Sunday, July 12, 2009

24-70 F/2.8L vs. 24-105 F/4.0L IS

I've seen a multitude of wedding photographers who shoot with a 24-70 F/2.8L, and I want to address and defend why I chose the 24-105 F/4L IS instead of the 24-70 F/2.8L. The extra zoom an IS are perfect for what I am- a combination landscape and wedding photographer.
The 24-105 F/4L IS is a good wedding lens, but mid-range zoom is not my preference at weddings, no matter the lens. On my 2 cameras I usually have the 16-35 F/2.8L IS II or my 70-200 F/2.8L IS. This would still be the case even if I owned the 24-70 because I feel like capturing the grandure and details of the wedding are paramount. The 24-70 isn't as sharp wide open as I like, as demonstrated here (click for larger image):
In my opinion, the 24-105 F/4L IS is the very best landscape lens ever made by Canon. It's got everything I want- a little wide angle, a lot of zoom, supreme glass construction, excellent color and contrast rendition, and the ability to shoot 3 stops down with Canon's third generation IS. The 24-105 F/4L IS should not be underrated. The three stop IS allows me to shoot in lower light (when the subject is holding still) and have a lower ISO or faster shutter speed than the 24-70. All my landscapes are shot at a very narrow aperature, and when I'm at these small apertures the 24-105 is very perferable to the 24-70. Obviously, the 24-105 has IS, so I can shoot three stops lower at comparable focal distances and it has more zoom, allowing me to zoom in closer. If I do need a midrange lens for low light, I switch to my 50mm F/1.2L, which is more than 2 full stops faster than the 24-70 F/2.8L. So for me, it's the 24-105 F/4L IS.