Are RF lenses Worth It?! - EF vs RF 24-105

Canon EF 24-105

Gear Focus

Sep 8, 2021

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If you’ve been a subscriber for a while you’ll know that I absolutely love the 24-105 F4 lens. I've been using the original EF version pretty much exclusively for over a year now. It has its pros and cons, but that’s not what we are here for today. Canon might be putting all of the lens R&D into RF mount lenses moving forward, but are RF lenses worth the extra cost?
After 30+ years of EF lens production, do the RF lenses bring anything that the EF lenses don't? Today we take a look at the EF vs RF 24-105. If you want to watch along, check out our video over on Youtube!

Size and Weight

EF vs RF 24-105

Physical Differences

First let’s take a look at the physical differences between the two the two lenses. The EF clocks in at 665g and is 4.49”inches long and 3.28 inches wide. At full zoom it is 5.77 inches. Coupled with the EF to RF adapter you’re at an overall length of 5.39 inches and weight of 770g. Moving over to the RF, it comes in at 700g, 4.22 long and 3.29 wide. At full zoom it is 6.26in.
The RF version also has an additional control ring which can be mapped to do a bunch of different functions. In conjunction with my EOS R, I map the control ring to do ISO. The RF version also has a zoom lock that my original version does not but that feature was added on the MK II lenses. [caption id="attachment_3842" align="alignnone" width="750"]RF Control Ring The RF Control Ring is the outer-most ring on all RF lenses[/caption]

Lens Performance

Next up in our EF vs RF 24-105 review is the performance of the lenses. These lenses are not the most "spectacular" lenses visually, but there's a reason they are known as the "video workhorse". You have the ability to go from 24mm which is pretty wide, all the way down to 105mm which is a pretty long telephoto length. I've heard time and time again that the F4 isn't fast enough. To be 100% honest, there have probably been 5 times total that having an F/2.8 would have saved my shot. Other than that, there's really not that much difference in light transmission between F/2.8 and 4.0.

Image Sharpness

With that said, lets talk first about sharpness. If you want to look at the sharpness charts, feel free to check out our Youtube Review. Overall, there's a slight sharpness edge to the RF version. Both of the lenses are a little soft wide open at F4, but that's to be expected. Overall, they are pretty darn close though, especially considering that there's at least 10 years difference between my personal lens and the RF.
EF PortraitRF Portrait

Auto Focus Performance

As far as AF performance goes, both perform extremely well. Canon did an incredible job with their EF to RF adapter. It allows flawless usage of your EF glass on an RF mount. Frankly, I didn't notice much of a difference in AF performance, as most of this is handled by the camera anyway. If anything, the RF was just a touch faster and a little more responsive.

Image Stablization

Lastly let’s talk about Image Stabilization or IS. In order to full take advantage of the new IS in these RF lenses we should be using an R5 or R6 which have In-Body Image Stabilization or IBIS. For today's comparison we are just looking at the Optical Image Stabilization or OIS. I have always been very impressed with Canons OIS and here is no different. Both lenses perform great and help to smooth out handheld footage. I tend to use big, heavy, handheld rigs to shoot my work so the combination makes for some really awesome footage. Gimbals quickly became overused and my preferences lie elsewhere for most shots. Handheld gives a really unique and immersive experience to your view. In our video you can see some side-by-side examples with the OIS turned on and off. Be sure to check that out!


So is it ultimately worth getting the RF version vs the EF version? When looking specifically at the 24-105 F4, I would have to say no. Both the EF and the RF are pretty comparable and honestly not worth the switch, especially if you are heavily invested in EF glass. But if you’re like me and you have multiple RF mount cams and you’re going to be using a bunch of different lenses, the RF line up is the way to go. RF is the future of Canon and arguably some other manufacturers as well. Let me know in the comments down below if you’ll be picking up a 24-105 and what version. Also make sure to head on over to our Youtube channel and subscribe to stay up to date with everything GearFocus!

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