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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Canon 24-105 vs. 24-70
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04/25/2009 01:05:09 PM · #1
Been thinking about this one for a long long time. Does anyone have any thoughts/recommendations for one vs. the other? Thanks!
04/25/2009 01:57:13 PM · #2
Both are fine lenses. The 24-70 has the advantage when you are shooting moving subjects, e.g. people, in low light (IS doesn't help with subject movement). The 24-105 has an advantage for static subjects in low light (IS gives more than one stop advantage). The 24-70 has much less distortion at the 24mm end, but the distortion of the 24-105 is correctable in post if need be.
Both are built very well. The 24-105 is lighter, being f/4.
In the end, it's horses for courses. I chose the 24-70 because the added range on the long end is of no importance to me and because I do shoot people in low light and need the one-stop advantage. I also use it wide open quite a bit for thin-DoF portraiture.

ETA: O yeh, I also chose the 24-70 because the 24-105 didn't exist ;-)

Message edited by author 2009-04-25 13:58:13.
04/25/2009 02:36:29 PM · #3
I'll be buying the 24-105mm as soon as I can afford it. I've seen the 24-70mm in action and I'm just not that impressed with it. I also value the extra reach on the tele end & the IS more than the extra f-stop.
04/25/2009 03:28:04 PM · #4
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

...I've seen the 24-70mm in action and I'm just not that impressed with it...


Curious, what didn't impress you? The 24-70 is among the finest zooms ever produced in that range. It has a great reputation.
04/25/2009 03:33:25 PM · #5
I have both lenses and you really can't go wrong with either of them. If I can only bring one lens, then I pack the 24-105mm, unless I know I'll be shooting in very low light. If I need to take the highest quality photo possible or want the best bokeh, I use the 24-70mm. They're both great lenses, but the 24-70mm is definitely the better quality of the two, IMO.
04/25/2009 03:59:48 PM · #6
I have the 24-70. Bought the 24-105 *with* the Canon 5D Mark II as a "kit" lens for that camera. Tried to convince myself that I would use it. Found that, in practice, with both lenses in my bag, I just couldn't bring myself to use it. My reasons all stem from the f/2.8 versus f/4 difference. At weddings and receptions I needed light. Sure, it's only one stop ... but in low light, every stop helps. It helps not only in terms of exposure, but when it comes time to focus, the f/2.8 auto focus is not only more accurate, but it also means that AF continues to work even in darker settings than an f/4 lens.

So I sold my brand new mint condition 24-105 and kept my dinged up trusty old 24-70 and couldn't be happier.
04/25/2009 05:40:00 PM · #7
Originally posted by dwterry:

I have the 24-70. . . My reasons all stem from the f/2.8 versus f/4 difference. At weddings and receptions I needed light. Sure, it's only one stop ... but in low light, every stop helps. It helps not only in terms of exposure, but when it comes time to focus, the f/2.8 auto focus is not only more accurate, but it also means that AF continues to work even in darker settings than an f/4 lens. . snip . .


Could this extra accuracy be because of your 1D III ? I believe I read that the 19 AF points only become cross type points with lenses of f2.8 or faster, with lenses of f4 or slower you still only have the one cross type af and 18 normal horizontal points.

If this is the case then your 24-70 would be a lot more accurate than the 24-105.
04/25/2009 05:59:40 PM · #8
Originally posted by Jedusi:

Could this extra accuracy be because of your 1D III ? I believe I read that the 19 AF points only become cross type points with lenses of f2.8 or faster, with lenses of f4 or slower you still only have the one cross type af and 18 normal horizontal points.

If this is the case then your 24-70 would be a lot more accurate than the 24-105.


An f/2.8 lens will be more accurate on many (all?) Canon bodies when using the center focus point. With 1-series bodies, there are additional focus points that benefit as well. Bottom line, I do see a difference with f/2.8 lenses on my 5D, but then I always use the center point, I'm a control freak.
04/25/2009 06:04:16 PM · #9
Just got the canon 24-105mm F/4 L USM and 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM and really like them alot. very sharp pics. you really won't be sorry.

