Average review score based on 50 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I bought this lens after using a Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM for a couple of years. My photographic style had centred around a type of image that the 28-135mm didn't have the resolving power to cope with, although it had been a very good lens to me. I suspect that someone somewhere will also be wondering whether to make the same upgrade, so I'll try to help as much as I can.
The first, and most obvious difference between the two lenses is build quality. The 28-135mm isn't bad, but there is (what I would call) considerable play in the lens' extending barrel even when it's not extended, although it is worse when stretched to its full 135mm reach. The 24-105mm is very solid, and even when the lens is extended to 105mm there is not a single millimeter of play - just what I like. Also, as it is part of the L series family, the materials used to build the 24-105mm are fantastic quality and feel lovely in the hand, making the 28-135mm seem plasticky in comparison.
In use the lenses handle relatively similarly, apart from a tiny bit of play in the 28-135mm's zoom ring that is absent from the 24-105mm. As a result the 24-105mm has a more positive zoom action that is hard not to get spolit by - going back to the 28-135mm feels like being demoted, even though it's not a bad lens!
Image stabilisation (it has a 'z' but I refuse to spell like an American!) features on both these lenses, but the 24-105mm sports a newer, better model. It's silent and so smooth you have to make sure occasionally that it is turned on. In contrast the 28-135mm makes a constant whirring humming noise, with an even louder motor noise that lasts for a split second when the stabiliser starts up and shuts off.
Both lenses are lightweight enough to balance well on my 35mm EOS 30 which is about 500g or so. The slightly weightier 24-105mm would still match well on one of Canon's 'mid range' DSLRs like a 30D or 5D.
Image quality is something of a minefield in a review. Most people have different opinions of what is good image quality, but in my opinion the 28-135mm loses too much sharpness towards the edge of the frame when wide open, although in general use it performs very well.
It's in high contrast photography that I noticed the biggest difference in peformance between these two models. The humble 28-135mm can't hide the chromatic abberation (CA) around subject edges, e.g. leaves against a bright sky. The 24-105mm performs much better, and I haven't noticed any CA yet. Very impressive. Neither seems to render colours any better than the other, indicating that the 28-135mm punches above its weight.
Centre sharpness of the two isn't as different as you might think. Both are pin sharp in the middle, but the 24-105mm holds onto this sharpness across most of the 35mm frame, when the 28-135mm falls behind.
Focusing is quick and quiet with both units. In normal conditions the more expensive L lens has the edge, but I would have expected it to do better in certain (admittedly rare) situations, where it can sometimes fail to find a focus point.
To sum up, as I am running out of characters, the EF 24-105mm F/4 L IS USM is a convincingly better lens than the EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM. However, I have perhaps been spoiled by it, and must admit that for about 24 months I thought the cheaper lens was more than good enough. It comes down to what you can afford. Got the money? Go for the L! On a budget? The 28-135mm will serve you well.
I love this lens. I purchased it to replace my Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens (since receiving the new lens I have sold my little used 24-70mm one).
The question is: why sell a 24-70 and replace it with a 24-104 lens. Well, my main interest is portrait photography - of dogs. I found that with the (excellent) 24-70mm, I had to stop down routinley, in order to get the dogs eyes and most of the nose in focus. Also, the 70mm reach was a little short for my purposes (the longer focal length allows me to stay back a little more, thereby not spooking the animals so much!) This is the history of my purchase and replacement. I have got an excellent lens - entirely fit for purpose, which produces a lovely bokeh when fully open at the zoom end. The bokeh is not quite as nice as that for the f2.8 24-70mm, and if I was a portrait photographer who concentrated on 'people' I might not have made the change I suspect.
The IS is also handy to have on the 24-105mm (dogs move quickly, and cause the photographer to do likewise). Having said that, I didn't really notice the lack of IS on the 24-70mm, particularly when I could use it at f2.8 (my sister's baby).
The final thing is that the 24-105 is substantially lighter, more compact, and cheaper than the 24-70mm which is good if you intend - as I do - to use this lens as a replacement for a 'kit' lens that I purchased might at the time of camera purchase.
I would strongly recommend this lens to anyone considering it. The sharpness is amazing, as it the lack of distortion across the resultant images.
I hope this review helps some other folk out there. The vendor from whom I purchased the lens also comes highly recommended...
What follow are my personal views, that's all.
Why deja vue?, I freely admit that I was totally wrong in selling my first one on EBay, which meant that after I realised exactly how good it had been I had to buy another! Yes, such an about turn cost me but it is well worth it. The pin sharp lens and Image Stabiliser mean that f4 is your starting aperture, not two down, say 5.6 or 6.3, for very acceptable sharpness.The viewfinder image does not seem much darker than a wider aperture version but I find this comparison hard to assess.
