An epiphany I had regarding what the RF mount means for the future of EF lenses

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
476
156
Yeah I know there's another thread that kind of talks about this, but it's six pages of speculation on whether or not there would even be a new mount.

Now that we know for sure that there's a new mount, I started to consider what I wanted to do with all of my EF lenses since I do plan to buy into the new RF camera system. After a lot of consideration, I think I've realized that this whole issue is a lot simpler and more trivial than we all seem to be making it out to be.

For the sake of the argument of what happens to EF lenses now that there's an RF mount, I think the first thing that needs to be established and accepted is that an EF lens adapted to an RF body will give you performance just as good as that EF lens on an EF body. Canon themselves likely knows this, and everything I've seen with regard to the performance of the EF to EF-M adapter seems to support that a Canon adapter adapting a Canon lens onto a Canon camera will have no hiccups in regard to performance.

So if we accept that using the adapter is essentially a non-issue and shouldn't be shied away from, that means that in effect, any EF lens can be made into an RF lens, and any RF body can be made into an EF body just by putting an adapter on it.

Since you can still make any of your current lenses work with any new body that comes out now or into the future, they will effectively never truly be out of date from a compatibility standpoint. And at that point, the question of "should I ditch all of my EF glass as new RF lenses come out?" really becomes more of a question of "would I ditch this EF lens if Canon came out with a better EF sequel to this lens?" We need to stop looking at EF lenses as relics that will be hopelessly out of date within a few years, because they won't, they'll work on EOS R cameras well into the future.

Take the new RF 50mm 1.2 for example... If you stuck an adapter on the back of an EF 50mm 1.2 to make it an RF lens, is there really any reason that you couldn't just consider the EF 50mm 1.2 to be an RF 50mm 1.2 version I, and the actual RF 50mm 1.2 to be version II of the same lens?

So if you're stressing out about whether to sell your EF 50mm 1.2 for an RF 50mm 1.2, how is that conflict really any different than asking yourself if you would get rid of the EF 50mm 1.2 if they came out with an EF 50mm 1.2 version II? (Assuming you're going to buy an RF camera that can use lenses of either mount.)

They'll both work fine on your camera, but do you want to pony up for the new lens, or keep using the old one?

Ultimately I think there's a strong case to be made that Canon will never phase out the EF mount, because honestly what do they gain by making a new lens in the RF mount? The diameter is the same, you get a shorter lens to sensor distance, and ok, you get a couple extra electrical contacts, but that's it. And I think we can see from looking at the long telephoto lenses that those lenses really don't benefit from it since the rear element is already deep within the lens anyway. So why would Canon ever bother with moving these lenses over to the RF mount natively when you can just throw an adapter on them and make them an RF lens?

I think you can see from the RF lenses they've already announced that they're using the shorter distance of the RF mount to make lenses that just physically wouldn't have been possible with the EF mount. The 28-70 f2 probably wasn't possible with EF, and the 50mm 1.2 with that advanced of an optical formula probably wasn't possible with EF, or at least it's optimized to take advantage of the shorter sensor distance.

But when it comes to lenses that really don't benefit from the shorter distance, I could see Canon just leaving them as EF lenses forever. Want to use it on mirrorless? Get an adapter. It'll work flawlessly. Want to keep using it on your DSLR? No problem.

If we back up and really look at how minor the differences are in the mounts, I think it's clear that in a lot of cases Canon simply doesn't have a huge incentive to ever change a lot of the lenses over to RF, unless their optical performance can actually benefit from the shorter distance.
 
Sep 6, 2018
3
0
My question is whether they will create an adapter to mount rf lenses to current cinema line cameras. I want to purchase the mirrorless system but I'm a video shooter and I plan to move up to cinema cameras. Is it worth buying the rf 28-70 f2 or just buy the ef 24-70 2.8mkii for seamless transition from a mirrorless to a cinema camera like the c200/red.
 