Message edited by author 2009-04-25 18:04:43.
04/25/2009 07:53:13 PM · #10
Yeah, for focusing there are actually several factors in play:

1) Canon's high precision focus point(s) become active at f/2.8
2) In general, AF focus accuracy is only guaranteed to within 1/3rd DOF. So at f/2.8 you get more accurate focus anyway.
3) AF sensors work by detecting contrast. The less light you have, the less accurate they are, so f/2.8 just naturally begets faster/more accurate AF.

If I were doing mostly studio work, I probably would have kept the 24-105 lens. I have a good friend who sells a LOT on iStock (makes his living off of iStock). He shoots with almost nothing but the 24-105. But most of his shots are done in very controlled circumstances (like studio, or studio-like settings). So which lens is best really depends on what you're using it for.

04/26/2009 07:47:03 AM · #11
24-70 brighter, unstable poopy heads or 24-105 light weight, but stabilized poopy heads?
What is it going to be?
04/26/2009 09:03:09 AM · #12
It dazzles me that Nikon and Canon don't have VR/IS on their 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.
04/26/2009 02:46:26 PM · #13
Originally posted by BJamy:

It dazzles me that Nikon and Canon don't have VR/IS on their 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.


I have the 17-85mm IS lens that came with the 20D. To be honest, I never really did see much of a need for IS on that lens. I can basically handhold just about anything I want at those focal lengths anyway. But on a longer lens ... 200mm for example ... IS is amazing. So I use IS on my 70-200 all the time. But really don't care about my shorter lenses not having it.

04/26/2009 02:58:56 PM · #14
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

...I've seen the 24-70mm in action and I'm just not that impressed with it...


Curious, what didn't impress you? The 24-70 is among the finest zooms ever produced in that range. It has a great reputation.

I shot alongside a photog who used the 24-70mm while I was at university; I shot both the Tamron 28-75mm and the Canon 28-135mm, and if you mixed his photos in with mine, you'd have a really hard time picking out the ones taken with the 24-70mm. I just figure that if you're going to spend $1100 on a lens, it ought to really stand out compared to a $400 lens.

Granted, when it came to really tough conditions, the 24-70mm did have an edge. But unless you're shooting right at the edge all the time, is it worth it? I just can't justify it. But then again, I've taken a lot of heat around here before, since I don't think that L-series lenses are that much better than many Canon non-Ls or third party lenses.
04/26/2009 05:05:12 PM · #15
Originally posted by BJamy:

It dazzles me that Nikon and Canon don't have VR/IS on their 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.


Thats what the Canon 24-70 mk2 will be all about - 5th gen IS.
04/26/2009 05:07:51 PM · #16
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:


I shot alongside a photog who used the 24-70mm while I was at university; I shot both the Tamron 28-75mm and the Canon 28-135mm, and if you mixed his photos in with mine, you'd have a really hard time picking out the ones taken with the 24-70mm. I just figure that if you're going to spend $1100 on a lens, it ought to really stand out compared to a $400 lens.



Agree, my Tamron 28-75 is almost as good as my 24-70, the main reason for going with my 24-70 was because of the weather proofing (and bragging rights of course!). Even on a full frame the Tamron kicks arse.. it`s in with my pro kit because if I ever need it at a wedding I would not hesitate in using it, it really is that good.
04/27/2009 01:44:09 AM · #17
I only just recently got rid of my Tamron 28-75 lens. It was a very capable lens. Quite similar to the Canon 24-70 that I bought to replace it. I kept both lenses for a long time and used the Tammy on my candid cameras with the Canon lens on my portrait camera. The biggest difference to me, and my main reason for buying the Canon, was focus speed. Both lenses being f/2.8 meant they both performed similarly. But when it came time to "get the shot", especially in a fast paced situation like a reception, the Canon would nail the shot quicker and that became important to me. So I always switched to the Canon 24-70 for the cake cutting, the bouquet toss or when the couple is heading out the door. All of these require lightning fast focus speeds.


Message edited by author 2009-04-27 01:45:25.
04/27/2009 11:58:38 AM · #18
Sigma 24-70mm
I'll be picking this up as soon as i get back from school and start making some money. IQ is nearly identical in every test I've seen, and I haven't found any sample shots that can demonstrate visible difference.
Between the 24-105 and the 25-70, I'd choose the 24-70 hands down because I shoot 90% of my shots at the widest available aperture. If it doesn' add to the shot, I let it fall out of focus.

