproduction of 'what i am seeing through the lens' without hardly any processing in raw shooter or CS2, they often look better without any default sharpening applied.
In other words the lens is doing it's job.

A word of note here i am using a 20D so maybe some of the problems reported are specific to full frame SLR'S

Overall so far after 150 test shots i am very happy with this lens to remain on my camera 90% of the time.


Jan 30, 2006
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: The second copy is like chalk and cheese
Cons:

After thinking about what I paid for this lens I spoke to my dealer who advised me to send it in to them for evaluation. I`ve purchased most of my expensive gear from them inc all of my 1 series bodies so maybe they realised that I`m a serious semi pro who knows a bit so they sent me a replacement by return. My thinking was that if the second copy was similar to the first i would send it in to Canon and hopefully they would sort it before i decided to sell it at a loss.
Anyway, in fairness I think I needed to do this second post to clarify my findings. This time I took a few images around the garden and noticed how much better it seemed so I set off to a well photographed section of coast nearby, I shot with the 20D,5d and the ultimate test the 1dsmk2. This copy is so much better than the first( I knew there were better copies out in the shops because I had previously borrowed a friends copy) Vigging wide open is not a problem with this new lens even with a b&W pro UV in place and distortion no worse than the usual stuff at 24MM(it`s mainly down to the angle you shoot IMHO) I have a very good 17-40 than can really resolve fine detail at times so I put it up against the 24-105 at 24 and 40 mm on all three cameras. Near to mid distance I can`t split them, far distant detail( buildings at around 3 miles) and I think the 24-105 might just have the edge(just) I was shooting handheld so that might put the 17-40 right on par. There seems to be slightly more contrast from the 17-40 and just slightly better true to life colours but nothing you would be bothered about. The feel of this new lens is better, the zoom ring is slightly stiffer than the 1st copy but at least it stays where you leave it and if anything it will loosen in time also It was around freezing point during my test so this might make things feel tight. The lens is more consistent than the 1st copy. On the 20D it really is a cracking lens and will compliment my 10-22 nicely and on the FF it will compliment the 17-40(although there is quite an overlap, sometimes it is better to overlap a fair bit and prevent having to change lenses quite so often.) I would like a touch more reach at the long end so glad i went for the 24-105 over the 24-70(I used my friends 24-70 2.8 and the brightness was great but IMHO this 24-105 with the IS is very close to the 24-70 and is more compact and the IS allows a couple of stops in low light.) It still is not a prime but I`m convinced by my testing that the IS helps to bridge the gap with my 85 and 135(although for narrow DOF shots the primes rule) Thanks to AJ Purdy and Co for a fast replacement which enabled me to re-evaluate what is now a solid keeper.Against lenses in general I would give this lens 8, against zoom lenses it would be nearer 9 where the 70-200IS is a 10. Hope it helps with your choices.


Jan 28, 2006
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Michael-M
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Registered: Apr 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 2698
Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very light and very sharp wide open. IS works perfect. hood size is perfect, built like an L should be, and AF is extremely fast.
Cons:
still looking for some.

had one of the first copies delivered, but was (along with the 5D) sold to someone who just had to have it, so i never compared to current lens for anything but sharpness, which i'm glad to say is perfect. this lens even wide open is fantastic.
the 24-70f/2.8L is a must have, but this one is a definate must have for those considering the 5D. the term "general walkaround lens" is an understatement for this zoom. it is without a doubt sharp from wide to long, and stopping down does nothing but deepen the DOF.
those who own it or are buying it will appreciate the lighter weight of this lens compared to the 24-70.
i was expecting the zoom and focus ring, along with the barrel movement to be somewhat loose, but such is not the case.
it is tight in fact, but not so that you struggle with it, but you feel like you got what you paid for.
test shots with and without IS have proven to me that Canon's IS system is state of the art.
i've taken pictures with the lens at 105mm at 1/15th and the results are sharp.
in summary........."beautiful piece of glass!"


Jan 28, 2006
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WAvdHFotografi
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Registered: Apr 3, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Great portability, fast af
Cons:
Canon customservice really ******* how can it be that you cannot use your gear because it takes at least 3 weeks to change the lens for a good one.

This lens does not what the advertisement believes you to.
IS is great if it would really make a difference, i can't tell the difference between switched on or off. This lens is not as sharp as the 24-70 L, not even stopped down, and the use of the I.S.
I told Canon about this and they said: "we don't produce unsharp lenses". Also making a bad production, and make the customer wait for at least 3 weeks to get a new lens is not very proffesional thinking. I cannot afford a lot of lenses, as a starting photographer. (meaning the business, not the pics).
Bottomline, it is a great lens to use, fast AF, nice weight, but for the sharpness or the I.S., better save your money.
I get a new lens next week, but i will sell it right away.