This means that the lens is in image terms better than a low end f2.8 and the IS enables much slower shutter speeds than I normally wobble at to be used.
The 24-105mm could be a practical 40mm-170mm when used with an APS size sensor or a genuine 24-105mm when used with a full frame camera, e.g. EOS5D.Even at 40mm it makes a moderate wide angle and the 170mm is a lovely mid range telephoto.Optimum portrait focal length is fully covered, resulting in less distortion.
I have had no problems with auto focusing speed, even in low light. It is nice and quiet and solidly built, not light, but not exceptionally heavy. I wouldn't buy it for the macro but that's what I have extension tubes for, and combining them with the lens produces a great result.
So that's my tupenny worth, hope it helps.
I have seen several reviews which compare, in detail, this example of Canon L glass, the 24-105mm, with the "prosumer" non L 28-105mm zoom lens. I am, frankly, astonished with the manner in which features such as vignetting, resolution, IS function, barrel "play", bokeh, chromatic aberration etc. etc, are compared, in detail, between the two lenses!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 28-105mm "standard" Canon lens, and for the price you pay, in the absence of objective testing, your results will be more than adequate in most situations.... but, get a life guys; even if your optical knowledge is close to nil, the price differential, and quality differential when handling the two items is so great, that common sense, coupled with the oft quoted "law of diminishing returns" should suggest to the average photographer, that the difference between these two lenses is like chalk and cheese!
Compare top end Nikon glass with top end Canon glass; compare top end whatever with whatever, but don't waste time comparing Canon L glass with Canon non L glass! A cursory look at very simple photographic testing charts reveals all!
For heaven's sake, you even get an extra 4mms at the wide angle end of the Canon 24-105mm L compared with the 28-105mm non L!
Canon's standard 28-105 non L lenses will do a good job much of the time, for a relatively small expenditure. If you're a professional photographer, or even someone who expects the best he or she can achieve, and has a camera body of quality, then, despite the previously quoted "law of diminishing returns", and for a lens that you are invariably going to use quite often, Canon's "L" glass is undoubtedly worth stretching your budget for.
Let's see some sort of attempt at comparing like with like in the future please!
How can you rate an L lens as anything less than excellent? Well, call me picky but I'm disappointed that this lens isn't a huge improvement on the optical performance of the Canon EF 28-135mm IS, but more than this, I'm amazed at the barrel distortion at 24mm. It is correctable using PSPro or (with a little more effort) Photoshop, and perhaps I'm expecting too much, even of an L lens! That said, the build quality and "Rolls-Royce" feel is what you're paying for, and in this respect it doesn't disappoint at all. The zoom ring is silky smooth, and AF is as silent and fast as you could want. It just feels like quality, and is - in this area - a quantum leap from the 28-135 IS.
Optically it is noticeably more contrasty than the 28-135, so that's a good thing, and as you'd expect having spent out around double the money. It is, actually, sharper than the 28-135 particularly at the extremes of the zoom range, and at full aperture. At around f8 I think you'd be hard-pressed to see any difference at all. So don't expect a huge difference in the sharpness of your shots if you trade up from the 28-135 IS.
What you get for your money is pleasure! This is just a nice lens to hold and use, and one which will continue to please for a long long time. It does have its shortcomings, unlike for example the 100-400 L which, used carefully, produces absolutely stunningly sharp images that just glow, somehow. Despite the shortcomings though, it's still a lens I would recommend over the 28-135 IS. The difference between 24mm and 28mm is a very useful one, and well worth the trade-off at the other end of the zoom range.
If you are struggling with the dilemma of swapping your 28-135 IS for the 24-105 L (as I did), I'd say that if you can afford to make the swap, then do it - you may not see a vast improvement in IQ, but you will thoroughly enjoy taking pictures with the 24-105. And it will hold its value very well too, always nice to know when times get hard!
This lens was recommended to me by a professional press photographer I met at the Silverstone Grand Prix in 2008. Ideally suited to APS-C sized cameras, apparently.
It took me a while to get round to buying it, but am so delighted with it. The optics quality is superb, and it is such a great every day lens for my Canon EOS 40D. The zoom range is great for everyday use. What a great recommendation it was from the pro.
I have had some great results with this in the short time I have had it, and would recommend this for any photographer who is interested in upgrading to decent quality glass.
I am an amateur filmmaker who traded my video camera in exchange for a Canon DSLR a 5Dmk2, reasoning that not only would I have a full frame camera I would also have the ability to interchange lenses for filming effect. This is great but what I came to realize is that lenses and extra equipment are very expensive.
