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

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517 904966 Jul 19, 2014
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86% of reviewers $1,515.98
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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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Todd Klassy
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Registered: Sep 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 290
Review Date: Oct 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good focal range, image stabilization, build quality, sharp images > f/5.6.
Color and contrast not as good as other L lenses, f/4 maximum aperture, vignetting (especially at 24mm), and lack of weather sealing.

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a good all-around lens. I owned this lens for almost three years and found it to be a very useful every day lens, which is available at a relatively competitive price.

Images are sharp and clean on my Canon 5D and 5D Mark II; especially those > f/5.6. The focal range makes it a good walk-around lens, but I always thought its maximum aperture of f/4 was a bit lacking and I always wanted something more. Color and contrast are good, but not stellar, and definitely not as good as the other L lenses I own. Like most zoom lenses, this lens is the 'jack of all trades' but a master of none.

If you plan on owning just one lens, and want to replace the silly kit lens that came with your camera, then I would say you can hardly go wrong owning this lens. If, however, you own other lenses in this focal length, or if you are trying to build a nice collection of useful lenses, this might not be the best option for you.

I briefly owned a Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens and I can not say the EF 24-105mm lens is a substantial upgrade over the EF-S 15-85mm lens...because it is not; especially if you own a Canon EOS 7D, 60D, 50D, or any other Canon camera with a 1.6 crop factor. About the only real advantage this lens has is its EF mount, which means you can also use it on a 5D, 1D or 1Ds, and it affords better build quality. Images are also a bit sharper than the EF-S 15-85mm, but the difference IMHO is negligible.

Trust me, this IS a very good lens, but if I had to do it all over again I would have purchased the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM instead.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM:


Oct 18, 2010
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Registered: Jun 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 144
Review Date: Sep 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: covers all the basics, great for lowlight with IS and a little depth of field, weather resistant construction,
"only" f4, could be sharper, Zoom creep, Sunshade (but that's on all zoom lenses)

I highly recommend this lens. I use it mostly for travel when space/weight is an issue and for lowlight shooting when i need a little extra depth of field. I know it sounds contradictory, but for most images with more than one person you need a little focal depth and this just does it. Sometimes the focus has difficulties (even with my 1Ds III), but you can't have it all.
Is it as sharp as my other prime L lenses, not really, but it has a complete different design and usage.
The single most outstanding point for me in the last couple of month is the quit amazing quality i get when shooting video with a handheld 5D II. I focus manually and the IS compensates movement fantastically (the camera is rigged on a RedRock grip system) and the shots feels very lifelike and engaging. Very easy to use even for a novice.
For hybrid use this is THE lens in the Canon line up. And the concern of having only a f4 is negligible due to the relative high sensitivity i can shoot the Canon 5DII and 7D.

Sep 24, 2010
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Digital Fury
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Registered: Jun 10, 2009
Location: France
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact, solid and light walk-around L lense, 24mm for FF, 3-stop IS, fast focusing, image quality, compact hood, price

This is the lens I use most of the time unless I'm in very low light situation and/or need the f/2.8 speed indoor, as I also have the biggest non-IS 24-70 f/2.8, or I need something outside its 24-105mm range. Its built and image quality are excellent, it's fast focusing and low priced to boot.

It's "only" an f/4, but also quite smaller and lighter than the 24-70m f/2.8, and the 3-stop IS is quite useful.

To complement what the previous reviewer (LPrimeFreak) mentioned. The Peripheral Illumination Correction (PIC) data for vignetting is actually written in the RAW files, and thus can be used by RAW converters (e.h. DPP, DxO) just like the camera bodies do for JPEGs - ergo, vignetting is not actually an issue even on FF.

Aug 25, 2010
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Registered: Jul 29, 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great range for full frame users that miss a extra range due to no cropfactor, IS, good built quality.
Too much vignetting on 24mm (fullframe), for crop users as a "walkaround" less interesting cause they lose the wide-angle.

I bought this 24-105 for my 5D, the range was the best for a standard Canon zoom, a good walkaround lens, but I sold it cause there was too much vignetting, especially at 24mm.

I took pictures of a boat festival, all corners of the air were black. This was not so pleasant. Now I have the 5D MKII which has a function to correct this lens error in the camera itself, so that the vignetting is gone in jpegs, but I only use RAW.

