The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM is an affordable wide-angle prime lens for Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless cameras that’s well-suited to landscape, architecture and interior photography.
This is a very compact and lightweight lens, yet it still offers a bright maximum aperture of F1.8 for better low-light performance and bokeh effects.
It features 11 elements in 9 groups, including one ultra-low dispersion element and one aspherical element to help control distortion.
It has a Super Spectra Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and a 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image.
The Optical Image Stabilizer provides up to 5 stops of compensation, increasing up to 6.5 stops when used with certain EOS R camera bodies which have an In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS).
It offers an impressive minimum focusing distance of 14cm / 5.5″ and a maximum magnification ratio of 0.5x, whilst using cost effective 52mm filters.
The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens is available now priced at £719.99 / $599 in the UK and the US, respectively. It is made in Taiwan.
Ease of Use
Weighing in at 270g / 9.5 ounces and measuring 6.3cm / 2.43 inches in length, the RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM is a small and very light, wide-angle prime lens.
It’s barely noticeable when used with a mid-sized camera body like the Canon EOS R5 body that we tested it with, as shown in the product photos.
Build quality is good for such an affordable lens. Despite its mostly plastic construction, the RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM feels solid enough in your hand, and it commendably has a metal mount.
Note that this lens does not have a weather-resistant design to help protect it against dust and moisture.
There is an optical image stabilizer built-in to this lens, though, which can switched On and Off using the dedicated switch on the side of the lens barrel.
This offers up to 5-stops of protection against blur from camera shake, increasing to 6.5 stops when paired with an EOS R camera body that has IBIS, like the EOS R5 that we tested the lens with.
The separate Lens Control Ring at the end of the lens barrel can be used to control certain key camera settings (TV, AV, ISO and exposure settings).
The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens has a fairly narrow fly-by-wire focus ring with a ridged grip band.
There are no hard stops at either ends of the range, making it more difficult to set focus at infinity.
Note that this lens usefully offers full-time manual focusing even when AF is selected.
In use the manual focusing system emits an audible “whining” noise that makes it less suitable for video than stills.
Polariser users should be pleased that the sensible 52mm filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus.
When it comes to auto-focusing, the RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM is a snappy performer thanks to the STM motor, taking around 0.10 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Canon EOS R5 camera.
We didn’t experience very much “hunting” at all, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing virtually all of the time, thanks to the superb low-light capabilities of the EOS R cameras.
The STM motor is also pretty quiet in AF mode, emitting a much quieter “whirr” than when manually focusing, which makes this lens well-suited to auto-focusing during video recording.
There is a petal shaped lens hood (EW-65B) and a soft case (LP1016) available for this lens, but disappointingly both are rather pricey optional extras that aren’t included in the box.
The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM’s focal length of 24mm provides an angle of view of 84°.
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were not especially apparent in our test shots, only appearing in very high contrast areas.
When shooting JPEGs, with the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/1.8, there is some obvious light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 2 f-stops to prevent it.
There’s even more vignetting evident in the RAW files, though, with almost pure black in the extreme corners – thankfully the Canon EOS R5 camera automatically and successfully applies corrections to the JPEG files, resulting in an acceptable out-of-camera image.
There’s a huge amount of barrel distortion evident in the RAW files – thankfully the Canon EOS R5 camera automatically and successfully applies corrections to the JPEG files, resulting in an acceptable out-of-camera image.
Note that you cannot actually turn off distortion correction in an EOS R camera body when this lens is used – the menu option is actually greyed out and unavailable – which gives you a good idea of just how much correction the camera is applying!
You will need to use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional 4 software to post-process the Raw files, at least until Adobe releases an RF 24mm lens profile for Camera Raw / Lightroom.
Sunstars and Flare
The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM is capable of creating fairly nice sunstars when stopped-down to f/22, as shown below, although it is quite prone to flare when shooting directly into the sun.
The Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM offers a very useful minimum focusing distance of just 14cm / 5.5″, with a half life-size maximum magnification of 0.5x.
Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc.
In the RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens, Canon have employed an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades, which has resulted in appealing bokeh in our view for such a wide-angle lens.
We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we’ve included lots of examples below for your perusal.
In order to show you how sharp the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.