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Thread: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

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    Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    I am going on a cruise to Alaska in June. I want to take landscape as well as wildlife pictures Will the 24-105mm IS lens work?

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Fine for the landscape (although you could also go wider or longer if you wished). But, generally, okay. Good lens for the job. But I'd think it will be much too short for the wildlife.

    What sort of wildlife are we talking about and how close will you be to it? And what model of body is it going to be mounted on?
    Last edited by Donald; 22nd February 2012 at 04:37 PM.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    we will be taking a flight tour that will land & get us closer to the wildlife, I have an EOS Rebel XSi

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    But how close and how big are your subjects?

    I find that lens is fine for flowers and even some larger insects but I wouldn't consider it for birds, except larger species, like gulls etc and then you need to be quite close.

    Possibly, you might not want to be excessively close to some species, like a polar bear for instance.

    That lens works fine, for me, with farm animals etc, but I would certainly want more zoom for anything smaller or more distant.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    So would I be better off renting a lens & if so what do you suggest?

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Louise

    For wildlife (and, again, it so much depends on what we're talking about - birds in flight, large mammals standing relatively still etc), I'd have thought you want to be looking at something at least at 300mm. Probably 400mm would be better. If you're renting, you need to look at your budget. Can you afford to go for a fast prime (i.e. not a zoom)?

    I'd suggest you want to search for some specialist wildlife photographers sites and look at what they're doing. I'd also suggest doing a search on here to look at Steve S's stuff. Or PM Steve (in case he doesn't see this thread) and ask him for information on what he shoots with.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    It would be bears, Moose & Deer. Thank you very much for your help. I will contact both Steve's

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Louise - There's an interesting thread (in terms of your question) up at the moment that may provide some guidance. Have a look at Jaimej26's 'Second Year Grizzly Cub' As you'll see, that's done with a 500mm f4L mounted on full frame body.

    A 300mm lens on your body would give you the equivalent of 480mm. That's probably the sort of length that you're needing to think about.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Just me, but the 24-105L isn't particularly wide angle on a crop body camera. I'd recommend getting an EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM instead, or the 18-55 kit lens for the landscape shooting, stopped down into the f/8-f/16 range. If you wanted to go even wider, the EF-S 10-22 is probably the next lens to look at/rent.

    For the wildlife, I'd say rent an EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. You can never have too much reach with wildlife. But if that's too rich for your blood, then the EF 70-300 IS USM (non-L) is probably your best bet. You really want at least 300mm.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Just me, but the 24-105L isn't particularly wide angle on a crop body camera. I'd recommend getting an EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM instead, or the 18-55 kit lens for the landscape shooting, stopped down into the f/8-f/16 range. If you wanted to go even wider, the EF-S 10-22 is probably the next lens to look at/rent.
    Interesting. There is a poll thread on Naturescapes right now that asks FF photographers which focal length they would choose if limited to one fixed focal length lens. Maybe I'm looking at things wrong.

    A brief summary to date:

    16 mm - 5%
    18 mm - 2%
    20 mm - 11%
    24 mm - 51%
    28 mm - 4%
    35 mm - 17%
    50 mm - 2%
    85 mm - 2%

    The 24 mm focal length is the hands down winner (many of these photographers do this for a living, so these aren't casual shooters like me).

    When I was on the Oregon coast in September, I found my TSE24 too wide and mostly used the 24-105.

    So, in answer to the OP's question, it has been well answered - go longer.

    But don't leave the 24-105 at home. I used mine a year ago on an Alaska cruise and it's all I used for the whole trip.

    Glenn

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    If you can rent one, the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lens is probably the very best general purpose wildlife lens in the Canon lineup. It would mesh very well with your 24-105mm lens. I consider 24mm about as wide as I like to go for landscapes even on a crop camera. So with these two lenses, you should be prepared for just about anything. If you need a wider view, shoot a hand-held pano like this one of the Seward, Alaska Harbor...

    Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Although the 100-400L lens is equipped with IS compensation, I suggest that you bring a camera support of some type. The IS helps steady the camera but it is an early model and hand-holding at 400mm on a 1.6x camera might be somewhat chancy. A sturdy tripod would be best but, you might be able to make do with a good monopod...

