Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS II

Full-Frame EOS EF (2016 ~ )

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Please help KenRockwell..com

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II (77mm filters, 27.8 oz./789g, 1.5'/0.45m close-focus, $1,099) bigger. I got mine at Adorama. I'd also get it at Amazon, at B&H or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

January 2017   Canon Reviews   Canon Lenses   Canon Flash   All Reviews

Original 24-105mm f/4 L IS Review (2005 ~ 2016)

24-70mm f/2.8 L II Review (2012 ~ today)

Pro Midrange Zooms Compared

 

Sample Images

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Palm Forest, La Quinta, December 2016

Palm Forest, La Quinta, California, December 2016. 24mm at f/10 at 1/25 at ISO 100, Canon 5DSR. bigger.

 

Red Curb, La Quinta, December 2016

Red Curb, La Quinta, California, December 2016. 78mm at f/6.3 at 1/200 at ISO 100, Canon 5DSR. bigger.

 

Introduction

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Adorama Pays Top Dollar for Used Gear

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

The Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II is Canon's replacement for the extremely popular 24-105mm f/4 L IS of 2005 ~ 2016.

This new lens' claims to fame are improved image stabilization (rated 4 stops compared to three stops in the old 24-105 IS) and less corner darkening (modern Canon DSLRs automatically correct this anyway), but at the cost of much greater size and weight. Small size and weight were the best things about the original lens, so go figure.

This new lens' sharpness, stabilization and bokeh are superb, but it's too big and heavy, and its stiff zoom take most of the fun out of this general-purpose lens.

Even though it's newer than my Canon 5DSR, my camera had lens optimization profiles already installed. I'm unsure if they were preloaded, or if Canon has gotten smart enough to let them load from the lens.

 

Good

● Great bokeh and image stabilization

● Instant manual-focus override.

● 10-bladed aperture.

● Ground aspherical element.

● Fluorine and Air-Sphere coatings.

 

Bad

● Much bigger and heavier than the previous excellent original 24-105mm f/4 L IS of 2005 ~ 2016.

● Stiff zoom ring needs two fingers.

 

Format

This is a full-frame lens, and I'm reviewing at as such.

Feel free to make the usual interpolations for APS-C use.

 

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.

 

Specifications

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

 

Name

Canon calls this the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM:

    EF: Electronic Focus, as all Canon's lenses have been since 1987.

    L: Expensive as L.

    IS: Image Stabilization.

    II: Canon's second 24-105mm f/4L IS.

    USM: Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor.

 

Optics

Canon 24-105mm L II internal construction

Internal construction. Aspherical elements and stabilizer group.

17 elements in 12 groups.

4 aspherical elements.

Fluorine front and rear coatings for dirt and oil resistance.

Air Sphere coatings to reduce flare and ghosting.

 

Diaphragm

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II (EF diaphragm not shown). bigger.

10 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22.

 

Focal Length

24-105mm.

When used on APS-C cameras, it sees the same angle of view as a 40~180mm lens sees when used on a 35mm or full-frame camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angles of View (full-frame)

84º ~ 23.3º diagonal.

74º ~ 19.3º horizontal.

53º ~ 13º vertical.

 

Stabilization

Rated 4 stops improvement.

 

Autofocus

Internal focus.

No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.

 

Close Focus

1.5 feet (0.45 meters).

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:4.2 (0.24×).

 

Filters

77mm filter thread.

 

Hood

Canon EW-83M Hood

Canon EW-83M Hood. bigger.

EW-83M plastic bayonet hood; same as 24-105 STM.

 

Case

LP1219, included.

 

Size

3.29" maximum diameter × 4.65" extension from flange.

83.5 mm maximum diameter × 118 mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

27.820 oz. (788.6g), actual measured weight.

Rated 28.0 oz. (795g).

 

Announced

12:01 AM NYC time, Thursday, 25 August 2016.

 

Promised for

Late October 2016.

 

Canon Model Number

EF24-10540LIS2.

 

Canon Product Code

1380C001AA.

 

JAN

4549292063615.

 

Included

EW-83M hood and LP1219 case.

 

Price, USA

$1.099, August 2016 ~ January 2017. (155,000 yen in Japan at introduction).

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.

 

Performance

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

 

Overall   Autofocus   Breathing   Bokeh   Distortion

Ergonomics   Eyeblow   Falloff   Filters

Flare & Ghosts   Lateral Color Fringes   Macro

Mechanics   Sharpness   Stabilization   Sunstars

 

Overall

Performance          top

This 24-105/4 L IS II is a great lens, but much bigger and heavier than the original 24-105mm f/4 L IS of 2005 ~ 2016.

