Canon Lens Rumors

The state of third-party lenses for the RF mount, Canon may be involved

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One of the most important things in the gear world for value conscience buyers, are third-party lenses. Sigma and Tamron became pretty big players in the EF market when they both changed direction and brought their lenses up market, but still aggressive price wise when compared to similar Canon offerings.

The rollout of third-party lenses for the RF mount has been extremely slow, and we only have Rokinon and Viltrox making autofocus lenses for the RF mount, but they use the EF protocols and not the latest and greatest from the RF mount.

Samyang at one point made RF mount lenses, but that abruptly stopped without any public reason why.

I have now been told through a third party that Viltrox, a smaller manufacturer of lenses has been told by Canon that they cannot make RF mount lenses and to stop selling any such products. Did the same thing happen to Samyang (who makes Rokinon)? Are other third-party manufacturers going to face the same request (demand) from Canon?

This information goes against what we have always assumed about third-party lens options, Canon may not help you make them, but if you can do it yourself, have at it.

That leaves us with some big questions about SIGMA and Tamron, both have been extremely quiet on the topic, and if they have said anything, it’s been the usual “we will consider this in the future”, or “we have maxed out our production capabilities”, which is just means they can’t actually tell us what is going on with the RF mount.

Is Canon looking to add some kind of revenue stream from third-party manufacturers? That could be good business as the industry continues its evolution.

We don’t have expert knowledge on how these sorts of technologies are protected by patents and whatnot, so if anyone has insight beyond guessing through a Google search, we’re all ears.

We now believe that Canon wants some level of control over everything that works with their system, and we hope to hear from Canon, SIGMA and Tamron on this topic in the near future, because buyers are becoming a little restless.

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mxwphoto

R6 and be there
Jun 20, 2013
72
114
Canon wants to be the Apple of cameras and lenses, pure and simple.
 
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Sep 5, 2018
1,170
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Tamron just announced a 70-300 f/4.5-6.3 for the Nikon Z mount, surely a Canon RF version can't be too far behind.

 
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fox40phil

5DIV & RP
Apr 12, 2013
284
180
Germany
www.phileas-schoenberg.de
It’s really hard to believe this way of business!
First Samyang... now Viltrox!
To good that I bought the 85 f1.8... before 1-2 months.
This is a really bad politic move of Canon to stop those alternatives to lenses where nearly no one is by Canon (600€ 85 2.0 vs Viltrox 300€ 85 1.8... and the ~600-800€ Samyang 85 f1.4)

I was told by a Sigma employee that they won’t build anything until it’s allowed and supported by Canon itself... with algorithms etc.! Because they don’t want to re-engineer again (like for EF).

It feels like Canon is aiming their “Canon” to others which are trying to walk through their garden/market....
 
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nunataks

I'm New Here
Jun 10, 2022
18
9
Honestly, this made me choose against getting the R10. I'm not going to wait forever for Canon to finally make another RF-s lens.
 
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ag25

I'm New Here
Jul 1, 2013
15
9
This is good and bad news.

Canon needs inexpensive options as it continues to dive into mirrorless APSC. Surely they know this though.
 

EOS

EOS
Apr 29, 2022
20
25
Canon wants to be the Apple of cameras and lenses, pure and simple.
I have half a dozen camera apps on my iPhone that have improved functionality in various ways over the stock camera app, but don’t let that get in the way of a good rant.
 
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LSXPhotog

Automotive, Motorsports, Commerical, & Real Estate
CR Pro
Apr 2, 2015
616
686
www.diossiphotography.com
For me, Canon cameras and lenses are my work gear and literally every previous third-party lens I've owned presented some sort of issue at one point or another that rendered the lens useless for a period of time or it had some strange issue develop. My Sigma Art primes are still terrific lenses and because I only have my remaining "niche" primes of 24mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/1.4 that I don't use as often as my 50mm and 85mm, they're not going anywhere. But I certainly can't afford to have a lens in my bag that could be rendered useless overnight because of a firmware update - that has been the case with some Tamron and Sigma lenses I've owned.

