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17-40 L Vs. 24-105 L Sharpness  
User currently onlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3243 posts, RR: 22
Posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 24601 times:

Hi all,

I use these two Canon lenses (EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM and EF 24-105mm f/4 L USM, to give them their full designation) on my Canon XTi. I got the 17-40 first and I was massively impressed but how sharp it is. I got the 24-105 a few months later and, I have to say, I have been a little disappointed by it. When I look at the pictures closely (OK, yes, I pixel-peep) it doesn't seem quite as sharp as the 17-40. Is this to be expected? Could people who have used both lenses care to comment on how they compare sharpness-wise?

Thank you,

Tony


Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKlintrepid From United States of America, joined May 2005, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 24579 times:

I have read that the 24-105 is sharper than the 17-40. Maybe yours is not focusing properly?


~its a JEEP thang~
User currently offlineScottieprecord From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1363 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 24570 times:

Hey Tony

I've had my 17-40 for about two and a half years now, and just recently got my 24-105 over Christmas break. I was warned before hand that the 24-105 was going to be a bit less sharp than the 17-40... and that's exactly what I got. Don't get me wrong, I love both. But yea, my 17-40 is just a tad sharper.

As a side note, I'd still feel very comfortable having either while walking around the ramp at an airshow. They are both extremely capable lenses when it comes to getting shots for Anet.

Mike


User currently offlineJid From Barbados, joined Dec 2004, 972 posts, RR: 31
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 24533 times:

I have the 24-105 and it is the sharpest lens I have and focuses very quickly even in very dark conditions.

Jid



G7EPN is back after 15 years! Operating all Bands 80mtrs -> 70cms QRZ DX
User currently offlineUA935 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 610 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 24527 times:

I own both lenses and must say that the 17-40 is sharper than the 24-105.

The 24-105 is no slouch however and if you stay away from the long end performs admirably.

Regards

Simon



Live every second like you mean it
User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 24526 times:



Quoting SNATH (Thread starter):
I got the 24-105 a few months later and, I have to say, I have been a little disappointed by it.

That's what I expressed more then a year ago and it is not only the sharpness that is a problem.
The thing is not bad but just not worth the money.



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlineIL76 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2004, 2237 posts, RR: 48
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 24518 times:

My 17-40 is sharper aswell. But the 24-105 is just an awesome walkaround lens. I'm very happy with it. I don't use them much for aviation though.

E


User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2820 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 24505 times:

I have both and find my 17-40 sharper than the 24-105. It's just a matter of fact that the 17-40 is sharper i think judging by everyone's opinion.

I also find my 24-105 sharper at 24mm than at 105mm. While it is not anyway unusable at 105mm it is noticeably softer.

My sigma 20mm prime however beats both hand's down in sharpness terms! Havn't used it in over 2 years and did a shoot the other night and it was amazingly sharp at F2.2 and upwards.

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 24457 times:

I haven't used the 17-40 but I own the 24-105 and it is a beast ... the best lens I own. The sharpness is phenomenal, as is everything else about it.

User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 24456 times:



Quoting Klintrepid (Reply 1):
I have read that the 24-105 is sharper than the 17-40. Maybe yours is not focusing properly?

Anyone who says the 24-105mm is bad probably got one that was off a bit. After 3 visits to Canon and some calibration mine outperforms the Canon 24-70mm F/2.8 (at least the one I used anyway).

The 24-105mm has a rock solid IS system as well!


User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 24451 times:



Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 9):
The 24-105mm has a rock solid IS system as well!

Absolutely. The IS on this lens is phenomenal ... lightyears ahead of the 100-400's IS, for example. Whenever I use it I am amazed at how it makes me feel completely frozen and locked onto the subject.


User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 24439 times:



Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 9):
After 3 visits to Canon and some calibration mine outperforms the Canon 24-70mm F/2.8 (at least the one I used anyway).

That's just one of the disappointing facts.
An expensive piece of L glass for which I paid 1000,- EU needs 3 repair shop visits to make it live up to it's price tag, sad really.

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 9):
The 24-105mm has a rock solid IS system as well!

As long as you have two feet on solid ground and keep the camera more or less horizontal it's ok yes although switching it off will increase sharpness notably and at least make it less prone to color fringing.
During A2A sessions I am forced to switch the IS off because otherwise I am left with one big blur.

Quoting AC888YOW (Reply 10):
The IS on this lens is phenomenal ... lightyears ahead of the 100-400's IS, for example.

So where is the "mode" switch ?
In my experience it's light years behind the 100-400.



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlineJRowson From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 352 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 24430 times:

I absolutely love my 24-105. It consistently performs well and is very sharp. Can't say i've noticed any differnces compared to my 17-40. Saying that my 17-40 is pretty much redundant these days as i use a 10-22 and 24-105 combo mostly.


James Rowson. Canonite and lover of all things L. JAR Photography.
User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 24412 times:



Quoting Aviopic (Reply 11):
During A2A sessions I am forced to switch the IS off because otherwise I am left with one big blur.

That's no real surprise really considering you're not really panning as such in A2A shots opposed to if you was static following an aircraft on approach for example. I think the manual even states this.

