What lenses are coming next for the Canon RF mount?

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
1,983
237
Vancouver, BC
After having read the Canon whitepaper, I think it provides some real insights into their strategy for producing RF versus EF lenses. In essence, they see the RF mount has having some specific advantages, and they will exploit those for those lenses that can be designed to take advantage. They do a few pages on each of the lenses released, and it becomes quite clear the specific advantages gained by using the RF features (primarily flange distance). And, interestingly, the lenses that don't benefit from those things were released on the same day in EF mount (the 400mm and the 600mm).

What this indicates to me is that they will continue to produce EF lenses where there is no advantage to be gained because both audiences can use them about as well as one another. Thus more sales. Once they come out with 1d and 5d replacements in RF mount, then you might think about a point in time where they will concentrate on RF lenses. But even after initially coming out with pro body models in RF, they're going to sell more lenses by putting them in the mount that is used by both types of cameras.

I feel pretty confident that you'll see EF lenses coming out for another three years or so. The only disadvantage to keeping just EF bodies will be the inability to take advantage of some of the new designs they'll be releasing that can only be done in RF. It'll push everyone in that direction through temptation (Provided they can actually provide an FPS rate during focus-priority servo AF that is higher than 3).
I'm pretty confident that you'll see new EF lenses released for much longer than three years.

On one hand, there's the simple economics of DSLRs remaining cheaper probably for the foreseeable future. As long as there are $300 Rebel camera kits moving off the shelves, there will be new EF and even EFS lenses. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I just don't see big whites going RF until there is a really convincing 1DX2 alternative on the professional end for sports photographers.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
1,983
237
Vancouver, BC
I'm not really into product photography. I'd have guessed you'd do a separate macro/close-up shot to show off the fabric/texture. Anyway, big resolutions are good for landscape photography too, if your target is an A3+ or an A2 print. Also it's good to have some room for cropping and downsampling. But if your camera has at least 24Mp+, you'll be more concerned about DR and high ISOs (in case of night/astrophotography). I do pixel-peeping on my landscape shots, but I'm very well aware I'm most likely the first and last person who views my shots magnified to 1:1. Everyone else sees them printed, or on a relatively small screen, far below 30Mpix of my 5DIV.

With the full frame format, I think 50Mp cameras are already scratching the limits of what can possibly be needed without losing quality. Higher resolutions are better fit for medium format sensors, IMO. I'd be interested to see something like 40-45Mp EOS 5R from Canon, but say 60Mp would be an overkill, even the Canon's glass wouldn't cope.
My point is that from my perspective, the greatest practical utility of very high resolution sensors is for interactive screen presentation, where the intended use is one where the user benefits in a meaningful way from being able to zoom into the picture. As screen resolutions increase, people want to zoom in past the display resolutions, like 2k/4k. In other words, 4x magnification on a 32" 4k screen takes a lot more data to look great than 4x magnification on a 28", 1080p screen.

Only a few years ago, content was often created for the lowest common denominator; for example, creating for the lowest common likely hardware that people would use (eg 1920, 1366, or even fewer pixels horizontally). Increasingly though, you see content transmitted in much higher resolutions that is then resized to fit by the client software.
 
Nov 2, 2016
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I'm not really into product photography. I'd have guessed you'd do a separate macro/close-up shot to show off the fabric/texture. Anyway, big resolutions are good for landscape photography too, if your target is an A3+ or an A2 print. Also it's good to have some room for cropping and downsampling. But if your camera has at least 24Mp+, you'll be more concerned about DR and high ISOs (in case of night/astrophotography). I do pixel-peeping on my landscape shots, but I'm very well aware I'm most likely the first and last person who views my shots magnified to 1:1. Everyone else sees them printed, or on a relatively small screen, far below 30Mpix of my 5DIV.

With the full frame format, I think 50Mp cameras are already scratching the limits of what can possibly be needed without losing quality. Higher resolutions are better fit for medium format sensors, IMO. I'd be interested to see something like 40-45Mp EOS 5R from Canon, but say 60Mp would be an overkill, even the Canon's glass wouldn't cope.
A lot of this has to do with the combination of image viewing size and viewing distance. When you look at a billboard while driving down the highway, it’s huge, but you see from so far away, that the Rez is actually low, and the halftone dots are the size of golf balls, or even a hardball. Here in NYC, in the subway, the Ad posters on the walls have halftone dots that are a good 1/16”.

