Intro

The Canon RF 24-105mm f4-7.1 STM is a compact, mild and inexpensive general-purpose zoom for the full-frame EOS R mirrorless system. Introduced in February 2020, and costing round 399 {dollars} or kilos, it’s the most cost effective RF zoom to this point, permitting extra inexpensive kits to be provided with the lower-cost EOS R our bodies. Whereas it’s lower than half the worth of the RF 24-105mm f4L with its mounted aperture and L-badge, the cheaper STM model truly turned out to be quite a bit higher than I anticipated and on this assessment I’ll present you the way it measures-up! Every little thing that you must know is within the video under, however when you want to learn a written model of the highlights, preserve scrolling!

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Above: First let’s see that 4.4x optical vary in follow, beginning with helpful 24mm wide-angle protection that may seize giant topics, earlier than zooming-into particulars. It’s an ideal general-purpose vary that covers you for landscapes, structure, group pictures, portraits and particulars, whereas a decent minimal focusing distance additionally permits first rate close-ups. The 24-105 vary is in fact very well-represented within the trade with Canon even launching the EOS R system with an f4L model, however the STM model reviewed right here trades the fixed aperture and L-quality for a smaller, lighter and extra inexpensive choice.

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Above: If you happen to’re placing collectively a low-cost package with an EOS R physique, then the selection of lens at present boils down to 2 choices: the 24-105 STM on the left and the 24-240 on the correct. The 24-105 STM measures 77x89mm versus 80x123mm for the 24-240, whereas they weigh 395 and 750g respectively, making the 24-105 STM virtually half the burden; in actual fact mounted on an RP the combo weighs lower than 1kg. Clearly the 24-240 is a significantly heftier proposition in dimension and weight, to not point out value – costing simply over twice as a lot at 899 {dollars} or kilos. 

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Above: The 24-105 STM barrel is fairly easy with a large zoom ring that extends the barrel by 50mm utilizing a single part when set to the long-end of the vary; the filter thread measures 67mm. On the finish is a management ring that turns easily and might be set to both regulate the main target manually or function a customized operate set within the digicam, like ISO sensitivity. The graceful operation is ok for guide focus, however I missed the clicky suggestions when customised to regulate different settings. Observe the costlier RF lenses typically have two separate rings for guide focus and customized management, permitting one to be easy and the opposite to be clicky, however for simplicity and value, each the 24-105 STM and 24-240mm mix theirs into one switchable ring.  As you’d count on for the worth, the lens is just not weather-sealed, and as a non-L mannequin, Canon doesn’t provide a lens hood. I want they’d used the launch of EOS R to vary that coverage. 

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Above: The optical design of the 24-105 STM consists of 13 parts in 11 teams, has seven diaphragm blades, a closest focusing distance of 34cm on the telephoto finish or 20cm on the wide-end; when you change the lens to guide focus, you may truly focus as shut as 13cm when zoomed large, albeit with sharp outcomes solely in the course of the body. The 24-105 STM  consists of optical picture stabilisation which Canon claims is sweet for 5 stops; you may see it in motion in my video assessment on the prime of the web page. Focusing is carried out by an STM focusing motor, and you’ll see it in motion for stills images in my video assessment, once more recorded via the EOS RP first at 50mm f5 the place you’ll see it’s pretty swift. Examine it to the Nano USM focusing motor on the RF 24-240mm, once more at 50mm f5 and also you’ll see the 24-240 is slightly snappier at focusing. When focusing throughout films, the digicam slows down the method for a smoother-looking outcome. The STM motors on the 24-105 are additionally nearly silent even when utilizing the built-in microphones of the EOS RP. To be honest, the Nano USM motors on the 24-240mm have been additionally basically silent when refocusing.

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Above: The 24-105mm STM additionally works nicely with face-detection for pictures and films, right here filming at 35mm f4.5 utilizing the EOS RP. It’s not a very difficult depth of area to work with, however as you recognize from earlier freviews, face monitoring is one thing Canon’s our bodies are excellent at, so no downside in any respect right here.

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Above: The 24-105 STM has a variable aperture of f4-7.1 which solely works on the most f4 as much as 27mm, the place it closes to f4.5 till 37mm, then to f5 as much as 50mm, f5.6 as much as 63mm, f6.Three as much as 79mm, then to the minimal of f7.1 between 80 and 105mm. It turns into optically dimmer extra shortly than the 24-240mm, and naturally misses out on the fixed f4 focal ratio of the L model, however that is what permits it to be a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper than each. You’re trying on the lens at 35mm f4.5 above, the place the outcomes are basically an identical to the 24-240mm at 35mm f4.5.

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Above: If you happen to need larger bokeh blobs on the identical focal size and distance, you’ll merely want a bigger aperture, such because the RF 35mm f1.Eight STM seen right here wide-open at f1.8.

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Above: That stated, you may zoom the 24-105 STM to an extended focal size, so right here’s how that lens seems at 105mm from as shut as it might focus and at its most f7.1 aperture.

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Above: And for good measure, right here’s the 24-240mm fully-zoomed to 240mm f6.3, once more from the closest focusing distance of that lens. 

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Above: However whereas the RF 35mm can’t zoom to an extended focal size, it may well focus a lot nearer than the opposite two lenses, so right here it’s as shut as it’ll focus, once more wide-open at f1.Eight for dramatic bokeh blobs.

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Above: Only one extra bokeh blob comparability, so let’s return to the 24-105 STM at 105mm f7.1 and as shut as it’ll focus at 34cm. Now examine it to the costlier 24-105 f4L at 105mm f4L, and from as shut as that lens would focus at a extra distant 45cm. The lack to focus as shut is successfully cancelling-out the good thing about its bigger aperture right here with each lenses delivering similar-sized blobs when positioned at their closest respective distances. Place them aspect by aspect and also you’ll additionally see they share an analogous rendering model – do you’ve got a choice?

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Above: Now for a portrait comparability with these two fashions from the identical distance, beginning with the 24-105 STM at 105mm f7.1, displaying the utmost quantity of background blur you’ll get pleasure from from this distance. And now for the 24-105 f4L at 105mm f4 the place the one and two thirds of a cease benefit in aperture is delivering a shallower depth-of-field, albeit maybe not by as a lot as you thought.  Place them side-by-side and also you’ll see how shut they’re in follow from the identical distance. The 24-105 f4L might get pleasure from a visual profit by way of potential blurring, however when you need extra, you’ll be higher off with the RF 85mm f2, which you could possibly in fact use as a complement to both zoom.

To measure and examine optical high quality for distant topics, I photographed Brighton’s seafront with the 24-105 STM and 24-240 on the EOS RP at quite a lot of focal lengths and rotated the digicam in order that particulars went proper into the corners the place lenses usually wrestle. You’re taking a look at JPEGs out of digicam with all lens corrections enabled.

First-up the 24-105 STM at 24mm and its most aperture of f4. Trying carefully within the center exhibits degree of element out of the gate, however little to no enhancements when closed a cease or two.

As you progress into the corners, the small print soften slightly, however apparently whenever you shut the aperture, the standard stays a lot the identical. So from this outcome, I’d say the 24-105 delivers its greatest outcomes at 24mm just about out the gate at f4, with little to no acquire intimately when closing the aperture down.

Examine the center of the body to the 24-240 on the correct and so they’re displaying an analogous diploma of element once more, a outcome that’s additionally mirrored as you progress into the far corners. Devoted pixel-peepers might discover the 24-240 is arguably a fraction superior right here when each are at 24mm f4, however I’d basically name it a draw right here.

Now let’s zoom each lenses in slightly to 50mm, beginning once more with the 24-105 STM, right here at 50mm f5. Taking a better look within the center once more exhibits an honest quantity of element, and once more closing down the aperture makes little to no distinction to the standard within the center. Transferring out to the nook and the story is far the identical. It’s slightly softer than the center, though not as a lot in order at 24mm, and shutting the aperture to between f5.6 and f8 sees a minor increase in sharpness to higher match the center, however once more the 24-105 STM is performing nicely out of the gate at 50mm.

Examine the center of the body to the 24-240mm on the correct when each are at 50mm f5 and once more they appear very comparable, however this time within the corners, the 24-240 truly delivers a barely sharper outcome. You may match the outcome by closing the 24-105 STM down a few stops to round f11, however at their most apertures the 24-240 is slightly crisper within the corners on the 50mm focal size.

