Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

Canon has just introduced the world’s first f/2.8 trans-standard zoom lens, the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z. This high-end lens is also the inaugural Canon RF lens to feature a dedicated aperture ring. It boasts internal zoom and focus mechanisms, ensuring the lens remains stationary during use. Additionally, it comes with built-in image stabilization, featuring an IS switch, and offers compatibility with an optional power zoom adapter module. Canon has also unveiled new firmware updates for several Cinema EOS cinema cameras, including the Canon EOS R5 C, EOS C70, EOS C300 Mark III, and C500 Mark II. They have also introduced a new smartphone app for wireless camera control. Let’s dive right in and explore these exciting new products!

The Canon RF “trinity” includes the 15-35mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm lenses, all featuring a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture and labeled as “L IS USM” lenses. This trio has been complete for nearly three years. I’ve personally switched from the EF versions to the RF versions, and while it’s a costly upgrade, the RF versions offer superior build and optical quality.

Canon is currently working on a second “trinity” of lenses with extended capabilities, comprising the 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM, 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, and the recently introduced RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z.

Canon RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z – features

The Canon RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z is a member of Canon’s “photography” lens range, distinct from Cinema EOS or Cine-Servo lenses, known for their larger size and higher cost. Even if this lens eventually comes with an optional lens support bracket and zoom rocker, it remains a photography lens, not a cinema lens.

The new 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z is lightweight at 2.9lb/1.34kg, especially when compared to the RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM at 2.67lb/1.2kg and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS III at 3.17lb/1.44kg. Its 7.8in/19.9cm length is similar to the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, and an optional LH-E1 support bracket is available for this relatively long lens to ease strain on the camera’s lens mount.

Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

Professional users expressed a primary concern about Canon’s RF “trinity” lenses, where the lenses extend and retract during zooming. The RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z, although longer than its counterparts, features internal zoom and focus movements, ensuring that the lens barrel remains stationary.

On the lens, you’ll discover a zoom ring, a manual focus ring, a user-assignable control ring, and a dedicated aperture ring. This marks the first instance of an RF lens with a genuine iris ring, accompanied by an iris ring lock switch for Auto settings. Notably, the iris ring is not currently functional in Stills mode, but it’s expected to work with other camera models scheduled for release in 2024. Additionally, two user-assignable function buttons are present on the lens, although both are limited to the same function assignment.

Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

This lens, as its name implies, features built-in image stabilization up to 5.5 stops, or up to 8 stops when paired with your camera’s IBIS or Digital IS. It includes a dedicated IS mode switch with three positions. Internally, it boasts a “floating” optical system and two nano USM focus motors, ensuring rapid, quiet, and precise autofocus. The lens is also equipped with dust and weather resistance, with gaskets protecting all areas and electronic contacts to withstand challenging shooting conditions.

Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

Lens design

The lens design consists of 23 elements in 18 groups, which include three aspherical and four UD elements. Coatings include Air Sphere, SSC multi-coating, and a fluorine coating on the front element to minimize fingerprints and repel dust, oil, and water droplets. The minimum focusing distance remains constant at 11.7in/45cm across all focal lengths. The aperture diaphragm features 11 blades, and the front filter diameter is 82mm.

Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

Power zoom adapter

As previously mentioned, there will be an optional Power Zoom Adapter (PZA) designed for the Canon RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z. It is important to note that the PZA is capable of controlling the zoom ring exclusively, with no influence on the aperture ring. This adapter can be easily attached to the lens’s side using three screws, which do not necessitate any tools.

Inside the PZA, there is an electronic connector and a zoom ring-adjusting wheel. On the side, there’s a zoom rocker and, below it, a Manual/Servo zoom switch. The adapter is powered through the lens body contacts and doesn’t need a separate battery or external power source.

Yet, for the Canon EOS R5 C, external power is necessary to achieve the maximum zoom speed, whereas the EOS C70 can power the zoom motor itself, enabling full access to the PZA’s zoom speed. In normal mode, the zoom speed ranges from 3 to 90 seconds, while in high-speed mode, it varies from 1.5 to 90 seconds.

Two versions are offered: one features a side USB-C port, while the other replaces it with a 20-pin port. This port on the adapter’s side allows you to boost the motor’s speed when using it with the EOS R5 C and also facilitates external control of the zoom motor if you opt for the 20-pin version.

Canon EOS Cinema firmware updates

Lastly, Canon will soon release multiple firmware updates for the Canon EOS R5 C, EOS C70, EOS C300 Mark III, and EOS Mark II. These updates will include:

  1. Support for CN-R primes and Flex Zoom.
  2. Compatibility with the upcoming RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and PZA functionality.
  3. Enhancement of the vectorscope with the addition of six targets: yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, and red, which can be particularly useful when working with color charts.
  4. A proxy file naming option, allowing users to append “_Proxy” to the end of the file name instead of the recommended “_P” by Adobe.
  5. The EOS C70, EOS C300 Mark III, and C500 Mark II will also gain new digital teleconverter options (1.5x/2x/2.5x/3x), a feature already available on the R5 C. Additionally, support for the RC-IP1000 remote camera controller will be introduced.

An upcoming firmware update for the Canon XF605 camcorder will introduce several enhancements. These include support for the SRT protocol, XF-AVC Full HD 25Mb/s file recording, MP4 proxy file recording at 16Mb/s in XF-AVC Full HD 25 format, chunk recording, continuous playback of multiple clips, proxy file renaming, and compatibility with the RC-IP1000 remote camera controller.

Canon announces the RF24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z lens and firmware updates for EOS Cinema

Canon Multi-Camera Control App

Canon presented an upcoming iOS App called Multi-Camera for filmmakers, offering control over four cameras, including the EOS C500 Mark II, EOS C300 Mark III, EOS C70, and XF605, all from your iPhone. The App connects via WiFi, enabling adjustments to various camera settings, such as recording control, focus, zoom, iris, ND Filters, ISO, shutter, white balance, and custom picture profiles directly from your smartphone.

Pricing and availability

The Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z is set to release in March 2024 at a price of $2999. In the same month, the PZA module will launch, with the USB-C model priced at $999 and the 20-pin version at $1299. Firmware updates and the Canon Multi-Camera Control App will be offered at no cost in early December 2023. For additional details, please visit Canon’s website.

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