After buying a 50mm Prime lens I decided that the cost were so high that a more versatile lens would be a necessity. I was constantly refereed back to the Canon 24-105 for it's telezoom and macro ability in conjunction with great picture quality. However I was put of by what I considered to be a very high price usually between £600-£1000, enough to buy multiple cameras and lenses. I ended up settling on a third party lens which I had for a week and sold due to it's poor quality and so I relented and found a great deal on here purchasing the 24-105 lens.
I haven't looked back since, the quality is self evident. A smoothly mechanized lens with fantastic picture quality. It is so versatile and a favorite with both critics and the audiences. You could more then get by on this lens alone.
- Smooth mechnisms
- great picture quality allowing for great close up shots and bokeh effects
- Relatively quite motor
- Light weight
- The motor may be a problem for people recording sound using their inbuilt camera mic or even a mic postioned directly above the lens due to the stabilizing engine which helps stop lens shake. (this can be turned off, recommended if you are using a tripod)
- Notable barreling below 35mm
Lesson I learnt, sometimes it's better to bite the bullet and splash that extra bit of cash or risk spending similarly on potentially inferior products.
Firstly.... All reviews of this, people moan that it being a f4 that its not quick enough, that that 1 stop of light makes it not so great...
The above is rubbish! This lens is fantastic! If your buying this lens, your not buying it because you need a specific focal range to fill a gap. You're buying it because you want an all round lens that you will use on a daily basis.
The reviews of this not being fast is rubbish. This lens focus's stupidly fast, very accurate and sharp. The IS is brilliant. I have got sharp shots at 105mm shooting at 1/4th of a second.
The reviews of the zoom ring being too stiff is rubbish. The zoom length is long, from 24-105. The zoom ring needs to be a little stiff to stop it creeping. A firm grip when zooming
is needed but your reassured.
The reports of 24-35 being way too close together is true but.. Not something that bothers me. I zoom to what I thinks best in the viewfinder, not to fit an exact mm range.
The buttons are slightly harder to change but this is a good thing, you know they are there, you can feel them but there is no chance of knocking them when working or using.
The IS. is amazing. You can hear it working, you can see the difference when zoomed to 105mm.
If you're buying this to fill the gap in the mid zoom range, and you can afford the 24-70 2.8 IS, then I'de go for that. But if you want an all round zoom lens, one that can stay on your camera for pro shots, also just when you're on a day out, or round the families, or for them days you just want to take 1 lens, then go for this. The build quality is second to none. Images a contrast are brilliant, very sharp. The bokeh is nice when zoomed right in and close to your subject. At some point I will get the 24-70 2.8 IS, but even when I do get that lens, I will probably still keeping this lens. It really is fantastic on either a crop or full frame. If you want to know more details, feel free to ask, search facebook for Dean Martin Photography.
I have used a number of cheap kit lenses in the past such as the 18-55mm the 18-135mm etc. and they have been OK but nothing great. It took me a few years before I decided to buy my first L lens as i couldn't really justify to spend too much money on a lens (I do photography just as a hobby). Do I regret buying it? Absolutely 100% NO!!!! As soon as I got this bad boy out of the box I knew I was going to have lots of fun with it.
I love everything about it. Its focal length range, superb build-quality, image-stabilization, instant silent auto-focus (which is truly outstanding) and, above all, its ability to produce wonderful images. Yes, it's not cheap but I truly believe this the best all rounder available. Unless you need something very specific (like a real macro lens in my case) you might not even need to invest in another lens. I personally only own two lenses: this one and a Canon 60mm macro but use this one 95% of the time.
Only negative in my opinion is that it's only an F4 so not the fastest lens in low light conditions. The IS normally does a good job but there have been occasions when I have had to use high ISO in order to get a decent photo. Some people think that the 24-70mm being an F2.8 is the best option available in this lens range. I have used both and I would choose the 24-105mm anyday. Just personal preference I guess.
If you are thinking about upgrading to this lens just do it. It's expensive but worth every penny. It is an L lens after all!
Hope this helps!
I bought this lens as an upgrade to the 28-135mm and am very happy that I did. It now lives on my camera as a "walk about" and my Sigma 18-250mm has not been out with me since I bought this lens. OK it does not cover the wide angle or zoom range range, but the quality is far better and I would rather change lenses and use one designed for the purpose, ie 10-20, 70-200mm etc. than have a one lens to cover every need. I am not a professional photographer, just an enthusiast, nor really techny when it comes to the pros and cons of a lens, barrel distortion, etc. but I have found no "cons" with this lens and would be happy to recommend it.