The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Is An Important Milestone

This affordably-priced, big-range zoom for Canon's EOS R mirrorless cameras is a good sign for the system
When Canon released its first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R, last fall, it launched the camera along with four lenses designed for the system, which included two primes (35mm and 50mm) and two zooms (28-70mm and 24-105mm). In May of this year, Canon added an 85mm prime to the RF lens lineup. Now Canon has announced the RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM, a 10x zoom that will retail for $899 in September.

In the early days of full-frame mirrorless cameras, Canon and Nikon DSLRs had a significant advantage over mirrorless alternatives—namely Sony—due to the depth and breadth of lenses available for full-frame DSLRs. In addition to the extensive lines from Canon and Nikon themselves, third-party makers like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina also offered options for Canon and Nikon mounts.

But the landscape has changed in recent years. While Canon and Nikon stayed on the sidelines of the full-frame mirrorless market until 2018, Sony charged ahead and aggressively worked to address the biggest shortcoming of mirrorless camera systems: the relatively limited selection of lenses compared to DSLRs. And while both Canon and Nikon released mount adapters along with their full-frame mirrorless cameras which allow the use of DSLR lenses with mirrorless bodies, Sony now has an substantial collection of lenses designed specifically for mirrorless. These native lenses not only eliminate the need for a bulky adapter, they have been designed and built to take advantage of the latest optical technologies and advancements in autofocus, and to address the capabilities of today’s high-resolution sensors.

This is the context in which we state that the new Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM is an important lens for Canon and its EOS R system. Both Canon and Nikon are now in a position lagging Sony in terms of native lenses for mirrorless, and if either company hopes to catch up with Sony in that market—one that looks certain to be the future of camera technology—they will need to be energetic in the development of lenses for it.

The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM, priced as it is under $1,000 and offering a 10x zoom in a relatively compact package, is the kind of lens that can attract a wider audience to a camera system. While professional photographers will look for lenses with fast constant apertures and often lean toward primes rather than zooms, most enthusiasts and even some pros prefer the portability and price of big-range, variable-aperture zoom lenses.

This comparison chart of the three zooms currently offered for the Canon EOS R system helps illustrate the point:

Current Canon RF Mount Zooms (as of July 2019)

 RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USMRF 24-105mm F4 L IS USMRF 28-70mm F2 L USM
Zoom Range10x4.4x2.5x
Min. Length4.8 in.4.2 in.5.5 in.
Max. Diameter3.2 in.3.3 in.4.1 in.
Weight1.7 lbs.1.5 lbs.3.2 lbs.
Price$899$1,099$2,999

Smaller and lighter than the 28-70mm, and just slightly larger and heavier than the 24-105, the RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM offers four times the zoom range of the former, and more than double the zoom range of the latter. Yes, it’s slower than the 28-70mm throughout its range, as well as the 24-105mm at the tele end, but we expect most consumers will appreciate the value of this lens compared to the pricier, less generous zooms.

RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM compared to other zooms for Canon EOS R

Shown (roughly) to scale for comparison, from left to right, the new RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM, RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM.

Premium primes and fast constant-aperture zooms attract professionals and lend a certain credibility to a camera system, but versatile, “all-in-one” zooms that are affordably priced make a system buyable for a broader audience. The RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM is a positive indicator that Canon is serious about creating a full-frame mirrorless system for everyone.

For additional details about the lens, see the press release below.

###

ALERTING ALL WANDERLUST PHOTOGRAPHERS, CANON ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST RF TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS, THE RF 24-240MM F4-6.3 IS USM

The All-in-One RF Travel Lens Provides High-End Features Such as Nano USM at an Entry-Level Price Tag

MELVILLE, N.Y., July 8, 2019Introducing the next travel companion for photographers, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the sixth lens in the RF family, the RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM telephoto zoom lens. As the first telephoto zoom lens designed for EOS R and EOS RP full-frame mirrorless cameras, the compact and lightweight 10x zoom RF 24-240mm provides photographers high-quality images and video capture at a budget-friendly price point.

“Providing photographers of all skill levels with the invaluable tools to help capture and create the images they desire has been and will continue to be a paramount goal for Canon,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The new RF 24-240mm is an excellent option as an all-around travel lens that provides attractive features for a wide variety of image capture.”

The RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens is equipped with Nano USM, providing users quick, high-speed and precision auto focus (AF) when shooting video and capturing still images. With the powerful Nano USM, this lens allows photographers and videographers full time manual focusing making possible the fine tuning and adjusting of focus while in AF mode. This is the first Canon lens designed for full-frame cameras to feature Dynamic IS and utilizes a CIPA-standard, five-stop image stabilization system. The five-stop IS allows photographers to capture images and record videos with minimal shake, even during nighttime sightseeing or in dimly lit indoor events, without the need of a tripod.

When paired with the recently announced EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera, the compact and lightweight portability of the RF 24-240mm rivals that of a Canon APS-C camera system with a comparable EF-S lens. The RF 24-240mm and EOS RP kitted together are only slightly heavier and longer than the EOS Rebel T7i when it is kitted with the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. The diminished form factor of the new lens and EOS RP together, as compared to other full-frame mirrorless camera systems using a similar focal-length telephoto zoom lens, make the lens and camera the ideal kit for travelers who are constantly on the go.

Additional features of the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM include:

  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.64 feet/0.50 meters at wide angle and 2.56 feet/0.78 meters at telephoto
  • Maximum magnification of 0.26x at telephoto
  • Approximate weight of 750 grams/26.4 ounces
  • Customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO
  • 21 lens elements in 15 groups including one Aspheric and Two UD Lens
  • 12-pin communication system

Pricing and Availability

The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3mm IS USM lens is scheduled to be available September 2019 for an estimated retail price of $899.99*. In addition, Canon will offer a new EOS RP kit that includes the RF-24-240mm for an estimated retail price of $2199.00*. For additional information, please visit, usa.canon.com.

Wes is the editor of Outdoor Photographer.
Main Menu