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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, (tested with cropped-frame APS-C body) Gordon Laing, March 2008

More results : Outdoor / Resolution / Corner sharpness / Fringe and macro / Geometry / Vignetting

Outdoor scene, Canon EF 24-105mm versus EF-S 18-55mm with EOS 400D / XTi

    To compare real-life performance on a cropped-frame body, we shot the same scene with the EF 24-105mm and EF-S 18-55mm lenses within moments of each other using a Canon EOS 400D / XTi at f8 in Aperture Priority mode.

The 400D / XTi was set to Large Fine JPEG mode and the Standard Picture Style. The crops are taken from the originals and presented here at 100%.

The image left was taken with the Canon EOS 400D / XTi using the EF 24-105mm at 24mm f8; the original JPEG measured 4.46MB.


You might expect a premium Canon L zoom to thrash a cheap kit lens, but that's not the case in every situation. As seen from the crops below, with both lenses zoomed to 24mm and focused at infinity with their apertures at f8, the results can be remarkably close. Indeed the high contrast areas on the mountain ridge show the EF 24-105mm exhibiting arguably worse coloured fringing, despite being corrected for a full-frame body.

The second row of crops, taken from the middle of the image, essentially look identical. The third row of crops showing the golf course to the far right of the image reveals an advantage in sharpness for the EF 24-105mm, whereas the kit lens is quite soft at the far edge. Finally, the fourth row of crops, taken from the lower left area are again virtually identical, but if you're really pixel-peeping, the EF 24-105mm has a fractional lead in sharpness - but it's very slight.

So a surprise result here for anyone expecting the EF 24-105mm to race ahead of the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens in all respects. Zoom both lenses to 24mm and close their apertures down to f8 and they can perform very similarly in terms of real life detail. Of course there's much more to evaluating both lenses and over the following pages you'll see how the EF 24-105mm measures-up in terms of corner sharpness, studio resolution, fringing, macro, distortion and vignetting. There are also physical aspects to weigh-up which we've covered on the previous pages. But now let's continue with the optical benchmarking and our studio resolution results.


Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM - crop 1
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 - crop 1
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM - crop 2
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 - crop 2
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM - crop 3
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 - crop 3
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM - crop 4
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 - crop 4
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO

Canon EF 24-105mm with EOS 400D / XTi results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Corner sharpness / Fringe and macro / Geometry / Vignetting

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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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