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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 24 Dec 2013 (Tuesday) 07:06
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5DIII: To kit or not to kit?

 
shundaroni
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Dec 24, 2013 07:06 |  #1

After months of internal debate, I've decided to make the move to Canon by way of the 5DIII. Since I'm coming from Nikon, I have no Canon glass whatsoever. And so began the second internal debate: 24-105 f/4 vs. Other.

I've read a lot of good and a little bad about the 24-105. Some herald it as a fantastic, sharp walk-around lens. Others say it is just "OK", and a little soft, particularly at the long end. The general theme seems to be that if you accept it as a compromise, you won't be disappointed.

The problem is, I'm not sure I'm okay with that compromise. I'm not a big fan of these zooms that go from wide-angle to telephoto, historically. During my years shooting Nikon, I preferred to shoot primes, with the exceptions being the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 and the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8. I'm usually happier to compromise on convenience for the sake of IQ -- not vice versa.

Having said all of that, I still want a walk-around lens. I shoot basketball and horse racing occasionally, so I'll ultimately be investing in the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, but I need something for general day-to-day use that won't set me back $2000. Is the 24-105 still my play? Or is there something out there (I keep eyeballing the 135L) that would be better?


DIGITAL: CANON 5D Mark III | FUJI X100S
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mkville
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Dec 24, 2013 07:21 |  #2

Well for the price I'm sure you couldn't go wrong with the 24-105, true it is probobly a middle of the pack lens however for a general walk about lens it is the way to go. If you don't wamt to compromise then have a look at the 24-70 II great lens but pricey . Not sure if you have other Canon lenses yet , but while the 135 is a fantastic lens it will be long for a single lens solution


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gjl711
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Dec 24, 2013 07:21 |  #3

There are better out there but then they cost a lot more as well. As always it's a balance between price and quality. For the added cost in the kit, the 24-105 is a great deal. It makes for a solid walk around and general purpose lens and for the cost, it's quality is quite high.


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RandyAC
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Dec 24, 2013 07:28 |  #4

The 24-105 is my favorite walk around lens. It's a good lens, a great range on Ff, and at $600-700 as part of a kit it's a great bargain. If you don't like it, you can re-sell without losing anything.

That said, however, you're going to love the 70-200. If that lens is in your future, and being a prime lover, you could instead put the $600-$700 towards a couple primes. Either the 40 mm pancake or a 50mm paired with a 24 or 28 mm might suit your fancy. I'm sure other prime lovers will chime in here.




  
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tribalstu
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Dec 24, 2013 07:43 as a reply to  @ RandyAC's post |  #5

as zooms go i really like it(24-105) mine is tack sharp and it's my go to lens on a walkabout i'm off to india in a few days and it will be the one that does the most work altho it only goes down to f4.0 the iso on the mk3 isn't bad so you can push it a bit in low light to compensate




  
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JeffreyG
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Dec 24, 2013 07:47 |  #6

I like the 24-105L, sharpness is not really much of an issue for this lens. To my mind, if you are really going to decide on this lens you should be considering the actual issues. To wit, in the range from 24mm to 28mm the lens exhibits very strong barrel distortion and heavy vignette. If that is going to be a big consideration for you, then consider other options or at least consider having another lens that overlaps the wide end.

I have (and love) the 24-105 as it is simply an extremely useful lens for travel and events where I want to carry just one lens. The IS is handy and the focal length range is just right.

But if I'm going to take a (rare for me) landscape shot at 24mm, I will tend to pick my 16-35 lens to use instead. Or my 24mm prime.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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MalVeauX
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Dec 24, 2013 07:58 |  #7

Heya,

I would say really, it comes down to what focal lengths you want. If you know you're getting the 70-200 f2.8 II, then you don't really need much cross-over there, so basically, maybe a really nice prime, or a zoom that covers wide angle to normal view.

Canon EF 17-40mm F4.0L ($800ish) (the F2.8L II version is $2k)
Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II ($1500ish)
Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS ($1200ish) (or F2.8L II version is $2k)

Tokina 16-28mm F2.8 ($600ish)

Tamron 24-70 F2.8 ($1200ish)

Sigma 24-70 F2.8 ($800ish)

-- Also, is this for print, or just for personal viewing later on an LCD screen? Or for sharing over the web only? Is this your job? Etc, etc.

Very best,


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n1as
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Dec 24, 2013 07:59 |  #8

My 24-105L is my 2nd least used lens but I still have a hard time convincing myself to sell it. It is just such a versatile lens. I wish it was f/2.8. I wish it was lighter. I wish it was smaller. I wish it cost less. Dream on.

Lens sharpness is often overrated. In real-world prints or on-line viewing many lenses are sharp enough. The 24-105L is one of those.

What would your alternative be? 24-70 f/4? 24-70 f/2.8? Three primes (24, 50, 85)?


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Nick5
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Dec 24, 2013 08:05 |  #9

For the price alone I would jump on the 24-105. If you have no Canon lenses at all, an even easier decision. Enjoy.


