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About Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

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M. P. , Oct 20, 2012; 05:05 p.m.

For me the 24-105 F4L was the only L-series lens I have ever NOT liked. I found the distortion bth in vertical and horizontial lines and vignetting at 24mm to be unacceptable for an L-series lens. I much prefer my Canon 17-40 F4L if I need 24mm. If I need 70+ I use one of my 7-200 lenses. However, I have been extremely happy with the Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VC combined with the Tamron 70-300 VC. I love them both in price, build and performance. I especially enjoy having a fast F2.8 and Image stabalized lens for about the same price or a 24-107 F4 L.

Dave Perkes , Oct 22, 2012; 12:29 p.m.

In in my opinion the Canon 24-105 is a disappointing lens; not worthy of the L series tag. Its vignetting and barrel distortion is worse than many cheap kit lenses and bokeh is poor.
Its only virtue is IS and good build quality. Sharpness is good most of the time but at 24mm its not great at the edges. I use it as a walk around and video lens on a 5D2 but would not use it for critical architectural or portrait work.

Stefano Caselli , Oct 27, 2012; 01:37 p.m.

The Canon 24-105 is excellent! If you have to choose only one lens to travel with, that's it! I think it's the best lens for travel and street photography. I use it on my 7D. The image quality and sharpness are very good, colours are fantastic. It's not a fast lens however the image stabilizer works fine. If you are looking instead for wedding/studio or indoor photography lens you should better choose the 24-70 f/2.8.

John Blain , Oct 29, 2012; 11:52 a.m.

I bought this lens a month a go with a 5D body. The optics are fine but I think there is a serious problem with the image stabilizer when the aperture isn't fully open.
I set the camera to 1/10 sec at F8 and put the lens at max zoom. I then took a photo of a static subject with and without IS switched on. The image with IS switched OFF was much clearer. If the aperture is set wide open at F4, this image blur does not occur with IS ON. It appears that the action of the diaphragm closing when the picture is taken is interfering with the IS. If you focus, then press the DOF button to close the aperture, then take the picture, the image is clear with IS ON.
I sent the lens to Canon for investigation and they returned it saying no fault found. This is very disappointing since I have other cheaper lens that do not have this problem under these conditions.
I would be interested to know if others have observed this.

David Stephens , Oct 29, 2012; 12:08 p.m.

The IS on many Canon lenses can take a fraction of a second to "spool up" when you press the shutter button half way down. On the super teles it really obvious, but it happens on all the lenses. With my Canon IS lenses, if I activate AF, either with the back button or the shutter button and then wait for the IS to stabilize, then I get steady shots at any aperture. If you push through the half shutter setting and then release the shutter before the IS has finished stabilizing, you can get a blurry image.

Daniel Sterenberg , Nov 19, 2012; 01:33 p.m.

John Blain,
My copy seems to have exactly the same issue as your does. If I shoot with the IS ON at narrow apertures, the images will be a lot blurrier. This doesn't happen AT ALL with my 70-200 f4L IS or even my EF-S kit lens from an old Rebel that I have.
I want to try other 24-105 on my 5Dmk3, but I also found this VERY disappointing. I need to run additional tests, but I'm not even sure if the IS is actually helping at wide apertures. It is frustrating, as the IS of my 70-200 really does a wonderful job, allowing me to shoot at 1/10s of a second or even slower shutter speeds across the entire range.
It's a shame that Canon didn't do anything about it. I would NOT recommend the 24-105 then.

John Blain , Nov 19, 2012; 06:18 p.m.

Daniel,
It is good to hear that I wasn't alone with this problem. I took the lens and camera to my Canon service centre 3 times and I think they have finally fixed it by reloading the firmware onto the lens. They say they have sent the original firmware to Canon HQ so you might get a better response.
After my post on Oct 29th, I did some more tests and found that it was any F stop greater than F4 that caused the problem. I demonstrated it to them by doing the following:
1. Set camera to Manual, F8 and 1/10sec with max zoom and IS on.
2. Take a picture normally
3. Take another picture by focusing then pressing the depth of field preview button to close the aperture then take the picture with DOF button pressed.
4. Compare the 2 pictures for image blur.
I was finding that the first image was blurred (movement not a focus error) and the second was totally clear. This suggests that the closing of the aperture at the time the picture was taken was interfering with the IS. Closing the aperture before the picture is taken (with DOF button) does not produce the problem. Canon's method of testing IS in the lab would never find this because all they do is shine a light through the lens at F4.
Good luck

John


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