IMAGE QUALITY ANALYSIS
Bokeh – Bokeh with this lens is decent considering it is a wide angle to short telephoto. The bokeh balls are surprisingly smooth when visible. You can pull off some decent bokeh as long as you shoot near the telephoto end of the focal range and the subject is close.
Distortion – At 24mm barrel distortion is very apparent. As you zoom into 40mm it is almost gone. As you zoom more towards the 105mm focal length, very little pincushion distortion appears. Luckily when post processing with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop I am easily able to correct for it during import.
Vignetting – As with distortion at 24mm, there is significant vignetting at that focal length as well. I like the natural vignette caused by the lens in most shots myself. However, with post processing it is easily corrected for.
Flaring – Lens flare is very controlled. When shooting into bright light sources it can make the image display less contrast and very little flare rays.
Sharpness – Wide open this lens is very sharp in the center. When used on a crop body sharpness should be of no concern. When shooting with a full frame body you will start to see slight softness in the extreme corners.
Below are Canon’s MTF charts for this lens for those who would like to see them.
Color Fringing – Color fringing is quite minimal on this lens. When in post, the Adobe lens correction tool fixes any CA that may be apparent. Compared to my 85mm f/1.8, there is no CA wide open, I have yet to see any in the images I have taken with this lens thus far.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM performs great in most shooting situations. While it shoes moderate distortion and vignetting at 24mm, it excels at preventing lens flare, color fringing, and pretty sharp all around.
Sold at a price of around $1150, this lens is pretty pricy for those of you comparing cheaper lenses. However, keep in mind this is an EF mount lens and that other cheaper EF-S lenses for crop bodies are not compatible with EF mount full frame camera bodies.
When compared to the 24-70 f/4 IS and 24-70 f/2.8 II, the 24-105 f/4 doesn’t deliver the best image quality, but it is the cheapest option and the most versatile. If you are thinking of buying this lens over an EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 or EF-S 15-85mm lenses on crop, I’d recommend the EF-S lenses as you will have a much better focal range to use on those bodies.
Overall, the red ringed Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens is what I like to call a workhorse and an ideal walk around lens. It can be used for almost any type of shooting situation and it is one of my go to lenses when I know I need versatility. If you are used to the cheaper EF-S kit lenses, this L quality lens is something you will surely like in your camera bag.
To learn more, please visit the Canon website at: Canon.com