28 Nov Canon EOS R – The Glass Jar Is Full Of Glass
The choice of which lens to put on the new Canon EOS R camera was an easy one for me to make – the one in the box. The kit comes with a 24-105mm f:4 lens. It is an L lens – red ring – and has an internal stabilising system.
It is a second cousin to the 24-105 f:4 L IS that has been seen on any number of Canon DSLR cameras over the last decade…but then again it isn’t because it is setting on the new R mount and because it has an extra super power – an new control ring at the front of the lens barrel.
Normally zoom lenses have a zoom ring ( though there have been zoom knobs on some historical designs. And it can also have a focusing ring. And some, like the Fujinons that mount on my system, have aperture rings as well. Three things to feel about for as you are peering through the viewfinder. The wiser makers produce three rings that are easily distinguishable by position, size, and feel. You quickly get to be familiar with what you are grasping in the photographic heat of the moment.
Well, you’ll need to concentrate a little more to start with when you operate this new Canon EOS R lens. That front lens ring – the knurled one near the red ring – is a programmable one that you can set from within the camera commands to do a number of things. You can fiddle with ISO as well as other things out there. The main problem is your fingers may not know whether you’re on the program ring or the MF ring. Not a problem if you’ve set fo pure AF, but if you’ve got in on MF or combination, you may find yourself going astray.
The lens has the IS mechanism and I suspect it will give about 5 stops of steadying. I had no troubles shooting flashless in the studio with it under reduced lighting and, of course, bright morning sunlight posed no problems.
Is a lens that only opens up to f:4 going to be what you need? Well, if you demand that everything save a millimetre of sharply focused eyelash be fuzzy and indistinct…no. You’ll need to wait until Canon make you an f:1.2 lens for that. Rest assured that they will, because they have made them for the DSLR series, and they’ll do it for the R. And in the meantime you can adapt a DSLR lens to the R with the appropriate Canon adapter. But if you want the slickest interface with the new camera system, use the lead time to save for the new glass. It will be a figure…
The general-purpose nature of the 24-105 was always what endeared it to the DSLR user. It was good for a lot of videos – and a lot of people started DSLR video work with it as their prime zoom lens. This new mount version is no exception – apparently it is quiet enough to make video life easy and does not change its image size when you refocus around the place.
My experience with it in the studio was done with manual turned on and stabilizer turned off – but then it was attached to a Gitzo tripod the size of a tank trap. Once out in the field and back into AF, it snapped into focus faster than my current camera ( using an equivalent lens ) and did not deliver a bad shot all through the sequence.
The lens is heavy – you cannot make a zoom lens without good glass – but the smooth form and particularly the good handgrip of the EOS R meant that I was able to hold it for extended periods of time. It would be possible to use it for extended shows or weddings.
Note you get a lens hood and a bag with this in the kit, but if you just leave it on all the time the bag is superfluous.