Review: Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
Canon users: "Why can't Canon make small, affordable, sharp lenses like Panasonic, Olympus, and third parties do for Micro Four-Thirds cameras, or like Sony and third parties do for Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras? If they don't, Canon is doomed!"

Canon: "Here, try these new low cost, compact lenses that leave the correction to post processing like the Micro Four-Thirds and Sony APS-C lenses do."

Canon users: "What, you're making the same kind of crappy, uncorrected lenses that the Micro Four-Thirds cameras and Sony APS-C cameras have been using for years?!?!?! CANON IS DOOMED!!!!!"
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
I know. I should have been more clear, on DSLR you had the EF and EF-S and the link between them.

Here even though canon has the EF-M mount is I completely separate from the RF. Absolutely no lens interchangeability. You choose a mount and go for it.

Before people still had the choice of getting EF lenses to “upgrade“ later one. So you had the rebels as the dirt cheap option and lineups all the way to the 1D system. Now the RF just has RF. And though cameras have gotten cheaper, FF is sill not rebel cheap. Canon is obviously trying to extend the RF down market as well. You choose between the two different design intents.

1. Go small, with the EF-M
2. Go with the “superior” RF lines. But the entry can be daunting. 1k for the RF body and 1k for the 24-105 f4 isn’t exactly cheap and light.

With the RP and 24-105 f4-7.1 at least you have cheaper, good IQ anyway, and light and relatively small.

some of us snobs (me included) would prefer the f4 over this lens. But translate everything to how it would be on crop and you have f2.8-5 equivalent on crop, both in terms of light gathering and DOF. If, you look at it that way it isn't so bad.

So to me it is the AF performance that is of concern. That is already good on the R. I have shot video at f11, meaning that it would be focusing with the aperture stopped down and it did well. I can only guess that the focus will be even better on the new cameras.


End of the day... do any of us really think that canon hasn’t thought this through. I for one am aiming to buy the 100-500 and that has a f7.1 on the long end. When I think about it, it still expect it to perform better than my sigma 150-600 and will likely be sharper, faster the focus, and of course lighter and smaller to boot, And if it also does better close focus it would be icing on the cake.
Currently B&H is selling the RP for $899 body only, $999 with the RF 24-105/4-7.1, and $1,799 with the RF 24-105/4. $999 isn't quite Rebel territory, but it is a LOT closer than $1,799 is!
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
"AF with manual focus override" is not "manual focus (without AF trying to interfere)".
That option is also available. Once the menu item has been changed from AF to MF, a flick of the switch changes the ring from control wheel to MF.
 

Kit.

EOR R
Apr 25, 2011
1,821
1,134
That option is also available. Once the menu item has been changed from AF to MF, a flick of the switch changes the ring from control wheel to MF.
So, is there the choice of these 3 camera body options: "AF always on", "AF always off", and "AF on only when the lens is switched to Control"?

Or is one of these options missing?
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
So, is there the choice of these 3 camera body options: "AF always on", "AF always off", and "AF on only when the lens is switched to Control"?

Or is one of these options missing?
If the AF/MF menu option is set to MF, then the physical switch alternates the ring between 'Control wheel' and 'MF'. If the AF/MF menu option is set to AF, then the physical switch alternates between 'Control wheel' and 'AF (with manual override)'. It's really not that hard to understand.
 

Kit.

EOR R
Apr 25, 2011
1,821
1,134
If the AF/MF menu option is set to MF, then the physical switch alternates the ring between 'Control wheel' and 'MF'. If the AF/MF menu option is set to AF, then the physical switch alternates between 'Control wheel' and 'AF (with manual override)'. It's really not that hard to understand.
Actually, it is.

If the AF/MF menu option is set to MF,
and I switch the lens to Focus and prefocus,
and then switch the lens to Control to use the ring as a control ring,
will I lose the prefocused distance setting or not?
 

FamilyGuy

EOS 80D
Feb 5, 2020
103
137
Actually, it is.

If the AF/MF menu option is set to MF,
and I switch the lens to Focus and prefocus,
and then switch the lens to Control to use the ring as a control ring,
will I lose the prefocused distance setting or not?
Your focus won’t change once you’ve set the ring to control. It’s effectively locked in unless you adjust your zoom or your subject moves or you move.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
Actually, it is.

If the AF/MF menu option is set to MF,
and I switch the lens to Focus and prefocus,
and then switch the lens to Control to use the ring as a control ring,
will I lose the prefocused distance setting or not?
If the AF/MF menu option is set to MF, the camera will not AF, no matter which position the physical switch is in. You're making this a lot more complicated than it is. Why would you think you would lose the prefocused distance if you use the ring as a control ring?
 

tron

EOS 5D SR
Nov 8, 2011
4,483
730
Too much trouble seems to come out of one less switch that Canon chose to. It seems to me that a simpler lens with no control ring but normal af/mf switch would be a better choice.
 

blackcoffee17

EOS RP
Sep 17, 2014
349
361
I know. I should have been more clear, on DSLR you had the EF and EF-S and the link between them.

