Do we need a 24-105mm f/2.8? Canon thinks we do

Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM looks like this - but an RF 24-105mm f/2.8 would be a stop faster, and noticably bigger (Image credit: Future)

There is already no shortage of standard zoom options, although lens manufacturers keep insisting on redefining the all-purpose lens. Now if patents and rumors are to be believed, Canon might be considering throwing in another option to the mix with the world's first Canon 24-105mm f/2.8 lens.

Canon Watch has received a tip (although a low-rated one) that Canon has explored developing a new Canon 24-105mm f/2.8 lens, which on its own might not catch our eye, however, recent patents for a number of similar optical formulas from Canon match this proposed new lens. However, Canon is a prolific patenter, with the majority of lens designs never making it to production.

For any readers familiar with the Canon lens lineup, you will already be aware that Canon makes several 'standard zoom' lenses. Standard zoom lenses typically cover all the focal lengths that most general-purpose photographers need, from wide angles for landscapes and street photography up to mid-telephoto lengths for portraiture.

In the classic 24-105mm focal length, we already have the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, and the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM meeting both the professional and enthusiast ends of the spectrum. If you need a wider aperture, Canon also makes the professionals' go-to lens – the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM on the latest Canon EOS R8 camera. (Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

With the release of the new RF mount, Canon promised a whole new world of lens design was now possible, and kicked off with the Canon 28-70mm f/2 USM which is optically brilliant but an absolute behemoth of a lens. Since this lens was released we haven't been treated to nearly as many boundary-pushing lens designs as we'd have hoped.

A new standard zoom might be a response to third-party lens manufacturers' increasingly impressive designs such as Tamron's 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD or 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, which have captured a lot of photographers interest who are not interested in carrying multiple lenses.

If Canon really is planning a 24-105mm lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8, it would most likely be an L series lens, which begs the question of how big will this lens be. Canon has not yet shown its ability to match L series quality with small-sized optics.

The current 24-105mm f/4 is not a particularly small lens, and with wider apertures adding additional diameter, you can expect it to become a lot larger if expanded to a constant f/2.8 aperture. Standard zoom lenses are meant to be workhorse lenses and easily carried around. 

You can check out the latest Canon rumors in our hub. You can also find our guides to the best Canon lenses and the best Canon cameras.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.