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Advice please for 24-70 or 24-105 zoom for new SL2-S


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Hi,

This is another one of those "what lens do you recommend" threads. I fully understand that the answer is very much dependent on my needs (and funds) but I figured I'd throw this out there in case anyone had some thoughts they'd like to share.

The simple version is that I am looking to get a normal zoom (24-70 or 24-105) for my new SL2-S and welcome any suggestions. The use case is for general walkaround and travel photography for those times I don't want to shoot with primes.

Until recently, I was shooting with a Q2 and Fujifilm X-T3 with a wide assortment of Fujifilm XF lenses covering pretty much all focal lengths from (FF equivalent) 18mm to 600mm. About a month ago I bought a M10 and was blown away by the image quality and love the shooting experience. I have since picked up a CV 50 f/1.2 which for my purposes is fantastic. It's not a Leica, but it's a darn good lens for general shooting in any lighting scenario. I also picked up a CV 21/3.5 and CV 35/1.4 Nokton II MC but am leaning towards returning them and buying a Leica 28 Elmarit or Summacron. The Q2 was sold as I found I wasn't using it once the M10 arrived (and I knew I'd prefer to swap it for the SL2-S). Anyway, for purposes of this discussion, assume I'll have a couple of M lenses that I will shoot on the M10 and will also want to use them on the SL2-S.

What I'm looking for now is a general purpose AF zoom for the SL2-S. I have heard amazing things about the Leica 24-90 but while I could swing the cost of a used one, I know that I won't want to carry the extra weight (I tried one in the Leica SoHo store last week). It's a non-starter so let's strike that one from the list of potential lenses. There's one other lens that I'm eliminating as well...the Sigma 28-70 as I definitely want the extra 4mm on the wide end.

That leaves three contenders:

  • Sigma 24-70 f/2.8: very affordable, good max aperture, good IQ
  • Leica 24-70 f/2.8: expensive (though affordable in Leica land), good max aperture, I assume the best IQ
  • Panasonic 24-105 f/4: affordable, slower but given the low light performance of the SL2-S it's not a deal breaker, okay-ish IQ?

My ideal focal length range for this type of travel/walkaround lens would be 24-105. I don't mind an f/4 lens but I have seen plenty of less than stellar reviews of the Panny's IQ. I'm definitely leaning towards the Sigma, figuring I can crop to 105 if needed (not ideal). Also, I figure that assuming the Leica delivers better image quality, it may be a case that the extra 5%-10% better performance wouldn't nearly make up for the extra $1800 cost to me. I could take those savings and put it towards a nicer 28 or 35 Leica M lens.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Steve

P.S. Down the line, I can see adding a longer zoom (70-200, 75-300 or 100-400) which would put allow me to sell off the Fuji kit.

 

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Maybe you could try/test the Pan 24-105 and see if it satisfies your needs.  I use it happily on both the SL2 and the CL and it fulfils is purpose for me. 

I did have the Sigma 24-70 but preferred always the versatility of the Pan 24-105 over the maximum aperture of the Sigma.  I can honestly say cost has never been the factor here for me, weight is to a certain extent especially given that I use the lens on the CL also.  No doubt the 24-90 is the best option for IQ but when I want best IQ I use a prime, as it seems is your intention.

If you search reviews and experience from real life users, you will find just as many positive reviews as negative.   

 

 

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6 hours ago, Boojay said:

Maybe you could try/test the Pan 24-105 and see if it satisfies your needs.  I use it happily on both the SL2 and the CL and it fulfils is purpose for me. 

I did have the Sigma 24-70 but preferred always the versatility of the Pan 24-105 over the maximum aperture of the Sigma.  I can honestly say cost has never been the factor here for me, weight is to a certain extent especially given that I use the lens on the CL also.  No doubt the 24-90 is the best option for IQ but when I want best IQ I use a prime, as it seems is your intention.

If you search reviews and experience from real life users, you will find just as many positive reviews as negative.   

 

 

Thanks, Boojay.

I’ve pretty much reached the same conclusion. Given the high ISO capability of the SL2-S, I think I’d rather have the extra reach at 105 vs 70 than the extra stop at f/2.8 on the Sigma. Also, as you noted, when I want the best IQ and/or shallower DOF at a given focal length, I’ll use a prime. 

Steve

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I have the 24-90 and the 24-105 and some primes. I find the 24-105 works very well if you want a flexible lens. Overall IQ is quite good, the lens is sharp.The only thing in certain situations the background seems a bit busy. If the range 70-105 is useful for you I would recommend the 24-105.

 

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12 hours ago, tom0511 said:

I have the 24-90 and the 24-105 and some primes. I find the 24-105 works very well if you want a flexible lens. Overall IQ is quite good, the lens is sharp.The only thing in certain situations the background seems a bit busy. If the range 70-105 is useful for you I would recommend the 24-105.

 

Thanks, Tom.

For something like travel, it would be nice to have the 70-105 range. I'm trying to find a lightly used copy as these lenses lose value very quickly do to the fact that a) it's probably priced about $300 too high versus comparable lenses in other systems and b) it's offered as part of a kit so people buy the kit to get one of the Panny bodies and dump the lens. Seems like used prices are around $600-$700. For that price, I figure I don't have much to lose by trying it out and seeing if it meets my needs.

Steve

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The Sigma 24-70 is reportedly excellent. So good, in fact, that Leica has rebranded it as their 24-70 (in a slightly heavier barrel, because + weight = + goodness, at least in Leica-land). Panasonic also makes a 24-70 f2.8. Lots of choices in this range!

The Panny 24-105 is reportedly also very good, with extra reach (nice) but heavier and only f4 (not so nice for some).

The new-ish Sigma 28-70 f2.8 is a lighter alternative to the 24-70. This is what I chose, as I use it on both my S5 and my CL. The smaller size and lighter weight fits the CL better. Much nicer, too, for hiking. So far, I like the lens a lot. No real complaints. 

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On 6/24/2021 at 4:05 PM, oldwino said:

The Sigma 24-70 is reportedly excellent. So good, in fact, that Leica has rebranded it as their 24-70 (in a slightly heavier barrel, because + weight = + goodness, at least in Leica-land). Panasonic also makes a 24-70 f2.8. Lots of choices in this range!

The Panny 24-105 is reportedly also very good, with extra reach (nice) but heavier and only f4 (not so nice for some).

 

Just to correct the above the Panasonic 24-105 is the lightest bar the 28-70.  Pan 24-105 680g.   Leica 24-70 2.8 856 g.    Sig 28-70 is I think a little under 500g.

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