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Canon EF 24-105mm F 4L has been one of the most loved lenses of many people who have know-how about photography.
It has been a significant element of photography kits for beginners, photography enthusiasts, and professional photographers. Photographers are recommended to have a general-purpose lens in their kits and because these are the most used part of the kits, they have to be of premium quality.
This article gives an in-depth review of the lens which is a version II of an already-popular Canon lens. Plus, it possesses all the specifications that make it one of the best general-purpose lenses ever introduced.
This Canon lens is characterized by several outstanding features. These include:
Fast Auto focus
Canon's outstanding Ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor) controls the 24-105 L's auto focus. It is fast, internal, soundless and accurate. The sharpness at the corners is very good. Full DSLR frame owners will notice some softness at the larger focal lengths in the far corners.
Eight circular aperture produces outstanding images with beautifully defocused backgrounds. The latest generation of Image Stabilizer (IS) from Canon provides an extra four-stop hand-holding in the 24-105 L. While shooting handheld at wide angles, IS will help in significantly reducing blur caused by camera shake.
Sharp and Focused Images, Even at Low Light
The 24-105 can be handheld in about 1/4 of the light levels needed to handle the 24-70 as long as the subject remains still. It offers a relatively fast f/4 aperture setting that remains constant across the zoom range. The wider aperture often produces a more diffused and blurred background due to shallower DOF (Depth of Field) at equivalent focal lengths.
ASC is the latest coating introduced by Canon. The molecules of the Air Sphere form a super-low reflective layer on the lens element's surface. This minimizes reflection and functions as a protective shield to slow down light to about the same pace as light travels through glass, thereby eliminating the impact of reflection. Another cover, Fluorine, is applied to the front and back surfaces of the lens. The non-stick properties of fluorine resist adhesion to dust and water and make it much easier to wash the glass.
For example, with this coating, fingerprints easily wipe off lenses. This coating is particularly important on a wide-angle lens because dust can appear on the front lens component in photos. This lens can give fast and accurate focus without producing the shuffling noise.
Some of the pros that add value to this lens and make it stand out from other related products are as follows:
Air Sphere Coating
The EF 24–105 mm f/4L IS II USM uses Air Sphere Coatings (ASC) on its components to help fight glare, blurring and distortions and produce clear images from reflected light with minimized aberrations. Designed to reduce distortions substantially, this design incorporates an ultra-low refractive coating on the components. This layer interacts with the overall optical equation of the lens to help provide the camera's sensor with a clean image, which can reduce the necessity of after production work.
This Canon model features an improved Image Stabilizer module for consistently sharp image performance and offers substantially improved shake control for shutter speeds up to four stops. For low-light conditions or lower ISOs, this ensures more accurate handheld quality and finer detail. It can also reduce the need for a tripod due to its increased stability.
Circular Aperture With Ten Blades
Eight circular aperture blades produce outstanding image quality that has a defocused background. Although f/4 is not the best way to create diffusely blurred backgrounds, in this focal length range, nearby subjects at 105 mm may have surprisingly defocused backgrounds. The diaphragm of the 10-bladed iris shuts to create a circular aperture. It allows the lens to create smooth and soft defocused backgrounds across its zoom range and offers a high level of background blurring power.
Non-Stick Fluorine Coatings
To keep this lens, there is a specially designed non-stick fluorine coating on its front and rear surfaces, even after several lens adjustments in sub-optimal conditions. This fluorine coating helps to avoid the clinging of dirt, water, oil and other surface contaminants such as fingerprints to the lens, resulting in quick and easy cleaning without the use of solvents.
Fast and Accurate Focus
Canon also uses full-frame lenses with dual pixel AF. The sensors have phase detection auto focus on their sensor due to this innovative technology. The benefit is that you can concentrate on the live view quickly and accurately. For STM drive mirrors, you have the most gain from this strategy. They use high-performance CPU working internally to give fast and accurate focus for images.
Since we are now well aware of the functionality and numerous advantages of this lens, we need to be well aware of the following disadvantage as well.
The 24-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM's image quality is pretty decent, but not ideal. It also refers to all of the other 24-105 mm lenses in fact. The crispness in the middle is relatively fine at full aperture, with a gradient to the corners. In wide-angle mode, the lens performs better than in telephoto mode. In reality, what you can feel is that the lens is suffering from curvature of the photo field. Therefore, the focal plane is not flat but a little convex.
When you focus in the center on a smooth surface, the corners will significantly get blurred. You may observe the same thing when you focus on very close subjects. You will then get a sharp hotspot around it with a blurred ring unless the subject fits the focal plane perfectly. You may also notice some chromatic aberration, and you can observe that far more in the telephoto images than in the wide-angle range. You can also clearly see detectable barrel-shaped distortion in the wide-angle mode that runs somewhere between 35mm and 50 mm.
What is the Canon EF 24-105mm F 4l IS II USM Best For?
Like the cheaper 24-105 mm STM lens, we do not understand the point of purchasing this product for a cropped sensor camera, where it has a focal length range almost equal to 38-168 mm. 24-105 mm covers a very versatile focal length range on a 'full-frame' camera, which is quite sufficient to capture landscapes and group portraits and matches the 85 mm 'modern' and 105 mm portrait focal lengths. The Mark II lens, like its precursor, is delivered as a 'kit' lens, commonly with EOS 5D DSLR cameras from Canon's 'prosumer' category. It is usually packaged with the EOS 5D Mark IV. It is best suited for photographers who want an easy-to-carry lens with a range of 24 to 105mm.
What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?
Before investing in a high priced lens like Canon EF 24-105mm II, you need to consider the following aspects to make a rational decision:
Focal lengths give you different results for different types of perspective shooting. Wide-angle lenses are the most common for landscape photography as they enable you to display a large part of the scene. They can be used to portray a subject, an interface between background and front view, and a stunning sky. While on the other hand, tighter lenses are good for isolating specific aspects of the landscape, particularly telephoto lenses which work equally fine for portraits or landscape photography. Since the model we’re reviewing is a wide-angle lens, it is best suited for you if you are into landscape photography.
Full Frame Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm is a full-frame lens, hence it will only work well for full-frame cameras. Full-frame lenses provide better results with low light conditions, higher ISO performance, enhanced control over DOF and improved range of color depth.
A zoom lens is great for convenience at events like weddings where photographers do not want to switch the lens in order to zoom in from wide-angle to a telephoto lens. On the other hand, prime lenses have better image quality and wider apertures than zoom lenses. They can work well in low light conditions, produce decent images with beautifully blurred backgrounds. Zoom lenses are good for landscape while prime lenses work well for portraits. Canon EF 24-105m is a zoom lens, so you can choose it if you are looking for convenience and a broad-angle view.
Canon EF 24-105mm lens is a better-enhanced version of the EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM, which is a wide-angle zoom lens with a full-frame. It has advanced features like air sphere coating to prevent glare and ghosting and non-stick fluorine coating to prevent the front and rear surfaces of the lens from smudges and fingerprints. It also has image stabilization up to four stops to avoid blurry images due to camera shake. The lens comes with a circular aperture with ten blades that produce high-quality images with soft and beautifully blurred backgrounds.
Moreover, with the well-functioning internal CPU, it is able to give accurate and quick focus of subjects that are at a distance. It shows some barrel distortion at certain focal lengths, however, it is the best option for a convenient photography experience for landscapes and group portraits.