Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS II
Full-Frame EOS EF (2016 ~ )
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Original 24-105mm f/4 L IS Review (2005 ~ 2016)
24-70mm f/2.8 L II Review (2012 ~ today)
The Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II is Canon's replacement for the extremely popular 24-105mm f/4 L IS of 2005 ~ 2016.
This new lens' claims to fame are improved image stabilization (rated 4 stops compared to three stops in the old 24-105 IS) and less corner darkening (modern Canon DSLRs automatically correct this anyway), but at the cost of much greater size and weight. Small size and weight were the best things about the original lens, so go figure.
This new lens' sharpness, stabilization and bokeh are superb, but it's too big and heavy, and its stiff zoom take most of the fun out of this general-purpose lens.
Even though it's newer than my Canon 5DSR, my camera had lens optimization profiles already installed. I'm unsure if they were preloaded, or if Canon has gotten smart enough to let them load from the lens.
● Instant manual-focus override.
● 10-bladed aperture.
● Ground aspherical element.
● Fluorine and Air-Sphere coatings.
● Much bigger and heavier than the previous excellent original 24-105mm f/4 L IS of 2005 ~ 2016.
● Stiff zoom ring needs two fingers.
This is a full-frame lens, and I'm reviewing at as such.
Feel free to make the usual interpolations for APS-C use.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.
Canon calls this the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM:
EF: Electronic Focus, as all Canon's lenses have been since 1987.
L: Expensive as L.
IS: Image Stabilization.
II: Canon's second 24-105mm f/4L IS.
USM: Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor.
Internal construction. Aspherical elements and stabilizer group.
17 elements in 12 groups.
4 aspherical elements.
Fluorine front and rear coatings for dirt and oil resistance.
Air Sphere coatings to reduce flare and ghosting.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II (EF diaphragm not shown). bigger.
10 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/22.
See also Crop Factor.
Angles of View (full-frame)
84º ~ 23.3º diagonal.
74º ~ 19.3º horizontal.
53º ~ 13º vertical.
Rated 4 stops improvement.
No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.
1.5 feet (0.45 meters).
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
77mm filter thread.
Canon EW-83M Hood. bigger.
3.29" maximum diameter × 4.65" extension from flange.
83.5 mm maximum diameter × 118 mm extension from flange.
27.820 oz. (788.6g), actual measured weight.
Rated 28.0 oz. (795g).
12:01 AM NYC time, Thursday, 25 August 2016.
Late October 2016.
Canon Model Number
Canon Product Code
$1.099, August 2016 ~ January 2017. (155,000 yen in Japan at introduction).
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.
This 24-105/4 L IS II is a great lens, but much bigger and heavier than the original 24-105mm f/4 L IS of 2005 ~ 2016.
Autofocus is ordinary, no news here. It's about as fast as every other midrange zoom.
Manual focus is great; just grab the focus ring at any time for instant manual-focus override.
Focus breathing is the image changing size as focused in and out. It's important to cinematographers because it looks funny if the image changes size as focus gets pulled back and forth between actors. If the lens does this, the image "breathes" by growing and contracting slightly as the dialog goes back and forth.
The image from this lens gets smaller as focused more closely. The effect is most pronounced at the 105mm end and least at the 24mm end of the zoom range.
Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is quite good.
Here are two sample made at head-shot distance:
The 24-105 II has strong barrel distortion at 24mm and moderate to strong pincushion distortion from 35~105mm.
Luckily most Canon cameras can correct this automatically, and it's easy to correct in Photoshop's Lens Distortion filter with the coefficients I've carefully measured. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.
© 2016 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
* Some waviness remains.
This is a serious lens; it's too big to want to carry around your neck all day for fun, and its zoom ring is so stiff that it takes two firm fingers to move it. The original 24-105mm f/4 L IS (2005 ~ 2016) was more fun to carry all day, but its zooming was too cramped between 24mm and 35mm.
The zoom spacing of this lens is a little cramped at the wide end, and a little too loose at the long end. Zooming therefore is fast at the wide end and slow at the long end.
With the front section pumping in and out as zoomed, air is pulled in and out of the camera all the time. You may feel it blow out your eyepiece.
With modern cameras that correct it, there is no falloff.