With all that said, this is a truly unfortunate blunder from Canon. Third party lens options are one of the primary elements that helped the success of the EF mount. I know when I was an up-and-coming teenager I could only afford a few Canon lenses and filled in what I could with Sigma stuff. I would eventually only rely on Canon lenses in my work kit, but that took a long time to fully be able to afford. This is very bad news for the countless thousands of aspiring photographers that want to shoot Canon are will have to either adapt an out of production EF lens, or use one of the many JUNK cheap-o RF lens options on the market right now. And yes, I said JUNK because for the prices they're selling for, you could have a Tamron or Sigma f/2.8 zoom that crushes it and Canon knows that.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,790
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Canon locked up as much of the RF mount lens interface as possible with patents and are apparently enforceing them. I noticed the detail and careful way they were writing the patents for the RF interface in the years before it was released. There are possibly some behind the scenes features that are protected by laws from being duplicated or decoded.

The decision to open a interface to 3rd parties seems to be one of $$$. RF lenses are a huge profit item for Canon, they've mentioned that in their financial reports which underlines just how important it is to them to restrict poaching of any patents.

Nikon, on the other hand, does not appear to have the same leverage over their mirrorless lenses and 3rd parties are able to compete.

If Canon were a near monopoly, then laws would come into play that required opening up to competition. I don't think the governments see cameras as falling into a area needing more regulation.
 
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Sep 5, 2018
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Canon wants to be the Apple of cameras and lenses, pure and simple.
I always felt Canon where the Microsoft of cameras with their enormous market share and that there are more 5-series cameras out in the wild than even a all the models of Nikon and Sony combined. Nikon always felt like the Apple of cameras with the lower market share but emphasis on quality.
 
Aug 7, 2018
458
406
The problem is that with mirrorless cameras, Canon has much more power over third party lenses, because the third party manufacturers need the support of Canon in order for lens corrections applied directly in the EVF. If only Canon lenses are corrected and Sigma lenses are not, Sigma lenses will look very bad against Canon lenses unless Sigma makes their lenses so good that they hardly need any correction. The Canon RF 14-35 f/4 for example has quite an extreme distortion, although it costs $1,800. However that distortion is hidden from the user because it already is corrected in the EVF. Sigma and Tamron have it much harder. I hope that competition authorities will force Canon to open the system for others.

I wonder if third party manufacturers also need Canon support in order for the IBIS to work well with those lenses. It would be easy for Canon to make third party lenses look even worse by making sure that IBIS performs poorly with them. Especially when a third party lens is already stabilized. I wonder how well existing third party EF lenses work on an RF body. I for example own the Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 and love that lens very much. I would like to continue using it with an RF camera instead of spending $2,800 on a Canon RF 15-35 f/2.8. Only when it comes to longer focal ranges, Canon is still leading. For everything below 100mm, third party manufacturers usually have a much better and cheaper option. Also Sigma offers mount conversion for $100 or so. That might be very helpful if you switch to another camera brand.
 
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shawnc

I'm New Here
Feb 25, 2014
21
18
A wide price and quality range of lenses increases the appeal of a brand. If Sony, Nikon, others allow this complete ecosystem but Canon restricts theirs, it will be at Canon's expense.
 
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knight427

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Aug 27, 2018
134
247
This is very frustrating. I got into this as a hobby about 6 years ago. Canon seemed like a great option given the immense library of EF lenses, both first and third party (used and new). I'm too deep into it now to sell everything and switch, so I'm here for the duration. But if I was entering the space now, I would look at this and almost certainly choose Sony for the same reasons I chose Canon 6 years ago.
 
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Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
Nov 11, 2012
4,420
1,131
Yorkshire, England
Why did many of us buy and pay a significant premium for Canon EF lenses over third party ? Better build or better optics ? Or because the AF worked properly. With me it was (is) certainly the latter.
If third party RF lenses focus anything like adapted third party EF lenses on R bodies then all those AF accuracy worries are gone for the consumer, and begin for Canon.
So I can see why Canon are going to get twitchy over Tamron or Sigma lenses in the RF mount.
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
1,191
1,435
UK
I don't blame Canon at all for wanting control over the mount, as there can be compatibility problems with 3rd party lenses, and these incompatibilities will become more frequent and more troublesome as the electronic interactions between bodies and lenses become more complex.

