Getting a new lens for my Canon 6D was long in the making. I had my eye on the L-Series of lenses that Canon makes, and knew from the get go that I would have to save up in order to get it. I finally decided on the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, which is advertised as the all-around L-lens, perfect for the traveler. I have it for two weeks now, and I can say I'm more then impressed by it. In this post I want to show you some test images, even though you will be seeing more of this lens from now on, on this blog.
click on the test images for a bigger view
The Canon 24-105mm f/4L in action!The first trip I got to test the lens, was my recent trip to Zagreb, Croatia. As we arrived in the city, the sun had already began to set, which gave me perfect light for my photos. The lens has a wide range of 24mm to 105mm, and with my full frame Canon 6D, this gives me a good wide angle at 24mm. The shot of the church above was taken at 24mm. There is some vignetting in the raw image, but it took care of it in post. It's nothing really upsetting.
Wide angles and Close-ups with the LensHere is another wide shot. This time at night. As you can see the lens in combination with the Canon 6D camera, produces excellent images. And with the Camera Raw program of Adobe Photoshop you can reduce the (somewhat present) noise even lower. I think this is a great example of the quality of this lens at wider angles. You just have to know how to frame the shots, since a wider angle distorts the surroundings. Think of lines that lead your subjects into the frame.
Above: A lonely street corner in Zagreb. Taken at 50mm, there was almost no light in the square. Below: Half moon at dusk. Taken at 105mm, the lens focuses without problems directly towards the moon.
FocusingThis is a real (amongst others) selling point of the lens. Set on automatic mode the lens focuses on the desired subjects really really fast. It just happens so fast, that focusing becomes a thing you don't really think about anymore, but something you just do. Like in the shot below, the clouds and lines of the airplane are to the point (as much as a fluffy cloud can be in real life).
Here is a better example of focusing. Two birds on a electrical wire. The lens focuses on the narrow line of the wire and the birds immediately! No need for manual focusing (which is also there, of course, if you need it). This means you can capture your subject faster and in the moment. I'm usually afraid of the auto focus and how it will behave, but no problems here.
Another big plus point of the lens is that it has an excellent image stabilizer built in. This means that handheld shots are so much more sharp. In the image below, I purposefully upped the ISO to 200 on the image even though I had barely any light left. The image stabilizer button on the lens is turned on at this point. I take the shot. Lenses without a stabilizer will produce a blurry image. This lens produces a sharp shot, and focuses on my dog in a millisecond (and yes, he's getting a haircut soon). The image stabilizer is great for shooting dslr video, but the motor of the stabilizer does produce some in-lens noise which is audible in the audio track of your video if you don't have a microphone.
Lens BuildThe Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens comes from the L-line of Canon lenses, which is the highest quality Canon produces. The lens is heavy but not too much (weight is 700 grams), and has two rings on it: one for zooming, the other for focusing, both are very sturdy and feel great when you turn them. The lens comes with a lens cap (Canon EW-83H) and a lens bag in the package. Some call it a kit lens, because it is usually sold with the Canon 6D or Canon 5D Mark III in a package, but this wording makes it seem of less importance. Believe me, there is nothing shabby about this lens. It just feels and works excellent.
Verdict:+ Great Build and Quality
+ Focusing is excellent and the lens produces sharp images
+ Nice range from a wide 24mm to a close-up of 105mm
+ Has a macro setting built in
+ Great for dslr video
+ Image Stabilizer is great and produces smooth video and sharp images
+ Works great for travel, in-the-moment photos, landscapes, portraits and others
- Has slight vignetting at wider angle (can be taken care of in post)
- Image stabilizer motor produces noise which is audible in the audio track of your video (unavoidable but you'll have to use a mic for pro-dslr video anyway)
I hope you enjoyed the test images and the review. If you have any more questions, please let me know in the comments below.