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Thread: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

  1. #1

    Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Hi there! I have a Canon 7D and I'm wanting to upgrade my 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I am looking for an "everyday, walk around" lens as I travel often walking around streets looking for photo ops (mainly of people). I guess I should also mention that I shoot video a lot too. I am leaning towards the 24-105mm f/4l but I am hesitant to make the commitment because it is a big purchase. I am also concerned of the 24-105mm not having a wide enough angle on my crop body cam. If I did not get this lens, I am thinking about keeping my 18-135mm and getting a tokina 11-16/f2.8. What do you guys think is the best idea? I also have a 50mm 1.4.

    Thanks!


    Kate

    www.katezimmermanphotography.com

  2. #2
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Welcome Kate

    Only you can tell whether you will miss the wider 18mm end of your current lens: you can easily check it with that lens.

    Why do you want to "upgrade"? You are switching to an L lens of narrower range and unless you are at the capability limits of your 18-135 I am not sure that you will gain a great deal. I do have a 24-105L (my son uses it on a 7D) and it is certainly a useful lens. However, personally I prefer a faster lens and use a 24-70 f2.8L II, switching to a 16-35 if i want wider (both on full frame). Still,you have that partially covered with your 50mm f1.4. which is a good lens.

    A lot depends on the type of pictures that interest you most. It sounds from your Tokina suggestion that you would like true wide angle on your crop body. Tell us more about what you are trying to achieve. From your very nice web site, which has some imaginative work, I am not seeing much that suggests quality problems with your current equipment. Kind regards,

    Adrian

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    I own the Tokina, albeit, the Nikon version, but then I am an ultra-wide angle lens junkie. It's a great lens, fast and sharp, if you know how to use it; if you don't you end up with a lot of foreground and sky, with very little subject matter. Tokina has just introduced a f/4 12-28mm lens as well that looks really good.

    I also use the Tokina f/2.8 11-16mm for video; where I mount it on my mFT video camera via an adaptor and use it as a fast wide-angle lens.

    I'm with Adrian on the (very expensive) f/2.8 24-70mm. It tends to be my walk-about lens on both my crop-frame and full-frame bodies.

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    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    I'm wanting to upgrade my 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
    You have what you need to answer your question. Check out how often you go wider than 24mm. You can do this by looking at the exif of your existing photos. If it is very rarely, then a new zoom in that focal length range might be reasonable. if you often go wider than 24mm, then it isn't. I am not a wide-angle junkie, but I experimented with a Tamron 28-75 as a walk around on a crop, and I found the short end not wide enough. It's all a matter of what and how you shoot.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    As a fellow crop shooter, I believe you're right to worry about the 24-105mm f4L's wide end. 24mm (~38mm on 1.6x crop) is not terribly wide. I own the 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM, and while it's a good walkabout lens, it's a little long on the wide end, and for image quality or action, I prefer my primes (side note: there really is no way to say "I prefer my primes" without sounding like a snob ).

    I would recommend the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX. I got one after an extensive and fruitful debate on this site, and I love it to death. Wide as a barn door, fast, and pretty darn sharp. It'll expand your focal range into some really fun territory, and ultra-wide lenses can create some really cool videos. If your 18-135mm is the latest STM version, then it's a very good video lens thanks to the stepper focus motor. Much quieter and smoother than servo or even ultrasonic motors.

    All that being said, I had a look at your website, and it doesn't look like investment(s) in L glass would be wasted. You have an interesting, well-developed eye.

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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Kate, your 18-135 is, in my view, a "compromise" lens that is fine for snapshots but not for really critical work . On the other hand, the Canon EFS 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM has superb image quality on a par with "L" glass. I too have a 7D and I sold my 24-105 F4L and replaced it with the 17-85, which I should have bought with the body in the first place. By opting for the 24-105 instead, I thought I would get better images. Nonsense. The 24-105 is big and heavy - fine for a pro photo journalist who may need to bang his tent pegs in with it, but not for anyone who want's to travel light and still come home with the bacon. My advice is to sell the 18-135 and replace it with a 17-85 and add an EFS 10-22mm later.

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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Hi Kate,
    I took the option of the 24-105 lens when I purchased my 6D, not looked back. it is the lens I take out most often, in particular when I am just walking around with no particular plan.
    Cheers
    john
    PS - like the web site
    Last edited by Samsung; 15th August 2013 at 06:23 PM.

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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    I've just made a reply to a similar post here Lens decision

    Basically, I've used the 24-105 lens which replaced a 28-135. I was concerned about the upper end loss but managed OK on a crop camera.

    I had various results with the 24-105; possibly I got a Friday afternoon lens.

    Sometimes it has given excellent results but on occasions I was disappointed. Eventually I sent it off for checking and the rear bearing was replaced. Then a couple of days ago it died with Error 01 warning. After about 3 years of use.

    While I decide if it is worth repairing, I have purchased a Tamron 24-70 VC. The reviews of this lens surprised me so I decided to give it a go.

    Dropping down to 70 mm was a bit of a worry but it will mesh in with my 70-200. The problem will probably come when I use a different two lens combination such as 180 mm macro or 150-500 mm. This gap could mean I have made a mistake.

    But the 24-105 may be repairable at reasonable cost. I haven't sent it off for inspection yet.

    For me 24 mm is fine at the wide end, even on a 7D but other people use that end a lot more than I do.

    ps. A friend has the Canon 17-85 and produces good work with it. Maybe I should have purchased that and saved some money. Time will tell.

