Need some user opinions on Canon Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sammy Cat, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Sammy Cat macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2010
    North America
    I'm debating between the following lenses to purchase to use on a crop camera:

    $1400 Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lens

    $1150 Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Autofocus Lens

    Eventually the lens will be used for a full frame, and hopefully for video (35-50mm). I would expect to use a tripod. I've hear various opinions about using the IS while using a tripod (good), and also panning on a tripod with IS on (bad). I understand that the IS motor noise is very loud and requires using other audio sources than the camera.

    I really like the 24-70mm, but I fear the lack of IS and also the rumor that there may be a newer version coming out soon.

    The 24-105mm is nice, but I don't like it being f/4.

    I would appreciate any opinions or suggestions.


  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    If you can live without IS, take a look at Tamron's outstanding 28-75 f/2.8. It is my regular lens (still photography only) and has great image quality. Several other regulars here use this lens and all like it. It will save you around $800USD. If you shoot professionally and can take it off taxes, go with the L. If not, look at alternatives. I also went with the Sigma 120-400 as an alternative to Canon's 100-400 L. Lots of great lenses out there without the red collar. Not knocking Canon L here. I wouldn't trade my 100 mm macro L for any lens.

    Tamron 28-75 2.8 on B&H

  3. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    There will always be something newer coming out - that won't change how the lens you buy today performs.

    Both are nice lenses on a full frame camera. Sounds like you like the 24-70. It's faster, but does not have the reach or IS or cheaper price that the 24-105 has. It's also quite a bit heavier (950g vs 670g) if that matters to you.
  4. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    I have the 24-105 and find it very very sharp. If you need the extra light, consider the type of shots you're going to be shooting. Perhaps a flash with the 24-105 is a better solution. This kills the weight issue as your camera now becomes heavier than with the 24-70 alone. But, it might still be cheaper and give you that extra reach. Plus, it has IS.
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
  6. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I used the 24-70 for a wedding I shot (video) and the lack of IS wasn't an issue at all. I definitely needed the 2.8 for the room we were in.

    It depends on what you're shooting though.

    I plan on taking it on my honeymoon in another week, so I'll get a chance to see how it does for my stills.
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Good point. You are suposed to turn it off when using a tripod.

  8. gaz81 macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2011
    Preston, UK
    I have the 24-70L and its one of the best lenses I've had.

    It all boils down to f4 v f2.8.

    IS is great but it dosnt mean anything if your shooting a moving object on a slow shutter speed.
  9. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I also have the 24-70/f2.8 and like it a lots. Together with my 70-200/2.8IS the most use lens in my zoo.

    The only thing I don't like is the physical design in a way that the physical length of the lens is changing with the focal length you set. It might suck dust in; not having yet a problem with that but I just don't like it.

    What body you use ? The high end bodies have some special autofocus sensitivity when a 2.8 lens is attached. Plus all cameras can benefit from the bit more open aperture while focusing (at least a tiny little bit).
  10. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    IMHO the 24-105 is good at most things and stunningly brilliant at none.

    Also imo, the 24-70 is very heavy and expensive given you can find lenses that perform 98% for 1/3 the cost if you are stuck in red ring fever mode.

    Look at the tamron as stated... ymmv.
  11. Sammy Cat thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2010
    North America
    Thanks for the ideas. I am going to hold out to see any lenses are announced with Canon's soon to arrive new DSLR lineup.
  12. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I wouldn't hold your breath. I'm not sure what new DSLR lineup you're thinking about. All of Canon's models are on their own update cycle.

    Everything is just rumor and speculation at this point. Plus, lenses don't really figure in to camera body releases anyway.
  13. jabbott macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2009
    I own the 24-70 and have shot with the 24-105, and I prefer the 24-70. I also use it on a crop sensor. Optically both lenses are quite similar although the 24-70 gets you 2x as much light gathering ability as the 24-105 because of the larger aperture. The 24-105 will stop camera motion better due to IS but the 24-70 will stop subject motion better. The 24-70 with IS rumor has been around for at least a year, but I haven't seen any substantial evidence to prove it.

    In low light I rarely use the 24-70 anymore, as prime lenses such as the 50mm f/1.4 perform much better. It gathers 4x as much light as the 24-70 (and 8x as much light as the 24-105) at the same focal length and at max aperture. It can produce usable shots handheld where the 24-70 produces only blurry shots. If you are ever considering operating in low light and don't need zoom, definitely take a look at larger aperture / lower f-number prime lenses with USM and also set your camera video mode to use larger apertures (Canon defaults to somewhere around f/5.6 for DSLR video IIRC). This will give a cinematic quality to the video because of the lower depth of field.

