Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z review: reinventing the standard zoom

The Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8 IS USM Z is here to challenge the way you think about hybrid stills and video lenses

Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8 IS USM Z lens on a Canon EOS R5 camera held in hands
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

For the first in a proposed line of new hybrid lenses, the Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8 IS USM Z is off to a very strong start. A 24-105mm with a constant f/2.8 aperture has been the dream of many for a long time, and Canon has finally delivered. Designed for stills and video, regular cine lens users won’t be shocked at its large size, although stills photographers might be, as the lens is considerably bigger than the RF 24-70mm f/2.8, perhaps too much so for photographers. The quality is sublime, though, with sharp results throughout the zoom range in my testing. The lens unfortunately will be prohibitively expensive for most who aren’t dedicated professionals in both stills and video.


  • +

    Constant f/2.8 aperture throughout entire range

  • +

    Brilliant for stills and video

  • +

    Image quality appears to be excellent


  • -

    Large lens for stills photographers

  • -

    Aperture ring only works for video (for now at least)

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Despite being the lenses that we tend to use the most, is there a type of lens more unexciting than the standard zoom lens? For years and years, we have been stuck with either a 24-105mm f/4 or a 24-70mm f/2.8. These tend to be exceptional lenses, and the workhorse lenses for professional photographers everywhere, but with marginal improvements to image quality or autofocus with each new generation, I find it hard to get excited about a new version.

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AutofocusDual Nano USM
Lens construction23 elements/18 groups
Special optics4x UD, 3x Aspherical (2x GMO), ASC, Super Spectra, Fluorine (front)
Diaphragm blades11
Aperture2.8 - 22
Close focusing distance0.45m
Maximum magnification0.8x (24mm) 0.29x (105mm)
Image stabilizer5.5 stops (OIS), 8 stops (OIS + IBIS)
Lens function buttons2
Dust/moisture resistanceYes
Filter diameter82mm
Size (diameter x length)88.5 x 199 mm (3.48 x 7.84 in)
Weight1350g (2.98lbs)
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FeaturesHybrid controls, image stabilization and a big f/2.8 aperture★★★★★
DesignA big lens for video but might be too much for photographers★★★★
PerformanceExcellent quality throughout the zoom range for stills and video★★★★★
ValueAn expensive lens priced for professionals who really need this kind of lens★★★★
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

At a fraction of the size, the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is the simple choice for anyone who is looking for a small and compact lens with the same focal length, and I think the better option for stills photographers.

Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM

Nothing quite competes with the hybrid nature of the Canon 24-105mm f/2.8 or its combination of aperture and focal length. However, the next best thing is the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, which still performs admirably for video, and has a beautiful wide aperture while being considerably smaller, lighter, and cheaper too!

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

If you really care about a wide aperture for low light or creative use, then one of the best zooms you can get is the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM. The lens is large and expensive but has outstanding image quality to justify that, although you do miss out on any optical image stabilization. 

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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.