Mar 14, 2012
2,247
142
Right now it's too early to tell how the EOS R system will do in the marketplace and whether or not it'll be a success. I'm currently using a 5DIV, and I like the advancement of the 50R f/1.2 over the EF 50 f/1.2, but I can't use it. In order to use it, I'll have to downgrade the body from a 5DIV to an EOS R. So now I wait... for an R mount camera that is at least as capable as the 5DIV. Once that comes out, then I'll take a look at the R ecosystem of lenses and make a choice. If I do decide to switch, it'll be gradual -- trading in EF for R equivalents as they become available. However, the used market will take a hit because EF will become less popular.
 
Sep 6, 2018
3
0
I'm wondering how many years that would take because many up and coming cinematographers are using stills glass until the work they do warrants cine primes. I recently invested in 3 prime l glass lenses a 24, 50, and 85 for the 1.2/1.4 aperture. If r is the future for canon, I'm wondering whether I should jump ship early while my lenses still have value and invest in the r primes. I feel other camera manufacturers like Red will build an r mount just like they have an ef mount.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
476
156
Right now it's too early to tell how the EOS R system will do in the marketplace and whether or not it'll be a success. I'm currently using a 5DIV, and I like the advancement of the 50R f/1.2 over the EF 50 f/1.2, but I can't use it. In order to use it, I'll have to downgrade the body from a 5DIV to an EOS R. So now I wait... for an R mount camera that is at least as capable as the 5DIV. Once that comes out, then I'll take a look at the R ecosystem of lenses and make a choice. If I do decide to switch, it'll be gradual -- trading in EF for R equivalents as they become available. However, the used market will take a hit because EF will become less popular.
The RF mount is here to stay, there's no doubt. There's no question about "how the system will do in the marketplace." Even if the EOS R misses the mark, Canon will regroup and come out with another mirrorless full frame. There's no way they're just going to abandon it and go back to only using antiquated DSLR technology.

One way or another cameras will eventually all go mirrorless as the technology matures, it's just a matter of how soon. I think it's really foolish to think that DSLRs will always have a place. I mean, at least a relevant one that's not just based on nostalgia. Mirrorless technology will get to a point at some point where the mechanical mirrors, OVF, and separate autofocus sensor look as quaint and outdated as film does today.

I agree that the value of EF lenses will take a hit, but logically, because of the adapter, assuming it works perfectly, the hit should not be any greater than the hit an old version of a lens takes when they come out with a sequel. There's no logical reason that it would be.

Now, in real life, will EF lenses get a stigma as being outdated and less valuable? Hard to say. Probably depends on if Canon continues making new EF lenses. But I wouldn't doubt that they may just keep telephoto lenses that really gain nothing by moving to the RF mount as EF lenses. And that will avoid the stigma of them being outdated if new ones keep coming out in the EF mount.
 

amorse

EOS RP
Jan 26, 2017
337
274
www.flickr.com
My biggest question on whether an adapted EF lens is analogous to its equivalent focal length on RF mount would be weather sealing. I have no issue adapting lenses, but I haven't been able to get a clear look as to whether or not the adapter itself is sealed. This will be a non-issue for many, but for me that could result in the early death of a new camera body since my gear gets wet often.

Also, from Canon's white paper (speaking from memory now) I believe some of their justification for the new mount was the freedom it provides in lens design - allowing reduced vignetting for instance. That could mean that there may be an image quality difference between a native RF lens and its EF counterpart, although one which is easy to fix.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 28, 2015
3,221
827
Irving, Texas
Yeah I know there's another thread that kind of talks about this, but it's six pages of speculation on whether or not there would even be a new mount.

Now that we know for sure that there's a new mount, I started to consider what I wanted to do with all of my EF lenses since I do plan to buy into the new RF camera system. After a lot of consideration, I think I've realized that this whole issue is a lot simpler and more trivial than we all seem to be making it out to be.

