Lens Review: Canon 24-105mm f/4 L.
Today, I thought I would share my thoughts on one of my lenses! When this idea first struck me, I felt silly even to have considered it. I mean, who am I to share about the technical side of photography?! Ha! Plus, there are a million versions of every conceivable digital photography topic out there, so why did I need to express mine? Nevertheless, after a really amazing conversation with Rebekah Hoyt at our Q&A event last week, I was inspired to share my knowledge (however limited it may or may not be!) in hopes that my individual way of presenting things can possibly help someone else! I know that when I was first learning to use my camera, take pictures, and considering what equipment to invest my hard-earned money on, etc. I loved to hear from those that had started out like myself, and less so from the super-technical versions out there. (Don’t get me wrong, there is SO much to be learned on each site you visit, technical or more personable! In addition, I freely admit that I don’t know it all!) For me, I learned that I understood and related to things best when put simply and practically and that is what I am striving to do here!
My photography journey began with a Canon Rebel T3i. (A sweet Christmas gift from my hubby.) I quickly added a 50mm 1.4 lens (I have since upgraded to the 50mm 1.2 L, that review is for another day! :)) to my small collection and used it to shoot anything and everything as I grew my experience. Soon I found myself “hitting a wall” when it came to my camera’s capabilities and realized that an upgrade was necessary to obtain the images that I was working so hard to achieve. After much deliberation, I decided to go with the Canon 5d Mark II, and its’ “kit” lens, the 24-105 f/4L. Honestly, I only decided to go ahead with the kit because I figured that if I didn’t like the lens I could turn around and sell it for at least what I paid for it. What a Negative-Nancy, eh?! :) Months go by, and I was still using my 50mm for 99% of what I am shooting. However, as I began to research other lenses to grow my arsenal, I suddenly realized that many of the things I was looking for I had in the lens sitting lonely in my camera case!
The 24-105mm has an aperture of 4 (f/4), which made me hesitant because I usually prefer to shoot with a much lower f-stop. (Basically, I prefer to take pictures with a background that is greatly blurred. Aperture will also be a topic coming soon!) Nevertheless, I began utilizing this lens to capture more dramatic, wide-angle shots as well as taking advantage of its macro capabilities. (Up-close shots and detail are not a strength of my 50mm.) I was blown away. How could I have left this little gem to sit unused for MONTHS?! Horrified and excited, I have been interchanging it with my prime (fixed) lens constantly. The L-Series glass used in its construction is flawless and makes for amazing pictures and quality colors. I love the flexibility it allows me in zooming, especially as many of my subjects are frequently moving and/or wildly running about! The image quality is surprisingly sharp and holds its own against the crisp shots I adore from primes. As to the higher aperture (f/4), it has broadened my shooting style to create quality landscapes and wide-angle shots, all the while still being low enough on the macro setting to give me crisp, beautiful detail images. If I had to pick a lens to travel with and had limited space this would be my choice. This little baby has a lot packed into it and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a starter L-series zoom lens, and professional and amateur shooters alike.
Without further ado….the 24-105 f/4L!
Here are a few examples of images I have taken with the 24-105mm, both in its zoom and macro capabilities, as well as a few photo recipes.
Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f/4 L | ISO 250 | f/4 | 1/1600
(Of course I use my favorite boys for this! :))
Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f/4 L | ISO 320 | f/4 | 1/125
And two macro examples…
Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f/4 L | ISO 2000 | f/4 | 1/125
Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f/4 L | ISO 2000 | f/4 | 1/200
I hope this has helped someone on the fence about purchasing this lens or even just beginning to research their options. I have found that if you are questioning a lens then, if at all possible, find someone who has it for you to borrow or a location where you can rent it and try it out first! You don’t know how the equipment will or won’t work for you and your personal style until you put it to practical use. Also, be sure that you have done your homework and see what each of your lenses are capable of! Don’t waste months with them sitting idly, like I did! Ha! :)
Have a fabulous Wednesday and go explore some lenses!
P.S. Here are a few links if you find yourself wanting more information or to purchase this lens! Enjoy!
B&H – an awesome resource for photography equipment!
The Digital Picture.com – equipment reviews and more!
Canon – the manufacturer of my lenses and camera body!