SIGMA will address the RF mount in 2022 [CR3]

LogicExtremist

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Sep 26, 2021
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Laowa and Lensbaby also have RF mounts.
I just saw a video review where it was stated that the Viltrox RF 85mm f/1.8 is registered by the camera body as an EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, that's apparently how they got the AF to work on that lens, and it also gets in-camera lens corrections which third-partly lenses normally can't do. Maybe that has something to do with it? It seems that only the third-party AF lenses for the RF mount are progressively disappearing.
 
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SNJ Ops

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Laowa and Lensbaby also have RF mounts.
Very true, I forgot about them. They don’t add electrical contacts to their mirrorless lenses either so probably not an issue in terms of potential patent infringement.
 

Johnw

EOS R6
Oct 10, 2020
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Canon applying some legal pressure somehow, in my mind, would be the simplest and most probable reason why a company would pull a product overnight with no explanation, while Canon slowly releases lenses at their own pace with negligible competition. If anyone has a more plausible and logically cohesive explanation, it would be great to share it. :)

Could just be low sales although your theory is also possible. I believe it was also reported that Sigma said they could have started making RF lenses already but just feel the ROI is not there yet. The fact that Canon made EF lenses work so well with the RF mount means Sigma is probably less incentivized to produce native RF lenses than they otherwise would be.

the very fact that the Samyang Rokinon RF 85mm AF lens existed, and was selling, with lots of happy purchasers and great reviews

That fact and the fact that you may have liked or purchased the product and that other people did so as well is not sufficient to establish that a valid business case existed for the continued production of this product. Are you aware of any sales figures that Samyang has communicated highlighting whether sales matched their projections for this product? That's really the information we would need to know whether it was pulled simply for a business case reason or whether there were other legal factors involved as you have speculated.
 
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jd7

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Could just be low sales although your theory is also possible. I believe it was also reported that Sigma said they could have started making RF lenses already but just feel the ROI is not there yet. The fact that Canon made EF lenses work so well with the RF mount means Sigma is probably less incentivized to produce native RF lenses than they otherwise would be.



That fact and the fact that you may have liked or purchased the product and that other people did so as well is not sufficient to establish that a valid business case existed for the continued production of this product. Are you aware of any sales figures that Samyang has communicated highlighting whether sales matched their projections for this product? That's really the information we would need to know whether it was pulled simply for a business case reason or whether there were other legal factors involved as you have speculated.
I have been one of the people suggesting (including earlier in this thread) the lack of third party lenses might simply reflect the third party manufacturers not seeing a good business case to make RF lenses yet. However, the fact there are now two manufacturers (Samyang and more recently Viltrox) which have gone to the trouble of putting one or more RF lenses (with AF) on the market only to (it seems) stop supplying them has led me to believe that Canon is using intellectual property laws to prevent third parties from supplying/selling such lenses. No, I don't have any direct confirmation of that, but it just seems too unlikely that two manufacters would start supplying RF lenses and then stop simply for commercial reasons, and I cannot think of any good explanation other than Canon using IP laws to stop them. When Samyang originally removed their RF lenses from their website, the lenses were still listed on the Rokinon website so I assumed that for some reason they had decided to supply them only under the Rokinon name. However, the Samyang/Rokinon lenses don't seem to be in stock with retailers under either name, and just recently Viltrox seems to have removed their RF lenses from their website.

I may well be in a minority for all I know, but if Canon is going to make the RF system a closed system for lenses (ie no third party lenses), the RF system is not a system I want to buy into, least of all when the Sony system offers a great range of Sony and third party lenses.
 
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LogicExtremist

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Could just be low sales although your theory is also possible. I believe it was also reported that Sigma said they could have started making RF lenses already but just feel the ROI is not there yet. The fact that Canon made EF lenses work so well with the RF mount means Sigma is probably less incentivized to produce native RF lenses than they otherwise would be.



That fact and the fact that you may have liked or purchased the product and that other people did so as well is not sufficient to establish that a valid business case existed for the continued production of this product. Are you aware of any sales figures that Samyang has communicated highlighting whether sales matched their projections for this product? That's really the information we would need to know whether it was pulled simply for a business case reason or whether there were other legal factors involved as you have speculated.
It looks like every RF AF third party lens has been pulled off the market (Samyang, Viltrox, Yonguno), and no other third party is releasing any, which suggests that it's probably an IP matter in respect to how the AF works on the RF mount.