Jan 25, 2006
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winman3
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Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 397
Review Date: Jan 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp Good size, given its specs Comes with a lens hood
Cons:
None so far (it is an early "flare" model, I sent it back even thought I did not experience the reported flare)

Had this lens for about 2 months now. It performs very well under the conditions I use it. Last night I was using this lens indoors with a flash at f8 and at 100 ISO. Cursed flash started acting up, would not fire, so I switched the ISO to 800 and used the lens wide-open at f4. The reults were absolutely astonishing, I printed 11 x 14s and perfect 8.5 x 11 sized prints that were sharp, excellent colour fidelity and hardly any grain.
This lens is light, has a perfect range (given its size & weight), gives excellent results comparable to any of my other L lenses. It is a great travel lens and a good do-it-all tool if you can have only one lens for a variety of needs. BTW, I don't stare at pixels with a microscope & I try to avoid shooting angular objects, e.g. buildings, at the wide end. Every lens is a compromise: size, price, weight, focal range. All things considered, this is a GREAT lens.
For me, a very fussy & critical photo technician, this lens produces perfect results.


Jan 25, 2006
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i_moose
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Registered: Feb 20, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jan 25, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Lovely zoom range especially on my fullframe Kodak.
Cons:
Awfull distortion from 24mm through 105mm. Perhaps Leica R lenses have spoiled me but this is not "L" quality. Sharpness is OK, IS is fine, colours are OK. Taken all this into account this lens is way, way too expensive, I'm very sorry I bought it.

I bought an official 'Dutch' copy. After the flare was fixed that is. I'm shocked at what Canon calls its Top of The Line lens (L).
The distortion of this lens is as bad or worse even, as the Nikkor 43-86mm I bought in 1977/8 but that was when zoom lenses were first being developed (I think). And even then the distortion occurred mostly at the end of the zoom range.
This L lens distorts all the time. My copy vignettes a bit, mostly at 24mm but I usually have to crop my pictures a bit anyway so it doesn't bother me that much.
I haven't tried it on my 20D since I have the 17-85 IS on it. I personally prefer the image -distortion- quality of the 17-85.

I can't wait till something better comes out, I'll be first in line.


Jan 25, 2006
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edwardkaraa
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: Thailand
Posts: 6861
Review Date: Jan 23, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharpness, Zoom Range, IS, Build Quality, Color.
Cons:
Unacceptable CA at Frame Edge, Vignetting and Distortion at 24mm Wide End, Price.

I am quite disappointed at least with my copy of this lens which produces quite strong CA at frame edges. Otherwise it's a good lens.

Jan 23, 2006
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hermosawave
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Registered: Jul 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jan 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,145.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open, perfect range, IS
Cons:
flair, heavy, expensive

I have one of the first "post-recall" lenses. I've used it both on the 20D and 5D.

I almost always use the lens wide open. Very sharp at 24mm f/4, maybe a bit less sharp at the long end, but nothing serious.

I can consistantly handhold at 1/4 sec. at 24mm with the IS <i>no problem</i> (a sample: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hermosawave/75427938/)

My copy on the 5D vingnettes a bit at 24mm@f/4@infinity - stop down, zoom in or get close, and it goes away. Also easily fixed in Photoshop.

The only real issue with this lens is flare in an environment with point lights in the frame - in this shot for example (24mm-1/15@f/4 ) http://photos.hermosawave.net/enlargenext.php?ID=76&selection=32 - or with the setting sun.

This is the lens on my camera almost all the time, I would recommend it both for the full-frame as well as croped sensor bodies.


Jan 22, 2006
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Harald Labout
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Registered: Aug 11, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp and clear pictures. I get better results than with my old 24-70 f/2.8. Very good image stabilizer. Well build and a good match with my EOS-20D.
Cons:
None

I have owned a 24-85 f/3,5-4,5 and a 24-70 f/2,8 but the 24-105 give me better results than both my old lensens, yes even better than my 24-70. (perhaps i had an bad copy).
Amazing sharp & clear pictures with nearly perfect colours.
I am very happy with this lens.


Jan 21, 2006
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Build quality is really well up to scratch. USM and IS are quiet and smooth.
Cons:
Lens hood seems to move off of the correct position easily.

