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Products >> All Products Key Features of RF Lenses- Part

RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z: Hybrid Extraordinaire

2023-11-03
17
11.03 k

On 3 November 2023, Canon announced the RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z. The perfect lens for both photography and videography, the new L-series professional grade standard zoom lens combines a wide 24-105mm zoom range and fast f/2.8 constant aperture with video-centric controls also found on cinema lenses.

In this article:

An ideal lens for both stills and video

A new standard zoom lens for hybrid shooters

More and more image creators shoot both still images and videos, and that has changed the features required in a lens. While swift autofocusing and high optical performance worthy of high-resolution imaging remain important especially for still shooting, lens developers in recent years have recognised the need to include video-centric operating features. The new concept RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z is the product of this new era.

The lens itself is a hybrid of some of the most desired features on existing Canon photography lenses. It bears:
- A wide 24 to 105mm zoom range: Increases compositional flexibility as a standard zoom lens
- A large f/2.8 constant maximum aperture: Enables speed and beautiful bokeh throughout all focal lengths
- The signature professional-grade optical quality of L-series lenses: Crucial in an era of high-resolution stills and videos.

At the same time, it newly incorporates features desired in lenses for video production:
- An iris ring: Allows smooth and silent depth of field control through aperture adjustments
- Support for Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 (sold separately): Enables smooth, seamless electronically powered zoom control

Designed to provide versatility and seamless convenience for both still and video shoots, the RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z is a lens that is made for professional hybrid shooters.

 

Versatile in multiple ways

Zoom from 24 to 105mm, with f/2.8 available all the way

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z offers excellent versatility as a standard zoom lens, combining the best features of Canon’s classic professional standard zoom lenses. Like the RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, a quintessential part of the RF f/2.8L zoom lens trinity, it provides a wide f/2.8 constant maximum aperture, allowing better low-light usability and greater flexibility with exposure settings throughout its entire zoom range. 11 circular aperture blades create beautiful rounded bokeh even when stopped down.

At the same time, it incorporates the wider zoom range of the RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM. The longer reach to 105mm not only increases compositional flexibility in an assortment of scenes, but also enables enhanced bokeh through the shallower depth of field at longer focal lengths.

The fixed zoom barrel design keeps the centre of gravity consistent regardless of the focal length, ideal for shooting video with a rig or gimbal.


Know this: Larger maximum aperture, better AF performance

f/2.8 provides a 1-stop advantage over f/4, but it’s not just your shutter and ISO speed settings that benefit. Canon cameras generally use full aperture metering to maximise the volume of light information available for functions such as autofocusing (AF). A larger maximum aperture allows more light to enter the camera, helping with analysis and contributing to better AF performance especially in low light.

 

Close-up shooting from the lens tip

EOS R5/ RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z/ FL: 105mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/5 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: 5000K

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z ‘s uniform 0.45m closest focusing distance over its entire focal range offers a maximum magnification of 0.29x at the 105mm end. This means that you can easily focus on and capture close-ups of subjects.

 

Reimagine your f/2.8L zoom trinity


The f/2.8 zoom lens “holy trinity” is a set of three professional zoom lenses that cover the ultra-wide, standard, and telephoto focal ranges while providing a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. The traditional RF mount f/2.8L holy trinity consists of classics like the RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, and RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.

However, recent groundbreaking new lenses offer new options with a longer zoom range. You can also build a new trinity with the following lenses:
- RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM
- RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z
- RF100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM

The additional focal ranges will benefit your videos, too.

 

Cinema lens-like operation

Cinema lens-like operations: Seamless control over video expression

From focusing to zooming to exposure control, the lens features that matter when we use a lens for stills differ from those that matter for videos. A lens that is designed primarily for still photography might bring slight inconveniences for video shooting. For example, zoom and focus transitions are captured in videos and can affect the quality of the final footage. 

Designed with hybrid shooters who shoot both stills and videos in mind, the RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z caters to the best of both worlds. From smooth, clickless direct aperture control through the iris ring, to support for the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 (sold separately) that provides seamless, electronically powered zoom control, fulfilling your creative vision is easier than ever, even when working unassisted.


EOS R5 + RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z + Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 (sold separately)


Iris ring: Providing smooth, clickless depth of field control

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z is the first RF lens to feature an iris ring. A staple on cinema lenses, the clickless iris ring provides smooth, intuitive, silent aperture control during video shooting. Simply slide and hold down the iris ring lock release switch and turn the ring to control aperture in highly precise 1/32-stop increments—that’s a much longer stroke than the 1/3-stop increments in still photography.

*The iris ring cannot be used for aperture control during still shooting. During video shooting, operating the iris ring may result in AF subject acquisition difficulties. The actual f-number might also differ from the f-number displayed by the camera.


Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2: Steady power zooming at your desired speed

Easily attached to and removed from the RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z without the need for special tools, the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 enables electronically controlled zooming from the wide to tele ends of the lens at a preset speed, all with just the flick of a switch. A zoom speed adjustment dial provides finer, stepless zoom speed control from 3 to 90 seconds in normal mode to 1.5 to 90 seconds in high-speed mode*.

*In normal mode, the adapter draws power from the camera. Cameras other than the EOS R3 can use the high-speed mode by using an external power supply source via the USB Power Adapter PD-E1 (sold separately).


Smooth and easy power zooming with Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2

 

Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2

The Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 can be attached and detached from the lens without the need for special tools. Buttons and controls are designed for easy access during handheld shooting.

 

 

Dual Nano USMs: Swift, precise, seamless autofocusing; improved image quality

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z is equipped with not one but two Nano USMs (Ultrasonic Motors) for AF drive, so you can expect high-speed, precise autofocusing during still shooting and smooth, seamless focus tracking during video shooting. The dual Nano USM structure also contributes to image quality as it allows the focusing and floating lens groups to be controlled independently, reducing the fluctuating aberrations that may occur when the shooting distance changes.

Improved mechanical structures and electronic control provide sophisticated control over focus fluctuations that may occur during zooming, realising precise AF acquisition and subject tracking even if you operate the zoom during video recording or high-speed continuous shooting.


Smooth AF tracking even during video zooming

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z supports Focus Breathing Correction, a camera function that minimises the potentially jarring fluctuations in the angle of view (“breathing”) that occur during focus transitions when shooting video.

 

The outstanding signature L-lens quality all throughout

Professional L-lens image quality throughout the entire zoom range

EOS R3/ RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z/ FL: 105mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/250 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: 5000K

 

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z contains 23 lens elements in 18 groups. These include 3 aspherical lenses and 4 UD lenses to correct various aberrations.

The lens design leverages on the RF mount’s short back focus design to deliver outstanding image quality. It also works with the digital distortion and aberration correction features on the camera side to minimise issues like colour bleeding and ensure clear, sharp images. The rearmost lens is coated with anti-reflective ASC (Air Sphere Coating) to effectively prevent ghosting and flaring.

Lens configuration diagram

A: Aspherical lens elements
B: UD lens elements
C: ASC

 

 

Up to 8 stops' image stabilisation

Up to 8 stops’ image stabilisation with Coordinated Control IS

Standard zoom lenses are the principal lens for many photographers due to their versatility, and are expected to encounter many handheld shooting situations. Catering to this, the RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z is equipped with a built-in Optical IS (Image Stabilizer) that corrects camera shake by up to 5.5 shutter speed stops’ equivalent, ensuring sharper, steadier handheld images and video, even when you are shooting with a lower shutter speed in low light or panning to follow unpredictable action.

When used with a camera that features In-Body IS, such as the EOS R3, the lens supports Coordinated Control IS between the in-lens and in-camera IS systems, enhancing image stabilisation performance by up to 8 stops’ equivalent.

Optical IS
Optical IS + In-Body IS
Up to 5.5 stops
Up to 8 stops

*According to CIPA standards (yaw and pitch directions). At focal length 105mm.

 

The RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z is the first standard zoom lens to be equipped with an IS mode selector switch. The switch allows users to select between three IS modes, just like on L-series telephoto lenses such as the RF100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM.

MODE 1: Compensates for camera shake in all directions. Ideal for stationary subjects.

MODE 2: Does not compensate for camera shake in the direction that the lens is moving. Ideal for panning shots.

MODE 3: Compensates for camera shake only during the exposure. Makes it easier to keep subjects with unpredictable movement in sight when looking through the viewfinder.

Learn more about IS modes in:
Know Your Canon Lenses (2): Useful Features on Telephoto & Macro Lenses

 

Other notable features

Other notable features

Dust- and drip-proof design

With the various rings, switches, and other moving parts weather-sealed, the lens is designed to prevent dust and water droplets from entering, increasing its reliability.

Fluorine coating

Smudge-resistant fluorine coating on the frontmost element prevents dust and dirt from sticking onto the lens, and allows them to be easily wiped off with a cleaning cloth.

 

 

Key specifications

RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z: Key specifications

Lens construction: 23 elements in 18 groups
Closest focusing distance: 0.45m
Maximum magnification: 0.29x (at 105mm)
No. of aperture blades: 11 (circular blade)
Filter diameter: 82m
Size: φ88.5 x 199mm
Weight: approx. 1,330g


Bundled accessories

Lens Hood EW-88E

Soft Lens Case LZ1326(B)

 

Sample images

RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z: Sample images


EOS R5/ RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z/ FL: 105mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/320 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto


EOS R5/ RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/200 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto


EOS R3/ RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z/ FL: 45mm/ Shutter-priority AE (f/3.2, 1/2000 sec)/ ISO 6400/ WB: Auto


EOS R5/ RF24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z/ FL: 85mm/ Manual exposure (f/8, 0.6 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: 4300K

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