On DPR one poster is claiming to have been told by a Sigma rep that the company position is that it's waiting for Canon to license the RF mount to them. "From what I was told by a Sigma UK rep in June, they are waiting on a license to make RF lenses". Fact or fiction, who knows? Sounds totally plausible.

To quote the same post, the CEO of Sigma has made public statements that they're considering making RF lenses, and see it as a viable market, which negates claims its not economically viable to make RF lenses.

"Sigma's CEO said in 2019:

"I have a great interest in the Canon R and Nikon Z systems because eventually they will have more and more customers. So we are now investigating these systems. But still it’s too early to make a statement about how we will respond."

In 2021 he said:

"I am aware that there’s a very strong demand from customers for Canon RF and Nikon Z. We believe, too, as a lens manufacturer, that it’s our mission to support as many mounts as possible. We would like to support those mounts, and we’re discussing and researching.""


The suggested reason that companies like Sigma would prefer to licence the RF protocol rather than reverse engineer it is because one of the uses of the extra pins for high speed communication is in the coordination between camera body IBIS and lens IS, and this increases technical complexity, potentially making reverse engineering less economical. You'd want new third-party stabilised lenses to work well on a Canon RF camera body, so I can understand the argument there.

With EVERY brand removing existing RF mount lenses, this could have been done via incentive "remove lenses and we'll give you a license in the future" or disincentive "cease and desists, your design violates RF mount patent x for technology y". Lack of a market fails to explain this point. In fact, the market is very hungry for more choices. The thing is, people will buy whatever Canon puts out, good or bad, then come to forums to validate their purchasing decisions. Canon is milking this monopoly situation all the way to the bank.

We could be potentially be looking at two factors at play here, RF protocol licensing and RF mount communication protocol patent/IP infringement.

Either way, simple fact is that there are NO third party lenses available on Canon's new RF mount or Nikon's new Z-mount. Coincidence? I don't think so...
 

unfocused

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Could just be low sales although your theory is also possible…That fact and the fact that you may have liked or purchased the product and that other people did so as well is not sufficient to establish that a valid business case existed for the continued production of this product. Are you aware of any sales figures that Samyang has communicated highlighting whether sales matched their projections for this product? That's really the information we would need to know whether it was pulled simply for a business case reason or whether there were other legal factors involved as you have speculated.
We would also need to know if the same manufacturing lines or facilities were needed for more profitable or better selling products as well as whether or not they had a reliable supply chain for parts, etc.
 
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LogicExtremist

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We would also need to know if the same manufacturing lines or facilities were needed for more profitable or better selling products as well as whether or not they had a reliable supply chain for parts, etc.
We have an idea what the market for full frame cameras and lenses did last year, it grew!

"Canon Global has revised its financial forecast for its 2021 fiscal year to account for, amongst other things, an increase in demand for inkjet printers and full-frame mirrorless cameras and lenses. According to the note, posted on Canon's investor relations website, Canon increased its full-year net sales forecast by 2.9% and its full-year operating profit by 42.9% to 3,600B yen ($32.7B) and 283B yen ($2.5B), respectively. For comparison, Canon’s full-year net sales were 3,100B yen ($28.2B) in 2020 and 3.6B yen ($32.7B) in 2019, while its full-year operating profit was 110B yen ($1B) in 2020 and 175B yen ($1.6B) in 2019. This means 2021 should see Canon's operating profit equal roughly that of both 2019 and 2020, combined, even as net sales remain fairly consistent with pre-pandemic numbers."

As long as old men in first world countries keep retiring, there will be a market for premium RF lenses!
As long as Canon keeps putting out out overpriced lenses, either high end pro lenses or seriously crippled junk consumer lenses, there will be a huge market for third-party RF lenses! ;)
 

SNJ Ops

EOS 90D
Jul 27, 2021
119
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It looks like every RF AF third party lens has been pulled off the market (Samyang, Viltrox, Yonguno), and no other third party is releasing any, which suggests that it's probably an IP matter in respect to how the AF works on the RF mount.

