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Lens review

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

28 May 2015
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The resolution test (resolution meaning the MTF50 function) of the Canon EF 24-105 mm f//3.5–5.6 IS STM was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera. In that case the decency level is situated around 30-32 lpmm and the best fixed focus lenses can go as high as 44-47 lpmm.

First let’s check how the tested lens performed in the frame centre. Appropriate results we got at 24, 40, 70 and 105 mm are presented as a graph below.

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

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If you wanted to describe that performance in one word, “decent” would suit here the best. There are practically no slip-ups because even at the maximum relative aperture and 24 mm MTFs are able to brush against 30 lpmm so they are very near the acceptable level. On stopping down by 1 EV stop you can enjoy good images across the focal range.

Still it must be noticed that the performance of the tested lens is far from that of a really good zoom lens which, after all, don’t have any problems with exceeding a level of 40 lpmm. The EF 24–105 mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM didn’t managed that trick at any combination of focal length and aperture.

Now let’s check the edge of the frame of the APS-C sensor.

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


The area next to the maximum relative aperture at the shortest focal length is the weakest here – in order to get an image of a sensibly good quality you have to employ an aperture around f/5.0. Other apertures and focal lengths are more or less without any reservations, quite decent in fact but nothing more.

At the end, traditionally, we are going to show the resolution performance on the edge of full frame – the appropriate graph you can find below.

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


Only the 40 mm focal length is beyond reproach; in other cases the results are weak. If you stop down to f/8-11 the lens can reach the decency level but exceeding it is out of question.

When it comes to the resolution the Canon EF 24–105 mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM proved to be a moderately good lens. It fared well enough in the frame centre and decently well on the edge of the APS-C sensor but without any fireworks. The corners of the full frame are better left unexplored, though…

At the end of this chapter we traditionally present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart, saved as JPEG files.

Canon 5D MkIII, JPEG, 24 mm, f/3.5
Canon EF 24-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - Image resolution
Canon 5D MkIII, JPEG, 40 mm, f/5.6
Canon EF 24-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - Image resolution