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Customer Review

1,472 of 1,525 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon EF 24-70mm vs. 24-105mm IS: Read this if you are a hobbyist, November 19, 2009
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This review is from: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras (Camera)
I am a hobbyist and this review is for people like me. What I mean by that is that I take pictures for fun and nobody buys my pictures. I mostly shoot landscape, nature, and portraits of family, friends, and relatives. I will refer to 24-70mm as the 70, and the 24-105mm IS as the 105. I first made the mistake of buying the 70, then I returned it with a hefty restocking fee and bought the 105 - I don't have the slightest regret and I could not be happier. I'm taking my time to write this review so that you can spend your hard earned money wisely. Let's analyze the trade-off between the two:
* Both lenses have excellent build and image quality. So these are not differentiating factors.
* The one and only advantage of the 70 is the one smaller f-stop. For me, this means more blur when I shoot portraits, so this is all good.
* The advantage of 105 over the 70 are as follows:
- You get an extra 35mm, which is 50% more zoom. I like this.
- You get a 3-stop IS. For me, this is a great advantage, because I rarely use tripods and IS saves the day. I would choose the 105 over 70 for the IS alone.
- The 105 is 10 ounces lighter and close to half an inch shorter.
The last part is the most important part: that additional 10 ounces make a heavy lens TOO HEAVY, and that extra length makes a big lens TOO BIG. Carrying the 70 on my 50D was a pain. I can assure you, the 70 is just too heavy to walk around and take pictures for fun. The keyword here is "fun". The 70 is a pain, the 105 is fun. The 105 is still heavy, but not too heavy. It's still big, but not too big. After having the 70 for a few weeks, I lost all my joy for shooting. It just made me very uncomfortable (and I'm 6-foot 2). When I replaced it with the 105, it did make a difference. I enjoy taking pictures now, once again. Pros might like the 70 because they need it for their professional work. But if you're shooting just for fun, stay away from the 70 and get the 105.
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Showing 1-10 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 20, 2010 8:06:37 AM PDT
Thanks for your review. It was exactly what I was looking for in a review. I've been torn between the 70 and the 105. I like the extra speed of the 70 but don't like the extra weight. I especially like the extra reach of the 105. I'm not a professional so I think your review is "spot on." When the T2i is more available, I would like to put the 105 on it. So far I can't find any reasons why I would want to pay the extra money for a 7D.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 4:12:22 AM PDT
JS says:
this is a great review for us hobbyists who still want to captrure good quality images. i am still deciding between these two lenses and even the 17-40 F4 L. i really like the wide angle, but think i'll miss the zoom of the 105 (or even the 70). i'll be putting it on a 50D, so the crop of the 24 worries me, but i guess a 38 is still a wide angle, technically... thanks again for a great review...

Posted on Apr 16, 2010 4:20:45 PM PDT
That's what I was thinking. Thanks for making up my mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2010 9:59:22 AM PDT
George F. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 7:06:51 AM PDT
VP says:
Great review. Exactly what I wanted to know. No techy mombo jumbo to impress or depress people! I am a hobbyst too and no one buys my pictures too however they all want a copy of my great shots for free of course :-) Any way I am looking to upgrade from the kit lens. You made my decision easier. Thanks.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 12:32:34 PM PDT
Matt says:
The real question for me is if I should go for the 17-55mm APS-C, or this 24-105mm. They're about the same price. I have the T2i...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2010 3:39:26 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2010 8:09:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2010 8:12:07 PM PDT
Hobbes says:
Matt - these are IMHO two quite different lenses... the 17-55 is a "wide-angle"-to-normal zoom, whereas the 24-105 is a normal-to-almost-tele zoom. The 17-55 has "L-" type optics, but reportedly poor build, while the 24-105 is "L'" all the way. While the price is about the same, there are other differences too that I woulds say make these lenses tailored for different needs. Good luck! Me, I'd compare more as to what the OP did - 24-70 vs. 24-105... if rumors pan out that the 70 gets IS, I believe that'd be the route I'm taking, unless the price is too outrageous. va1800 - very helpful review, thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2010 6:57:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2010 6:58:48 PM PDT
Phamily says:
Matt, 17-55mm, and you'd be all set to shoot 80%+ of the time. Then you can get a prime or 70-200mm for the other 20% of your needs.

I have the 24-105mm with the Rebel XSI (my only lens) and 24mm is simply not wide enough indoors. I will be upgrading to the 5D next year though. But thinking back... I should of bought the 17-55 for the extra stop and wider angle, then sell it when I upgrade to full frame. Just my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2010 9:59:15 AM PST
Akatombo says:
17-55 not an L lens, having said that, it balances well on my t1i, shoots great pics, and never leaves the body. Considered the 24-70, but waiting for IS, all depends on price. My xsi sports a 70-200/2.8is for the longer stuff but is way to heavy to work with. Would love a 10-85/2.8 is. 24 is just not wide enough on a crop frame.
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