On DPR one poster is claiming to have been told by a Sigma rep that the company position is that it's waiting for Canon to license the RF mount to them. "From what I was told by a Sigma UK rep in June, they are waiting on a license to make RF lenses". Fact or fiction, who knows? Sounds totally plausible.

To quote the same post, the CEO of Sigma has made public statements that they're considering making RF lenses, and see it as a viable market, which negates claims its not economically viable to make RF lenses.

"Sigma's CEO said in 2019:

"I have a great interest in the Canon R and Nikon Z systems because eventually they will have more and more customers. So we are now investigating these systems. But still it’s too early to make a statement about how we will respond."

In 2021 he said:

"I am aware that there’s a very strong demand from customers for Canon RF and Nikon Z. We believe, too, as a lens manufacturer, that it’s our mission to support as many mounts as possible. We would like to support those mounts, and we’re discussing and researching.""


The suggested reason that companies like Sigma would prefer to licence the RF protocol rather than reverse engineer it is because one of the uses of the extra pins for high speed communication is in the coordination between camera body IBIS and lens IS, and this increases technical complexity, potentially making reverse engineering less economical. You'd want new third-party stabilised lenses to work well on a Canon RF camera body, so I can understand the argument there.

With EVERY brand removing existing RF mount lenses, this could have been done via incentive "remove lenses and we'll give you a license in the future" or disincentive "cease and desists, your design violates RF mount patent x for technology y". Lack of a market fails to explain this point. In fact, the market is very hungry for more choices. The thing is, people will buy whatever Canon puts out, good or bad, then come to forums to validate their purchasing decisions. Canon is milking this monopoly situation all the way to the bank.

We could be potentially be looking at two factors at play here, RF protocol licensing and RF mount communication protocol patent/IP infringement.

Either way, simple fact is that there are NO third party lenses available on Canon's new RF mount or Nikon's new Z-mount. Coincidence? I don't think so...

Actually Z mount is somewhat different. Voigtländer have some sort of agreement with Nikon to make lenses for mirrorless. The 2 APO Lanthar (absolutely stunning glass) lenses are ones that already had E and M mount versions. The D 23mm f1.2 and D 35mm f1.2 are for crop bodies and appear to have been designed specifically for that use.

 
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Johnw

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It looks like every RF AF third party lens has been pulled off the market (Samyang, Viltrox, Yonguno)

Ok I was not aware that every third party manufacturer of AF lenses for the RF mount had ceased production. I still see the Viltrox AF 85 in stock at B&H. Anyway, if that is true, then I would agree that this would be additional evidence that there might be a common event which precipitated that, rather than every manufacturer simultaneously realizing there was no business case.

However, even if such a common event occurred, that does not mean it necessarily implies your chosen theory, that Canon threatened legal action or is on a mission to kill off all third party lenses. One possible example is that Canon simply released updated firmware, which may have interfered with some features these lenses were using. It's possible these manufacturers decided it wasn't worth the investment to continue to stay ahead of Canon's changes to keep the lenses working. It's even possible Canon did this without even intending to kill off such third party capability. If the existing AF lenses are relying on reverse engineering, it's possible Canon may not even know what steps they took to get the AF working.

In any case, there is still insufficient evidence to support your theory of legal threats as factual, and I suspect that will be the case until either:
1. Canon makes a more public statement on its position wrt third party RF lenses
2. One of the manufacturers makes a statement to the effect that it was interference from Canon that forced them to cease production
3. A journalist digs a bit deeper and finds out why these companies have stopped producing AF lenses for the RF mount
 
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jd7

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Ok I was not aware that every third party manufacturer of AF lenses for the RF mount had ceased production. I still see the Viltrox AF 85 in stock at B&H. Anyway, if that is true, then I would agree that this would be additional evidence that there might be a common event which precipitated that, rather than every manufacturer simultaneously realizing there was no business case.

However, even if such a common event occurred, that does not mean it necessarily implies your chosen theory, that Canon threatened legal action or is on a mission to kill off all third party lenses. One possible example is that Canon simply released updated firmware, which may have interfered with some features these lenses were using. It's possible these manufacturers decided it wasn't worth the investment to continue to stay ahead of Canon's changes to keep the lenses working. It's even possible Canon did this without even intending to kill off such third party capability. If the existing AF lenses are relying on reverse engineering, it's possible Canon may not even know what steps they took to get the AF working.