For the sake of the argument of what happens to EF lenses now that there's an RF mount, I think the first thing that needs to be established and accepted is that an EF lens adapted to an RF body will give you performance just as good as that EF lens on an EF body. Canon themselves likely knows this, and everything I've seen with regard to the performance of the EF to EF-M adapter seems to support that a Canon adapter adapting a Canon lens onto a Canon camera will have no hiccups in regard to performance.

So if we accept that using the adapter is essentially a non-issue and shouldn't be shied away from, that means that in effect, any EF lens can be made into an RF lens, and any RF body can be made into an EF body just by putting an adapter on it.

Since you can still make any of your current lenses work with any new body that comes out now or into the future, they will effectively never truly be out of date from a compatibility standpoint. And at that point, the question of "should I ditch all of my EF glass as new RF lenses come out?" really becomes more of a question of "would I ditch this EF lens if Canon came out with a better EF sequel to this lens?" We need to stop looking at EF lenses as relics that will be hopelessly out of date within a few years, because they won't, they'll work on EOS R cameras well into the future.

Take the new RF 50mm 1.2 for example... If you stuck an adapter on the back of an EF 50mm 1.2 to make it an RF lens, is there really any reason that you couldn't just consider the EF 50mm 1.2 to be an RF 50mm 1.2 version I, and the actual RF 50mm 1.2 to be version II of the same lens?

So if you're stressing out about whether to sell your EF 50mm 1.2 for an RF 50mm 1.2, how is that conflict really any different than asking yourself if you would get rid of the EF 50mm 1.2 if they came out with an EF 50mm 1.2 version II? (Assuming you're going to buy an RF camera that can use lenses of either mount.)

They'll both work fine on your camera, but do you want to pony up for the new lens, or keep using the old one?

Ultimately I think there's a strong case to be made that Canon will never phase out the EF mount, because honestly what do they gain by making a new lens in the RF mount? The diameter is the same, you get a shorter lens to sensor distance, and ok, you get a couple extra electrical contacts, but that's it. And I think we can see from looking at the long telephoto lenses that those lenses really don't benefit from it since the rear element is already deep within the lens anyway. So why would Canon ever bother with moving these lenses over to the RF mount natively when you can just throw an adapter on them and make them an RF lens?

I think you can see from the RF lenses they've already announced that they're using the shorter distance of the RF mount to make lenses that just physically wouldn't have been possible with the EF mount. The 28-70 f2 probably wasn't possible with EF, and the 50mm 1.2 with that advanced of an optical formula probably wasn't possible with EF, or at least it's optimized to take advantage of the shorter sensor distance.

But when it comes to lenses that really don't benefit from the shorter distance, I could see Canon just leaving them as EF lenses forever. Want to use it on mirrorless? Get an adapter. It'll work flawlessly. Want to keep using it on your DSLR? No problem.

If we back up and really look at how minor the differences are in the mounts, I think it's clear that in a lot of cases Canon simply doesn't have a huge incentive to ever change a lot of the lenses over to RF, unless their optical performance can actually benefit from the shorter distance.
Very thoughtful post and I agree. Adding an adapter to replace the flange distance lost to mirrorless R will not affect performance. People can just replace their EF glass on the same schedule they would have anyway. To me, it is a non-issue. Some people like to say Canon has screwed everyone over with this. I don't think so. I think it is very smart and relatively painless. I'm looking forward to the extra fast "L" glass (yes, I love heavy glass) of the future. The new RF 28-70mm f/2 is certainly extra faster for a zoom. Absolutely no stress here. :)
 
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CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 28, 2015
3,221
827
Irving, Texas
My biggest question on whether an adapted EF lens is analogous to its equivalent focal length on RF mount would be weather sealing. I have no issue adapting lenses, but I haven't been able to get a clear look as to whether or not the adapter itself is sealed. This will be a non-issue for many, but for me that could result in the early death of a new camera body since my gear gets wet often.

Also, from Canon's white paper (speaking from memory now) I believe some of their justification for the new mount was the freedom it provides in lens design - allowing reduced vignetting for instance. That could mean that there may be an image quality difference between a native RF lens and its EF counterpart, although one which is easy to fix.
I'm assuming that any image quality issues (vignetting) are in favor of RF, and that what we currently see with our EF lenses will be exactly the same on the new cameras. The adapter will simply replace the flange distance lost to going mirrorless.

