Is This Lens for You?

Review by Fernando Santos

After spending some time with the Canon RF 24–50mm F4.5–6.3 IS STM full-frame lens, I found a couple of use cases for this new lens. Should you add one to your camera bag? Let’s find out; but first, let’s look at some specifications and features. 

Just like this lens’s size and weight, its $299.99 price tag is one of the smallest of all the Canon full-frame RF lenses available. Be aware that its largest aperture of f/4.5 at 24mm, immediately drops to f/5.0 at 25mm, f/5.6 at 32mm, and f/6.3 from 39mm onward. The lens has image stabilization and, according to Canon, it provides up to 4.5 stops of shake correction (or up to 7 stops if you have coordinated IS). Image quality is good for this price point. In my tests, even with low light, the lens performed well on my Canon R6. As is usual on the low-end RF lenses, the control ring doubles as the focus ring. The lens is not weather sealed, and the lens hood is an optional purchase. Quick warning: Don’t be surprised if you get a message saying, “Set the lens to the shooting position.” Due to its design, the lens needs to be unlocked and extended into the shooting position. 

Why would you want to buy this lens? If you want to travel light and enjoy street photography, for example, this may be a nice little lens to have. Canon offers longer zoom lenses that may serve you better, but they have a higher price point. I can see this becoming a popular travel lens if Canon releases an inexpensive RF 50–300mm zoom to pair with it. Another target for this lens might be vloggers and streamers: Add an RF body and you’ll have a great webcam.