How do I choose between 24-70 f/4 and 24-105 f/4 Canon lens?

  • I am getting a new medium range zoom lens for general use and occasional weddings. This new 24-70 f4 was top of my list until I watched this review:

    Canon 24-70 f/4 L IS vs Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS - Fight!

    The guy, who owns the "L" lens (??? They're both "L" lenses -ed.), complains that 24-105 f4 is a sharper lens and he claimed that there are other people who feel the same, but I couldn't find any other reviews complaining about this lens sharpness.

    I don't want the spec of the lens which I already know but is there anyone here who actually owns those lenses and is happy with the quality of 24-70 f/4 over 24-105 f/4? i.e. is it worth paying extra for 24-70 f4 over much cheaper 24-105 f/4?


    I went with 24-70 f2.8 II and been very happy ever since.

    As usual in optics, the best quality that you can get is for not so large range, because the quality in a lens is a gaussian bell and the middle of the lens. So the best quality is 47mm vs. 64.5 You choose. What I don't know is if for this lens that change is so substantial. I don't think so but... This is just a comment.

    Thanks for your comment @Leandro .. can you teach me how you calculate that 47mm and 64.5 mm out of the lenses?

    @Leandro - while that is a generally correct rule, it has some large caveats. You have to make sure it is apples to apples in terms of quality. A $2300 zoom lens like the Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L II will kick the butt of any sub $1000 prime. It is possible to make a wider zoom with high image quality, but the cost goes up significantly quickly.

    In the case of the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS vs. the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS the 24-105 is sharper from around 35-40mm on up. The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS is sharper at both 24mm and 70mm than it is at 50mm. WHile this is atypical, it has been confirmed by several independent reviewers including The-Digital-Picture and gear-head Roger Cicala at

    @LaurenceNyein Not big deal, 47 is the perfect middle of 24-70. And so on...

    "occasional wedding shooting" spells huge trouble. I would not advise such a thing.

    @dpollitt Hi .. I know it's been long but recently I just visited to this post. Since your comment and advice, I have bought 24-70 f2.8 II and been very happy with the decision.

  • Michael C

    Michael C Correct answer

    8 years ago

    If you are doing weddings, the extra stop of an f/2.8 lens is almost essential when shooting in churches that don't allow the use of flash. For about the same price as the EF 24-70mm f/4, you can buy a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC. The reviews I have seen place it between the original EF 24-70mm f/2.8L and the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II in terms of sharpness. The Tamron, unlike both of the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 versions, also has Vibration Compensation (VC) which is equivalent to Image Stabilization (IS) in Canon nomenclature.

    The only real advantage of the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS over the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS is the much shorter minimum focal distance that is useful for close photography of smaller objects. It is not a true macro lens, but with a maximum magnification of 0.70X, it is a lot closer than the other 24-70mm lenses and the 24-105mm.

    Compared to the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS in terms of sharpness the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS is sharper at 24mm (most notably on the edges), less sharp at 50mm, and only slightly less sharp at 70mm when the aperture is set at f/4 on both lenses.

    If you will use it more for the wide angle end, get the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS. If you will use it more on the longer end get the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS. If you are serious about doing weddings, get one of the 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.

    See for yourself:;Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=0&LensComp=355&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=0

    In a poorly lit church, I would recommend a prime or two. f/2.8 isn't that fast for a moving wedding ceremony without a flash. I've tried it both ways, I prefer around f/2 for most indoor ceremonies. I have also seen many wedding photographers who do use the 24-105mm IS quite often for the other parts of the wedding day. I do think having f/2.8 or greater is a good recommendation for any and all wedding lenses though.

    I wasn't intending to imply there is no need for prime lenses at a wedding ceremony, but the context of this question is for a *normal zoom* used for weddings. I find the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L more useful than the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS in the light typically found in traditional churches. What we consider to be a "dimly lit church" in the evangelical south is probably a little brighter than a Lutheran or Catholic church more typical in the upper midwest. Now, if the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8Di VC had been announced before I bought my 24-70, I would have probably gone with it instead for the VC.

    @MichaelClark .. thanks Michael .. seems like I will wait to wait a bit longer and save up for a f2.8 then :) I am using 17-40 and 70-200 for occasional weddings .. yes I do have problem with f4 even though my 5DIII has very good ISO .. especially in main ceremony, where the registrar doesn't like flash.

    The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC is priced between the two Canon lenses in your original question, at least here in the U.S. where it runs about $1,300USD

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution

Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM