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OpticalLimts reviews the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 STM IS
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OpticalLimts reviews the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 STM IS

OpticalLimits (formerly PhotoZone.de) has long been one of my favorite review sites.  They have released their review of the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM, Canon's consumer kit lens for the RF mount.  I'm curious on this lens as I want to see if it carries on the STM tradition of being a great bang for the buck in terms of optics.

In a nutshell to quote them directly; "If you purchased an R5 with this lens, you are nuts" however the lens performs well on the lower resolution (aka cheaper) EOS RF camera bodies like the RP and R.  I would imagine as Canon fleshes out the full frame entry level and starts to add in some full frame Rebels into the mix that the resolution of those cameras will be kept low so that these lenses can be adequately used.

They really didn't like the lens, particularly with Canon's newest mirrorless trick on full frame and powershots which is to stretch the wide angle which drops the resolution in the corners.  They conclude;

In absolute terms, it's clearly a sub-standard lens. Its native characteristics range from good to downright terrible. The miserable vignetting and distortions have to be seen to be believed. Conversely, the resolution is actually pretty decent - which is a bit of a pity because you just won't use this lens without auto-correction.

That's being said - it is highly unlikely that you invest thousands into a high-megapixel camera and then just a few hundred on a cheap kit zoom lens. The pixel-level sharpness increases towards lower sensor resolutions and the vast majority of users have cameras featuring 20 to 30 megapixels (as of the time of this review). Within this context, the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 STM IS makes much more sense. The 24mm setting will still not be perfect here but it's certainly usable.

Should you buy one? if you have an RP and want a cheap lightweight kit zoom, there's really no other option available, and as they mention, it suffices in that role.

However let's be real here, it is a $399 4x zoom lens there will always be compromises.

Read the full review here


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