Here even though canon has the EF-M mount is I completely separate from the RF. Absolutely no lens interchangeability. You choose a mount and go for it.

Before people still had the choice of getting EF lenses to “upgrade“ later one. So you had the rebels as the dirt cheap option and lineups all the way to the 1D system. Now the RF just has RF. And though cameras have gotten cheaper, FF is sill not rebel cheap. Canon is obviously trying to extend the RF down market as well. You choose between the two different design intents.

1. Go small, with the EF-M
2. Go with the “superior” RF lines. But the entry can be daunting. 1k for the RF body and 1k for the 24-105 f4 isn’t exactly cheap and light.

With the RP and 24-105 f4-7.1 at least you have cheaper, good IQ anyway, and light and relatively small.

some of us snobs (me included) would prefer the f4 over this lens. But translate everything to how it would be on crop and you have f2.8-5 equivalent on crop, both in terms of light gathering and DOF. If, you look at it that way it isn't so bad.

So to me it is the AF performance that is of concern. That is already good on the R. I have shot video at f11, meaning that it would be focusing with the aperture stopped down and it did well. I can only guess that the focus will be even better on the new cameras.


End of the day... do any of us really think that canon hasn’t thought this through. I for one am aiming to buy the 100-500 and that has a f7.1 on the long end. When I think about it, it still expect it to perform better than my sigma 150-600 and will likely be sharper, faster the focus, and of course lighter and smaller to boot, And if it also does better close focus it would be icing on the cake.
I completely agree with this. Not having an upgrade option or possibility to mount the new 100-500 RF on a M6 II is not ideal.
But the market is changing and the remaining customers probably are more willing to spend a little bit more on an RP than in the past.

In a year the RP might drop further and get close to $500 price range and with the 24-105 STM it's way better than any Rebel ever was.
 
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jolyonralph

EOS R5 Mark II
Aug 25, 2015
1,241
512
London, UK
www.everyothershot.com
not sure I quite understand the excitement:

distortion at 24mm end and f/8

"... Brace yourself. We're going to look behind the curtains, and this is going to be painful. Here are the uncorrected test results from our standard distortion test (captured at f/8)..."

This isn't a bad thing. Distortion is much easier to fix in software than other issues such as chromatic aberration and of course lack of sharpness.

In the past budget lenses had to try to compromise on all areas in order to get an image that was mostly OK.

Now Canon are able to move beyond this, and allow greater distortion in order to concentrate their design efforts in reducing the other issues.

Fixing distortion of course brings its own issues but the proof is in the quality of the images overall after the digital corrections have been applied.
 
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jolyonralph

EOS R5 Mark II
Aug 25, 2015
1,241
512
London, UK
www.everyothershot.com
I completely agree with this. Not having an upgrade option or possibility to mount the new 100-500 RF on a M6 II is not ideal.
But the market is changing and the remaining customers probably are more willing to spend a little bit more on an RP than in the past.
Previously if I had a 80D with a mixture of EF-S and EF lenses and I wanted to upgrade to full frame I'd have to ditch all my EF-S lenses but I could keep the EF lenses.

Now, if I have an M6 II with a mixture of EF-M and EF lenses and I wanted to upgrade to full frame I'd have to ditch all my EF-M lenses but I can keep my EF lenses.

It's not really any different other than there are new lenses available that I can't use until I upgrade to the new body.

This would make me want to upgrade sooner rather than later. Obviously this fact isn't lost on Canon.
 
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lawny13

EOS T7i
Mar 6, 2019
76
57
Previously if I had a 80D with a mixture of EF-S and EF lenses and I wanted to upgrade to full frame I'd have to ditch all my EF-S lenses but I could keep the EF lenses.

Now, if I have an M6 II with a mixture of EF-M and EF lenses and I wanted to upgrade to full frame I'd have to ditch all my EF-M lenses but I can keep my EF lenses.

It's not really any different other than there are new lenses available that I can't use until I upgrade to the new body.

This would make me want to upgrade sooner rather than later. Obviously this fact isn't lost on Canon.

Sorry, but I don't agree with your comment about it being the same. EF lenses are transitionary. Once canon is full on MILC those EF options essentially disappear. It might take a while, but in the "ideal" situation, as in once the transition has passed, the EF lens won't be a consideration. Unless you are saying you would buy lenses for a dead mount because you just may upgrade to RF??

EF will then be relegated mostly to the used market. Not to mention spare parts, and repairs and all that might become an issue. EF-M and RF simply do not have any direct link what so ever. And there is another thing you failed to realise, or mention.

Someone with a FF system, could buy a smaller EF-S body, and use their FF lenses on it. For example the 50, or the 85 f1.8, or even some of the f4 zooms. All of them without any adapter what so ever. You simply don't have that here. NO RF FF LENS will fit on the EF-M.

