Canon conjures up compelling RF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS Z lens

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Is the new RF 24-105mm f/2.8L Z the ultimate 'all-rounder' lens Canon users have been waiting for? And what does the 'Z' denote?

The venerable 24-70mm f/2.8L lens has been the standard 'do everything' lens for so many photographers of all camera brands for such a long time. It is probably the most versatile lens in any photographer's kit. 

Image: Canon/supplied
Image: Canon/supplied

You'll find that many Canon users first 'L' lens would have been a 24-105mm f/4 lens, and then they'd progress to the 24-70mm f2.8L. But, like most users, after 'upgrading' they'd find that they miss that extra reach of the 105mm (of course, forcing you to use a 70-200mm f/2.8).

That extra 35mm definitely gives you a bit more useful stand-off when it comes to shooting documentary, portraits, speeches, weddings or bands.

Image: Canon/supplied
Image: Canon/supplied

Also at 105mm, it's still easy to crop into the image in post to give you at least an equivalent of a 150mm lens – something you wouldn't consider at 70mm.

So the about-to-be-released RF 24-105mm f/2.8L Z is a very welcome lens, but like the incredible RF 28-70mm f/2.0L – it has a couple of caveats.

For a start, unlike the lightweight 700g RF 24-105mm f/4L – this lens weighs a fairly hefty 1.33 kg.

This is not insanely heavy, but if you are shooting a wedding or event all day, you'd better head down to the gym soon (you've got until its launch in mid-December to build up muscle mass). But of course, this isn't a problem if using a tripod or monopod. 

The size of the lens is also quite imposing. It measures nearly 20cm long and its diameter of 88.5mm incorporates a filter diameter of 82mm.

Image: Canon/supplied
Image: Canon/supplied

But being an internally focussing long lens has a few advantages: superior weather sealing; space for a stepless aperture ring and optional tripod collar, as well as the room to add Canon's new in-camera battery powered Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 / PZ-E2B so you can do smooth zooms. 

So while many will think of this as a photographer's lens, Canon is touting it as a hybrid lens that can be used bridge the gap between stills and video content. And this is what the 'Z' denotes – hybrid lens.

Key features of the RF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z:

  • Excellent image quality and weather sealing providing added durability – alongside sharp high-contrast images due to four UD lenses to correct chromatic aberration
  • Professional electronic parfocal focus capability and focus breathing suppression to maintain a consistent field-of-view when shooting movies
  • Internal zoom operation meaning the barrel length is constant, which is better for rigging, weather resistance, and has a smoother operation 
  • Smooth iris ring operation with 32 steps between stops (no clicks) and a lock release switch for the 'Auto' position

The lens will be available from around mid-December at a RRP price of $5,399.

The Power Zoom Adapters PZ-E2 / PZ-E2B will cost $1,849 and $2,399 respectively and be available from the first half of 2024. 

You can find out more on the Canon website.

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