Even on 35mm and cameras that don't correct it, falloff is only minor, even wide open.
I've greatly exaggerated it by shooting a gray field and showing it against a gray background here:
There's no need for thin filters.
Go ahead and use your standard rotating polarizer and grad filters.
I can stack two standard filters with no vignetting at any focal length on full frame.
I can stack three standard filters and get no vignetting from 35~105mm, with vignetting wider than 35mm on full frame. There won't be any on APS-C.
This is superb.
Flare and ghost performance is surprisingly ordinary.
You'll never see anything in normal use, but do something deliberately stupid like point the lens with a filter directly into the mid-day sun and then fill the rest of the frame with a dark shadow, and you'll see a little bit:
Flare and Ghosts, f/8 at 76mm. bigger.
I see none as shot on my Canon 5DSR, which would automatically correct any that might be there.
Macro performance is pretty good, and bokeh is also great at macro distances:
1,200 x 900 pixel crop from above. bigger.
If this crop is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 44 x 30" (120 x 75 cm).
If this crop is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 88 x 60" (250 x 150 cm).
This is wide-open; it's much sharper at normal apertures.
Remember that nothing other than some of the paint on the watch face is actually in focus; depth-of-field is vapor-thin at macro distances on all lenses.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.
It's about the same as other modern Canon L lenses: mostly plastic on the outside, and mostly metal on the inside.
It has a spring-loaded front group; push it in and it gives a bit under spring pressure. I suspect this is a move to get accurate positioning and only needing to finely machine one side of the zoom cam rather than the usual method of no spring-loading with a tighter fit between cam and follower. It also makes it more resistant to damage as you bang the front of the lens.
Hood Bayonet Mount
Section with focus window: plastic.
Marked on ring inside of filter thread and on mid barrel.
Seem like mostly metal.
Moisture Seal at Mount
Laser engraved in black-on-black on bottom of mid barrel.
Noises When Shaken
Very mild clunking.
Yes, it's sharp all over, even wide-open.
It may be a little less sharp in the full-frame corners wide-open at 24mm, but there's rarely anything in focus in the corners anyway when you're shooting at f/4. The only limitations to sharpness are your skill as a photographer with this lens.
Here are Canon's MTF curves:
Canon claims four stops improvement and I see no reason not to believe it.
The image stabilizer locks down the image and I have no problems shooting at very slow speeds hand held.
With a rounded diaphragm, there aren't much in the way of sunstars.
With 10 blades you get soft stars with 10 points.
This is the best I could get:
Sunstar at f/22. bigger.
This is the biggest and heaviest 24-105mm ever made. It's a beast to carry all day.
It's only a little sharper than the other 24-105mm lenses, but a lot heavier.
The original 24-105mm f/4 L IS is about as sharp, but had more distortion in exchange for smaller size and weight. Neither this nor the original 24-105 IS zoom very easily.
The 24-105mm STM is a great lens for a fraction of the price, and much easier to carry all day. It's the easiest to zoom, has the most even zoom spacing between focal lengths, has the best macro performance, less distortion and is just as sharp. The 24-105mm STM also has the fastest focussing. The only reasons not to pick the 24-105mm STM is because it's not as resistant to physical abuse if you use it to earn a living every day and it's a stop slower at 105mm (f/5.6 versus f/4)— but a little faster at 24mm (f/3.5 versus f/4).
The 24-70mm f/2.8L II weighs the same, is faster (f/2.8 versus f/4), has no IS, and is a little sharper in the corners at the 24mm end.
Get this new IS II L lens for hand-held shots of things that hold still. Get the 24-70mm f/2.8L II if you're on a tripod or shooting action. Get the 24-105mm STM, 24-70/4 L IS or original 24-105mm f/4 L IS if you plan to carry the lens around your shoulder all day.
I wish Canon made a good all-purpose full-frame zoom that went to at least 135mm; I'll admit I still use my 28-135 IS and ancient 28-105mm lenses because they weigh half of what any of these L lenses do, and I have no problem making great images with them. With lens profiles the old plastic-barreled lenses make better images than they ever have before.
The very best protective filter is the 77mm Hoya multicoated HD3 UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints, and is also multicoated.
Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best. The Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.
Thanks for helping me help you!
© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
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05 January 2017, 25 August 2016