    I also suggest that you bring some sort of a rain shield for your camera/lens. I spent ten days on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska in late July through early August of 2008 and it rained every single day. I used a Kata raincover but, an OPTECH Rainsleeve can protect your camera/lens quite well.

    A long lens can be nice for landscapes also. I shot this with a 300mm f/4L IS lens hand-held...

    Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Interesting. There is a poll thread on Naturescapes right now that asks FF photographers which focal length they would choose if limited to one fixed focal length lens.
    In my mind it's a bit of a silly question though -- perhaps a bit like saying "which finger would you least like to have cut off". I think a better question might be "if you could only afford one zoom lens, which focal lengths would you go for". If I was limited to only one lens it would sure as heck be a zoom!

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I consider 24mm about as wide as I like to go for landscapes even on a crop camera. So with these two lenses, you should be prepared for just about anything.
    I agree. I shot with a 24mm wide-end on a crop-factor camera for years, and can't honestly say it was ever a problem. I think folks need to remember that in todays digital age it's almost trivial to stitch together shots 99 times out of 100 (thus making a psudo-wider angle lens).

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    I think all has been pretty well adressed so let me just add....I lived in Alaska as a kid, many times for a Moose you could use whatever you like as they regularly let you get fairly close as long as it is not hunting season. So I would say the 300mm is more than ok. However most everything else wildlife wise you would be wanting for the 400mm. The 100-400mm are still compact enough that it will not be too much of a burden and can be easily handheld if needed, With IS that is. I always forget that being I shoot Sony and it is in camera.
    I am full of envy....I so wish to make a trip back!
    Last edited by jeeperman; 23rd February 2012 at 06:31 AM.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    In my mind it's a bit of a silly question though -- perhaps a bit like saying "which finger would you least like to have cut off". I think a better question might be "if you could only afford one zoom lens, which focal lengths would you go for". If I was limited to only one lens it would sure as heck be a zoom!
    I agree with your assessment to some degree, but the results are still worth taking note of, if only because many photographers (I'm not in this category) still consider primes to be a better choice than zooms.

    If one hiked in mountainous terrain, a single zoom would be a better choice (I think), but if one had only primes, then which one would be chosen?

    The surprise (to me at least) is that the 24 mm length garnered over half the votes. I think it tells us something.

    Incidentally, the full range of choices in the poll was from "less than 14 mm" to "over 200 mm".

    Glenn

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    I agree with your assessment to some degree, but the results are still worth taking note of, if only because many photographers (I'm not in this category) still consider primes to be a better choice than zooms.
    Many do of course -- but in the same breath, they're most likely also the ones that like to pixel peep at 100% all the time - don't use UV filters because of the "image degradation" - don't shoot wider than F11 because of "diffraction" - don't shoot anothing but 100 or 200 ISO because of the "noise" - and primarily only shoot test targets under laboratory conditions

    In my opinion, about the only valid reasons for using primes these days are "specialist applications" (ie wider than 16mm - faster than ~F2.8 - or longer than ~200-400mm).

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    I totally agree with Colin regarding zoom lenses. Zooms are just so much more flexible and lighter in weight than primes. LIGHTER? Yep, my 70-200mm f/4L replaces 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, 150mm, 180mm and 200mm lens plus has all the focal lengths between 70mm to 200mm.

    I carried a 17-55mm, 70-200mm f/4L IS and a 300mm f/4L + 1.4x TC to Alaska. The 100-400mm f/3.5-5.6L IS lens would have replaced both telephoto lenses. I am very happy with my 17-55mm + 70-200mm lenses for normal travel but, a 24-105 and 100-400mm combination would have been a very adequate substitute for my Alaska kit at somewhat lighter weight.

    There is one facet of my 300mm f/4L IS that I like better than the 100-400mm f/3.5-5.6. I just love the built in, retractable lenshood. It is a joy with which to work. I really wish that the 100-400mm had such a capability. In fact, I wish that my 70-200mm f/4L IS had a built-in, retractable lens hood...

