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Posts: 14
Registered: ‎10-22-2015

Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

I'm brand new to photography and I'm getting the 5D mark iii but I don't know which bundle to get. One comes with the 24-70 f/4 lens and the other comes with the 24-105. The 24-70 is about $200 more. I'm planning to shoot pretty much everything (landscapes, portraits, close ups, etc). I'm not sure which one I should get.

I'm also planning to get a lens for astrophotography a little later on (f lower than 2?). I was thinking about the rokinon 24 mm f/1.4. It's a manual focus and I'm new to all this so I'm not sure (magic lantern?). Lenses with autofocus are way too expensive for me. Any recommendations for Milky Way lenses?

So, would it be best for me to pick the 24-105 and save $200 to go towards an astrophotography lens? And any advice would be greatly appreciated (lenses, tripods, backpacks, flashes [looking at speed lite 430EX III], etc)

Thanks in advance!
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Posts: 787
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

The 24-70/4 is a newer lens that I haven't used, but by all reports is quite sharp and capable. In comparison, the 24-105 is an older lens that's got some issues. Optically there are cheaper lenses that rival it. I am sure you can find some reviews online that compare them. The-digital-picture.com has their usual test and sample images done with each of them, too... where you can see for yourself how they compare. To me, the 24-70 looks quite superior at 24mm, the 24-105 appears to have a very slight edge at 35mm and 50mm, and the 24-70 has the edge again at 70mm (I only looked at the different focal lengths at f4, since that's probably the most demanding and least sharp... but you can compare stopped down images, too, if you wish).

 

If it were me, I'd go with the 24-70 and forget about a different lens for astrophotography for now. You don't necessarily need a fast (f1.4) lens for astrophotography.The f4 lens should be fine, I would think, and a lens with edge-to-edge sharpness is probably more important (big aperture lenses often aren't as sharp). It will be a long exposure, regardless.  Instead of an additional lens, at least for now I'd recommend you get a quality tripod (which can be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, if done right) and a remote release of some sort. Then start saving towards a wider lens. You'll likely want that for astrophotography and landscapes. I'd consider the 16-35/4L IS, which is also a relatively new and well regarded lens.

 

If those zooms aren't as sharp as you'd like for astrophotoraphy, then look at prime lenses. The EF 24/2.8 IS USM and 35/2 IS USM are both supposed to be quite sharp edge-to-edge. These are also newer models. As primes, they are a lot smaller and lighter, as well as less expensive.

 

Astrophotography doesn't demand autofocus, but you likely will want it for everything else. All the above will make for good landscape lenses, too.

 

For portraits, you might want some longer telephotos and larger aperture lenses. The large aperture allows you to blur doewn the background a lot, to make the subject really stand out or to minimize busy backgrounds when you can't control it, such as for candid portraits. Reasonably priced lenses you might consider are the EF 85/1.8 USM and 135/2L... Also the 100/2 would be very good for portraits. Among zooms, the 70-200/2.8 IS USM II is superb, but if it's too pricey Canon has three other 70-200s that are well worth consideration.

 

If by "close ups" you mean macro photography, the two Canon 100mm Macro lenses are excellent and full-featured. Tamron offers two 90mm, Tokina a 100/2.8 and Sigma a 105/2.8, all worth looking at, too. One of these might double as a portrait lens, too. Personally I think macro lenses tend to be a bit too sharp and unforgiving for portraiture, but a lot of people use them for dual purpose. All these macro lenses will get you to 1:1 magnification, which means you can photograph an object 24x36mm (approx.) with a 5D Mk III. In other words, you can fill the viewfinder with a US quarter (which is about 25mm in diameter).

 

If you don't need that level of magnification, can get by with something less (i.e., most flowers or larger insects like butterflies don't need more than 1:2 or 1:3 mag, at most), you may be able to get by just using some macro extension rings with some of the telephoto portrait lenses mentioned above. They can even work pretty well with the 70-200mm zooms.

