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5d mark III bundled with 24-70mm for $3250 OR body only for $2500 and just use MY 24-105mm?


Hi, this is more of a personal question. I was wondering about what would be the best option in the title of this question.


I currently have a T4i along with a 24-105mm lens (mostly used for video). I want to upgrade to the 5D MkIII. I know the 24-70mm is a better lens and it would be a steal for about $800 in the bundle. I'm just wondering if the 24-70mm is worth buying if I already have a 24-105mm. If I don't get the bundle and just get the body only, the $800 would most likely go toward a drone that's about $1,300.



Thank you so much to whoever is willing to help and thank Canon for this forum!





You're right... it is a personal choice question.  


First... there are TWO different 24-70 lenses.  You didn't say which one you are referring to.  If you found a package that includes a 24-70 for only an addtional $800 then I'm guessing this is actually the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS and not the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II.  


If I already owned the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM then I don't think I'd consider spending an extra $800 for the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM.  I would only be in a quandry over what to do if we're talking about the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II.


The topic of whether to get the 24-105 f/4 that includes image stabilization vs. whether to get the 24-70 f/2.8 that does not include image stabilization has come up over and over again (on many photography forums).  I even went through this choice myself and posted the very same question many years ago.


I own the 24-70 f/2.8.


Here's what it came down to for me...


If you only have and use one lens then I think the 24-105 is more useful.  70mm isn't very much.  In terms of magificantion factors (where 1x magnification is established by being a focal length equal to the diagonal measure of the imaging sensor in teh camera -- 43mm in a full-frame camera) then the 70mm end isn't even a 2x magnification.  


I MUCH preferred the f/2.8 focal ratio as a means to collect more light and thus take faster (shorter duration) exposures in dim lighting without having to crank the ISO very much (although you can really crank the ISO on a 5D III and still not have much noise and what little there is is easily remedied by noise-reduction software.)


In my case, I already had the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS.  So the inability to shoot at focal lengths longer than 70mm wasn't going to be a limitation for me.  That took away the need for more focal length range in a single lens.  


There is also the argument that the 24-105 has image stabilization and the 24-70 does not.  That never held any weight in my decision as I think many people misunderstand the need for image stabilization.  It turns out there's a general guideline that says that your ability to hand-hold a shot and not have motion blur caused by the photographer's movement.  That guideline says that, assuming you have good camera-holding technique (wide-stance with your feet, keep your center of gravity between your feet (do not "lean" when shooting), use your left hand palm-side up to support the bottom of your camera with your elbow tucked in to your stomach, etc. and if there's a solid object you can lean on (a post, a wall, etc.) then use it.) then you should be able to hand-hold a shot as long as the shutter speed is at least 1/focal-length or faster. That means at 70mm you only need a shutter speed of 1/70th or faster and at the 24mm end you only need 1/24th or faster.  That was not a big deal for me.  The other thing about image stabilization is that it only helps stabilize camera movement... not subject movement.  If your subject is moving, you want to gather more light so you can use a faster shutter speed.


And of course I love background blur... and you'll get more of that at f/2.8 then you will at f/4 (short focal length lenses don't offer much blur even at low focal ratios, but I'll take what I can get.)


So there you have it... I went with the 24-70 f/2.8 because I owned the 70-200mm f/2.8.   But if was only going to be shooting with one lens for a while (e.g. if I were a photographer who didn't own the 70-200mm f/2.8) then I'd prefer the 24-105 f/4.


If we are really talking about the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM then no... absolutely not.  Do not spend an extra $800 on that lens. Instead you'll keep that $800 and save an additional $1200 and when you've got $2k you'll buy the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II... and you'll thank us for that advice because it will be the best lens you've ever owned!  


I own the original EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (not the "II") and quite frankly it's the lens that "lives" on my camera body.  That lens is so good that I would MUCH rather have to walk back 20' to take your portrait at the long 200mm focal length using f/2.8 (or even f/4) then stand 5-10' away to take your portrait with a shorter focal length lens.  The difference is night & day.  The II is even better than the original... and the original is no slouch.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Wow thank you for responding so quickly!


You actually saved me on that because it is the f/4L in the bundle. I was looking at how much the f/2.8 costed on its own, which is almost like $2K and I confused them to be the same lens which is my mistake so thank you! I do primarily video with my DSLR and I just want to ask if the 70-200mm f/2.8L that you are talking about is good for video. I did just look it up and it looks very big but video quality looks great with the very deep focus. Typically the video shoots are on location. I feel like your answer will still be yes because of your enthusiasm about the lens, but I will ask anyways. Is this lens still good to have in my arsenal when it comes to filming?


Thaks again,


If you intend to zoom WHILE recording video then you may want to make sure you own a "parfocal lens".


In the video industry, true video zoom lenses are "parfocal".  


When you focus a subject at one focal length, then zoom the lens, you'll notice that the subject will no longer be in sharp focus and you need to re-focus the lens.  This is because zoom lenses are genarally NOT parfocal.


If a lens is parfocal then it means that the focus distance remains the same even when zooming to change the focal length.


Canon has three parfocal lenses (and to my knowledge, it's ONLY these three).  They are:

(1)  EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

(2)  EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM (original, I do not know that the new "II" edition is still parfocal and it would not be safe to assume so without testing.)

(3)  EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM (must be the non-IS version to be parfocal.)


Zooming "while" recording video is often viewed as a distraction and something professional videographers think should be done sparingly.  Often times when we watch a film which appears to be "zooming", the camera is actually mounted on rails and is actually being moved in (which still requires re-focusing.)  With that technique it wouldn't be necessary to own a true parfocal lens.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da