In this article, we review the EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM through street photography, shot handheld. (Reported by: Tomoko Suzuki)
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Reliable lens that also offers satisfactory AF performance
Canon has just added a new member to the 24-105mm lens lineup, the "EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM". While its focal length range remains the same as the existing "EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM", the lens is reasonably priced and highly cost effective. The difference between the "EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM" and the "EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM" is that instead of a constant maximum aperture value of f/4 throughout the focal length range, the f-number is now made variable. The maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the telephoto end may feel slightly dark, but allows you to enjoy soft depictions with a sufficient amount of bokeh effect. Also, this new model adopts a new stepping motor (STM) for smooth AF operation, which demonstrates its strength at scenes where quiet shooting is paramount. After trying out the lens, I was amazed by the high speed yet silent AF. The experience was a totally stress-free one.
As my main genre of photography is handheld snapshots, this lens offers the merits of a compact size and a light weight of about 525g. There is no doubt that this lens has more advantages than the existing 24-105mm for scenes that require great mobility. Covering a focal length range from wide angle to mid-telephoto, the EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM offers great flexibility in composition. Also, the closest focusing distance of 0.4m allows you to move the lens close to subjects that are very small in size. The IS feature provides reassuring support for handheld shots of nightscapes in dimly-lit locations as well as places where use of flash is discouraged. It makes a reliable companion that can be put to good use in a wide variety of situations.
IS enables handheld shooting even under low-light conditions
EOS 6D/ EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 105mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/100sec., f/5.6, −0.3EV)/ ISO 10000/ WB: Daylight
This model train was captured through the glass of a window pane. The IS feature, which provides four shutter speed steps of correction, comes in handy when shooting from afar, such as whe you want to get closer to a tiny subject.
Zooming widens your variety of expression
EOS 6D/ EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 85mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/80sec., f/5.6, −0.3EV)/ ISO 800/ WB: Cloudy
A showcase display captured through a glass window pane. I used the maximum aperture to blur the glass reflection significantly. The wide focal length range makes this lens a very handy item.
Use of STM enables quiet focusing operation
EOS 6D/ EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL:105mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/800sec., f/5.6, +0.6EV)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto
This lens helps to widen the scope of expression with its quiet and speedy focusing, such as in cafes or restaurants where the shooting sound may disrupt the environment.
First 24-105mm zoom lens with a zoom ring lock mechanism
When you carry the camera with the strap around your neck, the weight of the zoom lens may sometimes cause it to extend out by itself, and may accidentally hit against other objects or pedestrians. The EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM comes with a zoom lock that enhances its portability. This feature is especially recommended to make good use of this feature for high-angle shots at the wide-angle end when the lens is pointing downward.
Wide-angle shot with the sun in the composition
EOS 6D/ EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/30sec., f/18, ±0EV)/ ISO 400/ WB: Daylight
With the shadow cast on a European-style architecture as the main theme, I included the sun and the surrounding trees in the composition. Flare and ghosting are almost negligible in this shot.
Larger bokeh effect than EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM at the wide-angle end
EOS 6D/ EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/1,600sec., f/3.5, +0.7EV)/ ISO 100/ WB: Daylight
At the maximum aperture of f/3.5, the bokeh effect created at the wide-angle end is larger than that of the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Here, I captured a wide-angle shot with the tiny flower and its shadow on the pavement as the main subjects and blurred the background.
Image is sharpest when the aperture is stopped down to f/8
EOS 6D/ EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/100sec., f/8, -0.3EV)/ ISO 500/ WB: Daylight
I took this shot at f/8 for a sharp depiction. The IS feature has also made it possible for me to produce this sharp handheld shot.
* This article is written based on a trial model. Aspects such as the appearance and image quality may differ slightly from the actual product.
EF24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
After graduating from the Tokyo Polytechnic University Junior College, Suzuki joined an advertisement production firm. She has also worked as an assistant to photographers including Kirito Yanase, and specializes in commercial shoots for apparels and cosmetic products. She now works as a studio photographer for an apparel manufacturer.