Don’t expect any third-party autofocus lenses in the near future

Canon Rumors Guy

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Since the story broke last week that Viltrox was told by Canon to cease making any autofocus lens for the RF mount, there has been a lot of chatter for obvious reasons. The lack of RF native autofocus third party lenses has become a growing concern amongst shooters.
One of the good things to come from multiple folks covering this issue, is people begin to talk a bit more candidly about the topic at hand.
I have spoken to two quality sources on the topic, from completely different geographical locations and they both have said very similar things.
The big one being, Canon has no plans to give permission to third party manufacturers to utilize their RF mount patents as they pertain to electronics and autofocus anytime in the near future.
We have been told that there are a few reasons for this, and please don’t shoot the messenger.

Canon doesn’t feel the RF lineup is anywhere near maturity, and they want the lineup filled out with their own lenses first. Canon still has lots of work...

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H. Jones

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If this is truly the case, Canon definitely needs to branch out their line up with answers to some of the more common third party options, like 120-300 and 150-600, both lenses I see relatively frequently from the third party companies.
 
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Chaitanya

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If this is truly the case, Canon definitely needs to branch out their line up with answers to some of the more common third party options, like 120-300 and 150-600, both lenses I see relatively frequently from the third party companies.
RF-S line up is empty which needs good native options, also for RF there is still missing 180mm Macro and a 100mm Macro without SA control and focus shift.
 
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HMC11

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Fair game to Canon. Also don't really see a need for Canon to be 'transparent', as I suspect they would prefer to play the cards closer to the chest rather than give competitors an advantage. Besides, they might not even be sure what is the best way forward and probably not want to tie themselves up with public promises. As consumers, we generally do what makes sense for us - stay with Canon or go? Use existing EF lenses with adapters or wait for new RF lenses? etc.
 
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Bob Howland

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If this is truly the case, Canon definitely needs to branch out their line up with answers to some of the more common third party options, like 120-300 and 150-600, both lenses I see relatively frequently from the third party companies.
The Sigma EF 150-600 Sport works just fine with an adapter on my R7. I can't see Canon making one for anything near the Sigma's price.
 
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melgross

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I mentioned this before. While I’m not certain how it plays out in every country or region, here in the USA a company is allowed to reverse engineer a product to interface with another company’s product, even if it means breaking software encryption in order to do it. This was a decision made by the Librarian Of Congress a number of years ago, within whom the authority to make such decisions lies.

so Canon couldn’t forbid it here. Elsewhere, I don’t know.
 
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navastronia

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What on earth does
  • tweaks and improvements to the RF mount.
mean? I guess they're still improving the communications protocol?
 
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neuroanatomist

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CANON GIVE ME ALL THE LENSES I WANT NOW OR I'LL SWITCH TO SONY!

Or maybe I should learn some patience. ;)
 
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I asked this on the other thread and didn't get an answer. I'll ask again.

Did Canon lock down the EF format (as far as autofocus zooms) for several years before opening it up?

They basically did that with EF-M.
 
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Aug 7, 2018
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Seem like a lame excuse. They say that the RF system has not reached maturity, but they are already selling a $6,000 RF camera and a $3,000 RF standard zoom.

In the last few years Canon told us, how awesome and revolutionary their RF gear is, but when it comes to third party lenses, they suddenly tell us that their system is not mature enough. Does that mean we should rather buy Sony cameras, which are already mature?

All the focussing alrorithms happen inside the camera anyway. The camera just has to tell the lens if it has to focus further or closer until the focus fits. Is that part any different for RF lenses than for EF lenses? Nobody wants Canon to give a way the secret how it nails the focus on animal eyes or fast moving subjects.
 
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BBarn

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Could be a tough challenge for Canon to meet the expectation of a full lens line in a timely manner. Given the introduction of the RF-S line it would seem they need to release more than the planned half dozen lenses a year. A reliable lens roadmap that supports their plans might help appease some customers, but they may not want their plans that public.
 
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navastronia

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I'm glad I got my Samyang RF 85/1.4 AF and Samyang RF 14/2.8 AF last year, but if either stops working, I'm SOL and will need to reconsider my kit.

If I need to replace the wide angle, I could go for the RF 16/2.8, which is cheap, but has absolutely horrible image distortion in the corners that needs to be corrected. If I need to replace my short tele, I could go for the RF 85/2.0, which I've heard has a very slow autofocus.

