Canon abandons EF mount lenses to focus on mirrorless

Jan 8, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canon abandons EF mount lenses to focus on mirrorless

Jan 8, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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According to a report on Digital Camera World, Canon will not be releasing anymore EF mount lenses for their DSLRs, despite having just announced the Canon 1DX Mark III, their new flagship DSLR, only yesterday. They say they are open to the possibility of making new ones, though, if the market demands it. But for now, they want to shift their attention towards RF lenses for their EOS R system.

In a statement, Canon marketing manager, Richard Shepherd told DCW…

As you know, last year we launched the RF mount and EOS R system. To date we’ve launched ten critically acclaimed lenses, and as it’s a new system we plan to continue this, launching more RF lenses while still fully supporting the EF lens system. And of course, should the market demand it, we are ready to create new EF lenses. But for now, our focus is on RF.

It might seem premature, although the Canon EF mount has been around since 1987. It’s 33 years old, so perhaps it’s time for a change of pace. Canon also pretty much abandoned the previous FD mount lenses immediately after switching to the EF mount back then, too, so it shouldn’t really be that surprising of a move.

But is it too soon to be ditching new EF mount lenses completely? Or have they got a wide enough range of EF mount lenses now that are plenty good enough to keep their DSLR users happy for the next few years until more of the world goes mirrorless? Maybe now that Canon finally released a decent 85mm f/1.4 lens a couple of years ago, they feel their EF lineup is complete.

Nikon still seems to be dedicated to the F mount, developing concurrently with the Z mount. They actually just released a brand new F mount lens this week, with the 120-300mm f/2.8.  And Nikon F mount has been going now for over 60 years having been introduced in 1959. It’s outlived both Canon EF and the FD mount launched in 1971 and looks like it may continue to keep doing so for a while longer.

Is this the right move? Or are there still gaps in their EF mount lineup? Lenses that need a refresh before being dumped completely?

[via Digital Camera World]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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54 responses to “Canon abandons EF mount lenses to focus on mirrorless”

  1. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    I think there are enough EF lenses already to cover pretty much every need. I am sure the current range will mostly stay in production for a while yet. It makes absolute sense for Canon to design new lenses for the new mount which they expect to be with us for another 20 years or so, rather than the EF mount which will likely see it’s final new body release within the next 3-4 years at most.

  2. Pavlos Pavlidis Avatar
    Pavlos Pavlidis

    It seems EF joins the FD club.

  3. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    If EF mounts are done with, I want to see prices drop so I can glass up! ??

  4. Chung Dha Lam Avatar
    Chung Dha Lam

    But all their cinema cams uses EF, probably see RF canon cine lenses and cams this year

    1. Udi Tirosh Avatar
      Udi Tirosh

      not only their cine cams. EF has become the goto mount for camera makers that don’t make their own glass. both the Black Magic 6K and some of the ZCAM bodies are using Canon EF as well. I doubt that they will all move to RF

    2. Chung Dha Lam Avatar
      Chung Dha Lam

      Udi Tirosh that have chnaged many now stopped making much new EF but straight to mirrorless, as just need to design it for largest mirrorless flange then fit rest of mirrorless

    3. Dustin Lawson Avatar
      Dustin Lawson

      New RED cinema camera that’s in the works uses an RF mount. So I have a feeling Canon will soon be following suit as there’s no need to keep making EF lenses. There’s already a huge selection and if you still want to use/buy EF lenses they adapt flawlessly to the RF mount as they essentially communicate in the same way.

    4. Chung Dha Lam Avatar
      Chung Dha Lam

      Dustin Lawson EF line quite large already nothing needed to add

  5. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    That’d be a disaster. If true I better bin all my canon gear.

    To elaborate: if their focus is on the RF line, it goes without saying that future cameras will not have an EF Mount. And although you can use their EF to RF adapter, that’s just not a long term solution.
    On the positive side, it means a decision has been made for me to get rid of my canon gear completely.

    1. Candace Allday Avatar
      Candace Allday

      Kryn Sporry – mine too. I’ve got more than $5,000 invested in canon.