Now right here’s the 24-105 STM at 105mm f7.1, and once more all seems nicely within the center whenever you take a better look. Closing the aperture down additional didn’t make a distinction in my assessments. The corners have been additionally well-behaved at 105mm, even wide-open, and once more there was no perceptible acquire to closing the aperture any additional.

Now right here’s the 24-105 STM on the left and the 24-240 on the correct, each displaying crops from their center at 105mm. Observe the 24-105 has a most aperture of f7.1 at 105mm, making it two thirds of a cease slower than the 24-240mm on the identical focal size, so that you’re taking a look at f5.6 vs f7.1 right here. I’d say the 24-105 could also be a tad extra contrasty, however they’re actually very comparable. Transferring to the nook tells a lot the identical story, and once more neither lens improves noticeably when closing the aperture additional.

In the end each the RF 24-105 STM and RF 24-240mm shared comparable optical traits in my assessments with pretty uniform high quality throughout their frames and all through their ranges and in any respect apertures too. In contrast to some lenses, there’s little to no profit to closing both of their apertures down, except in fact you need to increase the depth of area.

A few of you could nevertheless be questioning how the costlier RF 24-105mm f4L compares in sharpness throughout the body, so right here it’s at 24mm f4 the place the center exhibits an analogous quantity of element, a minimum of when mounted on the identical EOS RP physique, however shifting into the corners reveals better softness than the 2 cheaper RF zooms. This may increasingly shock you, and it might be a fault with my take a look at copy, however the concern was seen within the reverse nook indicating it’s not decentering and I additionally noticed the identical outcome with a distinct pattern of this lens over a 12 months earlier as seen right here. Do bear in mind although the 24-105 f4L has a harder job to take care of an f4 most aperture all through the vary and as I’ll present you in a second can be much better corrected by way of geometry and vignetting.

Returning to that earlier 24mm f4 nook close-up, you will note a profit as you regularly shut the aperture down, so in case your copy reveals comparable points and also you want sharp corners at 24mm, I’d advocate closing the aperture to f8 or f11.

Now right here’s the RF 24-105 f4L at 50mm f4, the place once more there’s good sharp particulars within the center, though once more the nook seems noticeably softer wide-open at f4, though bear in mind at 50mm, it already enjoys a two thirds of a cease brightness benefit over the 2 cheaper zooms. Once more closing it down regularly improves the nook sharpness.

And eventually right here’s the RF 24-105mm f4L at 105mm f4 the place once more the center of the body is trying good and crisp, however the corners are once more revealing better softness. Keep in mind although at this level it’s one cease brighter than the 24-240 and virtually two stops brighter than the 24-105 STM. Closing the aperture down improves issues slightly within the corners, however not by as a lot as at shorter focal lengths.

So when taking a look at sharpness throughout the body at infinity, the cheaper zooms appeared to carry out higher than the f4L zoom, however once more I can solely touch upon the copies I’ve examined and these outcomes are just one a part of the entire story. 

The RF 24-105 STM, just like the 24-240, depends on a substantial amount of lens corrections behind the scenes, particularly with regards to geometric distortion and vignetting – or darkening within the corners. You’re taking a look at me toggling between the RAW and JPEG variations of the identical picture from the 24-105 STM right here at 24mm f4 the place the RAW preview doesn’t have lens corrections enabled and the distinction between it and the out-of-camera JPEG with corrections is dramatic.

Now examine it to the RF 24-105 f4L once more at 24mm f4 and you’ll see whereas there’s a little correction to vignetting, it’s rather more delicate, whereas there’s nearly no correction in any respect required for geometric distortion. Now within the trendy World, that is tutorial as most of us mechanically apply lens corrections with out an additional thought and even figuring out about it, however optical aficionados will likely be reassured by the lighter contact required by the f4L mannequin, to not point out its superior construct high quality, fixed aperture and doubtlessly larger resolving energy all making it a greater match for the costlier our bodies within the vary.

Test costs on the Canon RF 24-105mm f4-7.1 STM at Amazon, B&H, AdoramaWEX or Calumet.de. Alternatively get your self a replica of my In Digital camera guide or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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