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RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM: Fast, Wide, and Versatile

2022-07-12
3
3.86 k

Complementing the rich variety of RF lenses already in its lineup, Canon continues to leverage on the flexibility of the RF mount to develop unique lenses that provide even more options. On 12 July 2022, the latest of such lenses was announced. The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is a wide-angle prime lens that offers semi-macro shooting capabilities and beautiful, creamy bokeh through its large f/1.8 maximum aperture, all within a small, light body.

In this article:

Key features

RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM: Key features

- Ultra-wide-angle prime lens
- Designed for full-frame EOS R cameras (RF mount)
- Also fits on APS-C EOS R series cameras without a mount adapter (Equivalent angle of view: 38.4mm)
- Not an L-series lens: no weather sealing
- 0.5x macro capabilities; close-ups possible at up to closest focusing distance 14cm (MF mode)
- Optical IS: up to 5 stops; with Coordinated Control IS: up to 6.5 stops

The most unique thing about RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM

f/1.8 maximum aperture: Beautiful bokeh even when shooting wide angle

When the wide-angle end of many standard zoom kit lenses for full-frame cameras is also 24mm, is there any reason to buy a 24mm prime lens? Of course, the answer is yes!

For one, it’s easier to design a small, fast prime lens than a zoom lens with the same properties, and this reflects in the price. For another, the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM has a large maximum aperture of f/1.8, providing a very shallow depth of field that results in beautiful background bokeh despite the larger depth of field that usually comes with shorter focal lengths.

EOS R6/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, 1/4000 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto


What you can’t achieve at 24mm f/4

Of the existing RF lenses for full-frame cameras, there are currently four standard zoom lenses that have a 24mm wide-angle end:
- RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM
- RF24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM
- RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
- RF24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM

All these lenses have their own unique features that make them appealing to own. However, where the maximum aperture is concerned, the f/1.8 on the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM trumps all of them, even the professional-grade RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM. This means that the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is capable of more intense, creamier bokeh.

Pay attention to the bokeh circles (out-of-focus point light sources) below—do you notice how they are bigger and rounder on the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM?

RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM, FL: 24mm @ f/1.8

RF24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM, FL: 24mm @ f/4

24mm vs 16mm: how does it impact composition?

The 24mm angle of view

When used with a full-frame camera, a 24mm angle of view narrowly meets the definition of “ultra-wide-angle”. It is just wide enough to capture grand landscapes in the frame, and can also provide the dynamic perspective that makes ultra-wide-angle images look so unique. There are wider lenses around, of course, like the RF16mm f/2.8 STM. However, composing with them can be more challenging as it is harder to keep unwanted elements out of the frame. 24mm provides a good balance between ease of composition and a wider angle of view.

Did you know that 24mm is also a good focal length for beginners trying to master ultra-wide-angle compositions?
See:

24mm Closeups: 3 Simple Exercises for Mastering Wide-Angle Perspective
Can I use the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM on an APS-C camera?

Easy-to-use 38.4mm equivalent coverage on APS-C cameras

The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM can be mounted on an APS-C EOS R series camera like the EOS R7 or EOS R10 without a mount adapter. The 1.6x crop factor gives an angle of view equivalent to 38.4mm, which means you can use the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM like a 35mm f/1.8 lens—with the same ease of use when shooting everyday scenes or even just walking around.

When attached to a full-frame camera, the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM provides a 24mm angle of view.

When attached to an APS-C camera, the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM provides an angle of view that is equivalent to 38.4mm on a full-frame camera.


You may also be interested in:
Full-Frame vs APS-C Camera: Which Should I Choose?
How close can I shoot with the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM?

Close-ups at 0.5x macro

The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM has a closest focusing distance of 14cm, which makes it excellent for close-up shooting. Its 0.5x maximum magnification makes it a semi-macro lens. When this is combined with its 24mm wide angle by shooting close to flowers and other small subjects, you don’t just fill more of the frame with the subject but also capture a large part of the background context. This results in the unique wide-angle macro look that adds to your range of creative expression.

EOS R6/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/250 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: 5800K

Behind the scenes

The lens’ short closest focusing distance allows the leaf to be in sharp focus even when shooting close to it. Its wide angle enables the face of the model holding the leaf to be captured in the same frame.


