Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS (full format) - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2009

Special thanks to Rainer Temme for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS is a 4.4x standard zoom lens for Canon full format (and APS-C) DSLRs. It's often sold as part of a "kit" with the EOS 5D (II) although you shouldn't mistake this lens with the average el-cheapo kit lenses which are common in the APS-C DSLR world. Compared to its big brother, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L, it is relatively compact, moderately light-weight and it features an image stabilizer. Some may not like the rather modest max. aperture but there's always a trade-off somewhere.

The build quality of this lens is excellent thanks to quality materials and tight tolerances. There's no significant wobbling of the inner lens tube and both the zoom and focus control rings operate very smooth. The lens has been designed to survive in harsh conditions due to sealings against dust and moisture. The conventional zoom mechanism extends towards the long end of the range. The front element does not rotate during focusing so there're no issues when using a polarizer - without hood at least.

A ring-type USM AF drive based on a front-focusing system is responsible for an extremely fast AF speed and low AF noise. The AF accuracy of the tested sample was exceptionally high. Full-time manual focusing (FTM) is always possible in one-shot AF mode.

The image stabilizer provides an equivalent effect of a 3 f-stops gain in shutter speed for hand-held photography (at cost of slower shutter speeds if exploited to the max). The IS works for static scenes only so there's no 2nd mode for "panning". Regarding the nature of the lens this isn't a big drawback because action photography is normally not a primary application.

Optical construction18 elements in 13 groups inc. 3x aspherical elements (two replica, one glass molded) and 1x SUD element
Number of aperture blades8 (circular)
min. focus distance0.45 m (max. magnification ratio ~1:4)
Dimensions84 x 107 mm
Weight670 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodsupplied, petal-shaped
Other featuresImage Stabilizer

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