 

There are lots of possiblilties! Have fun shopping.

 

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & EXPOSUREMANAGER 

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎10-22-2015

Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

Thanks for all the advice. Do you think it'd make more sense for me to get the 24-105 and the EF 24 f/2.8 IS USM? Would the 24/2.8 make up for the 24-105's weakness at 24mm? And wouldn't f4 be too slow to get good pics of the Milky Way? Sorry for all the questions. I'd just like to be sure of everything before I start spending my money
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Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 is half the price, and has a growing following among astrophotographers.  I purchased the cine version of it, which has a "T" rating of 3.1.  A "T" rating is nearly identical to "F" stop rating.  The "T" stand for "Transmission", and it takes into account light that is loss as it passes through the lens elements.

 

In other words, the two lenses are nearly identical in construction and price.  I have assumed that the T3.1 opens up to f/2.8, but the light loses some of its' intensity as it passes through the different elements within the lens body, which in this case would make it equivatent to a lens set at f/3.1 with no loss of light. 

 

This type of lens rating is especially useful for filmmakers.  If they are shooting at f/2.8, and they want to change to a lens with a different focal length in the middle of a scene, how can they be certain that a different lens dialed in at f/2.8 will allow the same amount of light to reach the film, or camera sensor?  The "T" rating tells them how much light is reaching the camera sensor.

 

If you are shooting starscapes, then you probably will want to have a wider lens to capture more of the sky.  Also, I'll let someone else, who knows what they're talking about, explain why a wider lens is better to use when it comes to the Earth's rotation.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

This is the correct answer, ...

"The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 is half the price, and has a growing following among astrophotographers."

... for the astronomy part and shooting the Milkyway.

 

As for your query about the 24-70 vs the 24-105, that is a personal decision.  If it were me, I would pop for the ef 24-105mm. Why spend more money for a less useful lens?  Yes the 24-70 is a newer model and slightly better IQ but I doubt you will notice it shooting real world stuff.

 

One very important tip about tripods, get a good one.  Save the $200 bucks and put another $200+ towards a good tripod.  Far better choice than the 24-70mm ever would be.  Especially for a astrophotographer.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

[ Edited ]

You don't need fast lenses to shoot the Milkyway but the faster the better. The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens has a 1 stop faster aperture than either the 24-70 or 24-105.  The time a shutter is open effects how much star trails are going to be introduced.  The faster the lens is the shorter time it ias to be open for exposure.

 

Tim Campbell can explain this more better than I.  But here is the general rule.

 

 For full frame cameras, it is the “500 Rule” which means that you take the number 500 and divide it by your focal length. This will determine the maximum number of seconds of exposure you can have before star trails are apparent. Example, If I have a 24mm lens on a FF camera, take 500 and divide it by 24 and you get 500/24=20.8 or about 20 seconds.  Right?

For  APS-C, or crop cameras, need shorter focal lengths to achieve similar shutter speeds without star trails.  The rule is the “300 Rule”.

 

 

And, the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens , 500/14=35.7, so you see the clear advantage?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 9,268
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

[ Edited ]

@ebiggs1 wrote:

 

One very important tip about tripods, get a good one.  Save the $200 bucks and put another $200+ towards a good tripod.  Far better choice than the 24-70mm ever would be.  Especially for a astrophotographer.

 


A couple of words about  tripods.  Don't skimp, but do shop around and compare carefully.  You want a tripod that is rated for at least four times the weight that you will putting on it, and don't forget to add an extra pound for the ball head. 

 

Get one that is tall enough WITHOUT the center column extended to suit your needs.  Load ratings are estimated with a balanced load, and the column not extended at all.  Tilting your camera/lens setup skyward creates an off-center, slightly unbalanced load, which is made even worse when the column is extended.  Not every tripod and ball head can handle that scenario well.  Get a ball head with a separate friction adjustment, too.

