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Lens review

Canon EF 24-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

28 May 2015
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • good image quality in the frame centre,
  • decent image quality on the edge of the APS-C sensor,
  • good correction of the lateral chromatic aberration,
  • lack of serious coma problems,
  • moderate astigmatism,
  • slight vignetting on the smaller sensor,
  • silent, quick and accurate autofocus.

Cons:

  • huge vignetting level at 24 mm on full frame,
  • significant distortion, additionally of the moustache variety, at the wide angle of view,
  • some problems with spherical aberration,
  • weak image quality on the edge of full frame.

If 22 August 2005 could be removed from the calendar everything would be so easy. I could write in the summary that the Canon universal lenses line-up, concerning devices which focal length starts from 24 mm, is very sensibly fitted. If you don’t like any compromises you might get interested in the most expensive EF 24–70 mm f/2.8L USM II. If you, like many other photography fans, find it a tad too expensive there is the EF 24–70 mm f/4L IS USM model, a bit slower but still optically very good and equipped with optical stabilization. What’s more it is also over two times cheaper than the first device. If you operate on a tight budget there is still the EF 24–105 mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM – definitely worse when it comes to the optics than both L instruments but still of a decent quality, with a wider focal range as a kind of bonus.

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However the 22 August 2005 took place with the launch announcement of the Canon EF 24–105 mm f/4L IS USM and it turned all that order upside down. With the existence of that new lens on the market the purchase of both the EF 24–70 mm f/4 IS USM and the cheapest Canon EF 24–105 mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM became very questionable. Of course people who consider the financial limit of 1600 PLN impassable won’t have any other choice (but then perhaps buying a full frame camera was not an especially well thought out decision from their part). Still if you can scrape by, do find some additional money in your mattress or socket drawer or in your clandestine bank account and buy the 24-105L. It will cost you about 1000 PLN more but it will save you a lot of problems and the photos will be a reward on its own. Additionally an L-series instrument is sold with a pouch and a hood in the box; in the case of the EF 24-105 mm IS STM, those accessories have to be bought separately.

The existence of the Canon EF 24–105 mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM would be more than justified if only it was added, for a small amount of extra money, as a part of the kit set with the EOS 6D or the EOS 5D Mark III. Unfortunately it isn’t. Such a set costs almost the same as both elements bought separately.