I think the adapter will be weather sealed, if not now, then when an "L" adapter is released... though I don't know why there would be two levels of adapter quality.
 

BeenThere

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 4, 2012
824
151
Yeah I know there's another thread that kind of talks about this, but it's six pages of speculation on whether or not there would even be a new mount.

Now that we know for sure that there's a new mount, I started to consider what I wanted to do with all of my EF lenses since I do plan to buy into the new RF camera system. After a lot of consideration, I think I've realized that this whole issue is a lot simpler and more trivial than we all seem to be making it out to be.

For the sake of the argument of what happens to EF lenses now that there's an RF mount, I think the first thing that needs to be established and accepted is that an EF lens adapted to an RF body will give you performance just as good as that EF lens on an EF body. Canon themselves likely knows this, and everything I've seen with regard to the performance of the EF to EF-M adapter seems to support that a Canon adapter adapting a Canon lens onto a Canon camera will have no hiccups in regard to performance.

So if we accept that using the adapter is essentially a non-issue and shouldn't be shied away from, that means that in effect, any EF lens can be made into an RF lens, and any RF body can be made into an EF body just by putting an adapter on it.

Since you can still make any of your current lenses work with any new body that comes out now or into the future, they will effectively never truly be out of date from a compatibility standpoint. And at that point, the question of "should I ditch all of my EF glass as new RF lenses come out?" really becomes more of a question of "would I ditch this EF lens if Canon came out with a better EF sequel to this lens?" We need to stop looking at EF lenses as relics that will be hopelessly out of date within a few years, because they won't, they'll work on EOS R cameras well into the future.

Take the new RF 50mm 1.2 for example... If you stuck an adapter on the back of an EF 50mm 1.2 to make it an RF lens, is there really any reason that you couldn't just consider the EF 50mm 1.2 to be an RF 50mm 1.2 version I, and the actual RF 50mm 1.2 to be version II of the same lens?

So if you're stressing out about whether to sell your EF 50mm 1.2 for an RF 50mm 1.2, how is that conflict really any different than asking yourself if you would get rid of the EF 50mm 1.2 if they came out with an EF 50mm 1.2 version II? (Assuming you're going to buy an RF camera that can use lenses of either mount.)

They'll both work fine on your camera, but do you want to pony up for the new lens, or keep using the old one?

Ultimately I think there's a strong case to be made that Canon will never phase out the EF mount, because honestly what do they gain by making a new lens in the RF mount? The diameter is the same, you get a shorter lens to sensor distance, and ok, you get a couple extra electrical contacts, but that's it. And I think we can see from looking at the long telephoto lenses that those lenses really don't benefit from it since the rear element is already deep within the lens anyway. So why would Canon ever bother with moving these lenses over to the RF mount natively when you can just throw an adapter on them and make them an RF lens?

I think you can see from the RF lenses they've already announced that they're using the shorter distance of the RF mount to make lenses that just physically wouldn't have been possible with the EF mount. The 28-70 f2 probably wasn't possible with EF, and the 50mm 1.2 with that advanced of an optical formula probably wasn't possible with EF, or at least it's optimized to take advantage of the shorter sensor distance.

But when it comes to lenses that really don't benefit from the shorter distance, I could see Canon just leaving them as EF lenses forever. Want to use it on mirrorless? Get an adapter. It'll work flawlessly. Want to keep using it on your DSLR? No problem.

