In the world of photography, the term “kit lens” has not always been met with positive feelings. For many of us, these kit inclusions brings words like cheap, soft and slow to mind. You may not be aware, however, that over the last decade or so camera manufacturers have been introducing higher-end lenses into kits alongside their premium camera offerings. One such example includes the Canon RF 24-105mm f4L IS USM which was introduced as a pairing for the new line of Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras as a way to showcase exactly what they’re capable of.
Canon originally offered this lens in a kit with their EOS R but has since removed the option. It is currently being offered in packages with the EOS RP, R5 and R6 while also being offered as a standalone purchase for $1099.
Robust and Durable
The first impression you get when you pick this lens up is that it’s anything but cheap. While not as heavy as it’s EF mount counterpart, it still feels robust and of good build quality. The lens mount, switch panel and three rings all have dust and water-resistant construction, enabling you to continue shooting when rough weather occurs.
In addition to the zoom and focus ring, Canon has given us a control ring that can be programmed through the camera to be a shortcut for one of many setting options (aperture, ISO, white balance, etc.). You will also find a lock switch for the zoom function, an AF-MF switch and a switch to turn on and off the image stabilizer.
Canon has been offering this particular zoom range for a while now and for good reason. If you’re someone who wants to own a lens that can do a little bit of everything, look no further. With a range from wide-angle to short telephoto, this lens can perform in 95% of the situations that we as photographers find ourselves wanting to capture. It may not be quite wide enough to capture an entire skyscraper at close distance and it doesn’t have the reach to capture a grizzly from 150 yards away but what it can do is act as an ideal photographic companion for most every day situations including travel, landscapes, portraits, and even documenting the lives of your fur babies.
Canon’s L-series lenses have always had the reputation of being sharp and this one is no exception. We have not photographed charts in a clinical setting to see just how sharp this lens is, nor do we have plans to. The fact is, we much rather spend our time photographing in real-world scenarios in order to properly gauge just how great this lens actually is.
In situations such as these, it does not disappoint. We see very little change in sharpness, even when pixel-peeping (terrible habit), no matter what focal length or f-stop we have the lens set to. This is not only due to great glass and engineering, but also the short focal flange distance of Canon’s mirrorless full-frame design.
A Staple in Your Camera Bag
The autofocus also performs just as one would expect from Canon’s line of premium glass. It is fast, quiet and delivers amazing accuracy. While this lens isn’t going to be the first choice among professional sports photographers, it is more than capable of keeping up with fast-moving children and pets.
Bottom line, if you are considering investing in the Canon EOS RP, R5 or R6 we wouldn’t discourage you from purchasing it in a kit with this lens as it would be money well spent. The Canon RF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens won’t end up as yet another lens that has been downgraded to a decorative item on your shelf but rather will more likely become a staple in your camera bag.