On APS-C cameras like the EOS R7 and EOS R10, the 1.6x crop effect increases the close-up effect.

Does the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM have image stabilisation?

Image stabilisation: up to 5 stops’ Optical IS; up to 6.5 stops’ Coordinated Control IS

The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is equipped with an optical image stabilizer (Optical IS) that achieves up to 5 shutter speed stops’ equivalent image stabilisation*. When combined with a camera with the In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS), such as the EOS R5 or EOS R6, the Optical IS and In-Body IS coordinate to perform Coordinated Control IS, which achieves enhanced image stabilisation with up to 6.5 shutter speed stops’ equivalent* effect.

Optical IS
Optical IS + In-Body IS
Up to 5 stops
Up to 6.5 stops

*According to CIPA standards (yaw and pitch directions). At focal length 24mm.


Shutter speed 0.5 sec on EOS R5 (IS OFF)


Shutter speed 0.5 sec on EOS R5 (IS ON)


Also see:
3 Types of Scenes That Take Full Advantage of In-Body IS
How is the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM designed for image quality?

Designed for excellent image quality: The RF lens signature

While the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is not an L-series lens and therefore not professional grade, it does benefit from the large RF mount diameter and short back focus, which contribute to better image quality. The simpler lens configuration of prime lenses due to their single focal length make it easier to ensure a certain, consistent standard of image quality when designing them, compared to zoom lenses where there are more moving parts to account for and an entire zoom range to ensure consistent quality over.

A: UD lens
B: Aspherical lens

The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM incorporates 1 aspherical lens and 1 UD lens in an optimised configuration. The aspherical lenses work together with the digital distortion correction function* on the camera to correct the distortion aberrations that become visible at short focal lengths, whereas the UD lens effectively corrects the lateral chromatic aberration that tends to manifest as colour bleeding and false colours in wide-angle images.


EOS R6/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/4, 1/500 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

Resolution is sharp from the image centre all the way to the peripheries. Image quality is excellent: there is no visible distortion or discolouration in the edges of the image. The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is a good choice for scenes where sharpness and clarity are important, such as in landscape and architectural photography.

*When this lens is attached, the Distortion Correction function on the camera will be enabled.
Other things to note:
- When using the lens with the EOS R/RP, please ensure that the camera firmware is the latest version.
- The Multiple Exposures function will be unavailable when using this lens with the EOS R/RP/Ra/R5/R6.

Is the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM good for shooting video?

Great for shooting videos too

The RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is also an appealing option for shooting video—small and light, it is easy to handle not just for shooting handheld, but also when mounted onto a mini tripod or rigged with a gimbal. The 24mm angle of view captures a wide view of the scene even from a short shooting distance, great for scenes such as product reviews and demonstrations where you need both the human and the products on the table to be in the frame. The semi-macro capabilities of the lens will come in useful for close-ups. And if you are filming yourself, the lens doesn’t require a huge working distance, so you can place your camera within easy reach.

How small and portable is the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM?

A lightweight, compact lens that’s great for shooting your everyday

Small and lightweight at only around 270g, the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM adds to the mobility of the EOS R mirrorless system. When combined with the EOS R6, the entire setup weighs only around 950g. When attached to the EOS R10—the lightest camera in the EOS R series—the combination weighs only around 699g. Your gear will barely, if ever, be a burden when you walk around.

Sharp and clear scenery, portraits with excellent background separation and beautiful bokeh, close-ups of flowers and small subjects—enjoy it all in one little lens: the RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM.

Key specifications

RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM: Key specifications

Key specifications

Lens construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Closest focusing distance: 0.14m
Maximum magnification: 0.5x
No. of aperture blades: 9 (circular blades)
Filter diameter: 52mm
Size: φ74.4 x 63.4mm
Weight: approx. 270g


Lens Hood EW-65B (sold separately)

Sample photos

RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM: Sample photos


EOS R7/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, 1/200 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto


EOS R6/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, 1/40 sec)/ ISO 1600/ WB: Auto


EOS R6/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/13, 1/4 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto


EOS R7/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/8, 0.4 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto


EOS R7/ RF24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, 1/2000 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: 5000K

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