Video and text from my review of the Canon 24 to something lenses.

Part I – My opinion of each lens and some summarizing thoughts

Part II – Some of the sample images and video that helped me form my opinion

Some select thoughts taken from the two videos

I have the 24-105 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8 mark II, and the new  24-70 f/4 IS

I think the most telling comment is that for the last week I have had my pick of these lenses to shoot with and every single time I picked up the 24-70 f/4 IS. I love the size and weight of this lens, the IS and the Macro mode. A quick disclaimer on that comment- I didn’t shoot professionally over the last week, which for me is usually shooting a wedding. If I had I would have picked the f/2.8 mark II – in my opinion that extra stop of light is critical for the lower light situations. The IS of both the 24-70 and 24-105 is good and the 24-70 f/4 offers the newer hybrid IS but IS doesn’t freeze people in motion.  And freezing people in motion is important, especially during the low light receptions where all that dancing is happening.

If I had to summarize each lens in a sound bite –

Canon 24-105 f/4 IS older work horse or a lens that offers excellent value, is relatively sharp(just don’t look at the edges) and provides a useful range.

Canon 24-70 f/2.8 Mark II – Razor sharp at all apertures and from corner to corner. Bright too- at f/4 it is noticeably (2/3 of a stop brighter than the 24-105) – you can see it in the images and you can see it on the exposure meter. But this performance comes at a cost, literally! This lens is $2200, fairly heavy and does not provide IS.

Canon 24-70 f/4 IS – Very sharp though maybe not quite as sharp at f/4 as the f/2.8 version, similar brightness as the f/2.8 with an excellent macro mode, I mean really seriously good and a nice size- feel really nicely balanced and weight is quite good and it has IS!!

Now what isn’t here is the Tamron 24-70 F/2.8 VCI have a video of my reboxing and return of that lens, I was unhappy with the sharpness, I had gotten a bad copy and I could try again but I was also getting numerous lens communication errors. Those two issues combined soured me and I didn’t want to try again.  Now I know there are people that are quite happy and I have seen sample images that are much better than the one I got.  Even in sample images the corners are much softer than the Canon 24-70s but you do get IS or VC as Tamron calls it. There is also a Sigma 24-70 but it is a good bit softer than the other lenses, it is also the cheapest.

Which is best for you?

It depends 😉  If you are on a tight budget the 24-105 is a good lens, You get an L class lens for under $1000. Its a bit heavy but it does have IS and a nice range.

If you have a bit more to spend the 24-70 F/4 is VERY versatile, sharp, excellent IS and that macro mode.  Because the glass is so durn good it lets in enough light that you are shooting faster than f/4, about 2/3 of a stop faster.  For $200 less you can pick up the Tamron, not quite as sharp, no macro mode but it does offer f/2.8 and IS.

If you need the ultimate performance in low light with unrivaled sharpness in a zoom lens get the 24-70 f/2.8 Mark II.


Sample Images from the 24-70 f/4, 24-70 f/2.8 Mark II and the 24-105 f/4 IS

Looking for another lens in a more reasonable price range? Take a look at my Canon Lens Guide.   Have a question not answered, want to offer a suggestion of another lens that should be considered?  Leave me a message on facebook on a comment below. I will answer!

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 They all had dreams. They all had family. They died for us. Arlington National Cemetery is a heavy place, I can't help but think about all the pain and suffering when presented with row upon row of a headstone representing a fallen soldier and my mind boggles that this still happens today. On this little planet hurtling through an incomprehensible ginormous space - some people think it is ok to kill each other. :( p.s. You should google Cornelius H. Charlton - his story is interesting p.p.s My grandfather is buried in Arlington- my Mom's father was instrumental in designing and implementing early radar systems for the Navy in WW2. Captured with the #Sony #a7RII and #Canon #70200L at 200mm and f/3.2
 #mondaymorningshare - I want to see your failed experiments or favorite photos from the last week. GO TO to share your fav image from the past week. Here's my #failedexperiment The US Capitol at Sunset. File this under because I could - a 2 minute exposure with the use of a NISI Filters 10-stop ND. I hoped I would get some interesting wispy movement in the clouds but nothing developed. Next I tried a 6 minute exposure (swipe to see it) and while there may be a little more movement in the clouds it certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. And while I often recommend very carefully shooting building and monuments as symmetrically as possible, I purposefully shot from right of center to avoid losing Ulysses S. Grant statue in the front of the capitol. *  Sony #A7RII and #Canon 2470mm with #NiSiFilters #10StopND
 I love traveling with other photographers on #mckaylive trips. Kari, a trip participant, noticed this line of trees and shared her perspective with me. I had glanced at them but hadn't noticed how nicely they lined up when standing at a certain spot #teacherbecomesthestudent :) We had a great day leaving behind the cherry blossom crowds for a much quieter walk around #HarpersFerryWV. And a visit to #BolivarHeights a much fought over hilltop during the civil war and the site of the largest surrender of Union troops - over 12,000 men surrendered to Stonewall Jackson. *  Captured with the #Panasonic #GH4 and #1235mm lens

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  1. Nice and useful comparisons, thanks!

    Any thoughts on the quality of the bokeh (9-blade diaphragm vs 8-blade diaphragm) ?

    • I didn’t remember any difference, so I just spent a few minutes looking back through the photos. the 9 blades give just a bit smoother bokeh, it is slight but noticeable only in some situations/scenes. Hope that helps.

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