The truth is that for much work, resolutions isn’t as important as Pixel peepers think it is. A friend of mine was a fashion photographer, and together, we were some of the very first in that field to go digital. Resolutions for Hasselblad backs were 4MP. It worked. Gradually they became higher, and customers began demanding the highest resolutions, just because...

But even when dealing with the 33MP backs back then, the retouchers would drop the resolution to half that as soon as the image files arrived. The customers didn’t know, nobody told, and they didn’t notice.

Since my friend, several years ago, retired from fashion, he’s been living in the Midwest, where he travels around in a mobile home, and does landscape photography, which he prints on a 48” Canon inkjet, sometimes printed in a larger size by a lab when needed. He sells these to companies that put them in lobbies. They are very sharp, and he still just uses 33MP backs, which are more than enough, because these large images are viewed from several feet away, at the closest, as are large prints in general, except sometimes when viewed in a gallery.
 
Likes: Quarkcharmed
Jun 19, 2013
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All I want from Canon is a 35mm TS-E, regardless of mount. I have the Contax but it has ceiling flare issues and generally flares too easily. Actually, I’d consider switching brand for that lens.
I'm fully with you here, I'm dreaming about a 35mm TS-E as well. I use the 24mm TS-E L II + Extender 1.4x III as an intermediate solution, but the quality loss is obvious. I was almost ready to buy the Distagon 35mm, since everyone claims it's the best 35mm PC on the market, but your experience doesn't seem to be so good with it. I have similar experience with flare with my other Contax lenses, including the excellent 100mm f2 Planar.

It is sad the last 35mm PCs date from the 80's, it seems everyone thinks it's not a proper focal for architecture, when on the contrary, it's one of the best lenses for a reasonable perspective.
 
Last edited:

barryreid

I'm New Here
Feb 5, 2018
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I'm fully with you here, I'm dreaming about a 35mm TS-E as well. I use the 24mm TS-E L II + Extender 1.4x III as an intermediate solution, but the quality loss is obvious. I was almost ready to buy the Distagon 35mm, since everyone claims it's the best 35mm PC on the market, but your experience doesn't seem to be so good with it. I have similar experience with flare with my other Contax lenses, including the excellent 100mm f2 Planar.

It is sad the last 35mm PCs date from the 80's, it seems everyone thinks it's not a proper focal for architecture, when on the contrary, it's one of the best lenses for a reasonable perspective.
Totally agree! 35mm is great for exterior shots with a natural perspective. It drives me a bit nuts being told by people who have probably done very little serious Architectural shooting that 35mm useless for architecture and I should be using the 24mm or 17mm (which I already own).

PS Don’t get me wrong on the PC-D when it’s good it’s very good indeed. If sunlight or window light are controlled/avoided mine can be slightly better and more contrasty than the 24 + Extender combo. Neither matches up to what a modern 35L TS-E Could be...
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
1,983
237
Vancouver, BC
And I'm sure, in 3-5 years, Photoshop CC will be able to generate pretty realistically looking textures while upsampling.
But if the interpolated data (whether textures or other types of details) is totally artificial, you have a render rather than a photo. I mean, even today, you don't even need a camera to have a great photo, if you don't care that it's real. :D There was a demo of a couple of pieces of software that could render the remainder of a photo with chunks taken out (for example, if someone is partially obscured). It was very impressive to me, but I mean, the resulting image isn't really a photograph anymore.
 
Jul 12, 2018
25
14
Virginia
PANCAKE PLEASE! I want an "actually quite compact" option with this camera. I love the 40mm 2.8 on my 6D...that combo is actually shorter "front to back" than the EOS R with the 35mm 1.8. Just look at a Sony A7 series with the Sony 35mm 2.8 or Samyang equivalent (or the Samyang 24 2.8 for that matter)...fantastically portable!
 
Sep 7, 2018
2
2
If you have a video camera then it is less of a problem, since you already know exactly what you can use it for, you have a constant crop factor and you can choose lenses accordingly.

But when you want to shoot photo and video at the same time or you simply want to shoot in 1080p and 4k depending on the situation, then it starts to become more annoying. It is nice to be able to mount the Sigma 18-35/1.8, but if you want to switch to stills, you need to change lenses where you loose the wide-end again, etc. so it is fiddly, and you end up purchasing more lenses that you might have without that.
Yes the 1DXII is way better on paper, but no C-Log and it is just too cumbersome to use for many. But it's totally up to them, if they might put that sensor in this body, and price it much higher.


