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Durable100% agree

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

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.
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Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS USM Lens

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!
SUMMARY
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!
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Canon 24-105 lens

Great item covering most needs for the photographer. Small enough to use all day long.
Great images and great value.

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: new | Sold by: flashcamerauk

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Just as it says on the box!

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: used | Sold by: c411

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Perfect

Brilliant lens, worth every penny

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: new | Sold by: flashcamerauk

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Canon 24-105mm Lens

In my opinion this is the best lens that Canon have made. It's also the 2nd 24-105mm Canon Lens I have purchased as I now need 2 to photograph the events I cover.

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: new | Sold by: flashcamerauk

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WOW Amazing

This has now become my favourite lens, wonderful optics and great lens overall. I use it in everything I do. I work professionally as a filmmaker.

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Solid and professional 'L' series Lens that makes a fantastic secondhand ebay buy!

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: used | Sold by: iscubadive

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

Produces excellent quality images with sharp focus

Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: used | Sold by: 442liverpool

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

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...
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