 

Autofocus

Performance          top

Autofocus is ordinary, no news here. It's about as fast as every other midrange zoom.

 

Manual Focus

performance          top

Manual focus is great; just grab the focus ring at any time for instant manual-focus override.

 

Focus Breathing

Performance          top

Focus breathing is the image changing size as focused in and out. It's important to cinematographers because it looks funny if the image changes size as focus gets pulled back and forth between actors. If the lens does this, the image "breathes" by growing and contracting slightly as the dialog goes back and forth.

The image from this lens gets smaller as focused more closely. The effect is most pronounced at the 105mm end and least at the 24mm end of the zoom range.

 

Bokeh

Performance          top

Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is quite good.

Here are two sample made at head-shot distance:

Canon 24-105mm IS II Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 18 December 2016. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolutions images properly).

 

Canon 24-105mm IS II Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 18 December 2016. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolutions images properly).

 

Distortion

Performance          top

The 24-105 II has strong barrel distortion at 24mm and moderate to strong pincushion distortion from 35~105mm.

Luckily most Canon cameras can correct this automatically, and it's easy to correct in Photoshop's Lens Distortion filter with the coefficients I've carefully measured. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

Correction factor with uncorrected images

On Full-Frame and 35mm at 10' (3m)

24mm
+4.00*
35mm
-2.00
50mm
-2.80
70mm
-2.90
85mm
-2.00
105mm
-2.50

© 2016 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

* Some waviness remains.

 

Ergonomics

Performance          top

This is a serious lens; it's too big to want to carry around your neck all day for fun, and its zoom ring is so stiff that it takes two firm fingers to move it. The original 24-105mm f/4 L IS (2005 ~ 2016) was more fun to carry all day, but its zooming was too cramped between 24mm and 35mm.

The zoom spacing of this lens is a little cramped at the wide end, and a little too loose at the long end. Zooming therefore is fast at the wide end and slow at the long end.

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.

 

Canon 24-105mm II
Canon 24-105mm II

 

Eyeblow

performance          top

With the front section pumping in and out as zoomed, air is pulled in and out of the camera all the time. You may feel it blow out your eyepiece.

 

Falloff

Performance          top

With modern cameras that correct it, there is no falloff.

Even on 35mm and cameras that don't correct it, falloff is only minor, even wide open.

I've greatly exaggerated it by shooting a gray field and showing it against a gray background here:

Canon 24-105 II Falloff on Full-Frame at infinity, Peripheral Illumination Correction ON.

 
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
24mm
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
50mm
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
105mm
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff

 

 

Canon 24-105 II Falloff on Full-Frame or 35mm at infinity, no correction.

 
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
24mm
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
50mm
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
105mm
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff
Canon 24-105mm Falloff

© 2016 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Filters, use with

performance          top

There's no need for thin filters.

Go ahead and use your standard rotating polarizer and grad filters.

I can stack two standard filters with no vignetting at any focal length on full frame.

I can stack three standard filters and get no vignetting from 35~105mm, with vignetting wider than 35mm on full frame. There won't be any on APS-C.

This is superb.

 

Flare & Ghosts

Performance          top

Flare and ghost performance is surprisingly ordinary.

You'll never see anything in normal use, but do something deliberately stupid like point the lens with a filter directly into the mid-day sun and then fill the rest of the frame with a dark shadow, and you'll see a little bit:

Flare and ghosts

Flare and Ghosts, f/8 at 76mm. bigger.

 

Lateral Color Fringes

Performance          top

I see none as shot on my Canon 5DSR, which would automatically correct any that might be there.

 

Macro

Performance          top

Macro performance is pretty good, and bokeh is also great at macro distances:

Macro performance

Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843 at close-focus distance at 105mm wide-open at f/4, 27 December 2016. bigger.

 

Macro performance

1,200 x 900 pixel crop from above. bigger.

If this crop is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 44 x 30" (120 x 75 cm).

If this crop is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 88 x 60" (250 x 150 cm).

This is wide-open; it's much sharper at normal apertures.

Remember that nothing other than some of the paint on the watch face is actually in focus; depth-of-field is vapor-thin at macro distances on all lenses.

 

Mechanical Quality

Performance          top

Canon 24-105mm L II

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II. bigger.