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 11):
In my experience it's light years behind the 100-400.

That I would have to agree with however. I don't know if it's because I have a very good example of a 100-400 but it certainly outshines the 24-105's capability.
I found the 24-105 to be pretty soft in comparison and was extremely disappointed with my purchase. I took it back and found the same with the new lens (and this is the one I have now). I can't say I use it that much but for the money it cost I would have thought it could have performed a tad better. IMHO the 17-40 AND the 100-400 are better lenses, even if the nice "fill-in" range the 24-105 has makes it a nice lens to have.
Spencer.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 24406 times:



Quoting Aviopic (Reply 11):
That's just one of the disappointing facts.
An expensive piece of L glass for which I paid 1000,- EU needs 3 repair shop visits to make it live up to it's price tag, sad really.

It is sad. Luckily Canon is only a short drive down the road from me though.

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 11):
As long as you have two feet on solid ground and keep the camera more or less horizontal it's ok yes although switching it off will increase sharpness notably and at least make it less prone to color fringing.
During A2A sessions I am forced to switch the IS off because otherwise I am left with one big blur.

Turning IS off in the air is probably the correct method.

Quoting Spencer (Reply 13):
That I would have to agree with however. I don't know if it's because I have a very good example of a 100-400 but it certainly outshines the 24-105's capability.



Quoting Aviopic (Reply 11):
So where is the "mode" switch ?

I think he is talking about the IS system. No way is it light years behind the 100-400mm. It is light years ahead of it.


User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 24396 times:

In terms of sheer stabilization, the IS on the 24-105 outperforms the IS on the 100-400. No questions asked. The difference is actually pretty drastic.

Overall, it's a phenomenal lens. Toss in a 10-22 (if you have a APS-C body) and a 100-400 and you've got a great (expensive) kit.


User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2820 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 24358 times:



Quoting AC888YOW (Reply 15):
In terms of sheer stabilization, the IS on the 24-105 outperforms the IS on the 100-400. No questions asked. The difference is actually pretty drastic.

It depends on what situation. I think the IS on my 100-400 is much better at stabilizing moving subjects whereas my 24-105 is better at stabilizing static subjects.


Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 24350 times:

Funny to see how many people find their 17-40’s to be sharper,

I sold a sharp 17-40 some time ago, but missed it so much that I bought another one - which was less sharp, and VERY soft on the left side, and my 24-105 is sharper than that copy, and sharper than the 24-70 I traded in for the 24-105.

So, this only proves more that Canon has got some bad QC.


User currently onlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3243 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 24248 times:

Hi all,

Thanks for all the thoughts you all shared on this. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that the 17-40 L is sharper than the 24-105 L. Don't get me wrong, I like the 24-105 L and I've taken some good pictures with it (and the IM has been very useful on several occasions!). But, for $1,000, I just wish it was that little bit sharper.

Anyway, I think I'll try to take some apples-to-apples shots when I get a chance and, if the difference is obvious, I think I'll contact Canon about it.

Thanks again for all the feedback!  bigthumbsup 

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 24242 times:



Quoting SNATH (Reply 18):
Thanks for all the thoughts you all shared on this. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that the 17-40 L is sharper than the 24-105 L. Don't get me wrong, I like the 24-105 L and I've taken some good pictures with it (and the IM has been very useful on several occasions!). But, for $1,000, I just wish it was that little bit sharper.

I just had a go on a photo I shot with the 24-105mm. It was shot at 105mm. Many people complain about the lack of sharpness at the long end. It was incredibly sharp. Then again, it took me 3-trips to Canon in order for them to get it right.

Quoting SNATH (Reply 18):
Anyway, I think I'll try to take some apples-to-apples shots when I get a chance and, if the difference is obvious, I think I'll contact Canon about it.

If you aren't happy with it, I suggest you don't wait until the warranty has run out before deciding to do anything about it.


User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1744 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 24227 times:
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Quoting SNATH (Reply 18):
Anyway, I think I'll try to take some apples-to-apples shots when I get a chance and, if the difference is obvious, I think I'll contact Canon about it.

Classic centering defect. I would contact Canon immediately.



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineFYODOR From Russia, joined May 2005, 661 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 24186 times:
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Well, I'm representing opposite case - my 24-105 is a little bit sharper than 17-40. But actually these lenses are very different in purpose. 17-40 is more portrait (and I complitly satisfied how it works for it) as far as 24-105 is multipurpose standard lenses for me. I do not use 17-40 often - its well for windowshots at planes like Tu-134, Tu-154? MD-80, F-28 etc. and cockpits but I found my Sigma 10-20 is better (not all my colleagues happy with it btw). But anyway I do not plan to unload my 17-40 - completely good thing for close up face shots. 24-105 is probably good for everyphing at the close and average distance and it is not too big - so it give you a chance for photography in case of different restricitions - it is easy to hide it (very actual thing here - in Russia  Wink ).

Quoting SNATH (Reply 18):
But, for $1,000

You are lucky, mate! I paid here 1,300 and it was through the internet - cheaper way.  Wink


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