The "standard" zoom has just been questioned again, with the announcement of the new Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM.
Launched as a kit lens accompaniment to the new Canon EOS R8, which was also joined by the new Canon EOS R50, the Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM can be purchased on its own or in a bundle with the R8. It takes the tally of RF lenses to a total of 33 and helps to expand the range.
• Even though the "standard" seems to be changing, these are the best standard zoom lenses
It’s interesting to see Canon opting for a focal length range of 24mm to 50mm, as this provides just over two times optical zoom. We’re used to seeing kit lenses have a focal length of around 18-55mm for APS-C or 24-105mm for full frame, which have optical zooms of 3x and 4.4x respectively.
Canon’s new kit lens follows the likes of the Sony 20-70mm f/4 G and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2, so it’s interesting to see big brands experimenting with "standard" formula and trying something different.
Generally speaking, the higher the zoom range, the more you’re asking of any given lens – and you’re likely to see worse image quality as a result. This is the reason why prime lenses (optics without a zoom, so have a fixed focal length) normally have brilliant image quality. So it will be interesting to see if Canon’s latest lens, with its shorter zoom range, will have a notably better optical performance.
Canon’s RF 24-50mm has a maximum aperture of f/4.5 at the 24mm end, closing down to f/6.3 at 50mm. It also has an STM (stepping motor) for fast and quiet autofocusing. An STM also helps produce smoother autofocus when recording video, and supports focus breathing correction.
Also listed on the spec sheet is Optical Image Stabilisation, which Canon claims will deliver a 4.5 stop advantage, or 7 stops when paired with an EOS R body with in-body image stabilization (such as the Canon EOS R6 Mark II). The lens will also be very portable, with a weight of just 210g, and has a close focusing distance of just 300mm.
Sales of the Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM are due to start in late April with the lens costing £379.99 (US and Australian pricing TBC), or purchased in a kit with the EOS R8 for £1,899.99.