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

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant. Please note that the images were converted WITHOUT image auto-correction thus you may notice some obvious lateral CAs here an there.

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length30.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/125s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length105.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length105.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/1250s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length70.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/125s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length105.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length105.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/1250s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length74.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/640s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed200
Focal Length87.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/1600s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed1600
Focal Length105.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/40s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed400
Focal Length74.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/80s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed1250
Focal Length24.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/25s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length74.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length103.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length24.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/125s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length24.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed200
Focal Length53.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/500s

Competition

As of the time of this review there is, of course, no real competition within the EOS R system. Third-party manufacturers have yet to come up with their interpretation of the various lens classes. However, it makes sense to look a little beyond EOS R. As already hinted in the introduction, the EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS II is Canon's offering for DSLRs. While it seems almost identical on paper, it's not in the same performance league which is supporting the argument that the large mount diameter, as well as the closer distance of the rear element to the sensor, can make a difference. A more natural competitor is available over at Sony - the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS. The Sony lens is more expensive. Quality-wise it's hard to compare the two because we tested the Sony lens on a 42mp sensor compared to just 30mp on the EOS R. The Canon lens should have an edge though.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS is a natural choice for EOS R users - at this point in time anyway. Just like other standard zoom lenses, it has its flaws but it is clearly one of the better, if not the best lens in this specific class. Canon emphasized the performance at the wide-end of the range with an evenly high - in fact very high - sharpness across the image field. The broader center quality remains excellent at other focal lengths whereas the outer image region deteriorates slightly. You probably won't notice that in real life at 40mm and 70mm though. At 105mm f/4 the corners soften a bit more but stay within "good" limits (just) and stopping down helps to overcome this little weakness. Lateral CAs are a little high for a modern lens but that's easily corrected either in-camera or via a RAW converter. The amount of vignetting is clearly visible at f/4, especially at 24mm, but that's rather typical in this lens class. Image distortions are always present and most pronounced at 24mm. However, we've seen a lot worse in other lenses for mirrorless cameras. The most obvious weakness is probably the quality of the bokeh but standard zoom lenses are almost never good in this respect.

The build quality is very high but then we expected no less from a Canon L class lens. Some may think that the used materials are inferior but that's probably more related to the reduced weight rather than objective criteria. Conversely, we do certainly appreciate a more light-weight approach compared to similar DSLR offerings. The Nano USM AF continues to impress - it's both very fast and silent and it can let you forget about your old DSLR combo. Canon's image stabilizer is proven tech by now. Whether you can really achieve the claimed efficiency of 5 f-stops may depend on your personal saturation with coffee but we didn't reach that in real life. However, it's very good nonetheless.

There is certainly still some potential for improvements. However, standard zoom lenses are very difficult beasts but Canon did a great job here.

Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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