Digital Photography Review

ef 24105mm is stm lens | Topdeblogs

70
Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens - Photo Review

In summary

The EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is a good choice if you want a versatile kit lens for the EOS 6D (or a similar) body. Suitable for portraiture and landscape photography and handy when you want to travel light with a single, all-purpose lens, it covers a useful zoom range that isn’t too ambitious. It’s also sharp where it counts (wider apertures) and, although relatively slow at longer focal lengths, it produces decent bokeh at the widest aperture setting with the 85mm to 105mm focal lengths.

Although not a match for Canon’s L-grade lenses, the build quality of the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is generally good for its type and in line with Canon’s other consumer-level lenses. It’s nice to see the STM technology offered for ‘full frame’ lenses and it pays dividends by being almost silent and relatively fast in Live View mode (which is required for shooting movies).

Full review

The 24-105mm zoom range is popular with photographers because it can cover a wide range of subject types and situations so we thought it would be useful to look at a one of the new versions of the original EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, which was released just over a decade ago to complement Canon’s first enthusiast-level ‘full frame’ camera (the EOS 5D). Announced in 2014, the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is priced to attract cost-conscious buyers and features similar image stabilisation to the original lens in a lighter body with a new autofocusing drive motor.

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. (Source: Canon.)

The optical design of this lens is similar to the venerable EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, although there’s one fewer aspherical element and the new lens substitutes a UD (Ultra Low Dispersion) lens for the Super UD lens in the original. The focusing mechanism uses an inner focus lens, a stepping motor and lead screw to support the EOS Movie Servo AF function, while a new seven-element group keeps the lens relatively compact during zooming.

The lens is supplied with front and rear body caps and a printed multi-lingual instruction manual. A lens hood (EW-83M) and carry pouch (LP1219) are available as optional accessories and the front element is threaded to take 77 mm diameter filters. Expect to pay around AU$65 for the lens hood, $44 for the pouch and $75-80 for a protection filter.

Who’s it For? Essentially, this lens is a new ‘kit’ lens for Canon’s entry-level EOS cameras with ‘full frame’ sensors. It’s commonly bundled with the EOS 6D and you may save a little by buying it in that format. It’s also usable on any of the 1D or 5D, although it’s not an ideal match.

Although some may beg to differ, we can’t see much point in buying this lens for a cropped sensor camera, where it covers a focal length range equivalent to 38-168mm. This isn’t quite wide enough for landscape photography nor long enough for capturing sports and wildlife. But if that range suits you, there’s no reason not to invest.

On a ‘full frame’ camera, 24-105mm covers a very useful focal length range. At the 24mm end it’s wide enough for shooting landscapes and group portraits, while the 105mm focal length is just about perfect for portraiture. For a ‘walkaround’ lens, it’s close to ideal.

The four-stop stabiliser makes hand-holding possible in fairly low light levels, while the STM autofocusing drive is quiet enough to avoid intruding into movie soundtracks and focuses smoothly enough to deliver watchable video footage. Price-wise, it’s affordable and it’s pleasantly small and light for a full-frame zoom lens, which makes it a good choice for travellers.

Build and Ergonomics The build quality of this lens is a cut above the average for a kit lens in its price range, although it falls short of the more expensive L-grade lenses. Both barrels are made from high-quality plastic on a metal base with a sturdy chromed mounting plate. It’s not weather-sealed but everything is well integrated and we found all moving parts operated smoothly.

The lightweight internal focusing system supports fast autofocusing with a modern EOS camera and the front element doesn’t rotate during focusing or zooming, an advantage when you use polarisers or graduated filters. The seven-bladed iris diaphragm closes to create a circular aperture that produces soft bokeh.

Anti-flare coatings aren’t mentioned in any lists of specifications ““ or in Canon’s marketing materials. However, the optical design is claimed to minimise ghosting and flare.