First of all I shoot with the 1dsmk2. I have found over the years that if you want the finest quality images with a camera like the FF then primes are the answer so reading so many good reviews got me thinking that maybe things have changed but for me unfortunately they haven`t. The lens is good but not great but maybe I`m being unfair when comparing it to primes. It isn`t as good as my 17-40 where the focal lengths cross and images don`t seem to have as much depth. I`m not sure about the colour of images and noticed that bright overcast is much better than sunny days.
I really wanted this lens to WOW me so that I could carry less and keep the changes down but it hasn`t worked out that way. It`s a better bet on the 20D for some strange reason, maybe I`m not looking for such fine detail with it. One thing that puzzles me is the lens isn`t consistent. I`ve got to be honest and say that my old 28-135IS although not the best lens in the world is at least consistent so you can shoot to it`s strengths if you get my point. I paid 700 for this lens and although the build quality feels like it would outlast most photographers the image quality doesn`t seem to match.
Some people might say that it is a good walkabout lens! and it is as far as focal range but I get most of my images walking about (as many people do) so can`t justify second best on images that I might want to sell on. A friend said to me that I should let it wear in and get used to it and I must admit that quite often that is the case(like when I got the 1dsmk2) things did get better as i learnt it strengths and how to process images from it but we are talking about a lens here where using them on a camera that you know well isn`t exactly rocket science.
I suppose it will take the place of my 28-135 and be used in conjunction with my 10-22 on the 20D as my vacation kit but it won`t have pride of place on my FF cameras where I want the very best that I can extract all the time.
As I say, it`s a good lens but not a great lens and can`t help feeling disappointed after spending what is quite a lot of hard earned cash on it. My normal set up with the 1dsmk2 is,17-40,50mm,85 1.8, 135f2 +1.4 and I should have added the 200 2.8 to complete the bag and saved some money.


Jan 21, 2006
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steveprice
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Registered: Dec 3, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 38
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding (qualified - see below)
Cons:
None (my third copy)

I dont know if gwhitegoeg's explanation is correct (see below)
but it fits in with my experience. I originally hunted high and low in early December for a 5D and 24-105 lens kit and have since had and returned two. See my previous post criticising this lens for vignetting. The reason I persisted was that Canon said it shoud not vignet and they advised me to exchange it. Vignetting is light fall of at the corners and edges of the picture frame, for whatever reason. In the case of the first two copies I had bad vignetting. It was correctable in Photoshop but not easily. I teach Photoshop by the way. This week I got my third copy of the kit and wow, what a difference. There is no vignetting even at 24mm and f4. And it is much sharper. I am not doing any post sharpening whatsoever and I have left the in-camera sharpening on the default setting of 3, on previous versions I had to up the setting to 7, the maximum, or sharpen a lot in pshop.

The difference I noticed is that I did not have to hunt high and low for the third copy, my local dealer actually had some in stock, as did other local dealers. This is what makes me think gwhitegoeg' report might be correct.

The moral: be persistant, stick to your guns, read these reviews and you will be rewarded.


Jan 20, 2006
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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great zoom range, real Rolls Royce construction quality, excellent optical quality (see below), internal focussing and zooming, FTM function, excellent focussing, IS
Cons:
Rogue early examples (see below); quite heavy

They have been a lot of negative reviews of this lens and I have the explanation. For once, Japan and the USA getting lenses before us in Europe was a bad thing (for them, anyway). Canon withdrew all offical stock after about 6 weeks, though many grey imports persisted and the lens was still being sold widely on the internet. Official UK Canon pro dealers advised photographers to hold off. All lenses were modified or remanufactured (who can say, as Canon never reveal such things). Many early examples had real CA problems across the whole zoom range (on full frame or APS cameras) but especially in the mid-range and was an awful lens considering its L suffix. Anyway, whatever the problem the issue has been addressed, and UK Canon dealers are now supplying the 'new' lenses. I bought one of these, and it is superb. One of my best 'Ls', if you can live with f4.0. Lens has been outstanding on my 5D.

Jan 20, 2006
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x0SiN0x
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Registered: Jan 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 81
Review Date: Jan 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros:
Cons:



Jan 19, 2006
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sero
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Registered: Aug 13, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 138
Review Date: Jan 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great focal length, IS, perfect size
Cons:
Price, not a 2.8

I think people's expectations are too high for this one. It's compared to the 24-70 all the time, yet it's advantage's are it's extra reach, IS and smaller size at a similar price to the 24-70.

It's funny as everybody loves their 24-70 yet it's rating is basically the same as the 24-105 that everybody nit picks.


Jan 18, 2006
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JTitor
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Registered: Jul 17, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros:
Cons:



Jan 15, 2006
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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 895262 Mar 11, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
86% of reviewers $1,515.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.48
8.03
9.0
24-105lisusm


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