Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2018


Canon's new R system is still at the very beginning of its journey. However, it's starting with two standard zoom lenses. One of them, the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM L is out of reach for most mortals thanks to a sky-high price tag while the other one, the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS, reviewed here, will surely find its way into the bag of most EOS R owners. It's worth noting that Canon is bolder than Nikon with their 24-70mm f/4 for the new Nikon Z system - and most users will probably appreciate the extra flexibility as well as the fact that it's barely more expensive at "just" 1100USD/1200EUR. Depending on the specific market, it may be a little more affordable when purchasing it as part of a camera kit. Interestingly, the price is identical to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS II (for DSLRs). Let's hope that this is a glimpse of hope for the lenses to come because other mirrorless camera manufacturers have been pushing lens prices way beyond to what we've seen in the DSLR segment.

In terms of construction, the RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS follows the recent "light-weight" Canon L design philosophy introduced with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 USM L IS. This design may not feel as "dense" as on Canon L lenses of old but we'd easily rate this as very good and up to professional standards. It also features weather-sealing. The lens does, however, extend when zooming towards longer focal lengths. The zoom and focus control rings operate smoothly. Just like on the RF 50mm f/1.2 USM L, you will find an additional control ring at the lens' front. It can be used to adjust a variety of settings, including aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation. You can also lock the lens in transport position albeit we didn't experience any zoom creeping during our time with this lens. A petal-shaped lens hood is provided.

The AF system uses Canon's "Nano USM" and we are a big fan of this one ever since we tested the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS II. It's very fast even by DSLR standards and silent, too. Manual-focusing works by wire and it's best in class as far as precision goes. The RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS is a comparatively slow lens but this is at least partially offset by an optical image stabilizer. Canon claims that it provides a gain equivalent to 5 f-stops. We wouldn't sign that statement with blood. In silent shooting mode (electronic shutter), we got around 3.5 to max 4 f-stops from it which is still good, of course.

Optical construction18 elements in 14 groups including 1xUD, 3x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.45m (max. magnification ratio 1:4.16)
Filter size77mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresweather-sealing, image stabilizer (5 f-stops), front control ring, fluorine coating