    The only time I've used IS on a tripod is at 400mm focal length, when it helps reduce vibrations due to wind. At lower focal lengths it isn't necessary.
  14. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    can you comment on the Auto focus speed. I was looking at the Nikon version and on both the canon and nikon versions on the reviews said it had had slow AF. Any thoughts?
  15. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    Used to use that lens as my primary on a Nikon D700 and the speed was good, no problems and not lagging. It will not be as fast as the AF-s versions or HSM or USM versions of Nikon/Canon but I would argue that 99% of the time it is more than fast enough.
  16. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Same exp on 5d2. No problems with af... Was a good lens when I tried it. Shockingly good.
  17. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    Mine hunts a bit in low light compared to my other lenses, it's no speed daemon but no slouch either.

    It is amazingly sharp though, even wide open. Excellent value for money.
  18. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I love the 24-70 2.8L. I have it, its a great lens. I've had it for ages and its one of my most used lenses next to my 16-35 2.8L II and my 35 1.4L (I shoot lots of wide angle and in dim light or else the 24-70 would probably always be on my camera).
  19. stevendphoto, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    stevendphoto macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2011
    I have had my 24-70 f2.8 since it was first released and it has been by far my best and most used lens. I have shot it with Canons: A2, D60, 10D, 1D MkII, 1D MkIII and most recently a 5DmkII and it is awsome at Full Frame!

    I cannot recommend it highly enough...!
  20. mrbash macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2008
    I own both the 24-70 and the 24-105.

    I use the 24-105 as a good all-purpose lens. The 24-70 hardly gets used by me. Not because it is not a good lens, but simply because the 24-105 is more versatile.

    I do wish I had a shallower DoF on the wide sometimes but I would not sacrifice the versatility of the 24-104.

    I bought the 24-70 before the 24-105 and if I had to do it again, I wouldn't have bought the 24-70.
  21. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I've been reading about these lens choices a lot lately under the assumption that I will ultimately move to a FF and want to be prepared to make a purchase when the time comes.

    The best choice really depends on how you use your camera. I think there are few types of photography personas that can help determine the best choice...

    Studio Photographer: You predominantly shoot in a studio. Size and weight of gear is not important. Depth of field control is critical. 24-70 is the clear choice here. Although you probably shoot with primes a lot also.

    Assignment Shooter: You are either on a self-imposed assignment or quest to photograph a given subject, or you are a pro. Either way you don't mind packing a bag and a lot of gear to get the job done. You'll probably be packing a few lenses including at least one 70-xxx anyway, so the more limited focal length of a 24-70 is not going to matter much.

    Vacationing Snap-Shooter: You probably want to minimize the amount and weight of gear you carry with you as you explore new places. Perhaps a camera and one lens. Versatility is the key but you don't want to compromise on quality. Here the 24-105 is king.

    I've found myself to be a mix of the last two... but I do enough vacationing or walking shoots that I really need something light and versatile. I want to be able to just sling my camera over my shoulder and not carry a camera bag.

    So, I think I've concluded that the ultimate in versatility for me will be my 35L f1.4 and a 24-105 f4 IS... this is a more expensive combo, but I have the 35L already. It may mean stuffing the 35L in a bag of some kind (backpack, GF's purse, etc.) but then I think you have the best of all worlds... a versatile zoom for landscape and snap-shots and the ultra fast prime for artistic shots and dark venues.

    What do you think of this analysis/conclusion?
  22. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011

    This lens debate is probably the most asked question in the Canon world. It comes down to the aperture requirements of your shooting style ultimately, which is something you haven't told us much about. Don't listen to rumors of a new version, the current ones are optically exceptional, don't expect miracles with a newer one. New versions are only good to look forward to on mediocre lenses, not generally professional level L glass.
  23. stevendphoto macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2011
    oh, and for me there is never a Lens debate, as I own the following Canon Glass:
    14mm f2.8
    16-35mm f2.8
    24-70mm f2.8
    85mm f1.2
    70-200mm f2.8 IS
    135mm f2
    100-400mm f4.5
    1.4x Extender
  24. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    Nobody can tell you which to go for. You have to ask yourself. I have just sold my 24-105L. It was an exceptional lens, sharp and with a good range, colours and contrast. I just found that I prefer to shoot with the shallow depth of field of a prime lens. Neither f4 or f2.8 was really wide enough. The friend I sold it to however is in love with it. It is never off his camera. Both the 24-70 and 24-105 are great lenses and the differences are clear. You choose between an extra stop or greater range and IS. Which is more valuable to you?
  25. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Many people that use DSLRs seriously swear by the Nikon 14-24mm. Also if you buy used, you can save quite a bit. I have seen 24-70Ls with a UV or even UX date codes sell for like $1100-1200, both locally and over at

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