The focusing ring is roughly 20 mm wide and located about 8 mm behind the leading edge of the outer barrel. Most of its width is covered by fine ribbing to provide a grip. The STM focusing drive operates electronically so there’s no direct connection between turning the ring and achieving focus. When the camera is switched off, the ring rotates freely. Switching power on increases resistance and provides a little feedback for manual focusing.

Beginning immediately behind the focusing ring is the zoom ring, which is connected directly to the inner barrel. It is approximately 43 mm wide, with about three quarters of its rear section covered by broad ribbing, while the last few millimetres are un-ribbed and carry focal length markings for 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm and 105mm positions.

Both maximum and minimum apertures decrease quickly as the lens is zoomed in. The table below shows the changes at different focal lengths.

Focal length

24mm

35mm

50mm

70-105mm

Maximum aperture

f/3.5

f/4

f/5

f/5.6

Minimum aperture

f/22

f/25

f/32

f/36

The zoom ring turns smoothly covering roughly 90 degrees as you move in from the 24mm to the 105mm position. The inner barrel extends, adding roughly 45 mm to the overall length of the lens. Even when the inner barrel is fully extended, there’s no slackness between it and the outer barrel.

There are no distance scales or depth-of-field indicators but two slider switches on the left hand side of the outer barrel and one on the right hand side of the barrel provide the only user-adjustable controls. The upper left side switch selects auto or manual focus and the switch below it turns the stabiliser on or off. There’s no intermediate manual over-ride in AF setting so you can’t make small corrections to focus without switching to the M mode.

On the right hand side of the lens is a zoom lock switch, which can be used to prevent the inner barrel from extending when the lens is carried pointing downwards. And, while we found no evidence of zoom creep while testing the lens, it could come in handy if slackness developed over time.

Performance Our Imatest tests showed the supplied lens performed well for a kit lens and was capable of delivering resolution levels that met expectations for the 20-megapixel sensor in the EOS-1D X Mark II camera we used for our tests. The highest resolution was achieved with the 35mm and 50mm focal lengths about a stop down from the maximum aperture.

Centre resolution remained relatively high until around f/8 with all focal lengths before entering a gradual decline. Diffraction took effect between f/8 and f/16, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results below.

Although we found traces of coloured fringing in some test shots taken with in-camera corrections switched off, lateral chromatic aberration remained within the ‘negligible’ band at all aperture settings and focal lengths, as shown in the graph of our test results below. The red line in the graph marks the border between ‘negligible’ and ‘low’ CA.

Given the relatively small maximum apertures across most of the zoom range, the quality of the out-of-focus blurring at wide apertures was much as we anticipated for a kit lens with this zoom range. We found the most pleasing bokeh came in shots taken at f/5.6 with the 105mm focal length. Bokeh was quite choppy at shorter focal lengths, particularly between 24mm and 50mm.

Not surprisingly, the review lens showed the effects of rectilinear distortion when uncorrected raw files were examined. Barrel distortion was obvious at 24mm but it had transformed into slight pincushioning by 35mm. Pincushion distortion had become noticeable at 105mm. In-camera corrections will address these distortions in JPEGs as they are captured and raw files are easily corrected in almost any competent conversion software so we don’t see them as a major issue.

Vignetting is also corrected for JPEGs in most Canon DSLRs and easily removed when processing raw files. In uncorrected test shots we found significant light fall-off around the edges of frames shot at f/3.5 with the 24mm focal length. It was less at f/4 with the 35mm focal length and just detectable across the remainder of the zoom range. Stopping down a couple of f-stops reduces it to negligible levels.

Autofocusing was generally fast and very quiet, thanks to the STM drive system. When shooting with the viewfinder we found it wasn’t quite as fast as the original EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (which we own) but it was slightly faster with Live View shooting.

The built-in stabiliser was surprisingly efficient. Canon claims it offers up to four stops of shake correction when the camera is hand-held and our tests showed this to be achievable for at least 50% of shots. Greater consistency of ‘keepers’ will be possible if you allow for between three and 3.5 EV of shake compensation, which is in itself pretty good for a kit lens.

