Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM zoom lens review for Canon RF mount



Announcement Date September 2018
Lens type standard zoom
Information on the manufacturer’s website
Cost in the official store 87 thousand rubles

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Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM became the first lens for the RF mount and, accordingly, the first for mirrorless Canon R-series cameras. At first glance, this looks like a very logical solution: the lens is quite versatile and can work in many genres according to its focal lengths, from landscape to portrait. The combination of lens characteristics has been tested by time on the EF mount and has been loved by more than one generation of amateur photographers; this lens has become a major lens for many photographers. Let’s look at the new version for mirrorless cameras and try to evaluate its market prospects.


Model Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM
Bayonet mount Canon RF
Field of view:
, vertical
, diagonal
74 ° – 19 ° 20 ′
53 ° – 13 °
84 ° – 23 ° 20 ′
Lens design 18 elements in 14 groups
The number of aperture blades 9
Minimum Aperture F22
Minimum Focus Distance 0.45 m
Max magnification 0.24 ×
Distance information is provided
Autofocus drive ultrasound (Nano USM)
Image stabilizer 5 steps
Water / dustproof housing Yes
Filter diameter ∅77 mm
Maximum diameter and length ∅83.5 × 107.3 mm
The weight 700 g

Construction, design, management

Against the background of other lenses for the R series, the “glass” we are considering is pleased with its size. The lens even managed to lose “excess weight” and acquire a more modest size compared to the “lens” for the EF mount, despite the preservation of the stabilizer and even the increased number of elements in the optical circuit.

Lab test

It’s time to send the Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM to the lab for grading for optical performance and stabilizer performance.

24 mm

The wide-angle zoom under consideration demonstrates close to each other resolution values ​​at the open diaphragm at a level of about 0.8 l / p, which is not bad at all. As the aperture closes, the center of the frame progresses noticeably, and the edge of the frame begins to lag behind it.

Resolution Chromatic aberration
frame center frame edge frame center frame edge
In all screenshots, the top row: f / 4.0 – f / 5.6 – f / 8.0, the bottom row: f / 10 – f / 13 – f / 16

Studying test images for chromatic aberrations, one can note the absence of pairs of traditional green and purple borders at the edges of the frame, but at the same time there is a blue border around the contrasting elements. What is characteristic, it is present on any diaphragms.

70 mm

70 mm resolution values ​​were a bit more modest. The edge of the frame from the maximum open aperture to f / 8 is at 0.72 l / p, and the best indicator for the center does not exceed 0.83 l / p

Resolution Chromatic aberration
frame center frame edge frame center frame edge
In all screenshots, the top row: f / 4.0 – f / 5.6 – f / 8.0, the bottom row: f / 10 – f / 13 – f / 16

But chromatic aberration has become much less pronounced.

105 mm

An interesting picture is formed at the long end. The edge of the frame on the open aperture shows the most modest performance, dropping below the 0.7 l / p mark. But the center of the image shows itself very worthy, having good numbers on the open aperture and reaching maximum sharpness values ​​for this lens in the f / 8 – f / 13 range.

Resolution Chromatic aberration
frame center frame edge frame center frame edge
In all screenshots, the top row: f / 4.0 – f / 5.6 – f / 8.0, the bottom row: f / 10 – f / 13 – f / 16

The edges of the frame have mild chromatic aberration.

While the manufacturer claims the effectiveness of the stabilizer at the level of 5 steps, the iXBT method (described in detail in this article ) can confirm only about 4 steps of efficiency, which, on the one hand, significantly disagrees with official data, and on the other, is a good result .

Laboratory Test Results

In general, the Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM proved to be a solid reliable standard lens with decent performance for a zoom ratio of more than 4 ×. But still, from the point of view of optical characteristics, the lens did not become a step forward compared to the version for SLR cameras. The already familiar Canon EF 24-105mm f / 4L IS II USM still demonstrates slightly higher image quality in almost the entire range of focal lengths and apertures, with the exception of perhaps 105 mm at maximum aperture. Also, we were not able to confirm the manufacturer’s stated increase in the efficiency of the stabilizer in one step.

Practical shooting

The reality is often much more unpredictable than the walls of the laboratory, in which it is impossible to conduct a comprehensive study of technology. Let’s go “to the fields”.

Sharpness and vignetting, 24 mm

Choosing a scene with the sky for a wide angle, on the f / 4 aperture we can see a distinct vignetting, coming to naught to f / 8. If we talk about detail, the most open aperture is a bit softer compared to f / 5.6 in the center of the frame, but the sharpness is sufficient. The edges look even “softer”, chromatic distortions appear. In general, the image does not undergo significant changes during aperture, and all values ​​of the relative aperture can be considered working.

Sharpness and vignetting, 70 mm

In the middle of the range of focal lengths (more precisely, at around 70 mm), the observations leave a very pleasant impression. The entire field of the frame is sharp enough for all aperture sizes. The vibrations are very small and subtle, from a practical point of view they can be neglected, they do not lead to a deterioration or improvement in the visibility of parts.

Sharpness and vignetting, 105 mm

At a narrow angle, the Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM did not disappoint, all observations fit into the laboratory chart. Good center sharpness over the entire aperture range, the edge is slightly soft on the open aperture.


Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM shows a “barrel” of 24 mm, which is replaced by a “pillow” already at 50 mm. Distortion is visible even with a cursory glance at the image. Fortunately for us, the built-in profiles completely eliminate these shortcomings, and you can also remove them in the editor.


Perhaps we can talk about significant blurring of the background, only by combining the maximum focal length with the most open aperture. Blur is extremely soft, without pronounced outlines of eroded objects.

Back light

The Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM holds backlight well, avoiding a drop in contrast and not showing us a lot of glare. An asterisk formed by the closing aperture blades is not too formed, rays of medium distinctness.

Stabilizer, 24 mm

The important characteristics of this universal zoom include the presence of a stabilizer. Let’s check it in business.

At a wide angle, we may need a stabilizer, for example, in the evening landscape or city photography, in order to avoid raising the ISO or to achieve a greater depth of field. Guided by the well-known rule for calculating shutter speed, with a stabilizer efficiency of 5 steps, we could shoot at a shutter speed per second, which is unrealistic, since the movements of the hands for such a long time are so chaotic and significant that they cannot be compensated. When testing this stabilizer at 24 mm, I came to the indicator in 3 steps as a value that can be counted on in practice, which corresponds to a shutter speed of a third of a second.

Stabilizer, 105 mm

At the long end, the stabilizer is primarily convenient in that there is no need to shorten the shutter speed while increasing the focal length – this is important, again, in conditions of lack of lighting. And at 105 mm, the effectiveness of the stabilizing systems pleasantly surprised me. It was possible from the very first attempt to get 6 sharp shots in a row, each time lengthening the shutter speed by a step. In other words, in the field test, the efficiency reached 6 steps, and clear shots are possible at half a second of exposure!

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The staff zoom beloved by more than one generation of photographers has successfully migrated to a new mount without losing its properties. The main advantages of Canon RF 24-105mm F4L are USM includes an extended range of focal lengths, which allows you to shoot both portraits and landscapes while maintaining high optical characteristics. Separately, I want to note the lightweight and size of the lens, which makes it an ideal candidate for the role of the only and everyday zoom in a bag. Not the highest aperture is partially compensated by an excellent stabilizer. In my opinion, the Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM does not have any shortcomings, given its market niche.