RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens vs. RF 24-105mm F4 L IS Lens: My first & ONLY lens?


EOS M6 Mark II
Dec 15, 2019
Hello insightful members,

I'm purchasing a EOS R (set and ready on this model)... but my question is:
Should I get the KIT or, body only and splurge on the RF 24-70mm f/2.8?

I want only one lens, one for portraits, street photography and travel/landscape: which one of these lenses provides the better quality and long term solution to fit my needs? I know the 24-105 as part of the kit is a good price, but I want opinions if upgrading immediately to the 24-70mm is smart, or is REALLY and upgraded lens/superior one over what's supplied with the kit?

I also kicked around this: how about just spending a tad more to get
Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens
Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens

As my only lens?

Since I'll be spending 2k+ USD, how about a few hundred more for that only?

Any and all replies are greatly appreciated.


CR Pro
Jul 14, 2018
I don't have personal experience of either of these in RF mount, but I love the 24-70 range, I've used it as a go-to / sit-on-the-camera lens for years, and frankly don't think you'll miss the extra reach of the 105. I've tended to pay a bit extra when I've bought bodies in the past to get a better lens than the kit lens - and I've never regretted it. That said, I read only good things abut the 24-105, so you wouldn't be going far wrong!

Exciting times to be buying a camera - I know you say you're settled on the EOS R (which I have and recommend) but you don't want to wait (potentially) only a few weeks and see what is likely to be announced? The new models are likely to have ibis ....

Random Orbits

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 14, 2012
The most cost effective way is getting the kit with the RF 24-105L f/4 IS. It is competent in most things but is not the best at anything. The same could be said of the RF 24-70L f/2.8 IS, but you trade a bit of focal length range and a significant amount of money for that one stop. Personally, I prefer having a larger max aperture, so opt for the 24-70 f/2.8 (I have both and primarily use the RF 24-105 for video). The 24-70 f/2.8 is on the short side for portraits (for me), but I have other options for that purpose.

For you, I'd suggest the RF 24-105L f/4 IS, and if funds allow it in the future then supplementing it with the RF 70-200 f/2.8L IS or get a used EF 70-200 for a lot less. I would also look for a third party EF f/1.4 or f/1.8 fast prime to serve as a portrait lens and adapt it onto the R. Right now, the R lens ecosystem is dominated by excellent lenses but they're also very expensive. Until more non-L glass comes out, the most cost effective way of building a kit is using EF glass on the R. There isn't as much a difference between the RF 24-105 f/4L IS and the EF 24-105 f/4L IS II, so it makes sense to just get the RF version as part of the R kit.


CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
Irving, Texas
I have had the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS. It is a nice lens. I have had the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II. For my money, I would go for the RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS. That's just my personal taste, and I am sure it is a better lens (it has IS) than the EF. The EF was very very good in my opinion. IS just makes that focal range even better.

That will be your only lens? Ever? A lot of us have said something like that. ;)

I think a 24-70 with 70-200 kit is perfect, especially if two lenses are all one ultimately wants to get to fit what you describe as your use case. You could be very happy with that.

*Tamron is also working on the RF mount for their line of lenses. I have owned 1 Tamron (15-30mm) and it was very good. You may find a 70-200 at a good price when they come out with one later.
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Nov 3, 2012
My EF 24-105/4 is my most used lens, since I bought it with the original 5D. I often take it out as my only lens. Yesterday, I was spontaneously ask to shoot an event and only had my Eos R and this lens. I was thankful to the extra reach of the 105 mm and allowed subject isolation much better than a 70mm. Sure f/2.8 would have been nice, but the Eos R is fine at ISO 6400.

The RF version is 200g lighter than the RF 24-70/2.8. With the money you save, you can easily buy an EF 85/1.8, which is a great, fast and discrete portrait lens.
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CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
Ultimately it is going to depend on what sorts of photographs you are keen to make, and on whether you are really committed to having only one lens.

FWIW, my thinking is if you only have one lens:

70-200 is unlikely to be the right choice. If you want to take nothing but portraits and environmental/wide portraits aren't too important to you, or perhaps shoot sports where that range works, it might work as your one and only lens, but otherwise I think there are too many situations in which 70-200 will end up being too limiting. Yes, 70-200 can do lots of things, eg telephoto landscapes, but for a one lens to do everything solution, I think a 24-70 or 24-105 is going to make more sense. (I'm a huge fan of my 70-200 f/2.8, and it is great for a lot of things, but even so I don't think I'd want it to be my only lens.)

The choice between RF 24-70 f/2.8 and RF 24-105 f/4 is going to come down to whether you would value more an extra stop of aperture (and probably a little better IQ) or having 70-105 available. If you mainly want a walk around lens for when you are out and about, and/or you want to be able to take tighter head/shoulders portaits without cropping, I'd tend towards the 24-105. If you expect to be shooting moving objects - such as people - indoors quite a lot, I'd tend towards the 24-70 f/2.8.

While 24-70 f/2.8 lenses are no doubt good in many ways, my "problem" with them is they tend to be expensive and f/2.8 still isn't a very wide aperture in that focal length range. The focal length range lends itself to shooting indoors (outdoors as well - not saying it isn't useful outdoors) and the wider aperture of a fast prime is really valuable there. Also, at typical subject distances, that focal length range at f/2.8 doesn't tend to give you great background blur anyway, even if it is a stop faster than the 24-105. If you shoot indoors events, eg weddings, and you need/want a zoom, an f/2.8 is about the best you can do (well, there is the 28-70 f/2 now if you don't mind the weight and cost) so it may be the best way to go. Otherwise though, I am less convinced of the value of 24-70 f/2.8 zooms given their usual high price. So, if you are willing to have more than one lens, I think going with a 24-105 plus a fast prime or two - perhaps the RF 35 f/1.8 (I don't think it's up to the standard of a good 35 f/1.4 but on the other hand it's smaller, lighter and cheaper) and/or an 85mm of some sort (I see someone else already suggested an adapted EF 85 f/1.8 as a relatively small/light/cheap option) would give you a great deal of flexibility. (Being honest, from time to time I do think of getting a 24-70 f/2.8. The thing is, even if I did, I'd keep my 35 f/1.4 and perhaps also my 50 f/1.4. Given that, having a relatively small, light and comparatively cheap zoom, ie an f/4 version, seems to work for me.)
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