Conclusion The EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is a good choice if you want a versatile kit lens for the EOS 6D (or a similar) body. Suitable for portraiture and landscape photography and handy when you want to travel light with a single, all-purpose lens, it covers a useful zoom range that isn’t too ambitious. It’s also sharp where it counts (wider apertures) and, although relatively slow at longer focal lengths, it produces decent bokeh at the widest aperture setting with the 85mm to 105mm focal lengths.

Although not a match for Canon’s L-grade lenses, the build quality of the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is generally good for its type and in line with Canon’s other consumer-level lenses. It’s nice to see the STM technology offered for ‘full frame’ lenses and it pays dividends by being almost silent and relatively fast in Live View mode (which is required for shooting movies).

Price-wise this lens is also affordable. Canon has it listed in its Australian online store at AU$699 but if you shop around locally you can expect to save between AU$50 and $100. It’s not worth buying off-shore as overseas prices are generally higher, and that’s without shipping and insurance charges included.

The original EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens can still be found in local stores at prices ranging from around AU$1300 to $1400. Some local stores have the up-coming EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM II lens available for pre-order at prices between AU$1450 and $1750, (which is less than the AU$1979 price quoted in Canon’s online store). Several off-shore re-sellers suggest it’s likely to be released for sale in early December at a MSRP of US$1099.

The main benefits of either of these lenses are better build quality (including weather sealing), a constant f/4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range and a bundled lens hood and storage pouch. But you’ll pay at least double for these advantages.

SPECS

Picture angle: 74 degrees to 19 degrees 20 minutes Minimum aperture: f/22-f/32 Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups (including 1 UD lens and 2 aspherical elements) Lens mounts: Canon EF Diaphragm Blades: 7 (circular aperture) Focus drive: Stepping motor (STM) Stabilisation: Yes, 4-stops of correction Minimum focus: 40 cm Maximum magnification: 0.3x at 105mm Filter size: 77 mm Dimensions (Diameter x L): 83.4 x 104 mm Weight: 525 grams Standard Accessories: Lens front and end caps; EW-83M lens hood and LP1219 case sold separately

Distributor: Canon Australia; 1800 021 167; topdeblogs.com

TESTS

Based on JPEG files taken with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera.

SAMPLES

Vignetting at 24mm f/3.5.

Vignetting at 50mm f/5.

Vignetting at 70mm f/5.6.

Vignetting at 105mm f/5.6.

Rectilinear distortion at 24mm.

Rectilinear distortion at 35mm.

Rectilinear distortion at 50mm.

Rectilinear distortion at 70mm.

Rectilinear distortion at 85mm.

Rectilinear distortion at 105mm.

24mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/640 second at f/8.

50mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/800 second at f/8.

70mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/8.

105mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/1250 second at f/8.

Close-up at 24mm; ISO 200, 1/1000 second at f/3.5.

Close-up at 105mm; ISO 200, 1/250 second at f/5.6.

Strong backlighting at 24mm; ISO 100, 1/160 second at f/8.

Strong backlighting at 105mm; ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/11.

105mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/10.

Crop from the above image at 100% magnification, showing slight coloured fringing and evidence of edge softening.

Hand-held stabilisation test; 105mm focal length, ISO 3200, 1/5 second at f/5.6.

105mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/400 second at f/10.

Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera.

Rating

RRP: n/a; MSRP: AU$699; US$599

  • Build: 8.5
  • Handling: 8.5
  • Image quality: 8.8
  • Versatility: 8.9

Buy

0 ( 0 votes )

Readers' opinions (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

New Post

Can a seizure kill you

23/11/2021 14:51 260

Venus in Capricorn Man

23/11/2021 14:41 225

How i knew i had lymphoma

23/11/2021 14:31 231

Can you dry scoop creatine

23/11/2021 14:26 226

What is kesimpta used for

23/11/2021 14:19 323

Load more