Or, of course, I could buy more EF glass, some of it probably used.

I'm not happy with these options.
 
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entoman

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In the last few years Canon told us, how awesome and revolutionary their RF gear is, but when it comes to third party lenses, they suddenly tell us that their system is not mature enough.
Judging by the number of people (including myself) who complain about certain desirable lenses being absent from the RF range, the lens system is indeed not mature enough. It takes time to fill out a lens range, and Canon have made very good progress. I'd certainly like to see a few more lenses added e.g. a 180mm or 200mm macro with OIS, a close-focusing compact 70-300mm etc.

Does that mean we should rather buy Sony cameras, which are already mature?
That is a decision everyone should think about *before* entering the RF system. If you want *native* AF glass that is not available from Canon, then sure, consider Sony- they make excellent cameras. But you can't be trying very hard if you can't find what you want in EF mount - and EF lenses work extremely well on RF cameras.
The camera just has to tell the lens if it has to focus further or closer until the focus fits. Is that part any different for RF lenses than for EF lenses? Nobody wants Canon to give a way the secret how it nails the focus on animal eyes or fast moving subjects.
You're speculating, and you're probably wrong. Modern lenses are jam-packed with complex electronics, which work in conjunction with the electronics in the camera body. The only people who know how much is lens-based and how much is body-based, are the manufacturers.
 
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Actually even if I ever switch to mirrorless I will only buy RF glass if there really is no EF option at all that comes close to it. So the only lens I would probably buy right now is the 800mm f/11. There is no EF option for that. I just bought the Canon EF 100-400 II a few weeks ago and my plan is to keep using that even if I switch. For the RF mount there only is the cheap RF 100-400 that has a much lower image quality than the EF version and the RF 100-500 that is VERY expensive, made of plastic and only accepts converters from 300mm up.
 

neuroanatomist

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Could be a tough challenge for Canon to meet the expectation of a full lens line in a timely manner. Given the introduction of the RF-S line it would seem they need to release more than the planned half dozen lenses a year. A reliable lens roadmap that supports their plans might help appease some customers, but they may not want their plans that public.
Adapting EF lenses mitigates the lack of corresponding (or improved) RF lenses. The EOS R system is nearly 4 years old, so by now Canon has lots of data on who's switched from their DSLRs to their MILCs, what EF lenses they owned when they switched, and what RF lenses they bought afterward. They also know very well based on EF lens sales which lens classes and specific lenses are most popular.

We all imagine specific RF lenses that we want Canon to release (actually, to have already released). For some of us, those lenses will be the next ones to be announced. For others, the wait will be long. Canon will release lenses in the order they think will be most profitable for them, and as I've said (often!), history suggests they do an excellent job of predicting and meeting the demands of the market as a whole.
 
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Ozarker

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Adapting EF lenses mitigates the lack of corresponding (or improved) RF lenses.

Canon will release lenses in the order they think will be most profitable for them, and as I've said (often!), history suggests they do an excellent job of predicting and meeting the demands of the market as a whole.
Which makes the adapter an "elegant" solution. I believe Canon knew the line would take time to fill out, and also knew few people could afford to switch all lenses at once. The adapters are a great bridge into the new technology.
 

entoman

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Actually even if I ever switch to mirrorless I will only buy RF glass if there really is no EF option at all that comes close to it. So the only lens I would probably buy right now is the 800mm f/11. There is no EF option for that. I just bought the Canon EF 100-400 II a few weeks ago and my plan is to keep using that even if I switch. For the RF mount there only is the cheap RF 100-400 that has a much lower image quality than the EF version and the RF 100-500 that is VERY expensive, made of plastic and only accepts converters from 300mm up.
So you're complaining about RF glass, but you don't even use an RF mount camera?

Why are you so worried? You shoot mainly architecture. Presumably therefore most of the time you will be using tilt-shift lenses, which in most cases are manual focus, so what difference does it make to you whether Canon permits third parties to manufacture AF lenses in RF mount?
 
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danfaz

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All the focussing alrorithms happen inside the camera anyway. The camera just has to tell the lens if it has to focus further or closer until the focus fits. Is that part any different for RF lenses than for EF lenses?
I don't think that's accurate. Why do we have firmware updates for RF lenses?