Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review

Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Performance

At maximum aperture and 24mm sharpness is already excellent in the centre of the frame, although performance isn't quite as good towards the edges of the frame at maximum aperture. Peak sharpness is achieved at f/8 for this focal length, and sharpness is excellent in the centre, and very good towards the edges of the frame.

With the lens zoomed to 50mm, sharpness at maximum aperture remains very high in the centre, with an improvement in performance towards the edges of the frame. Peak sharpness is again achieved at f/8 where clarity is excellent in the centre and very good towards the edges of the frame.

Finally, at 105mm, sharpness in the centre remains excellent at maximum aperture. Towards the edges of the frame clarity falls just shy of very good levels.

MTF@24mm
MTF@24mm
 
MTF@50mm
MTF@50mm
 
MTF@105mm
MTF@105mm
 

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are reasonably prevalent throughout the zoom range, regularly exceeding one pixel width. These high levels of CA may pose issues, especially in images with high contrast edges.

CA@24mm
CA@24mm
 
CA@50mm
CA@50mm
 
CA@105mm
CA@105mm
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimise the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is typical for a lens like this. At 24mm the corners are 2.54 stops darker than the image centre at maximum aperture. At 105mm the corners are 1.14 stops darker than the image centre and visually uniform illumination is achieved at f/8 and beyond throughout the zoom range.

Distortion is fairly typical for a standard zoom of this range, with Imatest detecting 3.27% barrel at 24mm and 1.21% pincushion at 105mm. This level of distortion should pose few issues for general snaps, but may be too much for discerning photographers. If straight lines are paramount, then you'll be glad to hear that the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, which should make corrections relatively straightforward to apply.

Few issues with flare were encountered during testing, with only a slight loss on contrast being noticeable when shooting directly into the light at wide apertures. However, no lens hood is supplied as standard, so if you require one for peace of mind, then an EW-83M hood can set you back up to £30.


Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Sample Photos

Wide-angle | 1/50 sec | f/6.3 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

Wide-angle | 1/50 sec | f/6.3 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Telephoto | 1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 105.0 mm | ISO 250

Telephoto | 1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 105.0 mm | ISO 250
High-Res

Closest focus is 40cm  | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 105.0 mm | ISO 1000

Closest focus is 40cm | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 105.0 mm | ISO 1000
High-Res

Contrast levels remain high, even when shooting into the light | 1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 105.0 mm | ISO 250

Contrast levels remain high, even when shooting into the light | 1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 105.0 mm | ISO 250
High-Res

1/125 sec | f/9.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

1/125 sec | f/9.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 28.0 mm | ISO 100

1/100 sec | f/6.3 | 28.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

1/125 sec | f/7.1 | 40.0 mm | ISO 100

1/125 sec | f/7.1 | 40.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Canon24 105mm 055 | 1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 105.0 mm | ISO 640

Canon24 105mm 055 | 1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 105.0 mm | ISO 640
High-Res

Canon24 105mm 056 | 1/50 sec | f/5.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

Canon24 105mm 056 | 1/50 sec | f/5.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Canon24 105mm 057 | 1/80 sec | f/6.3 | 73.0 mm | ISO 2000

Canon24 105mm 057 | 1/80 sec | f/6.3 | 73.0 mm | ISO 2000
High-Res

1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 105.0 mm | ISO 200

1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 105.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Value For Money

Currently, this lens is available for around £405, which seems quite reasonable. Canon's 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is the closest equivalent, costing £640, which has a constant f/4 aperture.

Sigma also produce a 24-105mm f/4 lens, which sports image stabilisation and silent focusing, which costs £650.

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