If you already have a Cinema camera as an A-cam, then it is a perfectly fine B-cam + occasional photo solution.
A 1dxmkii is your camera then and all the existing ef glass. It's a 1.35 crop. So it's close enough. Crop is not that big of a problem, if you you haven't played with cinema cameras I suggest you do, canon loves their perfect pixel pitch and I applaud them for that. Crop is a pretty easy work around.
The 1DXII isn't mirrorless -- if I am sticking with an SLR, then I will just stick with my 5D3. Existing glass doesn't have the control ring, which I could see being super handy for controlling the aperture in conjunction with the EVF.

I don't have a cinema cam -- and can't justify buying a separate camera for it.

I want to be able to shoot super high quality stills, 4K video, slow motion video in one unit. Right now, I have a 5D3 and a GoPro 6. I never end up shooting on the GoPro 6 because it's hard to juggle between the two different cameras.
 
Oct 18, 2011
571
31
Adelaide, Australia
I think the lenses suggested by The Supplanter (a few posts above) - are realistic and achievable RF lenses for the relatively near future; i.e.
  • 14-30mm f/4 IS
  • 40mm f/2 IS
  • 135mm f/2 IS
I would also suggest that a wide (but not ultrawide) prime, something like 24mm- 28mm f/f1.4 - f/2 would be likely at some stage... probably without IS, but who knows.

Personally, I would love to see a RF 50mm f/1.4 - f/2 ideally with fast, accurate AF - and IS too... which is significantly smaller & lighter than the RF 50mm f/1.2... it doesn't need to have the amazing wow' impact of the f/1.2 '... but still decent IQ wide open and very good from f/2.2-f/2.5 onwards.

PJ
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,804
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How about a macro? Tilt - Shift?
If Canon can the FPS up, then some long glass would make sense.
 
Nov 2, 2016
257
77
How about a macro? Tilt - Shift?
If Canon can the FPS up, then some long glass would make sense.
They have their first 35mm macro for this. But long lenses don’t have to be reworked, as they won’t gain much benefit, just use the $99 adapter. How many tilt/shift lenses does Canon sell a year? Not many, I’d bet. That won’t be a priority either. Again, the adapter. Use the filter version with them, a great combo.
 
Nov 2, 2016
257
77
The 35mm is cheating with the 'macro' name, since it's only 1:2, not life size.
Macro always used to mean1:2. You got to 1:1 with the (usually) included adapter tube. Some lenses go to 1:1 by themselves. But macro means that the lens is optically designed for that purpose. That’s the main thing.
 
Aug 1, 2015
60
7
I think the lenses suggested by The Supplanter (a few posts above) - are realistic and achievable RF lenses for the relatively near future; i.e.
  • 14-30mm f/4 IS
  • 40mm f/2 IS
  • 135mm f/2 IS
I would also suggest that a wide (but not ultrawide) prime, something like 24mm- 28mm f/f1.4 - f/2 would be likely at some stage... probably without IS, but who knows.

Personally, I would love to see a RF 50mm f/1.4 - f/2 ideally with fast, accurate AF - and IS too... which is significantly smaller & lighter than the RF 50mm f/1.2... it doesn't need to have the amazing wow' impact of the f/1.2 '... but still decent IQ wide open and very good from f/2.2-f/2.5 onwards.

PJ
Yes! I'm looking forward to more primes with this new system. Can only imagine they will be spectacular.
 
Likes: pj1974
May 4, 2011
939
62
PANCAKE PLEASE! I want an "actually quite compact" option with this camera. I love the 40mm 2.8 on my 6D...that combo is actually shorter "front to back" than the EOS R with the 35mm 1.8. Just look at a Sony A7 series with the Sony 35mm 2.8 or Samyang equivalent (or the Samyang 24 2.8 for that matter)...fantastically portable!
I like the idea of an RF version of the 40 2.8. At the same time, though, if they are putting control rings on all RF lenses, they'll have to make space for that somehow (there was barely enough space on the EF version to squeeze in a focus ring)

If we're talking exotic lenses - how about a RF 105mm 1.4 (or f2 IS)...or a 35mm 1.2...or 135mm 1.8...
 
Jul 12, 2018
25
14
Virginia
I like the idea of an RF version of the 40 2.8. At the same time, though, if they are putting control rings on all RF lenses, they'll have to make space for that somehow (there was barely enough space on the EF version to squeeze in a focus ring)

If we're talking exotic lenses - how about a RF 105mm 1.4 (or f2 IS)...or a 35mm 1.2...or 135mm 1.8...
Indeed, I can live without the ring. If they can go to F2 with the 40mm pancake, even better!