So in summary. The EF glass IS ONLY a supplement for the RF mount as long as the RF lens line up is lacking. The vast majority of people won't buy EF glass once the RF lens is fully fleshed out, and canon's usual pricing kicks in (lens prices alway drops generously). The message is... go small or go RF. Cause those EF-M lenses with FF EF glass adapted to them...
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
Sorry, but I don't agree with your comment about it being the same. EF lenses are transitionary. Once canon is full on MILC those EF options essentially disappear. It might take a while, but in the "ideal" situation, as in once the transition has passed, the EF lens won't be a consideration. Unless you are saying you would buy lenses for a dead mount because you just may upgrade to RF??

So in summary. The EF glass IS ONLY a supplement for the RF mount as long as the RF lens line up is lacking. The vast majority of people won't buy EF glass once the RF lens is fully fleshed out, and canon's usual pricing kicks in (lens prices alway drops generously).
I don't think anyone is saying most folks would continue to buy EF lenses after buying an R body.

I think most folks are saying they can keep using the EF lenses they already own after they buy an RF or EF-M body, the exact same way folks kept using the EF lenses they already owned when they moved up from an EF-S body to an EF body.
 

SteveC

M6 mk II
Sep 3, 2019
852
637
Good point. But, if you crop to compare the inner part, there's still a loss in resolution.

I think the fair comparison would be if the 24-240 mm was zoomed in to match the FoV of the Tamron on crop. On a Canon, that should be 29 mm.

Resoultion? Not on the lens, surely. On the sensor, sure, but I'm taling about trying to determine how much the lenses distort.
 

lawny13

EOS T7i
Mar 6, 2019
76
57
I don't think anyone is saying most folks would continue to buy EF lenses after buying an R body.

I think most folks are saying they can keep using the EF lenses they already own after they buy an RF or EF-M body, the exact same way folks kept using the EF lenses they already owned when they moved up from an EF-S body to an EF body.
I didn’t say they wouldn’t. But canon doesn’t do plans on what ifs. Eventually they will stop making EF lenses.

Let me put it this way. What you are saying would be good for users, but not for canon. Its great for you if you will keep using your EF glass. But that isn’t a sale for canon.

TheEF-S+ EF dynamics was great for business. But that doesn’t work that way in a RF + EF + EF-M situation in the long run.

I am betting they will expand on EF-M lenses so people won’t need EF glass. The combo is just too big anyway. Long term both systems will have a full line up. And the only real reason to get EF if you have either system would be cost... and that would be from the 2nd hand market. Which Isn’t a sale for canon, not directly anyway.

You either choose to go APS-C, because you don’t ever need FF. This is perfectly fine.FF costs an arm and a leg after all andIf the EF-M Mount had a full lineup and I was doing this all over again I would really consider going with it.

Or you go the more “pro” way with the RF mount. Canon will still give you budget options, but you also have some high end, costs a liver option.

Most people going FF don’t need it. It is GAS affecting them, or attraction to the high end stuff. And canon is fine with that I am sure.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,511
1,438
I didn’t say they wouldn’t. But canon doesn’t do plans on what ifs. Eventually they will stop making EF lenses.

The EF-S + EF dynamics was great for business. But that doesn’t work that way in a RF + EF + EF-M situation in the long run.

I am betting they will expand on EF-M lenses so people won’t need EF glass. The combo is just too big anyway. Long term both systems will have a full line up. And the only real reason to get EF if you have either system would be cost... and that would be from the 2nd hand market. Which Isn’t a sale for canon, not directly anyway.
Maybe Canon sees the EF-M market and the RF market as two distinct groups with very little overlap?

I'm sure the folks here at this forum tend to grossly overestimate the number of photographers who started with an EF-S camera and EF-s lenses ( or at least mostly EF-S lenses ) before beginning to buy EF lenses to use with an EF-S body in anticipation of the time when they would move to an EF body. That's because the typical shooter who hangs out at these forums very likely followed that path.

But that is not the same thing as saying the typical customer who has bought either an EF-S body and lenses or the typical customer who has bought an EF body and lenses followed that path. For every one of "us", there are hundreds of folks who bought an EF-S camera and EF-S lenses (plus maybe the nifty-fifty) and never bought a FF camera or an "L" lens. For every one of us, there were (yes, "were", as in once upon a time there "were") many pros who came to their first FF digital camera directly from 135 format film.

All of that was in the past, though, before smartphones really took off as the average person's primary photo and video capturing device. So what happened and worked then for Canon may not necessarily work now for Canon.

Canon seems to see the EF-M series and the R series as two completely separate markets. Perhaps they will eventually expand the EF-M space to include more enthusiast oriented lenses, but I wouldn't bank on it anytime soon. They seem committed to pouring all of their consumer product (as opposed to medical imaging or other business units that do not encompass ILCs) R&D, production, and marketing resources into the RF line of products. At least for now, they seem to think that the current EF-M offerings will suffice for the customers at which they are aiming the EF-M products.