I sold it for the 28-70 2.8L (for the sharpness but also to have the f2.8 back, love that bokeh, had it in past also on my 17-55 f2.8 IS). In fact f2.8 is my highest f-value on any lens, and i'm going to keep it that way.

First I doubted with the newer 24-70 2.8L, but this one has some bad copies which aren't all sharp if you read further reviews.

I got this 28-70 2.8L from a teacher from the university (12 years old but not so much used) for only $600 as new.
The 28-70 2.8L is the sharpest standard zoomlens for fullframe, but more difficult to find, as it's older. See also the highscore on this site, it's really the best. If you see the sharp pictures without knowing which lens, you think it's a prime.

Next to my case, the 24-105L is a very popular lens thanks to the range and IS if your not too picky for the vignetting and f4.

Some people with cropcams buy it for the range, but only realise later this is more a fullframe lens, with the 1.6 cropfactor they lose the wide-angle and then it's not so "walkaround" anymore, zoom starts at 38mm, almost head/shoulders for portraits.

Jul 29, 2010
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Registered: Oct 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jul 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wide Angle (on full frame) + Zoom in one "L" lens. Cheap compared to other "L" lenses, IS, perfect walk around

The best walk around lens! It is "L" lens quality. I don't think we should compare to other lenses because none of them has the range of 24-105mm.


Focus is fast and smooth.
Sharp (can't be compared to prime lenses though)
Well built
Great colors and contrast

Cons -

4.0 aperture. Not the best if you love shallow debt of field.
I wouldn't use it for professional work. For wedding and event photography it is too slow. You can find some images in my earlier wedding photography blog entries: http://www.haringphotography.com/blog/

Some of them are blurry because the lens was slow. Still they look artistic. If you want to have a little bit better, buy the older 28-70mm or the 24-70mm lens. I hope it helps.

Jul 21, 2010
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Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 842
Review Date: Jul 15, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: $860.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Reasonably Sharp. Very Useful Zoom Range.
Overall Build Quality Seems "Cheap". Lack of Weathersealing. Colors not as Vibrant as other L Lenses.

I tried one of these lenses about 3 years ago and ended up sending it back. I really wanted a lens with this zoom range, so decided to give it another try. For an "L" lens, this one is dissapointing overall. The build quality reminds me of a cheap kit lens. It just doesn't seem solid like all my other L's. Colors seem a little more muted and less vibrant than my other L's as well.

On the positive side, the lens is reasonably sharp across the whole zoom range, and the zoom ring and focus are very smooth. The lens does exhibit quite noticible vignetting at 24mm as well as moderate CA in the corners, but both are easily corrected in post (LR3's built-in lens correction does a nice job). This lens is a step up from the 28-135 IS, but in my opinion it isn't worth four times the price.

Jul 15, 2010
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Registered: Feb 6, 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 154
Review Date: Jun 3, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Focal range, MFD, USM, IS, very sharp, solid, universal
Muted, lifeless colors, light quality is lost

This lens has all characteristics to make it an all-time on lens, but it really sucks. Why? The colors are muted and dull. No light flooding of the images.

I moved from Minolta 7D to Canon 5D Mk II and did regret the move alot the first 8 months, not knowing it is the lens(es). The images are sharp, but IQ is more. The images rendered by this lens miss any light flooding and get a wrong color nuance.

I feel this is similar with the other non L Canon lens I own, 100mm f2. But a portrait lens may not require lively colors, brilliance and (micro)contrast.

I only found out how good the Canon 5D Mk II body is, when I bought my first Zeiss ZE lens. Now I'm happy.

Jun 3, 2010
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Registered: Feb 11, 2009
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: The range of the DF, is, universal focal length + high quality pictures!