If we back up and really look at how minor the differences are in the mounts, I think it's clear that in a lot of cases Canon simply doesn't have a huge incentive to ever change a lot of the lenses over to RF, unless their optical performance can actually benefit from the shorter distance.
I mostly agree except for the faster data interface of the RF mount. The faster interface should aid AF speed and IS performance. To the extend that these factors improve the ability to capture a better image, I would say that the RF mount is slightly superior to the older EF mount. However, going forward from here, I see no reason that the faster interface could not be built into new EF lenses. Not positive on what the extra 4 pin in RF carry.
 

zim

EOR R
Oct 18, 2011
1,863
53
I'm assuming that any image quality issues (vignetting) are in favor of RF, and that what we currently see with our EF lenses will be exactly the same on the new cameras. The adapter will simply replace the flange distance lost to going mirrorless.

I think the adapter will be weather sealed, if not now, then when an "L" adapter is released... though I don't know why there would be two levels of adapter quality.
The white paper shows them with gaskets. So the plain ones look like they are ok. The drop-in filter 'drawer' ones may be an issue though
 
Reactions: CanonFanBoy

3kramd5

EOS 5D MK IV
Mar 2, 2012
2,921
304
I think the first thing that needs to be established and accepted is that an EF lens adapted to an RF body will give you performance just as good as that EF lens on an EF body.
I expect that’s true enough in live view on the EF body.

That an EF lens adapted to an RF body will work as well as the EF lens using dedicated PDAF on the EF body, I can’t take for granted.
 
Reactions: Michael Clark

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,167
373
The white paper shows them with gaskets. So the plain ones look like they are ok. The drop-in filter 'drawer' ones may be an issue though
The big whites have a drop-in filter and those are fully weather-sealed lenses so I presume Canon have taken their design cues from there.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
476
156
Well I think I take back some of what I said in the original post if the RF mount truly allows for faster lens to camera communication. Canon would eventually want to take advantage of that across their whole line.

I even thought that perhaps maybe they could come out with an EF lens that has extra electrical contacts on it, and may adapt its electronic communication method depending on if it's put on an EF body, or if its adapted to an RF body, thereby still maintaining EF compatibility, but taking advantage of the benefits of the RF communication protocol if the body supports it.

But, looking at the adapter, on the EF side of it, it only has as many pins as the current EF mount. There aren't any extra pins, so I doubt this would actually happen. It would also confuse the lens ecosystem somewhat, so I doubt it'll happen.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
476
156
I dunno. I haven't seen a definitive answer as to what the new pins are there for on the RF mount. Obviously they've got that new control ring now, so maybe they're there for that? Someone else said they're there for more advanced lens IS, I'm not sure.

If all the new pins are there for is the control ring, then Canon has already covered that with the adapter. And with a big white lens, the control ring would probably be at the base of the lens near where the adapter would be anyway. I'm still not sure if there is anything to be gained by moving long telephoto lenses over to RF mount aside from maybe faster lens/camera communication.

Perhaps this is why they announced the new big whites in EF right along side the new lens mount? They know that there is not much to gain by making them RF lenses, and therefore will keep them EF?
 

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
you guys are pretty delusional. EF mount and EF lenses are on the way out. And an EF lens used on R body with RF adapter will work well but will not be equal to a native RF lens in a number of aspects:

* any current and possible future EOS R functionality that depends on 12-pin connection with higher speed /bandwidth will not work with adapted EF glass.

* RF lenses have built-in gyrosensor(s) working in conjunction with IS processor in camera to provide "enhanced image stabilization". not with EF glass.

* while EF glass may be fully capable of EIS R rather pedestrian fps (especially with servo-AF tracking) it remains whether they xan hold up with future, faster fps, more advanced AF, AI powered subject identification EOS R bodies. full utilization of performance potential may require lens-side specs that are simply not present in legacy EF glass. eg certain types/characteristics of AF drive in lens (just look at Thin-type Nano USM drive in RF 24-105)

i am not saying "throw away existing EF glass today", but ... read the Canon paper and give it some very careful thought before buying more EF lenses if you plan to transition to EOS R mirrorfree system in the forseeable future. especialky, when you are after "high performance, fast fps, bird-in-flight/fast-action AF tracking, and/or "hi-end" 4k video) - those 12 pins are there for a reason!
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,167
373
you guys are pretty delusional. EF mount and EF lenses are on the way out.
Yeah, and some day the earth will be swallowed by the sun when it expands to be a red giant. What sort of timeline are you saying this will happen? Anything less than 10 years is pretty much nothing more than blather.
Personally I find it hard to see how much better the EF lenses can get and I am pretty sure that Canon will keep a full functionality of those lenses with R series bodies for as long as the the service life of the lenses (last production + 10 years).
And if you think that they have not designed the v2/3 lenses without the capability to work with R bodies I think you are being overly pessimistic.

