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Canon 18-135 IS STM vs. Canon 24-105 L f4


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Wow, so first topic in the forum! :)

So here is my question... I currently have a Canon 7D Mark I, but thinking of down/upgrading to the 70D because of its better video capabilities, WiFi, movable screen, etc.

In order to do that and not invest money (I would buy the 70D new), I would have to sell both my 7D and my 24-105mm f4 L lens. I would then buy a new 70D with a new 18-135mm f3.5-5.6.

And my question is: is the 18-135mm really noticably less sharp than the 24-105mm f4?
I use it as my "always on" lens and for travel. The 18mm vs. 24mm is a nice improvement for me as well as the slight increase in tele-zoom. But those are just little things that would not be worth it, if the cheaper lens gives me bad photos compared to the more expensive one. I mean, some decrease in quality must be expected - there is a reason why the L lenses are more expensive. But for a hobby photog like me, is it really a point?

Apart from vacations I usually do outdoor portraits and stuff like that and for that I tend to switch to my 50mm f1.8 STM because it is sharper than the L-lens anyway.

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Wow! The very first post!! Congratulations!

Keep the 24-105 f/4L. It's a professional grade lens. Not only is is sharper, having the fixed aperture is a nice thing to have. You can be at f/4 @ 105mm, 24mm 58mm, whatever. With the 18-135, as you zoom out, the lens automatically stops down to f/5.6. The only time you will get f/3.5 is if you are at 18mm. The problem that you will have to decide is zoom capabilities. You want to go wider, but if you are constantly zooming, that causes issues with the lenses you want to buy. For instance, I would HIGHLY recommend the older 17-55 f/2.8, which is the "24-70 f/2.8" for crop bodies. Right now your 24-105 is acting like a 38.4 - 168mm. (Focal Length x 1.6 = Angle of View Change / Crop Factor). The only downside to the 17-55, is that it's a crop body lens only.

So I get with what you are saying, this is a tough call. Keep in mind that if you ever decided to go full frame, the 24-105L is a full frame lens. You'll get your "wide" back if you upgrade. As for the 70D, I've seen people complaining about noise issues. So while it may have all the gadgets & gizmos, your results may not be that great. Perhaps a Canon user will chime in.

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I'm a Canon user, and I wholeheartedly agree with Brian's comments. 

Even if all you ever shoot is outdoor photos in perfect light, the 24-105L has markedly better image quality than the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none 18-135.  And of course, in less than perfect light, you will really desperately feel the loss of the fixed f/4 aperture. 

When I had my trusty 7D as my main camera, my main workhorse lens was the 17-55 f/2.8.  It's an incredible lens, and the only reason why it doesn't have the L designation is because it's EF-S (crop sensors only).  If you're staying with crop sensors, I would definitely recommend putting the 17-55 on your someday wish list!  But for now, I'd really encourage you to figure out how to keep your 24-105.

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The 6D is out of my range. Here in Germany the 6D about €1200 while the 70D is only €800. That's a big difference. But seeing the comments here, I think I may stick with my camera and lens for now. Maybe I'll buy a used GoPro for video - those babies are awesome, plus you can film under water, which will be great for our vacations in Greece! :D

Thanks for your help everyone!

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