Canon 5D Mark III (x2), BG-E11 Grips, 7D (x2) BG-E7 Grips, Canon Lenses 16-35 f/4 L IS, 17-40 f/4 L, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/4 L IS Version II, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS Version II, TS-E 24 f/3.5 L II, 100 f/2.8 L Macro IS, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 17-55 f/2.8 L IS, 85 f/1.8, Canon 1.4 Extender III, 5 Canon 600 EX-RT, 2 Canon ST-E3 Transmitters, Canon Pixma PRO-10 Printer

  
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paddler4
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Dec 24, 2013 08:41 |  #10

Having just done this, my advice is: buy the kit. I didn't, and within a short time, I ended up buying the 24-105 separately, for more money.

Re this:

24mm to 28mm the lens exhibits very strong barrel distortion and heavy vignette.

These are trivial to fix in post. In Lightroom, you check one tick box. The optical issues to weigh heavily are things that are not trivial to fix in post, such as softness.

I have the 24-105 on my 5DIII more than any other lens. It is an extremely useful focal length range. A couple of the 24-70 options are optically somewhat better, in particular, the far more expensive Canon 24-70 II, but I find that the extra range and IS more than compensate for me, using it as a walk-around. I have saved shots with that extra 35mm that would have been tough or impossible without it. Re the barrel and pincushion distortion: it does become apparent with some kinds of shots, but when I notice it, I simply check the lens profile box in Lightroom.

I didn't buy it as a kit because, like you, I was weighing all the alternatives. I am still kicking myself for not having bought this as a kit.

Off subject a bit: enjoy the 5DIII. It is a truly great camera. It has a lot of very useful customization options, so give yourself time to work through the manual. The manual is generally quite good, except that the section on the AF system is a little too brief. I had to play with that for a while to figure it out. It's worth it. The AFT is quite amazing. You can tell the camera to use a portion of one spot, one spot, one spot assisted by either 4 or 8 surrounding spots, a zone, or the entire 61 points. 41 of them are cross-point. The camera lets you set different points for the three different orientations, and it will remember them. You can also register this (and other settings) to one of three custom settings. For example, I have one of the custom settings set for my indoor flash default: 1/60, f/5.0 I set this to use a single point that is about 1/3 of the way from the top in either orientation. So, in either vertical or horizontal orientation, I have a single point set at about eye level for most shots. I have the camera customized so that if i want a different point, I can just flick the joystick on the back with my thumb. And a nice bonus: the camera makes use of the large number of AF points to give you an internal level in the viewfinder, which I have programmed to turn on with the little m-fn button near the shutter. Somebody gave this a LOT of thought.


Check out my photos at http://dkoretz.smugmug​.com (external link)

  
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JeffreyG
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Dec 24, 2013 08:52 |  #11

paddler4 wrote in post #16550984 (external link)
These are trivial to fix in post. In Lightroom, you check one tick box. The optical issues to weigh heavily are things that are not trivial to fix in post, such as softness.

In a shot where distortion matters (like when you have a water horizon or other very recongnizable straight lines) or in a shot where vignette matters, these are not necessarily all that easy to get rid of.

I mean, yes, you can in fast dispense with vignette and distortion with a single click. But in a lot of cases you might not like what you get.

Two reasons:

1) Distortion correction costs angle of view. And this is important especially on a lens like the 24-105L where the distortion is most apparent on the wide end. In a shot where you need to fix the distortion, you don't have a 24mm lens anymore.

2) Vignette correction when it is strong is pushing the exposure a lot. I don't know anyone who thinks a good way of shooting is to underexpose everything by three stops and then drag the exposure slider to '+3' in post processing. But that is what you are doing to the 24-105L in the corners when you correct the vignette.

Try it....take a shot with a FF camera at 24mm, f/4 and ISO 3200 or something and then hit 100% correct in LR and watch the corners turn into a smear of purple banding.

Look - I like the 24-105L a lot as I said, but the lens has an above-average level of distortion even for a zoom, and it vignettes heavily for any lens at f/4. If that doesn't affect you shots (and it does not affect most of mine) then the lens is a great choice.

But anyone who shoots subject matter that will need distortion correction or vignette correction (and remember that you need to fix vignette in pretty much every shot you plan to crop off center in any way) should at least consider other lenses or overlapping lenses in the critical area (24mm-28mm).


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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sol95
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Dec 24, 2013 09:29 |  #12

I'm an IQ over convenience guy too. I used to shoot with a 24LII, 50L, 85LII trio a lot. I had the previous 24-70L/2.8 and found it to be decent, but didn't really find it great. I've also had the 24-105L and found I didn't like the distortion on the wide end, and the bokeh was terrible.

With the new 24-70LII, I was blown away with the IQ. So much so that I sold my 24LII, and am seriously considering letting go of my 50L as I hardly ever use it.

On an unrelated issue...