In any case, there is still insufficient evidence to support your theory of legal threats as factual, and I suspect that will be the case until either:
1. Canon makes a more public statement on its position wrt third party RF lenses
2. One of the manufacturers makes a statement to the effect that it was interference from Canon that forced them to cease production
3. A journalist digs a bit deeper and finds out why these companies have stopped producing AF lenses for the RF mount
If manufacturers have decided it isn't worth putting in the required investment to keep their lenses up to date to work with new firmware, that amounts to the manufacturers all realising there is no (good) business case to make lenses for the RF mount. And while firmware updates stopping third party lenses from working would be different from Canon threatening legal action for intellectual property infringement, the practical result would be the same: Canon would be keeping third party RF lenses off the market. Yes, Canon is free to develop whatever firmware it wants and it can choose to ignore the effects on third party equipment if that is what it wants to do. But equally, I'm sure Canon could develop firmware which at least minimises the difficulties for third party manufacturers (avoiding all problems altogether may be unrealistic). Canon has choice. No doubt Canon will do what it thinks is in the best interests of its business. However, a closed RF system (ie no native RF third party lenses) would be dissapointing to me, to put it mildly. When I bought into the EF system many years ago, one of the attractions was the wide range of lenses available, including lenses from third parties. In the mirrorless full frame arena, the only system which offers that with native lenses is the Sony system.
 
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LogicExtremist

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Ok I was not aware that every third party manufacturer of AF lenses for the RF mount had ceased production. I still see the Viltrox AF 85 in stock at B&H. Anyway, if that is true, then I would agree that this would be additional evidence that there might be a common event which precipitated that, rather than every manufacturer simultaneously realizing there was no business case.

However, even if such a common event occurred, that does not mean it necessarily implies your chosen theory, that Canon threatened legal action or is on a mission to kill off all third party lenses. One possible example is that Canon simply released updated firmware, which may have interfered with some features these lenses were using. It's possible these manufacturers decided it wasn't worth the investment to continue to stay ahead of Canon's changes to keep the lenses working. It's even possible Canon did this without even intending to kill off such third party capability. If the existing AF lenses are relying on reverse engineering, it's possible Canon may not even know what steps they took to get the AF working.

In any case, there is still insufficient evidence to support your theory of legal threats as factual, and I suspect that will be the case until either:
1. Canon makes a more public statement on its position wrt third party RF lenses
2. One of the manufacturers makes a statement to the effect that it was interference from Canon that forced them to cease production
3. A journalist digs a bit deeper and finds out why these companies have stopped producing AF lenses for the RF mount
There's no evidence to support any theory in fact, only logical inferences that can be made from known facts, some being more logically sound than others, it's all speculation, this is CanonRumors after all! ;)

Like I said earlier, Canon has likely provided some disincentive (legal) or incentive (licensing) to clear the critical early stages of the growing RF lens market of competition when it comes to RF AF lens sales! There's a high probability it's either or both. Quite impressive, however it's been done to achieve such a monopoly. Such a situation permits Canon to drive up their prices to whatever they choose, because it's their way or no way, there's no other choice! Luring existing Canon customers with some impressive RF flagship lenses, a few great value for money L-series and consumer level lenses, with the obviously implied promise of more, and then no other choices - a masterfully executed real Canon gotcha to create a captive market! :oops:
 
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Johnw

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it's been done to achieve such a monopoly

Yeah these are the kind of statements I don't think you can logically infer from the available evidence. We don't even know at this point what action(s) and by who precipitated these manufacturers exit from the RF lens market. Since we don't even know that, we certainly can't infer the intention on the part of the actors who took those actions.
 

