Alley in Pisa, Italy

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I am getting a new medium range zoom lens for general use and occasional weddings. This new 24-70 f4 was top of my list until I watched this review:

Canon 24-70 f/4L IS vs Canon 24-105 f/4 IS - Fight!

The guy, who owns the "L" lens, complains that 24-105 f4 is a sharper lens and he claimed that there are other people who feel the same, but I couldn't find any other reviews complaining about this lens sharpness.

I don't want the spec of the lens which I already know but is there anyone here who actually owns those lenses and is happy with the quality of 24-70 f/4 over 24-105 f/4? i.e. is it worth paying extra for 24-70 f4 over much cheaper 24-105 f/4?

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As usual in optics, the best quality that you can get is for not so large range, because the quality in a lens is a gaussian bell and the middle of the lens. So the best quality is 47mm vs. 64.5 You choose. What I don't know is if for this lens that change is so substantial. I don't think so but... This is just a comment. –  Leandro May 20 '13 at 16:58
    
Thanks for your comment @Leandro .. can you teach me how you calculate that 47mm and 64.5 mm out of the lenses? –  lawphotog May 20 '13 at 17:05
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@Leandro - while that is a generally correct rule, it has some large caveats. You have to make sure it is apples to apples in terms of quality. A $2300 zoom lens like the Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L II will kick the butt of any sub $1000 prime. It is possible to make a wider zoom with high image quality, but the cost goes up significantly quickly. –  AJ Henderson May 20 '13 at 17:11
    
In the case of the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS vs. the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS the 24-105 is sharper from around 35-40mm on up. The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS is sharper at both 24mm and 70mm than it is at 50mm. WHile this is atypical, it has been confirmed by several independent reviewers including The-Digital-Picture and gear-head Roger Cicala at lensrentals.com. –  Michael Clark May 20 '13 at 17:17
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"occasional wedding shooting" spells huge trouble. I would not advise such a thing. –  dpollitt May 20 '13 at 19:17
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you are doing weddings, the extra stop of an f/2.8 lens is almost essential when shooting in churches that don't allow the use of flash. For about the same price as the EF 24-70mm f/4, you can buy a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC. The reviews I have seen place it between the original EF 24-70mm f/2.8L and the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II in terms of sharpness. The Tamron, unlike both of the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 versions, also has Vibration Compensation (VC) which is equivalent to Image Stabilization (IS) in Canon nomenclature.

The only real advantage of the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS over the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS is the much shorter minimum focal distance that is useful for close photography of smaller objects. It is not a true macro lens, but with a maximum magnification of 0.70X, it is a lot closer than the other 24-70mm lenses and the 24-105mm.

Compared to the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS in terms of sharpness the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS is sharper at 24mm (most notably on the edges), less sharp at 50mm, and only slightly less sharp at 70mm when the aperture is set at f/4 on both lenses.

If you will use it more for the wide angle end, get the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS. If you will use it more on the longer end get the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS. If you are serious about doing weddings, get one of the 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.

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See for yourself: the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/… –  Chinmay Kanchi May 20 '13 at 17:18
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In a poorly lit church, I would recommend a prime or two. f/2.8 isn't that fast for a moving wedding ceremony without a flash. I've tried it both ways, I prefer around f/2 for most indoor ceremonies. I have also seen many wedding photographers who do use the 24-105mm IS quite often for the other parts of the wedding day. I do think having f/2.8 or greater is a good recommendation for any and all wedding lenses though. –  dpollitt May 21 '13 at 1:37
    
I wasn't intending to imply there is no need for prime lenses at a wedding ceremony, but the context of this question is for a normal zoom used for weddings. I find the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L more useful than the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS in the light typically found in traditional churches. What we consider to be a "dimly lit church" in the evangelical south is probably a little brighter than a Lutheran or Catholic church more typical in the upper midwest. Now, if the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8Di VC had been announced before I bought my 24-70, I would have probably gone with it instead for the VC. –  Michael Clark May 21 '13 at 14:55
    
@ChinmayKanchi Thanks very useful that is ... –  lawphotog May 24 '13 at 18:49
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@MichaelClark .. thanks Michael .. seems like I will wait to wait a bit longer and save up for a f2.8 then :) I am using 17-40 and 70-200 for occasional weddings .. yes I do have problem with f4 even though my 5DIII has very good ISO .. especially in main ceremony, where the registrar doesn't like flash. –  lawphotog May 24 '13 at 18:51
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Let me start by saying either lens is very good. I personally compared the 24-105 F4 and the new 24-70 F/2.8 when looking for my standard zoom lens. Unfortunately the 24-70 F/4 was not yet available to me to test and I ended up going with the f/2.8 because it was vastly sharper than the 24-105 F/4.

That said, the 24-105 was a fantastic lens that holds up to professional standards in my opinion. It's a bit slow when it comes to low light, but if the subject isn't moving, the IS compensates compared to the f/2.8.

As far as the 24-70 f/4, it looks like it does have some minor sharpness drawbacks compared to the 24-205 f/4, but should also have less of other aberrations if the MTFs are to be believed. For the 24-70 f/4, much less light is lost until the far outside edge of the lens, at which point it falls off quickly.

Either one should be a satisfactory lens and your best bet is probably to try before you buy to see which you are most comfortable with. If you are doing weddings particularly though, I'd highly recommend the f/2.8 24-70 as it is one of the best lenses in that range that you can currently buy and well worth the price. The extra sharpness and speed are hard to beat.

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