Good zoom feel, with smooth focus ring and tactile control ring
Fast and accurate autofocus
Image Stabilization is excellent
Very good image sharpness across the frame at all focal lengths
Good bokeh for a standard zoom
Excellent color and contrast
Longitudinal chromatic aberration is well controlled
Reasonable distortion performance for a 4.4x zoom
Versatile focal length range
Some wobble in the lens barrel
A bit of lateral CA, though correctable
Poor flare resistance
The 24-105mm has become a staple lens for Canon since the introduction of the original EF 24-105mm f/4L back in 2005. The range from a fairly wide 24mm to a mid-telephoto 105mm provides tremendous versatility. Coupled with a constant f/4 aperture, the lens is both fast enough to be useful for isolating subjects while also maintaining a reasonable size and weight. The RF 24-105mm f/4L is the best of the three lenses Canon has made in this focal length. It’s a lens with surprisingly good and even sharpness throughout the focal range, and the other imaging characteristics are predominantly on a high level.
The lens shows a weakness against bright light, and I wish the extending barrel were a bit more robustly constructed, but beyond those there’s almost nothing to complain about. At $1,099, the lens isn’t exactly cheap, but it is well worth its cost for the convenience and optical performance you get from the lens. The lens also has quick and accurate autofocus and an excellent optical image stabilizer. Overall, it’s a core lens for the RF system, and one that I think most photographers would be happy to have in their kit. Highly recommended.
Click on an image to enlarge.
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2 thoughts on “Review: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM”
Excellent review, I’ve owned multiple copies of this lens and with side-by-side comparison I’ve noticed quite a bit of difference regarding centering or corner sharpness (weirdly, one lens was even very slightly wider than the other one at all settings)
Hopefully I can find a good copy again, not the most exciting lens, but also it is extremely good as an all-rounder and the size & weight balance is so good on the EOS R.
Worth adding that for video, it is parfocal (maybe electonically corrected), the focusing is smooth and silent, and the focus breathing is negligible as well (helps a lot with focus stacking, too).
Thank you for this review. I am contemplating moving up to a full-frame R from a crop DSLR and I want to make sure I am getting a “good” lens to go with it. I am a bit taken back on the price but the example photos are very good in the article. This is definitely a step up from the older EF 24-105 (not the L) and I will get the full frame width! If you have any suggestions of comments to me on moving to the R series I would appreciate it.