    I am not sure what your travel setup is going to be but, I strongly suggest that you have a camera with you where ever and whenever you go anyplace.

    I was staying in a fishing lodge on the Kenai River and went to dinner about nine PM in the small town of Soldatna. Our internal clocks were a bit askew due to the long-long days in the Alaskan summer. I did not think of bringing a camera and regretted it when a cow moose and calf crossed the road in front of us, stopping traffic. There would still have been plenty of light for the photograph.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd February 2012 at 02:20 PM.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    I hope you guys didn't get me wrong - I'm a zoom fan. The only primes I even considered buying were the 100 macro and the TSE24. If these lenses came in zoom versions, I'd be using them not primes. My personal opinion is that primes are a nuisance; they're almost always the wrong length. I always have strived to avoid cropping with both film and digital - try to get it right in the field.

    Perhaps the poll question in NSN should have read, "which focal length was used in the majority of your landscapes"? The weak point in this question is that prime lenses are not made in an infinite range of lengths. Another problem; the Canon 28 mm suffers from CA and barrel distortion (according to Photozone), so it can't be a common lens for Canonites.

    Glenn

    Off topic comment - I have a spell checker running, and it thinks I spelled "strived" incorrectly. I wonder if there is a version that recognizes the queen's English?
    Last edited by Glenn NK; 23rd February 2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS Lens

    Bold emphasis mine:

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Interesting. There is a poll thread on Naturescapes right now that asks FF photographers which focal length they would choose if limited to one fixed focal length lens. ...

    16 mm - 5%
    18 mm - 2%
    20 mm - 11%
    24 mm - 51%
    28 mm - 4%
    35 mm - 17%
    50 mm - 2%
    85 mm - 2%

    The 24 mm focal length is the hands down winner (many of these photographers do this for a living, so these aren't casual shooters like me).
    And all I'm saying is that on a crop body, 24mm gives you the same FoV as a 38mm lens on full frame. Note how many of those pro landscape shooters would prefer using a prime longer than 35mm on full frame.

    Yes, 24mm is a great FoV for landscape shooting without optical quality compromises like the wider lenses will give you. On full frame. For general walkaround usage, I shot with a 24-105 on an XT and 50D without much issue, much like Colin, but unlike Colin I did feel the pinch of not-going-wide-enough when landscape/cityscape shooting. The field of view that everybody loves so much with a 24mm on full frame is duplicated by a 24/1.6 => 15mm lens on crop. For me, moving my 24-105 onto a 5Dii was a revelation of what that lens was really designed to do. I'm not saying it's a bad choice for a crop body user (I loved the 24-105 on crop), but for heavy landscape shooting, it can get frustrating when you have no choice but to panostitch.

    And I'm a crazy-mad lover of panostitching. But sometimes, it's a PITA or is going to demand a lot of intensive post-processing. Moving water. Moving subjects. You need experience with pano shooting to make sure you shoot enough coverage to get what you want/erase what you don't want, and sometimes it's just nicer to have the chioce of a single shot, particularly since the look of pano projections can differ quite a bit from the look of a rectilinear wide.

    I do get what Colin is saying about the 24mm crop equivalence not being a huge factor in overall usage. I agree with that. But if you are specifically going for the big vistas in a location like Alaska, I, personally, would find it frustrating not to have the 24-35mm range on full frame,and that's the 15-22 range on crop. And if you've never used an L before, lugging one along for travel may be more than you bargain for, weight/size/expense wise. An EF-S lens will considerably lighten the burden on all three counts, particularly as there's notta lotta alternatives to a 100-400L for wildlife.

    When I was on the Oregon coast in September, I found my TSE24 too wide and mostly used the 24-105.
    Which is why I said get the 15-85, not, say, a Samyang 14/2.8. The 15-85 IS USM zooms, so that if 24mm is still too wide, you've got all the way to 85mm, and you are covering the entire range given in the poll. How often would you miss the 85-105 range while landscape shooting?
    Last edited by inkista; 23rd February 2012 at 06:57 PM.

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