Canon has already worked hard to ensure that there are plenty of lenses available for the budget RF market, as well as for the exotica L glass, and we can expect more specialised lenses to appear in the next year or two.

But as I've said before, the gap between these extremes is IMO too wide, and I believe there's a lot of demand for a limited range of third tier optics.

Meanwhile if they can screw a RF licensing fee and in exchange provide the full RF protocol to licensees, that has to be good for Canon and their customers, and also helps third party manufacturers to avoid incompatibility issues.
 
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Curahee

I'm New Here
Jun 7, 2022
13
11
This is good and bad news.

Canon needs inexpensive options as it continues to dive into mirrorless APSC. Surely they know this though.
Perhaps they will, the APSC have just been announced. Look how long it took to get FF lenses and a continuing supply chain issue. These are not as it was in the past.
 
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angelisland

Commercial Photographer
Mar 30, 2021
35
52
CA and NY
Continue reading.
I don't blame Canon at all for wanting control over the mount, as there can be compatibility problems with 3rd party lenses, and these incompatibilities will become more frequent and more troublesome as the electronic interactions between bodies and lenses become more complex.

Canon has already worked hard to ensure that there are plenty of lenses available for the budget RF market, as well as for the exotica L glass, and we can expect more specialised lenses to appear in the next year or two.

But as I've said before, the gap between these extremes is IMO too wide, and I believe there's a lot of demand for a limited range of third tier optics.

Meanwhile if they can screw a RF licensing fee and in exchange provide the full RF protocol to licensees, that has to be good for Canon and their customers, and also helps third party manufacturers to avoid incompatibility issues.

This is unfortunate - HOWEVER people are going to have to rely on the adapters and relatively cheap EF lenses if they are going for a less expensive route. I’m guessing that adapted EF lenses will cause less issues than third-party options anyway.
 

Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
542
1,197
I think Canon wants 1st crack on any sale of RF lens.

3rd parties will eventually be allowed to sell a few years from now.
I think this is likely. But I think it is a bit more like, Canon needs 1st crack on any sale of RF lenses. Nobody here knows or seems to consider how much R&D money went into developing the RF mount and the new RF lenses. So nobody knows how many cameras and especially lenses Canon needs to sell before they recoup that money. A year's worth? 3 years? 5 years? I have no idea, but from a business point of view, Canon would be stupid if they if they allowed competitors to make profits on RF lenses when they were the ones who spent all the R&D money.

On another thread I compared this scenario to when a new drug comes to market. The developer of the drug has a 6 year exclusivity window to sell their product before generic drugs can be sold by others. The reason for that window is obvious, it's there so the maker of the drug can recoup their R&d costs. Otherwise, why would any drug company develop a new drug? I've been in that situation of having to spend $700 a month for a drug while waiting for the generic version to come to market. Luckily I had health insurance that kicked in after my $1800 deductible. Many aren't so lucky.

But the point is, nobody has to buy the Canon RF lenses - either because they find the higher end versions to be too expensive or because they find the consumer grade lenses lacking in some way. Nobody. Not one person. Want cheaper alternatives? There is an entire lineup of EF lenses, made by numerous companies. The used market is overflowing with very affordable EF lenses. All you need is a $99 adapter.

I understand people want cheaper alternatives. I understand people who visit forums like this are even more impatient because they want the latest gear.
You can of course express your anger and your frustration on forums like this. Better yet, you can express your anger and frustration by not buying RF lenses, or even buying cameras and lenses from other brands. Or you can be patient and wait to see what happens. Unlike with generic drugs, nobody will suffer serious consequences by not being able to buy a third party RF lens. Nobody needs to buy an RF lens at all.
 
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