The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L is the first midrange zoom from Canon that I have tested in the lab. Until I test others, I will leave this page of the review to act mostly as a placeholder. However, note that any modern lens on our lens reviews page was tested in our lab in the same manner that we tested the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L. The numbers are fully comparable, so feel free to make any comparisons that you like.
That said, I did test a few other Canon RF lenses in the lab so far, including some of the same focal lengths as this lens. I’ve added them below not because they’re the most obvious alternatives to the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L, but simply to give you a sense of context. This page will be updated throughout 2024 as we test increasingly more Canon RF lenses.
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L vs Canon RF 24mm f/1.8 Macro
First, let’s see how the performance at 24mm compares agains the Canon RF 24mm f/1.8 Macro:
Here, we see that the corner performance in the shared aperture range actually favors the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L! The differences are never huge, and they disappear by f/11, but it’s still impressive from the zoom. That said, the Canon RF 24mm f/1.8 Macro is by far the sharper lens in the center and midframe throughout the shared aperture range.
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L vs Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro
Now let’s see how the lens compares against the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro:
This time, central, midframe, and corner performance all favor the prime lens – although the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro is only slightly ahead in the corners. The center and midframes are really where the prime shines.
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L vs Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L
To show you how two different “L” zooms compare, here are my measurements from the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L and the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L side by side, starting at 24mm:
This is a really close performance. The center is effectively a tie at every shared aperture, with no more than a 5% difference between the two lenses at most. The corners are also on the same playing field, with each lens winning a couple times, but never by too much. It’s really just the midframes where the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L has the advantage, and that’s mainly because it has less field curvature than the RF 24-105mm f/4L.
And here’s 35mm:
This time, the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L is ahead, at least once you’ve stopped down to f/5.6 or narrower. The winner at f/4 is less clear, with the RF 24-105mm f/4L ahead in the center, but the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L ahead in the midframes and corners. In any case, it’s not a bad performance from either lens.
From what I’m seeing so far, the short answer is that the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L looks good here. It performs about the same as another high-end Canon zoom, the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L, which is an impressive achievement. However, as you saw on the previous page of this review, the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L gets increasingly weaker at its longer focal lengths. Keep that in mind if you try to judge where this lens stands overall – it’s definitely not a perfect lens.
One of my top priorities for 2024 is to test as many Canon RF lenses as possible, and I’ll add actual midrange zoom comparisons to this page as soon as I measure them in the lab. I suspect that some of Canon’s other midrange zooms will be even better, perhaps including the RF 24-70mm f/2.8L, RF 28-70mm f/2L, or RF 24-105mm f/2.8L. Thank you for your patience while I work on that endeavor.
The next page of this review sums up everything and explains the pros and cons of the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L. Click the menu below to go to “Verdict”:
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