those 12 pins are there for a reason!
At least you got something right ;)
 
Reactions: stevelee

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
read the white paper and you will understand better, what EF lenses are lacking to access full EOS R functionality. even if for example the latest Mk. III EF lenses had gyro-sensors built-in (i don't think so, it would have been mentioned in specs and marketing materials if yes), they could not communicate fast enough with EOS R bodies to enable "enhanced IS". it requires faster lens- mount protocol which only runs on 12 pins, not on 8.

same for advanced AF system. recent high-end EF lenses may be up tl speed with low fos EOS R, but öimitations will soon enough vecome visible awhen higher- end, faster EOS R bodies are launched,. EF is 1987. "legacy" in relation to 2018 EOS R system.

it will be interesting to see how many new/updated EF lenses Canon will launch over next 3 years. i predict: not many, if any. all attention goes into RF and future, not to past system.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
573
243
you guys are pretty delusional. EF mount and EF lenses are on the way out. And an EF lens used on R body with RF adapter will work well but will not be equal to a native RF lens in a number of aspects:

* any current and possible future EOS R functionality that depends on 12-pin connection with higher speed /bandwidth will not work with adapted EF glass.

* RF lenses have built-in gyrosensor(s) working in conjunction with IS processor in camera to provide "enhanced image stabilization". not with EF glass.

* while EF glass may be fully capable of EIS R rather pedestrian fps (especially with servo-AF tracking) it remains whether they xan hold up with future, faster fps, more advanced AF, AI powered subject identification EOS R bodies. full utilization of performance potential may require lens-side specs that are simply not present in legacy EF glass. eg certain types/characteristics of AF drive in lens (just look at Thin-type Nano USM drive in RF 24-105)

i am not saying "throw away existing EF glass today", but ... read the Canon paper and give it some very careful thought before buying more EF lenses if you plan to transition to EOS R mirrorfree system in the forseeable future. especialky, when you are after "high performance, fast fps, bird-in-flight/fast-action AF tracking, and/or "hi-end" 4k video) - those 12 pins are there for a reason!
Well, unless the extra pins are all for the control ring on the new adapter.

There are also gyrosensor(s) (sic) working in conjunction with the IS processor in-camera for current EF lenses with IS that goes all the way back to the first IS lens in the late 1990s. Without them IS would not work at all. What do you think that whirring noise you hear when you first activate IS (by activating AF/AE) is? It's the gyros spooling up.

read the white paper and you will understand better, what EF lenses are lacking to access full EOS R functionality. even if for example the latest Mk. III EF lenses had gyro-sensors built-in (i don't think so, it would have been mentioned in specs and marketing materials if yes), they could not communicate fast enough with EOS R bodies to enable "enhanced IS". it requires faster lens- mount protocol which only runs on 12 pins, not on 8.

same for advanced AF system. recent high-end EF lenses may be up tl speed with low fos EOS R, but öimitations will soon enough vecome visible awhen higher- end, faster EOS R bodies are launched,. EF is 1987. "legacy" in relation to 2018 EOS R system.

it will be interesting to see how many new/updated EF lenses Canon will launch over next 3 years. i predict: not many, if any. all attention goes into RF and future, not to past system.
The EF mount uses serial communication, not parallel, for different things on different pins. Three of the current eight pins on the EF mount are power supply voltages only, not data. And again, you're making a huge assumption that some or all of those extra pins are not there solely for the benefit of the added control ring on the adapters/new lenses.
 
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