The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 combines a large, fast aperture with a versatile 80-degree angle-of-view and serves it all up in a compact, somewhat affordable, optically image-stabilized body.
Honestly, it’s enough to make a Nikon fanboy like me jealous. But is it as good as it seems, or is there a catch (apart from not being a Nikon)? Jump to Conclusion
What is the Canon RF 24mm F1.8
Focal length and Angle of View
The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 is a small prime lens for Canon’s full-frame mirrorless RF mount. With its 24mm focal length, the Canon RF 24mm will serve your camera’s full-frame sensor a wide 84-degree angle of view – ideal for landscapes, general photography, and vlogging.
Alternatively, slap the Canon RF 24mm onto an APC-S camera such as the Canon R7 and R10 and enjoy an angle-of-view of approximately 58 degrees, similar to that of a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera.
Fast F1.8 Aperture
Thanks to its large F1.8 aperture, the Canon RF 24mm can soak up almost 5-times as much light as popular zoom lenses such as the Canon RF 24-105mm F4 – making it an ideal option for capturing low-light cityscapes or for adding a little background blur.
Optical Image Stabilization
Further enhancing the Canon RF 24mm F1.8’s capacity for low light shooting is an inbuilt optical image stabilization system rated for up to 5.5 stops. Additionally, the Canon RF 24 mm image stabilization will collaborate with the inbuilt image stabilization in some of Canon’s RF cameras. In such circumstances, the RF 24mm delivers up to 6.5 stops when attached to a Canon R3 or R5.
As a result, you’ll be able to take sharp photos of static scenes at much slower shutter speeds – thus keeping your ISO low and your image quality high.
The Canon RF 24mm will lock focus at a minimum distance of 14 centimeters resulting in maximum magnification of 0.5x. This means subjects can be projected onto your camera’s sensor at 50% of their actual size. This is very impressive – especially for a wide-angle lens.
Canon’s RF 24mm weighs just 270 grams – making it less than half the weight of the camera you’re likely to attach it to. Despite its compact form, the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 features a manual focus ring and two switches, one for switching between manual and autofocus and another for enabling/disabling the RF 24mms’s optical image stabilization.
But surprisingly, for a lens within this price range, the RF 24mm features a customizable control ring which you can set to adjust aperture, shutter speed, and more. By default, the customizable control ring is ‘clicky.’ However, Canon’s service agents will happily remove the click (or all of the clicks if you prefer) for a handful of your hard-earned credits.
Sadly, the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 features neither rating nor assurance of weather or dust resistance – making it a more fair-weathered landscape lens.
I have yet to test the Canon RF 24mm’s image quality. However, as a fast prime lens, the Canon RF 24mm is bound to be excellent – especially when stopped down from its maximum F1.8 aperture.
In terms of background blur, great bokeh does not favor short focal lengths such as 24mm. That being said, at F1.8, you’ll get some blur and even more if you can shoot your subject at very close distances.
Canon RF 24mm F1.8 Compared.
It would be easy to compare the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 against its expensive L-lens equivalent. Except, there isn’t one unless you count the DSLR-era Canon EF 24mm F1.4 L, which is only 2/3rds of a stop brighter, three-times more expensive, and lacks image stabilization. Plus, you’ll need to use an EF-to-RF adapter – adding bulk and reducing Zen.
Therefore, if you want a fast 24mm prime lens specifically designed for your full-frame mirrorless Canon camera – the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 is your only option right now.
Of course, a lens that covers 24mm is easy to come by. For instance, you might have bought your camera with a 24-105mm already attached. Therefore, whether you should buy an RF 24mm F1.8 depends on how often you shoot at that 24mm focal length. If you spend a lot of time at 24mm, I’m sure you will notice and appreciate the RF 24mm’s combination of fixed-focal-length optics and fast F1.8 aperture.
Canon RF 24mm F1.8 Specifications
|Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM|
|Angle of view||84 Degrees|
|Diaphragm blades||9 Rounded Blades|
|Lens construction||11 Elements in 9 Groups|
|Optical Image Stabilization||Yes – 5.5 Stops (6.5 with R3/R5)|
|Minimum focus distance||14cm|
|Maximum reproduction ratio||.50x|
|Dimensions (approx)||74.4mm x 63.1mm|
Conclusion – is the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 worth it?
For me, the Canon RF 24mm is the perfect blend of price, size, and performance. With its fast F1.8 aperture, image stabilization, and .5x maximum magnification – the Canon RF 24mm is a lens I’d happily carry all day.
It’s also versatile. Smartphones have transformed our perception of what a normal photo looks like, and the Canon RF 24 mm F1.8’s wide angle-of-view will present your landscape, portraits, and snaps in a similar way – albeit with much higher fidelity. And if you are a Canon-owning vlogger – the Canon RF 24mm might be a no-brainer.
Sadly, the Canon RF 24mm is not weather resistant. This is hardly surprising given the price and suggests we will see a tank-like Canon RF 24mm F1.2 L at some point. However, such a lens is likely to be at least twice the price, weight, and size.
Overall, the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 is a highly-practical, generously equipped lens at a great price and another reason why DSLR owners might choose Canon RF over competing mounts. I’m certainly thinking about it.