MalVeauX wrote in post #16550912 (external link)
Canon EF 17-40mm F4.0L ($800ish) (the F2.8L II version is $2k)
Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II ($1500ish)
Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS ($1200ish) (or F2.8L II version is $2k)

...are you privy to information the rest of the photographic world does not yet have? :P


Bodies: 5D mk III
Lenses: 50 f/1.2L | 85 f/1.2L II | 100 f/2.8L IS Macro | 17-40 f/4.0L | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
Accessories: 430EX II | TC-80N3 M43: Olympus E-PM1 | Olympus m.Zuiko 14-42 II R | Panasonic 14 f/2.5 | Panasonic 20 f/1.8 | Olympus m.Zuiko 45 f/1.8

  
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gjl711
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Dec 24, 2013 09:32 |  #13

JeffreyG wrote in post #16550991 (external link)
2) Vignette correction when it is strong is pushing the exposure a lot. I don't know anyone who thinks a good way of shooting is to underexpose everything by three stops and then drag the exposure slider to '+3' in post processing. But that is what you are doing to the 24-105L in the corners when you correct the vignette.

To be fair, this is quite an exaggeration. Though the lens vignettes and wide open at 24mm it's at its worst, It's 2.4 stops, not +3 and by f/8 it's just over 1 stop at 24mm. Of all the lens imperfections, vignetting is the easiest to compensate for.


Not sure why, but call me JJ.
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paddler4
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Dec 24, 2013 09:47 |  #14

1) Distortion correction costs angle of view. And this is important especially on a lens like the 24-105L where the distortion is most apparent on the wide end. In a shot where you need to fix the distortion, you don't have a 24mm lens anymore.

2) Vignette correction when it is strong is pushing the exposure a lot. I don't know anyone who thinks a good way of shooting is to underexpose everything by three stops and then drag the exposure slider to '+3' in post processing. But that is what you are doing to the 24-105L in the corners when you correct the vignette.

Try it....take a shot with a FF camera at 24mm, f/4 and ISO 3200 or something and then hit 100% correct in LR and watch the corners turn into a smear of purple banding.

Good points, but how severe is the effect in real applications? I couldn't answer this, so I did exactly what you suggested. both shots below are with a 5DIII and a 24-105. Both were taken at f/4 and ISO 3200, as you suggested. Keep in mind that the lighting was both mixed and uneven (from top left, as you can see from the shadows), so the corners are uneven. I read them into Lightroom. For the first, I did nothing at all. For the second, I did nothing other than check the lens profile box. I exported them at quality 92.

EDIT: I replaced the originals with a pair taken with no protective filter, since the filter increases vignetting.

This really is a worst case scenario. I don't think I have often shot this at 24mm and f/4, as I would usually use 24 for landscapes. Still, an interesting exercise.

If you want to pixel peep, the full size corrected image is here (external link).

Uncorrected:

IMAGE: http://dkoretz.smugmug.com/photos/i-6VbsG8g/0/XL/i-6VbsG8g-XL.jpg

corrected:
IMAGE: http://dkoretz.smugmug.com/photos/i-QKgBmzf/0/XL/i-QKgBmzf-XL.jpg

Check out my photos at http://dkoretz.smugmug​.com (external link)

  
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JeffreyG
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Dec 24, 2013 09:51 |  #15

gjl711 wrote in post #16551069 (external link)
To be fair, this is quite an exaggeration. Though the lens vignettes and wide open at 24mm it's at its worst, It's 2.4 stops, not +3 and by f/8 it's just over 1 stop at 24mm. Of all the lens imperfections, vignetting is the easiest to compensate for.

I guess the question of how easy it is to correct vignette comes down to whether you are shooting in low light at high ISO and wide open or not.

If I'm shooting good light, low ISO and stopped down to f/8, then yes, the vignette does not matter to me a bit. And I will also note that in the majority of shots where I care about vignette, this is the case and so I just one-click fix it.

But I have had some shots in low light, high ISO wide open with a few lenses where I wanted to offset crop it.....and the massive vignette of a couple of my lenses makes the light look really weird (uneven side to side) or I live with massive banding in the corners from the correction.

The 24-105L is 'only' 2.5 stops as you note, but that is 2.5 stops at an already slow f/4.

The 24/1.4L II could be considered 'worse' for vignette since it displays a full 3 1/3 stops wide open. But then again, that's wide open at f/1.4. It's better than the 24-105L at f/4 with only about 2/3 stop.

I should be careful here and not overstate the case. For some people and some situations, distortion and vignette are not important. For that matter, color reproduction, coma, flare resistance, corner sharpness.....these all may or may not matter to you.

But they can be important, and just like cranking the sharpness up isn't necessarily a fix for a soft lens, messing with the color temperature or applying vignette and distortion correction may not be acceptable fixes for these flaws either.

There are a lot of lens performance parameters. If I'm giving advice on a lens I have I will mention where the Achilles' heels are. The OP can decide if these matter to him or not. Like, the 24-105L has pretty rough bokeh....as bad or worse than the 50/1.4 and 35/2 among others. To some people that's a big deal, others could not care less.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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5DIII: To kit or not to kit?
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