LogicExtremist

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Sep 26, 2021
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Yeah these are the kind of statements I don't think you can logically infer from the available evidence. We don't even know at this point what action(s) and by who precipitated these manufacturers exit from the RF lens market. Since we don't even know that, we certainly can't infer the intention on the part of the actors who took those actions.
The fact that Canon has a monopoly on autofocus RF mount lenses is exactly that, a fact. There's no need to infer it, it's clearly observable. There were three other third party companies making AF RF lenses and they 'stopped' making them without stating a reason, which is rather unusual to say the least. The big name third party manufacturers never even got started. The situation changed from one where there was some minor competition to one where there was no competition whatsoever, and that is what's called a monopoly. We can only make logical inferences at best about the cause/s of this situation, because there are no explanations, and if anything bordering on the questionable is going on, then you're guaranteed to get no public explanations.

Remember the logical principle that absence of proof is not proof of absence. Just because something hasn't been revealed yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's still possible, and maybe even probable. Even if Canon was skirting the borders of what's legal (they've received massive fines for anti-trust actions which they conspired to commit and carried out, so we do have a precedent here), third-party manufacturers won't publicly air corporate dirty laundry, as it doesn't serve them in any way and can tarnish their brand, and Canon surely won't reveal its actions publicly if they are detrimental to their customers.

If these corporate shenanigans which are creating a captive market and eliminating choice and healthy competition aren't to people's liking, maybe it might be a good idea to hold off on any unnecessary purchases (wants vs needs) so as to not support such a scenario, and perhaps wait till more choices are available for other manufacturers. If the current offerings don't meet specific needs, rather than buying new (and overpriced) RF lenses anyway, just because that's all that Canon's offering, and having to sell later at a greater loss, it could be a better stop-gap solution to simply buy second-hand EF glass until better suited RF lenses are released by whoever.
 

unfocused

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... aren't to people's liking, maybe it might be a good idea to hold off on any unnecessary purchases (wants vs needs) so as to not support such a scenario, and perhaps wait till more choices are available for other manufacturers. If the current offerings don't meet specific needs, rather than buying new (and overpriced) RF lenses anyway, just because that's all that Canon's offering, and having to sell later at a greater loss, it could be a better stop-gap solution to simply buy second-hand EF glass until better suited RF lenses are released by whoever.
If you fit into that category, then that does seem like a sensible option. However, judging by Canon's successful sales numbers, it looks like there are a lot of buyers out there that find Canon's offerings do meet their needs. And, if you buy what you need or want, then why would you have to "sell later at a greater loss?" Every time I've sold a Canon lens or camera I've gotten my money's worth out of the body or lens by the time I sold it and anything I got when I sold has been a bonus.
 
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unfocused

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So, Tamron just released a 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD lens for Sony E-mount for $1,300. Canon has a 100-400 RF f5.6-8 that retails for $600. A logical person might speculate that a similar Tamron lens for the R mount could be a hard sale at more than twice the price of the Canon lens, even though the Canon lens is slightly slower and has 50mm less at the short end.

A logical person might look at Canon's affordable RF lens lineup and question how much room there is for competition from third parties given the selection and aggressive pricing that Canon is offering.
 
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LogicExtremist

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Clearly you don't know what a monopoly or a fact is.
Ok, I'll bite lol! :)
  • Monopoly - mə-nŏp′ə-lē (noun) Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service.
  • Fact - (noun) Knowledge or information based on real occurrences, something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed.
The dictionary is your friend, and it's very easy to use! ;)
 

LogicExtremist

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If you fit into that category, then that does seem like a sensible option. However, judging by Canon's successful sales numbers, it looks like there are a lot of buyers out there that find Canon's offerings do meet their needs. And, if you buy what you need or want, then why would you have to "sell later at a greater loss?" Every time I've sold a Canon lens or camera I've gotten my money's worth out of the body or lens by the time I sold it and anything I got when I sold has been a bonus.
Well, the successful Canon sales in RF is because there's virtually no other option, and generally people tend to let companies create the demand for them, hype something up, make them want it (want more often than need), and they'll buy whatever Canon throws out. The real need being fulfilled here is probably more gratification though spending than a real technical need, considering most enthusiasts don't need cameras, they want them for a hobby, which is fine!