Good objects, in the hands of a skilled photographer will be an excellent glass. I will never fighting abroad with all kinds of Beck and the front of tricks and so erudnoy, never tested his glasses and they serve me well. Ah, if it were the focal this window of 17-20 mm - prices should not he be. Photos taken by this lens can be seen on my site www.BFoto.ru

http://www.bfoto.ru/bfoto_ru_217.php Canon EOS 5D
http://www.bfoto.ru/bfoto_ru_834.php Canon EOS 5D
http://www.bfoto.ru/bfoto_ru_1718.php Canon EOS 5D Mark II

May 25, 2010
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Registered: Jan 12, 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: always on lense - perfect partner for every day use - good image quality - robust
none up to last week - then I had to bring it to the service ( about 6000 pictures, 3,5 years old)

The Canon EF 24-105 f/4,0 L IS USM is the ultimative "Always-On"-Lense. I shot more than 60% of my pictures with this wunderful lense. On both cameras, the EOS 20D and the 5D Mk II this lense delivers a very good image quality.

Sample picture you can find here:


It was my first L lense, I bought, and from the first day I was fascinated by the lense. It felt quite different to the other kit-lenses I have been using before. The lense promises a lot of fun. The focal range is perfect for the every day use. The autofocus is fast and accurate. And it's really sharp - even on the 5D Mark II I am really happy with the image quality. There are some chromatic abberiations if you zoom in to 100%, but with lightroom it's easy to correct it, if necessary.

The protection of the lense makes it also really robust. I had used the lense on several trip, and didn't get dust on the sensor. Even on the trek through the chilean volcanic area - Circuito de los Cóndores -, with a lot of dust, I didn't experience any problems.

The only negative thing I have to tell, is, that now after about 6000 pictures made with the lense (3,5 years old), I had to bring it to the Canon service, because I got on the EOS 5D Mk II the message Err 01. Probably it will cost me 300€...

May 1, 2010
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Daan B
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Registered: Aug 15, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7591
Review Date: Apr 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Built, IS, focal range, size/weight, decent optical performance thoughout its range, short MFD, AF accuracy
Pretty expensive for what it is (if you payed the premium), optical performance at 24mm (corner softness and heavy distortions), lenshood only effective for wider angles, AF tends to hunt in low light and isn't a fast tracker (not even in good light) on my 5D2

I have tried a few copies over time, and decided to keep one for travelling and general (good light) photography. All showed (roughly) the same optical performance:

It is sharp wide open throughout it's entire range in the center of the frame. Stopping down makes it only a little bit sharper here. I get sharp extreme corners in the 35-70mm range when stopping down to about f/8. Extreme corners at 24mm and 105mm remain somewhat soft (even after stopping down).

At 24mm there are heavy distortions. At 24mm and 105mm there are corners CA's. But they can be corrected in PP for 100%. Contrast and colors are very good at all apertures/FL's. Bokeh @ 105mm f4 is pretty good for a standard zoom of this class. Certainly usable Smile

Built quality is excellent. Although I am not a fan of the external extending barrel. It balances nicely on my 5D2 (without grip). It's relative small size and light weight makes it perfect for travelling. A 5D2 + 24-105L will fit in a lot of different small shoulder bags. The hood is not very useful for the tele end. It is basically designed for the wide angles.

AF is accurate but not super fast. When I use this lens on my 5D2 it isn't able to track fast and erratic moving subjects. It also tends to hunt in low light. But that is to be expected from a f/4 lens. IS works great and is nearly silent. Another cool feature is its very short MFD (semi macro) for close-up work.

I got mine after some substantial price drops on the market. Many sellers spilt up 5D2 + 24-105L kits and sell the lens apart. I got such a lens and that saved me about 250 euros. Price / quality ratio is balanced this way. If it would have been more expensive, I probably wouldn't have bought one.

All in all a convenient travel / general purpose lens with decent IQ for when there is good light. A fast prime or flash (AF assist beam) to go with it isn't a luxury, but rather a necessity for when the lights are low.

Apr 25, 2010
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Registered: Feb 12, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Mar 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,059.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Weight, well built, IS, beautiful colours, range.
OK in low light.

This is my dream lens very sharp, fast AF, light weight, love the beautiful colors you get from this lens, but I found out I shoot more indoors that it is outdoors. Sold mine on eBay for $900 (lucky whoever bought it, it is well taken care of) for a brand new 24-70L and a 50mm 1.4. I never regret the move but would buy another 24-105L if I can find one for around $700 for my daughter. Never doubt this lens it is very solid, It's hard to believe but I use and play mine everyday and the lens work the same way as the first day I owned it. No problem with the focusing or zoom ring and AF is always spot on after I owned mine for 3 years. But it has to go, L lenses are very addictive. Right now I only buy 2.8 and faster lenses. Highly recommended.