  9. #9
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Quote Originally Posted by Samsung View Post
    I took the option of the 24-105 lens when I purchased my 6D, not looked back. ...
    Yes, but you're on a 6D, not a 7D. I loved my 24-105L on my XT and 50D, but once I got my 5DmkII, I understood what it was really mean to do. The wide end is too long for a crop--it's perfect on a full frame.

    Kate, one question, do you have the STM version of the 18-135? Or is it the non-STM version?

    If it's the non-STM version, then you may want to consider looking at the EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (or its predecessor the EF-S 17-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, used, if you're short on cash).

    While the 15-85 is variable max. aperture, it's 1/3 stop faster on the wide end and only one stop slower on the long end than the 24-105's f/4. And it's basically the crop-body analog to the 24-105--stabilized, with the same wide-end field of view that the 24-105 has on full frame (i.e., 24mm/1.6 = 15mm).

    If, however, your 18-135 is the STM version, then the optical quality is pretty close to the 15-85's, and it may not seem like much of an upgrade.

    And, of course, swapping your walkaround zoom still won't get you ultrawide, if that's what you're really jonesing for.

    You could also consider the EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM if you're super-picky about image quality (or plan to go full frame). But this being a newer lens, availability and price won't be as good as the 24-105 as the 5D/5Dii/5Diii/6D kit lens. You can find 24-105Ls on the used market for US$800.

    I will mention that the 24-105 can be relatively disappointing as a first L, because it does have design compromises--the 4x zoom range and f/4 max. aperture are both compromises to make a small versatile walkaround L. The sharpness is good, but most of the gold-ringed USM lenses are on a par with it. There are vignetting and C/A issues @24mm (although these are mostly only visible on full frame, not so much on crop). And there's distortion and softness issues at the long end as well.

    But, of course, if you move to a full frame camera in the future, you don't have to swap it out. And it has that L glass contrast and color. But it's a bit farther from being a perfect lens than some folks realize when they've never shot with an L.

  10. #10

    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Thanks for your input! Very helpful.

    My 28-135mm is not STM. And I do not shoot wider than 24mm and rarely go higher than 80mm but I would be interested in seeing what I could do with a wider angle if I had one. Thanks to you all, I realize that the 24-105mm is not best for me and my crop body. I am looking for something that can be quite versatile that will allow be to shoot crisp portraits and landscapes. Something also that will shoot fast enough for when I am on a moving bus sticking my camera out the window. Those usually end up being my favorite shots! I am thinking the canon 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 may be my best bet or the 24-70mm f/4 if I am willing to pay that extra money and then maybe save the tokina 11-16 f/2.8 for a later purchase. Any last input between these too? I'll mention again that I use video probably 50% of the time.

  11. #11
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Hi Kate, I have a 15-85. It only took about a week of shooting with it before it became my 'go-to' lens. It's fantastic. I do have the Tokina 11-16 too, and don't get me wrong, it's a great lens too, but very specific. I find the distortion of it being UW just a little too much, especially when people are involved. So the 15-85 gets used quite a bit more.

    I think you'd be happy with that purchase if you so decided.

    I have never used this lens for any video, so I can't comment on that. Hope that helps!

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Quote Originally Posted by katezim View Post
    . . . I am thinking the canon 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 may be my best bet or the 24-70mm f/4 if I am willing to pay that extra money and then maybe save the tokina 11-16 f/2.8 for a later purchase. Any last input between these too? I'll mention again that I use video probably 50% of the time.
    I suggest that, when considering Zoom Lenses, you ONLY consider non-varying maximum aperture zoom lenses, such makes zoomimg whilst videoing more practical.

    For use on an APS-C Camera, I wouldn't consider the EF24 to 70 F/4 IS USM, when the EF 24 to 105 F/4 IS USM is about 60% of its price.

    WW

    P.S. "paris avec la couleur" - très bien!
    Last edited by William W; 16th August 2013 at 04:48 PM.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Quote Originally Posted by katezim View Post
    TI am looking for something that can be quite versatile that will allow be to shoot crisp portraits and landscapes. Something also that will shoot fast enough for when I am on a moving bus sticking my camera out the window. Those usually end up being my favorite shots! I am thinking the canon 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 may be my best bet...
    Saving the Tokina for later is not a bad move. It's a fine lens, but a little specialized.

    One option that (suprisingly) hasn't been mentioned yet is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM. This is apparently something of an upstart in the Canon range, and while I don't own one and can't offer specific comments, image quality is reportedly excellent. Essentially, it's a high-end, constant-aperture replacement for kit lenses on crop cameras. At $1,000, it may be outside your budget, but it's probably the best match for your needs. The question is whether you need the f2.8 aperture. I use my lenses wide open (or a couple clicks away) much of the time, but I do an unusually high amount of low-light work.

  14. #14
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    The EF-S 17 to 55 F/2.8 IS USM is excellent in all respects, we used one extensively when choosing lenses for our Wedding and Portrait business.
    If I had only APS-C Cameras it would be my standard zoom lens.

    (I thought that the comment in post #10 sort of ruled this lens out of contention by the OP?)

    WW

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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    Have read this thread with great interest. One point hits me AF-S fit only cropped sensor cameras. They will not fit a full frame/sensor such as the canon 6D.


    Regards

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    The OP has a 7D.

  17. #17
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    Re: Lens advice - Canon 24-105mm f/4l

    The OP might find this interesting - be sure to check the results of the poll.

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1234189

    Glenn

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