Elizabeth Halford Photography {the blog} » photography in plain English

Lens Review – Canon L Series 24-105mm f/4

Wow my first Canon L series lens. A milestone! And you know what they say…’once you go L you never go back.’ Um…yea…or something like that.

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Before even putting it on my camera, I noticed an immediate difference in this lens. The construction is phenomenal. It’s like a brick. Heavy and hard as a rock. Although heavy lenses might leave you sore after a day of shooting, they actually help with camera stability which helps remedy camera shake.

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A few photos that came our well using this lens at my last wedding:

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Some bullets about this lens:

  • Weather proofing – there’s a little rubbery plasticy ring around the contact area of this lens to add protection. Weather stripping I guess you could call it! Also protects from dust.
  • IS – What made me choose this lens is that it has IS (image stabilisation). This is done with a gyroscope inside the lens to keep the picture still even when your hands are not. You can see it working in the viewfinder. Exe: I was photographing a bride’s shoes and was bent over in an unstable way. My hands were trembling from the strain and I could see the image in the viewfinder stabilising itself as my hands were shaking.
  • f/4 – The only thing I’d change about this lens is that I’d like the max aperture to be higher. I went into my last wedding wondering how this lens would fare and I was extremely surprised by the quality of my photos in lower light. This is because with this particular IS lens, you can use up to 3 stops slower shutter speed than you normally would. And of course, a slower shutter lets in more light and the IS prevents camera shake! Brilliant! Also on that note, the aperture can remain at f/4 throughout all your zooming in and out. It maintains an f/4 when fully extended to 105mm. Which means less fiddling with my settings.
  • Sharrrrrrp – I don’t know how it does it, but this baby is SHARP as a tack. I’m not a techie as you know and I don’t know the details about how a lens works. But somehow, this lens is sharper than any two edged sword and perhaps even sharper than my primes (blasphemy!)

The long and short of it is that this is now my favourite lens and I doubt it will be coming off my camera any time soon!

Next on my wish list? A 50mm f/1.2. I know…I’m a greedy brat. But I’ll only buy L series from now on!

  • Justine

    Oooh very envious – those “L” lenses look so good. Maybe I will take a red pen and colour in the end of mine… it may, just may make me feel a little better…. :-)

  • Robyn Woodroffe

    HI Elizabeth,

    I’m currently trying to decide between the L series 24 -105 (like you recently purcashed) and teh L series 24 -70 (f 2.8)mmmmmmmm

    For me, I think the zoom to only 70 will be frustrating, but the f 2.8 takes beautiful photos.

    I would be interested in your opinion as to the pros and cons.

    On another note, did you raise enough funds to buy your daughter the wheelchair she required ?? I’d love to see some photos .

    Take care

    Rob (from Oz)

  • http://photorook.blogspot.com David Gordon

    @Robyn

    If you have a crop body camera, I seriously suggest you consider the EF-S 17-55 IS USM. In 35mm terms, it’s basically a 27-88mm but it’s f/2.8 and IS so you get the best of both worlds. Image quality is great (sharper than the 24-70 in most scenarios) but you don’t get a red stripe or weather sealing.

    I was struggling with the same choice as you, and I got the 17-55 and I have zero complaints. It’s a great lens!

  • alicia

    I’m dreaming of this lens majorly lately.  I think my 2012 goal is to sell off a lens or two and buy this one.