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

January 14, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is a surprisingly capable standard zoom lens that will appeal most to photographers looking for a lightweight and responsive lens that won't cost the earth, and is a real alternative to the more expensive, 10-year-old Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM build quality is reassuringly solid despite its all-plastic construction, and it makes a good partner to a full-frame Canon DSLR like the EOS 5D Mark III that we tested it with, or a larger APS-C camera. Auto-focusing is quiet and quick, with the ability to manually override it and focus manually if required proving a nice touch, and for video shooters the STM motor is appealingly smooth and silent. The capable image stabilisation system used in conjunction with a high-ISO monster like the 5D Mark III is a low-light shooter's dream ticket, making it easy to hand-hold the camera and get the shot, despite the relatively slow maximum apertures on offer at the longer focal lengths.

Image quality is generally very good. Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, bokeh is fairly impressive wide-open, and the Super Spectra coatings successfully prevent contrast loss attributable to flare. The only real optical issues are some obvious corner shading throughout the zoom range, mild barrel distortion at the 24mm wide-angle focal length, and having to close-down the aperture by one stop to achieve satisfactory sharpness btween 70-105mm.

In summary we can highly recommend the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM as a great standard zoom lens for Canon full-frame DSLR owners, with the added bonus of an eminently affordable price-tag.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4.5