i'm looking for a 'standard zoom' for the canon 5D MK2. after having done quite a bit of research, asking people and pondering i'm still somewhat undecided between the canon lenses 24-70/2.8 and 24-105/4. i can imagine that a lot of people are in the same situation so let's see...
i expect this to become the lens that i use most frequently on the camera so the price difference is not an issue. i would be using it for events and concerts (relatively dark venues, both flash and available light), documentary (mostly available light and daylight), also a fair bit of landscapes and of course as a general, walk-around lens around town and when travelling.
i do have other lenses (wider, longer, zoom, primes etc) for more specific purposes. this would be the one for when i want to be as quick and flexible as possible, carrying minimum gear. smaller and lighter (24-105 wins here) is better of course but there are other factors that could be more important.
my gut feeling guides me towards the 24-70 for it's slightly better optical quality (less distortion), more efficient lens hood and larger aperture. call me old school but i'm still a bit reluctant to consider a lens slower than f2.8 on a 35mm format slr particularly as i don't know how the 5D Mk2's autofocus will react to such a lens. i rely on the cross type sensor in the middle a lot and don't want it to lose it's accuracy due a slow lens.
on the other hand, the 24-105 seems hugely popular due to it's longer reach, image stabilisation and still pretty decent image quality. it seems to have convinced quite a few people who previously used the 24-70 of its qualities.
its longer reach would constitute a welcome benefit for portaits and longer shots but i'm not sure if its worth the trade-off in speed and image quality (and possibly in AF accuracy). image stabilisation on the other hand - it's a nice addition but i don't know if it would be crucial for me in this focal length range. i think for my handheld stuff i'd sooner have trouble with subjects moving than from camera shake.
as i've almost (almost!) answered my own question:
does anyone have any additional comments, or a direct comparison between these two, that may swing me towards the 24-105?