Anyone selling camera gear will generally always sell it at a loss. If you feel you had it long enough and you feel you got your money's worth out of it relative to the financial loss, that's a subjective assessment that nobody can argue against, that's great! It kind of depends how long you own it and how much you use it. Buying an overpriced line of products during times of economic inflation just means paying more, and potentially losing more if/when prices settle. :(
 

LogicExtremist

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So, Tamron just released a 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD lens for Sony E-mount for $1,300. Canon has a 100-400 RF f5.6-8 that retails for $600. A logical person might speculate that a similar Tamron lens for the R mount could be a hard sale at more than twice the price of the Canon lens, even though the Canon lens is slightly slower and has 50mm less at the short end.

A logical person might look at Canon's affordable RF lens lineup and question how much room there is for competition from third parties given the selection and aggressive pricing that Canon is offering.
A logical person wouldn't compare apples and oranges! :oops:

It's obvious there are products at different price points in every brand, and the Tamron zoom you mention has an f/6.3 vs f/8 aperture at 400mm, 8x zoom vs 4x zoom, but it's not reasonable to make an accurate assessment without considering the internals and performance.

The Tamron has a 25cm minimum focus distance (vs 88cm-1.2m for the Canon) and does 1:2 macro or 0.5x magnification (vs 0.41x on Canon). It is fully weather-sealed, including fluorine coating on the front lens, the design includes 24 elements in 18 groups including 5 special dispersion elements and 2 aspherical elements. By comparison the Canon RF 100-400 has 12 elements in 9 groups, with only two special elements, 1 UD-glass element and 1 PMo (cheap molded plastic) aspherical element.

It's a whole different class of lens, hence the price. The old Tamron 100-400 released back in 2017 (5 years ago), like the competing Sigma 100-400, was getting close to the Canon EF 100-400 II and eats the budget Canon zoom for breakfast in terms of sharpness on the TDP comparison tool. What would a more recent Tamron zoom do in terms of performance? Now, if Canon released a less crippled tele zoom that sat somewhere between the cheap but not so sharp consumer USD $600 RF 100-400 and the super sharp but super expensive USD $3,000 RF 100-500, that would offer buyers some more reasonable choices...
 

Czardoom

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See my previous post re flawless ultra-ethical corporations, they must have rainbow coloured unicorns that sparkle in the dark as CEOs, but you've nailed it in terms of what would motivate companies such as Canon in your last sentence:

"The big profits for camera companies are in the lenses...not in in the cameras, so to give the profits away to 3rd party companies would be a foolish strategy in today's shrinking market."

Couldn't agree more, thanks for the clarity! :)
From Canon's point of view, maximizing profits is what they are supposed to do. You somehow, totally illogically, then warp this obvious business truth, into a conspiracy, or an evil, dirty business maneuver that borders on illegal and unethical. And if someone points out that it is neither, then apparently we are guilty of some sort of Canon worship or love. Maybe we're just not willing to jump on your bandwagon of totally biased hate.

From another post, your total bias is revealed. "...As long as Canon keeps putting out overpriced lenses, either high end pro lenses or seriously crippled junk consumer lenses, there will be a huge market for third-party RF lenses!"

What I infer from this sort of comment, which you repeat over and over in many threads is this...

You are angry at the price of Canon's high end RF lenses. Then don't buy them. I think we can all agree that the lenses are high priced. But the key point is - you don't have to buy them. Their R system cameras do not require you to buy them. All the EF lenses, whether made by Canon or made by Sigma, Tamron or others can be used on the R system cameras. This is the point you seem to be missing as you you cry "monopoly" (it's not). Not just because you can buy other lenses that will work with the R cameras, but that you can buy other cameras. As long as you can go buy a Nikon, Sony , Fuji or other camera, means there is no monopoly.

You believe the consumer lenses are "seriously crippled junk". I have seen numerous reviews of these lenses and I don't recall any reviewer taking quite this stance. I believe most reviews are more positive than negative, and although there are some folks who dislike them quite a lot, I can't recall anyone else calling them "seriously crippled junk." Most owners of these lenses find them to be good performers for the price, I believe.

I have no emotional feelings about Canon whatsoever. I have owned their camera on and off since 1995, but have also owned Olympus cameras (since 1979) and also had a brief time owning Nikon and Sony. What I do have an emotion feelings about is truth, about accusing others (including corporations) of wrongdoing with no facts to back it up, about bias that creates bigoted attitudes. Those things bother me enough to respond to those that exhibit a clear lack of regard to the truth and a fair analysis of events.
 
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