Canon announces RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z, PLUS Zoom controller

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Canon has three new RF Mount lenses to add to the existing lineup, and they are a wide range too. The variable F-stop RF-S10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM, the RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z, and the RF200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM lenses can benefit a wide range of users from beginners all the way to working professionals.

The one that caught my attention and is the main focus of this article is the RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z. This is the new “Z” lens from Canon. “Z” stands for zoom. It’s the first of what I’m sure will not be the last to have specific features for video while being a workhorse for stills—a true hybrid lens.

RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z

Now this lens gets me a bit excited. The 24-105 f4 has been my go-to lens for event videos. The zoom range is great, and most people felt the F4 was holding it back. I don’t agree, but now Canon has a 2.8 version and offers even more.

Canon states this is the world’s first 24-105mm focal length lens combined with a consistent f/2.8 maximum aperture offering true portrait-length telephoto coverage.  High-end photographers, photojournalists, and video content creators can utilize this lens. The new f2.8 version will be heavier and larger, as to be expected with the larger 2.8 aperture. The OG RF 24-105 F4 weighs 1.54 lb / 700 g, and the new version comes in at approx. 2.9 lbs. / 1330g.

Some good news is the lens doesn’t extend when zooming. This makes sense since it has a power zoom option, as physically pushing those elements back and forth would be efficient and use a lot of power for strong motors. This will keep the camera balanced when using a tripod, and if you dare to use it on a gimbal, you won’t have to adjust the balance.

RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z Key features

  • World’s first 24-105mm focal length combined with a consistent f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Supports optional Canon Power Zoom Adapters
  • 11 aperture blades
  • Smooth, click-less iris ring for precise lens aperture control
  • Close-focusing to under 1.5 feet (0.45m) at all focal lengths
  • Maximum magnification 0.29x at the 105mm zoom setting
  • Optical Image Stabilization up to 5.5 stops of shake correction and Coordinated Control (IS up to 8.0 stops with cameras equipped with IBIS)4
  • Nano USM maintains focus while zooming
  • Outstanding handling with included tripod mount featuring lock release button
  • Dust- and water-resistant structure and lens fluorine coating
  • Approx. 46.9 oz. / 2.9 lbs. / 1330g

Iris Ring for Precise Lens Aperture Control

The RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z is equipped with an iris ring (aperture control), the first among RF lenses.  This allows video users to manually change the f-stop while shooting video, with a click-less, smooth operation similar to a cinema lens. Note that on release, the manual iris doesn’t function when in stills mode.

The aperture Control Ring for video is a great feature. No more exposure jumps when making changes while recording.

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Iris ring is for manual aperture control, and as of late 2023, is only possible during video operation with compatible cameras. Current compatible EOS cameras will require a firmware upgrade available in December 2023 for manual iris operation during video recording.

The lens also features two customizable feature buttons.

Image Stabilization

The Canon RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z has three different IS settings. It offers up to 5.5 stops of optical stabilization and 8 stops with sensor stabilization Canon cameras such as the EOS R5 and EOS R6.

  • IS Mode 1 – for still subjects, can handle any kind of shaking. This includes when shooting stationary subjects such as portraits.
  • IS Mode 2 – for panning shots of moving subjects. Helps to correct vertical camera shake when panning horizontally, or horizontal camera shake when panning vertically.
  • IS Mode 3 – for stabilizing only during image capture, such as when tracking movement during a sporting event.

 Power Zoom Adapter

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You would think the F2.8 would be enough but nope. A new Power Zoom Adapter will also be available for the RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z lens, an optional accessory for smooth zooming during video operation. Is the lens parfocal? From what I now understand, Canon states it is electronically Parfocal, so the lens is not by design parfocal as it uses the focus by wire to keep the image in focus while zooming.

A base version of the Power Zoom Adapter will be available, as well as a 20-pin port version to support zoom grips such as the Canon ZSG-C10 Zoom Grip for COMPACT-SERVO Lens zoom and focus. With the 20-pin connector, pretty much all Canon zoom and focus grips are compatible.

Even the Canon ZSD-300D Digital Zoom Servo Demand for Digital ENG/EFP Lenses will control the zoom and focus. This is a good setup for tripod work, but it’s expensive at $1999.95. In a future firmware update the zoom control will be able to be assigned to the camera’s joystick.

The DC motor can be finely adjusted via a front dial provides both rapid zoom action and smooth, low-speed zooming. This is such a great addition, and I feel will be a very popular setup.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this lens and zoom setup. As I stated, I use the 24-105 F4 a lot, and the idea of having a 2.8 parfocal version with a zoom adapter on my C70 is crazy cool.

Limited Cinema Camera Options

While the new RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z has some great features, at this time, it’s limited to only a few cameras on the market, namely the RF cameras from Canon and only the C70 Cinema EOS video camera and RED Komodo and V Raptor. I think it’s very telling that this lens has been released today, as I’m sure we will see a new RF mount Cinema EOS camera next. The question is will they be the next generation C300, C500? or something new with a different design? While I’m a Canon C300, C70, and EOS R5 user, I would like to see a better ergonomic design for the Cinema EOS line. The bowling ball and tall handle need some work.

Firmware Update

The firmware updates that will be available in early December for the EOS C70 and EOS R5 C cameras will add support for the RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z lens. 

RF-S10-18MM F4.5-6.3 IS STM

The RF-S10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens is designed for APS-C sensor size EOS R-series cameras with an ultra-wide-angle zoom, Canon states the lens is an ideal choice for vloggers, travelers, and general shooters.  

RF-S10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Key features

  • 10–18mm ultra-wide zoom (equivalent to 16-29mm on full-frame camera).
  • Image Stabilization, for even greater hand-held sharpness and video steadiness.
  • Compact and lightweight design, making it an excellent choice for travel.
  • A new optical design, optimized for RF lens mount and APS-C sensor size.
  • An affordable price tag for those just stepping into ultra-wide video and still imaging.

RF200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM super telephoto zoom

The RF200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM super telephoto zoom lens is lightweight and easy to hold in your hand, allowing most users to carry it to help capture a range of subjects, whether it’s a still image of a landscape or video of a moving target. 

RF200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM Key features

  • Up to 800mm focal length.
  • Up to 5.5 stops image stabilization.
  • Compatible with optional Canon RF 1.4x and 2x tele extenders.
  • Weather-resistant design.
  • Rotating tripod mount.

​​​Price & Availability

The RF-S10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM, the RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z, and the RF200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM lenses are expected to be available in December for estimated retail prices of $329.99 USD, $2,999.00 USD, and $1,899.00 USD, respectively.  

The two versions of the Power Zoom Adapter for the RF24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z will be available Spring 2024 for an estimated retail price of $999.99 USD, and $1,299.00 USD for the version with the 20-pin port. 

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