    2. Kryn Sporry Avatar
      Kryn Sporry

      Candace Allday I’m well over that myself (assuming new value, which is how I bought it)

    3. Robert Welch Avatar
      Robert Welch

      Kryn Sporry idk there is rumors of the new 5D having a hybrid mount. If that’s the case and they implement it well. That will be a great bridge to ease into the switch from ef to rf lenses over the next 4 to 8 years.

    4. Kryn Sporry Avatar
      Kryn Sporry

      Gordon McMillan consider this: food how long will you be able to use an adapter, and accept the short comings that come with the use of an adapter once you switch to an R camera?
      I’m sure you can make do for a long time, but by the time you have no choice to move over, your EF Mount gear won’t be worth much.

    5. Eric Hung Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Well, the writing is on the wall already. But at least this time you can still use an adapter for EOS R. Think about what happened when Canon ditched FD in 1987. I was shooting with an AE-1 Program until 2005 before I moved to the 20D DSLR. As long as you are content with your DSLR, nobody would stop you from using it for another 20 years or so. You just won’t get any new feature introduced to the EOS R. Canon could simply borrow the playbook from Sony who never officially declares A Mount is dead.

    6. Alex Li Avatar
      Alex Li

      Kryn Sporry let me know when you sell glass. I’m interested in purchasing some of them?

    7. Alvin YJ Kim Avatar
      Alvin YJ Kim

      I’m about one 1dx Mk2 and 4 sigma art canon lenses late…

  6. Theo Lian Avatar
    Theo Lian

    Dont abandons!! Says that they will not produce any news one! And i think it s logical! They have much enough!!

  7. Clement RENAUT Avatar
    Clement RENAUT

    But do we need news EF lens ? With got all we need !

  8. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
    Duncan Dimanche

    i mean Nikon and Canon have ALL the lenses one could wish for…. albeit a cheap 35mm for Canon aps-c

  9. Michael D Zielinski Avatar
    Michael D Zielinski

    As long as we see a price drop in the rf glass, I’m down with it. Hell, I’ve got an Eos-R scheduled for delivery today, so I guess I’m all in.

    1. Steven Jardine Avatar
      Steven Jardine

      Their prices will never drop unless they’re end-of-line items.

      The only way you’ll see a drop is if they make cheaper/lower-grade lenses in the RF mount.

  10. Charlotte Fiorito Avatar
    Charlotte Fiorito

    So much for that unicorn 24-70/2,8 with IS.

  11. Saso Domijan Avatar
    Saso Domijan

    We are still missing a really good 50 1.4 L lens and 24mm L mk III. Then they can “retire”.

    1. Saso Domijan Avatar
      Saso Domijan

      Primoz Lovric takoj ampak glede na Nikonov pricing se bojim, da bo tudi Canon okol 9-10.000 EUR.

    2. Saso Domijan Avatar
      Saso Domijan

      Primoz Lovric ja tut to bi se znalo zgodit… nc pocas bo treba RF lense dodajat v torbo, ko pride kaksen zanimiv body vn.

  12. Emre Göloğlu Avatar
    Emre Göloğlu

    There are already many EF lenses from other brands like Sigma, Tamron, etc. This is not a big problem. I used Canon EF lens many years. Now I use Sigma and Tamron and I am happ with them. I also use Canon EF 2.8 macro usm and EF 70-200 L 2.8 (first vers.) They work well.

  13. Vladimir Krzalic Avatar
    Vladimir Krzalic

    Omfg…Canon didnt destroy all of its EF lenses but stopped developing new. After 30+ years. Who would though…

  14. Kedar Pai Avatar
    Kedar Pai

    Fake news.

  15. Ally Jones Avatar
    Ally Jones

    Hahaha nope.

  16. Joe De Diego Avatar
    Joe De Diego

    Ef is so old it’s finally being shelved, this is how all the film guys felt ten years ago.

  17. Michel Van Weyenbergh Avatar
    Michel Van Weyenbergh

    And noone saw this coming?

  18. Trevor Olner Avatar
    Trevor Olner

    Forgive my cynicism Just another camera manufacturer extracting yet more money from photographers who want the latest gear but at the same time making other lens mounts redundant to make sure sales for the latest gear increases. With digital camera gear etc camera manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank .

    1. Dustin Lawson Avatar
      Dustin Lawson

      Accept that mirrorless is the future and shorter flange distances allow for more advanced lens designs. You can’t expect them to keep making two separate lines of lenses that have different designs.

    2. Trevor Olner Avatar
      Trevor Olner

      Dustin Lawson I realise that . My point is the built in obsolescence period that gets shorter and shorter with new equipment and minuscule tweaks and upgrades

  19. Ron Snyder Avatar
    Ron Snyder

    Complete new camera mount #4.

  20. Dustin Lawson Avatar
    Dustin Lawson

    This just makes sense. They already have an amazing selection of EF lenses that really don’t need to be expanded upon. Some of the designs they’re working on with the RF mount are simply not reasonable on the EF because of the flange distance (like the 28-70 F2).

  21. Fred A Adams Avatar
    Fred A Adams

    It makes sense the new RF mount can have faster lenes and sharper lense because of the design ,just keep the Ef lenses for those of us who prefer the DSLR for many reasons and offer both

  22. Vanito Hoang Avatar
    Vanito Hoang

    Just stop developing new model. Not to stop producing EF lenses! It’s hard to say the improvement ideas for new EF lenses.

  23. CanonMinolta Avatar
    CanonMinolta

    Yet another company disrespecting it’s customers
    DSLRs aren’t going away anytime soon
    Mirrorless is fine for some photographers (especially aging photographers)

    1. DaughteroftheConfederacy Avatar
      DaughteroftheConfederacy

      Hey, I’m 62 and have a DSLR. LOL

      1. CanonMinolta Avatar
        CanonMinolta

        Me too … and I’m keeping it

    2. Mike Avatar
      Mike

      Thank you

  24. Jurgen Lobert Avatar
    Jurgen Lobert

    I think it is strategically the right move. Canon has hundreds of lenses and no real need for more. The technology does not improve much, the minor improvements to be made in glass coating and electronics will hardly be enough to keep people from upgrading their old and expensive glass. They offer a superior new platform, which needs more lenses, so it is the right move to concentrate on that. Nikon should do the same.

  25. Yo Momma Avatar
    Yo Momma

    Will they continue to support the EF lenses they make? I have 500 F4 not the II and Canon no longer supports this lens. I realize they can’t support things forever, but this was an almost $9K so I’ll think twice about buying any new EF lenses if they are destined to become dead weight in the future.

    1. Mike Avatar
      Mike

      Right

  26. Jared Ribic Avatar
    Jared Ribic

    I wonder if the word abandon is a little dramatic when the statement from Canon only says they will focus more on RF lenses.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they stopped developing new EF lenses, but that might not mean they won’t still manufacture existing EF lenses.

  27. Michael James Urwin Avatar
    Michael James Urwin

    This is probably a mistake. Sony is successful with their mirrorless system but they still released a few new A-mount lenses last year.

  28. Michael Elenko Avatar
    Michael Elenko

    All Canon EF mount lenses are scheduled to stop working within 30 days of the release of the mirrorless 5D model.

  29. John W. O'Brien III Avatar
    John W. O’Brien III

    if anyone is throwing out any L glass… hmu

  30. Dee George Avatar
    Dee George

    I’m glad I dropped Canon few years ago

  31. Michael Marcelletti Avatar
    Michael Marcelletti

    The headline is horrifically inaccurate.

    They are just no longer introducing new EF lenses. They have a very established and mature ecosystem of lenses for the EF system while the RF system is in its infancy with huge gaps.

    I like the photographic technique articles on this site but this sort of news article is simply horrifically inaccurate.

    1. Jared Ribic Avatar
      Jared Ribic

      Agreed. I thought the exact same thing.

  32. Pieter Avatar
    Pieter

    Off course this means they will also reduce the development of new EF based camera’s. No new announcements after the current pipeline of development. At Sony shops they have already stacks of Canon stuff as people are shifting to mirrorless. This will only accelerate now. Brave move from Canon, perhaps too late, but it surprise me they announced it without having a good mirrorless line up first.

  33. Robert A Kautz Avatar
    Robert A Kautz

    It’s a marketing trick to get you to buy the new R. Companies pull stunts like this to temporarily boost sales.