 

Some companies have load ratings that are not accurate.  I have found Induro and Benro to be very sturdy tripods, with excellent ball heads.  The two brands seem to be the same, an there is a third name that I cannot think of at the moment.  Both offer tripds with excellent travel cases, which can carry the tripod WITH most any ball head attached.  Many  tripod bags do not allow the extra room for an attached head.  Shop around and read reviews.

 

You can frequently find one of their mid-range tripod/head kits being sold at nearly half price every few months or so.  Don't rush to buy.  Compare prices, and watch how they go up and down.  Spring for one that can handle over 20 lbs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Posts: 5,320
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

[ Edited ]

@Ltc808 wrote:
I'm brand new to photography and I'm getting the 5D mark iii but I don't know which bundle to get. One comes with the 24-70 f/4 lens and the other comes with the 24-105. The 24-70 is about $200 more. I'm planning to shoot pretty much everything (landscapes, portraits, close ups, etc). I'm not sure which one I should get.

I'm also planning to get a lens for astrophotography a little later on (f lower than 2?). I was thinking about the rokinon 24 mm f/1.4. It's a manual focus and I'm new to all this so I'm not sure (magic lantern?). Lenses with autofocus are way too expensive for me. Any recommendations for Milky Way lenses?

So, would it be best for me to pick the 24-105 and save $200 to go towards an astrophotography lens? And any advice would be greatly appreciated (lenses, tripods, backpacks, flashes [looking at speed lite 430EX III], etc)

Thanks in advance!

Ultimately your decision depends on what you want the lens for. The 24-70 is a landscape and (marginally) portrait lens. The 24-105 is a general-purpose "walking around" lens, the sort of lens you'd use for street photography. As a landscape lens, it's still quite good, though maybe not as good as the 24-70. As a portrait lens, it may actually be better than the 24-70. I have the 24-105 (as do most of the other 5D3 owners in this forum) and like it a lot. I've never even seen the 24-70, so I have no opinion on it. It has undergone an unusually large price decrease in the time since it was introduced, so I surmise that it didn't sell well at its original price. I that's the case, it's probably because it came across as the poor relative of the 24-70 f/2.8, which is widely considered to be one of the finest lenses ever built.

 

It is exceedingly rare for someone new to photography to start off with a 5D3. So I'm going to venture a guess that cost of equipment isn't much of an issue for you. With that assumption, I'd suggest you get the 24-105 now, because it's the more versatile of the two lenses. Then when you've had enough experience to be confident of your judgement, you could consider getting the 24-70 f/2.8. With those two, you won't need the 24-70 f/4, and the overall quality and versatility of your equipment will be higher. But really, you can't go far wrong with any of the lenses you're considering.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Posts: 5,320
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105


@Waddizzle wrote:

@ebiggs1 wrote:

 

One very important tip about tripods, get a good one.  Save the $200 bucks and put another $200+ towards a good tripod.  Far better choice than the 24-70mm ever would be.  Especially for a astrophotographer.

 


A couple of words about  tripods. ...  [Lots of good information omitted]


The bottom line on tripods is this: you want one that is light, very stable, and relatively inexpensive. You can get a tripod that has any two of those qualities. There are none that have all three.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Re: Which lens to get? 24-70 f/4 vs 24-105

Here is a shot taken at 24mm using the "best in class" ef 24-70mm f2.8L II.

 

_DS39522-Edit.jpg

 

This is from a 1Ds Mk III and the ef24-70mm f2.8L II.  On a FF body 24mm is usually plenty wide for most landscapes.  The reason for being for the ef24-70 f4 is IS (Image Stabilization)  The more expensive f2.8 model does not have IS.  Adding IS to it would have driven the already premium price point even higher.  IMHO, IS is not necessary for a lens of this type.

 

There is nothing like the ef 24-70mm f2.8L II, if you must have the best there is.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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