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

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Jun 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,058.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, relatively lightweight, easy to use, IS
Cons:
NOT a smaller version of the 24-70mm even though it is an "L" lens

I was hoping that I could get a replacement for my superb 24-70mm L lens that would be lighter, have more reach, and provide IS.
The 24-105 L IS sounded like that perfect replacement.
I'll preface my review by saying that I am not a pro, but I have many, many blue ribbons for my work. As such, I won't give a detailed technical critique, just my observations:
My lens arrived from Amazon (GREAT return policy) and I immediately shot some exposures to compare both lenses using the same 5D camera settings.
Let's remember that the 24-105 L IS has the advantage of IS - I shot my comparison shots at 400 / f11 (with IS on).
There was NO "focusing problem" with the 24-105 L IS that seems to have plagued some buyers. The IS was a real pleasure to use (albeit the IS has a perceptable but not bothersome lag).
SO, the problem was NOT sharpness. Instead, upon comparison
on my Apple calibrated 23" display, the 24-105 L IS exhibited less
"texture" than it's big brother as well as less 3-dimensionality (for lack of a better word). The question I asked myself is: "Which image looks more natural and more detailed ... which looks more "real""?
It was the old 24-70 L which has given me so many great images.
To be fair, I'm comparing the 24-105 L IS to perhaps the best zoom lens that Canon makes. Against most other lenses the 24-105 L IS would probably shine. But not against the "gold standard" 24-70 L.
The 24-105 L IS is no 24-70 L, as much as I would like it to be.
Maybe I could persuade myself that the lighter weight, the IS, the added reach is worth the trade off for slightly inferior image quality. NOT.
The 24-105 L IS is on its way back to Amazon


 
Gitzo G1227 Mountaineer Reporter Mk2 Carbon Fiber

G1227G_1_
Review Date: Aug 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $436.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight (compared to non-carbon equivalents), very stable, camera bag hook, operation of leg releases is easy (no it DOESN'T pinch your fingers).
Cons:
still too expensive, but worth it

My old SLIK 800G didn't impart much confidence to me when it came to supporting my 1Ds. Any signifigant breeze caused it to do the Lambada dance. When the head
finally broke under the 1Ds' load, I needed a 3-leg tripod commensurate with the camera's quality. I bought the G1227 at reallyrightstuff.com and I'm very pleased with this product. It's a bit heavier than the old (CHEAP) SLIK, but I'd never go back now that I own this gem. I've mated it with an Arca-Swiss B1 and that combo IS "slick".