It's about the same as other modern Canon L lenses: mostly plastic on the outside, and mostly metal on the inside.

It has a spring-loaded front group; push it in and it gives a bit under spring pressure. I suspect this is a move to get accurate positioning and only needing to finely machine one side of the zoom cam rather than the usual method of no spring-loading with a tighter fit between cam and follower. It also makes it more resistant to damage as you bang the front of the lens.

 

Front Bumper

None.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Hood Bayonet Mount

Plastic.

 

Front Barrels

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Mid Barrel

Section with focus window: plastic.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered metal.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Identity

Marked on ring inside of filter thread and on mid barrel.

 

Internals

Seem like mostly metal.

 

Moisture Seal at Mount

Yes.

 

Mount

Chromed metal.

 

Markings

Paint.

 

Serial Number

Laser engraved in black-on-black on bottom of mid barrel.

 

Date Code

None found.

 

Noises When Shaken

Very mild clunking.

 

Made in

Japan.

 

Sharpness

Performance          top

Yes, it's sharp all over, even wide-open.

It may be a little less sharp in the full-frame corners wide-open at 24mm, but there's rarely anything in focus in the corners anyway when you're shooting at f/4. The only limitations to sharpness are your skill as a photographer with this lens.

Here are Canon's MTF curves:

Canon 24-105mm L II MTF

 

Image Stabilization

Performance          top

Canon claims four stops improvement and I see no reason not to believe it.

The image stabilizer locks down the image and I have no problems shooting at very slow speeds hand held.

 

Sunstars

Performance          top

With a rounded diaphragm, there aren't much in the way of sunstars.

With 10 blades you get soft stars with 10 points.

This is the best I could get:

Sunstar, f/22

Sunstar at f/22. bigger.

 

Compared

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

See Pro Midrange Zooms Compared.

This is the biggest and heaviest 24-105mm ever made. It's a beast to carry all day.

It's only a little sharper than the other 24-105mm lenses, but a lot heavier.

 
24-105mm f/4 L IS II
Anni
2016 ~
2005 ~ 2016
2014 ~
2012 ~
Stabilization rated
4 stops
3 stops
4 stops
none, f/2.8
Filter
77mm
77mm
77mm
82mm
Length
118mm
107mm
104mm
113mm
Diaphragm
10 rounded
8 straight
7 rounded
9 rounded
Close Focus
1.5'/0.45m
1.5'/0.45m
1.3'/0.4m
1.25'/0.38m
Maximum Repro Ratio
1:4.2
1:4.3
1:3.33
1:4.8
Weight
28.0 oz./795g
23.4 oz./664g
18.4 oz./523g
28.4 oz./804g
Price, 8/2016
Price, 1/2017

The original 24-105mm f/4 L IS is about as sharp, but had more distortion in exchange for smaller size and weight. Neither this nor the original 24-105 IS zoom very easily.

The 24-105mm STM is a great lens for a fraction of the price, and much easier to carry all day. It's the easiest to zoom, has the most even zoom spacing between focal lengths, has the best macro performance, less distortion and is just as sharp. The 24-105mm STM also has the fastest focussing. The only reasons not to pick the 24-105mm STM is because it's not as resistant to physical abuse if you use it to earn a living every day and it's a stop slower at 105mm (f/5.6 versus f/4)— but a little faster at 24mm (f/3.5 versus f/4).

The 24-70mm f/2.8L II weighs the same, is faster (f/2.8 versus f/4), has no IS, and is a little sharper in the corners at the 24mm end.

 

Recommendations

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Get this new IS II L lens for hand-held shots of things that hold still. Get the 24-70mm f/2.8L II if you're on a tripod or shooting action. Get the 24-105mm STM, 24-70/4 L IS or original 24-105mm f/4 L IS if you plan to carry the lens around your shoulder all day.

I wish Canon made a good all-purpose full-frame zoom that went to at least 135mm; I'll admit I still use my 28-135 IS and ancient 28-105mm lenses because they weigh half of what any of these L lenses do, and I have no problem making great images with them. With lens profiles the old plastic-barreled lenses make better images than they ever have before.

The very best protective filter is the 77mm Hoya multicoated HD3 UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints, and is also multicoated.

For less money, the B+W 77mm 010 is an excellent filter, as are the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters, but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best. The Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.

I got mine at Adorama. I'd also get it at Amazon, at B&H or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

Help Me Help You

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble (see How to Win at eBay), but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

 

 

05 January 2017, 25 August 2016