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24-70mm f/2.8L vs. 24-105mm f/4L IS

Ariel Green , Aug 07, 2006; 02:24 p.m.

I just bought the 30D, but have been debating over the choice for my main lens between the 24-70mm f/2.8L & 24-105mm f/4L IS for quite awhile (for weddings). I like the extra length in the 24-105... but want the 2.8 for low light and shallow depth of field. A guy in Samys told me that digital is not advanced enough yet to truly make a difference in depth of field between a 2.8 or 4 f- stop and the added focal length will serve me better... I've never heard this.. that the camera isn't truly reading every spot of the frame to match up with the aperture you've set?. I sure have thought I could tell the difference! What do you think of this comment.. and what lens would you choose?


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Kim Noel , Aug 07, 2006; 02:35 p.m.

Hi Ariel,

I have the 30D and the 24-70mm. I LOVE IT! I was a bit back and forth before my purchase as well, but decided I wanted the 2.8 for both the low light and depth of field (expecially for dim lit receptions). This is my primary lens. I also have the 70-200 2.8L IS, which goes on my second body, but I only take a handleful of pics with it. I've never tried the 24-105 but I love the 24-70. Good luck!

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , Aug 07, 2006; 02:42 p.m.

Areil, the guy at Samy's does not know what he's talking about....as usual...I've shopped there many times over the years, but stopped as I found the help there to be sophomoric (they know an inch, but they think they know a mile's worth of knowledge).

You said weddings...then what you need is to buy ONLY F2.8 zooms.

I have both lenses and I only use the 24-105 F4 for travel to minimize lens changes, chance of getting the sensor dirty, and to keep the number of lenses brought to a minimum. Everything else in that focal range I use the 24-70L, but even then I prefer the faster primes, especially for weddings and events.

For weddings get the 24-70L

Bruce C , Aug 07, 2006; 02:54 p.m.

Camera salesman was full of stuff that horses don't want any more :-)

The solution to your problem is straightforward -- decide whether you prefer shooting in low light or having the extra depth of field. There's no one better situated to make that decision than you yourself.

BTW, my choice would be the 24-105 because it just looks like a significantly sharper lens based on these reviews:



In fact, the discontinued 28-70 f/2.8 L looks a lot better than the 24-70 to me:


although that lost 4 mm at the bottom end might be a deterrent to this alternative.


Grant Gaborno , Aug 07, 2006; 03:08 p.m.

Dan is absolutely right about the salesman...he probably doesn't care which one you get since they are both over a grand.

I think you can't go wrong with either. I also shoot weddings. I also have both but use the 24-105 more.

Bokeh at 70/2.8 and 105/4 is similar. To me, color and contrast are similar.

24-70 is more flare resistant. (main reason why I keep it) and better for closeups and near/far compositions.

24-105 is sharper (my copies). Better IMO for portraits. Better in low light because of IS.

But let me throw in that on the 30D, I use the 17-55/2.8IS as my workhorse lens regarding weddings.

J Smith , Aug 07, 2006; 03:52 p.m.

Take faster lens with f/2.8. You can always come closer or crop image so difference beetwen focal lenghts is not so big. I felt the difference beetwen slow and fast lenses after using my 100 macro f/2.8. If you can choose always take faster lens.

Delwyn Ching , Aug 07, 2006; 04:05 p.m.

Both have their pluses, I got the 24-105 for the longer reach and IS hand-holdability. You can search this forum as this topic has been mentioned many times before.

Alistair Windsor , Aug 07, 2006; 04:14 p.m.

I notice Grant beat me to the punch. Neither 24-xx is all that attractive on a 1.6x crop factor body. Despite the lack of the little red line I would also suggest the 17-55/2.8 IS merely for the range of focal lengths. It gives you both the benefits of f2.8 and IS but is an EF-S lens so cannot be used on a full frame body.

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , Aug 07, 2006; 11:57 p.m.

Bruce C, I assure you, that the 24-105L is in fact NOT "significantly" sharper then the 24-70L. I have both.

Also, the 28-70L is NOT "a lot better" then the 24-70L...I had the former and now have the latter. Frankly, it's a coin toss...they'er basically the same in providing image quality.

It just goes to show you that many sites that show "tests" of lenses are pure cr@p.

Yakim Peled , Aug 08, 2006; 03:25 a.m.

It's your livelihood so you should be 100% sure what is the best for YOU. Unfortunately, you can't do this over the net. Rent both for an occasion and see which fits YOU most.

BTW, while I am not a wedding photographer, I know quite a few. Some use the 24-70 and others use the 24-105. All swear that they would not replace the one they have for the other...... :-)

Happy shooting, Yakim.

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