Canon announced the Canon RF 24-240mm lens in July, for launch in September 2019. This lens is for the latest RF full frame mirrorless cameras like the Canon EOS R and Canon EOS RP. It sounds like an amazing lens, with ten times zoom, and five stop image stabilisation. This could be a lens that covers all bases and will end up being glued to your camera.
Before going on to the reviews lets look at the spec’
- 10x zoom
- Dynamic Image Stabilization rated to five stops
- Maximum aperture f4-6.3
- Nano USM autofocus. What’s that?
- Approximate weight of 750 grams/26.4 ounces
- Customisable control ring to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO
- No weather sealing
- 21 lens elements in 15 groups including.
- 12-pin communication system
- Lens hood included
How good is it though? It is not an L lens, so it is not the best quality lens that Canon can manufacture. However, Canon claims that the lens is RF quality because the new mount and flange distance provide Canon with new optical opportunities.
Only now are reviewers getting hold of the lens and putting it through some tough testing.
Digital Camera Review
This review gave this lens 5 stars.
- ‘exploits the new RF lens mount width and flange distance and Canon’s latest lens technologies to meet new, higher standards of performance’.
- ‘Canon is also very excited about this lens’s 5-stop image stabilisation system. The ‘steadying’ effect is very visible in the viewfinder, though in practice we found it no better or worse than most other stabilisers’.
- The lens relies heavily on digital correction. Uncorrected raw files show the corners clipped by vignetting. This is corrected in camera for JPEGs. Canon however, has not yet incorporated correction data into its raw files, and so requires fixing using Adobe Camera Raw.
- ‘Is digital correction cheating? Well, if it means we get lenses and results that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, we say it’s all fair’.
- This lens is reliant on both digital and optical correction to reach its full potential, but Olympus and Fuji have been doing this for years with their lenses
Christopher Fox Photography
Christopher is an urbane English guy. This is his review:
- Is this really a budget lens when priced at £$900?
- The Nano USM autofocus is quick and accurate
- The build is plastic but solid
- The focus and control ring are interchangeable
- Images are sharp in the centre but softer in the corners.
- Distortion and vignetting is apparent but handled well by the in camera software.
- Close up images are sharp and can be shot as close as 75cm.
- Conclusion: this is a mediocre lens optically improved by the camera software
Testing the New Canon RF 24-240mm Over Three Weeks in Pakistan
This review from PetPixel by Martin Bissig a Canon Ambassador who took the lens on a trip through the rugged terrain of Pakistan.
- ‘it was the image quality that surprised me the most: for a lens of this size and weight, I was expecting lower imaging capabilities’.
- ‘It’s a good and practical compromise between size, weight, quality and zoom range. If you travel a lot and are not a fan of changing lenses, the 24-240mm lens is ideal, provided you already have a Canon mirrorless camera or you’re ready to make that leap’.
- Cons are weather sealing, wide apertures and no lens hood.
There was a time when professional photographers would not use telephoto lenses. They just used prime lenses. However as quality improved, there is now not a professional photographer who has not got one in their bag.
There is currently a similar disenchantment with superzooms. What press photographer would not want to use a superzoom rather than have multiple cameras hanging around their necks.
Times change. A smartphone can take superb images, but it does not have a Canon L lens, it has a tiny lens which has it’s shortcomings overcome by the clever software built into the phone.
Why then should Canon not do the same with this full frame superzoom? Superzoom lenses are fantastically convenient, but notoriously difficult to build. As a result Canon have taken a leaf out of Apple, Samsung and Hauwie’s playbook and made a good lens a great lens with the addition of algorithms.
Wait for the professionals to join us amateurs, when they realise glass is not everything.