Message edited by author 2009-04-27 11:59:46.
04/27/2009 01:02:27 PM · #19
you may not find any samples that are different, but you will notice once you start using it. I had that lens and sold it immediately. The color, sharpness, focus speed are all extremely lacking compared to the canon. Worst part is resale is only about 1/2 of what the lens cost. Go Canon L, you can't go wrong.
04/27/2009 01:42:51 PM · #20
I had a chance to try them side by side for a week as a coworker was interested in a trade - my Canon 24-105 for his Canon 24-70. I ended up making the trade as I preferred the 2.8 and didn't need the extra range. I did a lot of comparisons - noise, high/low ISO, up & down the aperture, sharpness, etc. and any difference were negligible. They're both very good lenses and you'll be happy with either.

Message edited by author 2009-04-27 13:44:22.
04/27/2009 02:05:50 PM · #21
Originally posted by robshookphoto:

Sigma 24-70mm
I'll be picking this up as soon as i get back from school and start making some money. IQ is nearly identical in every test I've seen, and I haven't found any sample shots that can demonstrate visible difference.
Between the 24-105 and the 25-70, I'd choose the 24-70 hands down because I shoot 90% of my shots at the widest available aperture. If it doesn' add to the shot, I let it fall out of focus.


Someone here is not convinced about the Sigma.

Message edited by author 2009-04-27 14:06:16.
04/27/2009 05:12:55 PM · #22
Originally posted by NVPhoto:

... Go Canon L, you can't go wrong.

Except for the fact that you'll pay three times as much for a performance edge that 75% of photographers won't use 90% of the time.
04/28/2009 10:40:51 AM · #23
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

Originally posted by NVPhoto:

... Go Canon L, you can't go wrong.

Except for the fact that you'll pay three times as much for a performance edge that 75% of photographers won't use 90% of the time.


Have to disagree there. First off, the guy says he shoots wide open about 75% of the time. Also, if anyone is buying the Sigma 24-70 2.8 they should be buying it because they need a fast sharp lens. If you don't need the 2.8, buy anything because almost all lenses are sharp at f8-11... the sweet spot for many junkers.

I bought the Sigma first becuase I needed something fast for weddings.. Its fast, but its not sharp wide open and the color is terrible and the focus speed is slow and it searches a lot in low light. All the things you really need to have in a good 2.8 lens.

It is more expensive, but its definately worth it. Not only is it a much better lens to shoot with, but it holds its value. If you were to resell a L lens, you would be able to easily get around 80-90% of the original cost... the 24-70 is about $1200, you would be able to resell it for around $1000 if you wanted and if you kept it in good shape. The Sigma will fetch about 40-50% of the original cost, so for a $550 lens, you might get $250.

To me, the most expensive lenses are the ones you buy trying to save a buck and quickly replace w/ a better quality lens.
04/28/2009 10:57:12 AM · #24
Originally posted by NVPhoto:

Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

...you'll pay three times as much for a performance edge that 75% of photographers won't use 90% of the time.

Have to disagree there. First off, the guy says he shoots wide open about 75% of the time. Also, if anyone is buying the Sigma 24-70 2.8 they should be buying it because they need a fast sharp lens.

The real comparison is not with Sigma, but between the Tamron 28-75 and Canon 24-70. The image quality is about the same on both, even wide open, so the biggest difference comes down to focus speed, slightly different zoom range, and weather sealing on the Canon. The Tamron's focus is still reasonably quick, and not everyone needs that extra 4mm of width. A focus on wedding photography might justify the MUCH higher cost of the Canon, but for others... probably not.
04/28/2009 11:57:16 AM · #25
Originally posted by Mr_Pants:

Originally posted by robshookphoto:

Sigma 24-70mm
I'll be picking this up as soon as i get back from school and start making some money. IQ is nearly identical in every test I've seen, and I haven't found any sample shots that can demonstrate visible difference.
Between the 24-105 and the 25-70, I'd choose the 24-70 hands down because I shoot 90% of my shots at the widest available aperture. If it doesn' add to the shot, I let it fall out of focus.


Someone here is not convinced about the Sigma.


Sigma has quality control issues on this lens. To me, it is worth saving the money to try a few times to get a good one.
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