Five Reasons Why a 24-105mm Zoom Is a Must-Have Lens

The 24-105mm lens is rarely the one you think about first when the subject is landscape photography. However, this lens is one of my most used lenses and has been for several years.

In my latest video, I share five reasons or tips, if you will, why the 24-105mm lens is a must-have lens. I talk about it from the perspective of a landscape photographer, but as every other photographer, I do mention it is amazing for all-around purposes, such as street, wedding, family, and portrait photography.

For landscape photographers, the strongest feature of this lens is the wide focal length range. At 24mm, you are often wide enough to include everything within the scene and still get that strong wide-angle look, and at 105mm, you can catch most of what is farther away. Having a constant aperture of f/4 throughout the entire range is also a great benefit.

You might ask whether to get a 24-70mm or a 24-105mm. With the different features such as image stabilization, f/2.8, and different optical performance, there are arguments for and against each lens. I cover these thoughts too in the video. The video is also brand neutral so be aware the optical performance from brand to brand and model to model might vary a great deal.

Check out the video above and let me hear what you think of the 24-105mm lens below.

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15 Comments

Motti Bembaron's picture

I have been using the Nikon equivalent (24-120 f/4.0) for over five years now and although it is excellent for events and dance floor, I do not think it is as good for portraits. I am not sure about the quality of the Canon or the Sony versions but the Nikon one is not the best.

I am waiting for the Tamron 35-150 f/2.8-4.0 to come out, it has great reviews as a portrait lens.

That Tamron has been on Amazon for over a month. I also checked one out at least 2 weeks ago at local camera shop.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Not in Canada yet. USA, Japan, and Europe see things first, Canada it's a bit later.

Przemek Lodej's picture

I love my Canon 24-105. It boggles my mind why it's so underrated. These were all taken with the Canon 24-105mm f/4.

Shawn Mahan's picture

I agree. My 24-105 was a kit lens and as the article/video states, it is just an all around great lens. This article concentrated on landscape photography, but as your first picture shows it is really great for portraits. I have a 16-15 that is on my camera a lot too, but shooting a portrait at 35mm is just not great. If I think I am going to be getting more pictures of ppl instead of buildings or landscape, I make sure I have the 24-105 on.

Mads Peter Iversen's picture

You're absolutely right and that's the point. You can take these photos with any lens, so why not use the very practical lens of 24-105. That's the point of that lens. It's super practical.

I've been a happy user of the OG Canon 24-105 for over 10 years, even though the red ring fell off, making it worthless.

Some day I'll go mirrorless I expect, and I don't know if I'd splurge on the 2.8 or stick with the broader range of the equivalent f4 lens for a mirrorless mount. It's been hugely useful for me for a wide range of shooting but it is limiting for portraiture in some cases. I think for the mid and wide zooms I'm fine with an f4 but 2.8 is a must have for the 70-200 in spite of the unfortunate increase in weight because it's also hugely useful for portraiture and whatnot.

Main reason: it is the kit lens and you effectively get it at half price.

I have the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 kit lens which is similar for this discussion. It is nice because it is light weight, easy to carry around, wide range, and decent quality for landscape photography unless I am doing something special.

Alexander Lobozzo's picture

I have the Sony 24-105 f4, which i purchased before a trip to Israel. I wanted to make sure i had a lens with me that i basically would need to ever take off of my camera. I do absolutely love this lens, and i agree that it is actually a really nice landscape lens. All of the landscape images below were shot with this lens.

I do agree with Pat OConnor that it doesn't always give me the "pop" that i want.

I wrestled with the decision between the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and the Sony 24-105 f4, and landed on the 24-105. One of the main factors in my decision was seeing the Tamron wide open at 75mm vs the Sony wide open at 105, and because of the compression with the extra focal length, it actually made pretty similar looking images.

For my style of photography, the extra focal length also seemed like more of a benefit that that extra stop of light

Stuart Carver's picture

Fujifilm’s new effort, the 16-80 looks a solid option, especially if they kit it with the bodies.

David T's picture

Have the Sony 24-105 f4 for studio work, very handy and cost effective.

Is it just me or do other people not want to wat h a video like this? I’m interested in what you might have to say but why can’t you just write an article?
I don’t have the time or patience to watch your video.
Sorry

Jim Bolen's picture

When I got my D750 a few years back, it came with the 24-120 (Gen III). At first, I thought it was OK, and I got some nice images with it, but after I calibrated it, I was shocked at how sharp it could be. It is my go-to travel and walk-around lens, and I doubt I ever get rid of it.

I had 24-105 for a long time, as well as three copies of 24-70. I absolutely love 24-105, range it has and the versality it offers is one thing that you can't beat. If you shoot people, 24-70 is much better choice, if you don't you can't get any better than with 24-105. I've switched to L primes and miss it nearly everytime.

I've stopped buying lenses because others think they are "must have" lenses. I have a 24-105, I use it but am not delighted with it. It will probably be gifted to my daughter. I have other lenses I use that are just as versatile and I like them much better.