Everyone needs a general purpose lens and since these lenses tend to be the most-used in the kit, there is an emphasis on having a high quality version of this most important lens. Bettering an already popular lens is a simple recipe for success and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens has both the lineage and the specs required to make it Canon's best general purpose lens ever.
For many years, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens was my most-used lens and my primary full-frame walk-around/general purpose lens (and it still may be my most-ever-used lens). This lens, featuring some advantages including an incredible maximum magnification capability, made the decision process a tough one.
Also certain is that another great choice for this lens category is now available.
I don't recall Canon updating a lens model without improving it and this one indeed has improvements.
Specifically, such a lens will cover what I consider to be the heart of the general purpose focal length range, or about 28-70mm for a full frame camera.
The 24-105mm range is of course a solid superset of this range.
The extra 4mm this lens provides on the wide end is especially valuable for landscape photography and for capturing images in tight places.
The extra 35mm on the long end is useful for a wide range of subjects, but especially for portraiture including tightly framed portraits (such as headshots).Though I would not have been surprised to see the original 24-105L discontinued after the 24-70 f/4L IS hit the streets, it was not and has remained very popular.I went back and forth between these two lenses and had both in my kit at the same time for years.More specifically, image quality is often sacrificed (especially the always-important image sharpness aspect) and size/weight typically go up rapidly.Still, the 4x, 24-105mm zoom range packs a host of wildly-popular individual focal lengths into a single lens, including the well-represented-by-primes 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100/105mm focal lengths.The first 24-105 f/4L IS was great and with over a decade of technological advancements available, greater was assured with the II.