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

Review Date: Dec 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: good range, full frame, IS
quality control problems

still seeking for the best "allways on" lens for a 20D, I tried a 24-70 and this 24-105.
Receiving 2 times 24-70 and one 24-105, all of them showed poor calibration, hence unsharp fotos.
Correctly manually focussed, I saw the 24-70 being superior in sharpness for some cases. However for the majority of situations, this difference is hardly noticeable (for me).
I decided to go with the 24-105 and send this for calibration. After the second calibration, the lens is really sharp and fulfills my expectations.
I also own a 17-85 and compared to this, the 24-105 has slightly nicer color and better sharpness on the borders. Center sharpness is similar. I was astonished, how close the 17-85 is. Obviously I have a very very good one of those.
Hence upgrade from a 17-85 for picture quality reasons? No.
I see the 24-105 as a step towards full frame and may trade my 17-85 for a wide angle (10-22?).
Once full-frame is affordable, I would trade the wide angle probably for a 17-40 or whatever is available then.
Go for a 24-70 instead? Well, that depends. It is a tradeoff on weight, reach, expected light conditions, habits ... .
For me, I thought weight is not that an issue. But holding both in my hands, I quickly recognized it is. As amateur photographer, I want to be flexible and 24-105 gives me most of that. And the 24-70 did not fit into my photo bag. Hence the decision was easy. 2.8 is really nice (especially also for the viewfinder image). However if I really need it, I take a prime.
The 24-105 now is my outdoor walkaround (weather sealing could be an advantage, is it with the 20D?). The 17-85 currently is my indoor walkaround especially in combination with a flash.
I am very satisfied with this solution. Hope this helps someone.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Aug 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: build, hood
too big for my bag focus problems

wanted to have something better than my EF-S 17-85 and had focus problems with Sigmas 18-50. Hence wanted to try something different and ordered 24-70 2,8 and 24-105 4,0 (not so much on target). When I looked at picturs taken with the 24-70 I was very disappointed. Maybe I did something wrong but I saw some brownish blurr around some people I took pictures of when shooting with light from the side wide open and focus was not really stable (maybe a problem of the body? But my other lenses work fine, even the EF 100 2,8). However if correctly focussed and light from behind, pictures are razor sharp.

Hence I seem to confirm quality control problems with this lens (I tried 2 different ones and returned them both).
I decided to go for the 24-105 even if it is slower than desired and after a calibration and cleaning journey to Canon I am very happy with it.

Overall, stopped down to 3,5 with proper focus, the 24-70 is hard to beat.