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

Review Date: Jun 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,029.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Range, Build Quality
Price, but you get what you pay for

This is my first L zoom lens. I own several primes 24mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and 100 mm 2.8. All of which I excellent lenses in my opinion. Reading reviews on 24-105mm made me slightly concerned about sharpness and other issues of this lens. After agonizing for a couple of days I decided to go for 24-105mm. The day it arrived I went to test it against my primes. I used tripod and here what I found. At 24 mm 24-105 lens is sharper (even wide open) than 24mm prime and in my opinion has better color and contrast. My 50mm 1.4 is definitely softer at 1.4 which is to be expected. But at the same f-value zoom is identical in sharpness if not better. At 100mm 24-105 is very close in sharpness, contrast and color to 100mm2.8. 100mm2.8 is better in macro mode. It gives you better reach. CA is not an issue as far as I can tell, but I usually do not print wall size shots or zoom 600 percent to see color aberrations in the corners of my shots. So all and all as far as performance is concerned 24-105 is +/-5% of my primes. As far as comfort and versatility it is 300% above them. I am going to sell my 24mm prime, but I will keep 50mm for low light and 100mm for macros.
If you can afford it 24-105 is a very good lens.
Instead of agonizing over lenses go and shoot. Good lens will improve the quality of your shots some, but there is more to photography than gear.