Mar 22, 2010
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 479
Review Date: Mar 20, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: wide focal range, IS, weight and a lightweight solution
bad Vignetting especially at the wide end and wide aperture, distortion and color fringing. Is it really L-worthy? I can not recomend this product in combination with FF

I bought this lens as a "one for all purpose" lens on FF. It has really disappointed me. Because it has not given me what I expected. Or to put in other words, yes I have learned to appreciate my 24-70 even more! So that's the good news. For travel purposes - the reason I bought it - it is however sufficient. Recently I started using my 24-70L and 135L combo instead. A bit more weight but better results. It is my first lens ever I am thinking about to sell (but have not decided yet)

Mar 20, 2010
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Registered: Jan 4, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: very good IQ and build, very lightweight
misses the 'wow' factor of large aperture lenses

Traded it for a 24-70L, wich gives more 'wow' to my images
downside is that i had to buy a grip too for my 5dm2 as that lens is so heavy compared to this one. the 24-105 is great for travel and general photography. Also good weatherproofing.

Mar 19, 2010
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Registered: Dec 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp, even at 4.0, good colors, good range
IQ with 40d was not so great

This lens was bittersweet to my wife and I. She is a portrait photographer and I mostly landscape. We shared this lens for some time, mostly her using it. What we found was that on the 40d there was inconsistent results. Sometime the focus was off, sometime the colors were not great, other times it was awesome. I'd say the bokeh at 4.0 was just ok, not like the 70 - 200 2.8 at 4.0 which has bokeh to die for. Our 50 1.4 at 4.0 kills this lens, not even comparable.

Then I had the chance to try this out on a 5d..BIG DIFFERENCE. Consistently better shots all the way around. Even the bokeh was better at 4.0.

After going through many many lenses on the 40d, the 30d the rebel and trying things out on the 5d, I've just come to the conclusion that not every lens that canon makes, even L's, is good on ever camera they make. The 17 - 40 was the same way, good but not great. Fantastic on the 5d and actually fantastic on the Rebel.

Buyers should take note of this when researching lenses.

Mar 4, 2010
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Registered: Mar 3, 2010
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great Image Quality, weather proof, very versatile, IS, USM.
on crop sensor 24mm isn't really wide.

I traded in my EF-S 17-55mm for th EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM because I wanted more zoom than the 55mm. Also I wanted an L lens because of the weather and dust sealing and together with my EOS 7D I now don't have to worry so much about rain and dust.

Th IQ is very great, I really like this lens. Here are some sample shots I took in the past weeks:


The only thing I miss is the wide aperture of 2.8, but when inside I now use the 50mm 1.4.

Mar 3, 2010
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Registered: Oct 21, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Feb 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, great AF, very versatile.
Zoom range cramped at the long end.

Many reviews of this lens seem lukewarm and make criticisms you'd see from the test charts: plenty of distortion on the wide end, not sharp corner-to-corner wide open, etc. Thus I was prepared to be unimpressed when trying this out with my new 5D.

However, peeking at test charts fails to convey what an incredible bit of kit this is in the field. On full frame, the flexibility is awesome - all the way up to perfect portrait length, and out plenty wide enough. Frankly, you don't spot those test chart weaknesses in the field; stopped down to f/8, it's impressively sharp at all focal lengths.

For the price, you're getting awesome optical quality, a 4x zoom range from a wide starting point, rock-solid build quality, and a couple of other things people sometimes forget to mention: very precise AF and a good image stabiliser. On full-frame I can always get sharp shots at 105mm and 1/15th, and usually at 1/8th, which is 2.5-3.5 stops improvement, as advertised.

The only niggle is the zoom ring. It's pretty obvious from using this thing that you're moving around a lot of glass. 24 and 35 are almost right next to each other on the zoom ring, so zooming needs a light touch on the long end.

All in all, my expectations were not that high for this lens, but it's blown me away thus far.

Feb 18, 2010
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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
517 904966 Jul 19, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
86% of reviewers $1,515.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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