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No 3rd party RF Lenses...

greeneyes_516
Apprentice

This is a Deal Breaker for me. I am still using DSLR and it will still be a little while before I get a mirrorless camera because of budget. This news is going to make me look into getting Nikon or Sony, if when I go to a mirrorless camera, if I can't get 3rd party RF lenses for Canon. Since the beginning, I have been using Canon. From my first 35mm Film camera, then stepped up to DSLR with the Canon Rebel XTI. Few years later got the Canon 60D and then got the Canon 80D. When I got the 80D, I started to try to get better lenses. So I do have the Canon 24-70 L and got the Tamron 70-210 F4, I also have 2 Sigma lenses. I am on a limited budget. I finally stepped up to Full Frame with the Canon 6D Mark II. I will say that I am happy with all the photos that I have been able to get with my cameras over the years, but I am not a Fan Boy. For a matter of fact, I have recommended a friend to get a Nikon camera, because of what they were wanting to use it for and to stay with in their budget. I have used friends Nikon cameras in the past and was totally happy with those cameras. When people ask for a recommendation on a camera, I just tell them to stay with a Major brand so they have options in the future for expanding their equipment. In the future I will get a mirrorless camera and to start off with, I was going adapt my current lens to the Camera. But will be wanting to get mirrorless lenses when money allows. There is no way I can afford to get any L series Canon RF lenses, so this will be a deal breaker for me. This will make me sell off my Canon equipment, and go with Nikon or Sony, depending on which one has the options that I want at my price. A sad day for Canon.

53 REPLIES 53

Tronhard
Elite

I think you are 'drawing a long bow here', so to speak.   So, to give us some context here, can you please explain your PRECISE understanding of what Canon is doing and reference your sources?


cheers, TREVOR
Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

kvbarkley
VIP

You can of course, use your current L glass using an RF adapter with no loss of quality.

Tronhard
Elite

I have just viewed the highly skewed video by Tony Northrop on the issue of Canon and 3rd party lenses.  The source incident of this video was that Viltrox reverse-engineered patented material and created their own versions of RF lenses.  This was alluded to in a response from Canon read out in the course of the video.  Reverse-engineering of technology developed by others is a clear violation of patent rights and is strictly illegal, so Canon were completely within their rights to give them a cease and desist notice and stop that.

Not only was selling RF lens mount Viltrox units a clear violation of the patent, but people were complaining about the performance of lenses and expecting Canon to support them - which is clearly ridiculous, as Canon had no part in the making of the lenses and thus no responsibility for them.  What these issues and complaints did do was to bring Canon's brand into disrepute which is also a legal violation.

Northrop's statements about the future of 3rd party lenses are just click-bait and purely speculative.  He has a site to run and the more clicks he gets the better the site earns him revenue.  There is absolutely no proof that Canon will deny 3rd party manufacturers access to license the IP to create their own lenses for the RF mount.   Just be patient, and don't hit the panic button and don't jump to conclusions!

Northrop mentioned that Sony have a range of 3rd party lenses for their MILC units.  Absolutely right, and they started their MILC systems in 2013, six years ahead of both Canon and Nikon.  They too did not release the IP for their lenses for some years, so again there is some misrepresentation of the situation here.


cheers, TREVOR
Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

jbagley
Apprentice

I agree. I've already invested too much into Canon to realistically switch, but I get asked for camera recommendations a lot and until Canon clarifies their stance to third party lenses I wouldn't recommend them again. There are too many other camera manufacturers that will meet most everyones current needs, are driven by competition to make better lenses at reasonable prices, and have and will continue to have greater options than Canon.

No one is arguing that Canon isn't within their legal rights to restrict their mount, and it may make short-term business sense, but if they are eliminating or greatly restricting 3rd-party lenses consumers are welcome to look elsewhere and I would encourage them to do so.

I'm not jumping to conclusions, but the disappearance Samyang and Viltrox AF lenses and the lack of Sigma and Tammron lenses on Canon RF (despite Canon's industry leading market share) are hard to ignore. At this point it is up to Canon to clarify exactly what their stance is. All we've gotten is basically silence or carefully worded PR-spin. Right now the narrative is being driven by reasonable speculation due to Canon's poor communication. This is on them to fix.

I really challenge the term reasonable speculation in this context.  A lot of hype has been injected into the situation by sites that thrive on click bait and people are falling for it.
What we know: Two minor lens manufacturers who apparently poached IP to use the RF mount get told to stop. Several sites have taken this and run with it, creating a herd panic situation by suggesting Canon may not allow 3rd party lenses to be produced for their RF mount, without any real proof   

What we don't know:  What will happen in the immediate future, but there are clues that one can assemble and they are worth exploring.

Historical Context: Back in the 90's I was around when Canon changed from the FD to the EF mount for their new range or EOS systems.  3rd party companies like Tamron had been producing mounts for makers - I had their lenses for my Nikon and Canon gear for about 12 years.  When the EF mount came out there was a delay between that being released and 3rd party lenses coming to market, and an article at the time explained why. 

Canon wanted to establish its brand as reliable and was still doing work to perfect the firmware in a controlled manner.  Outsourcing that to 3rd parties was not considered a good idea for anyone, and then there was the obvious business decision to allow some time for EF lenses to be sold.  However, that period was relatively brief as a lot of lenses came on market from Canon in quick succession.   

Now fast forward to Canon's release of the RF mount in 2019.  It was definitely late to the MILC market and had to get some bodies out there, so it released the rather tepid R and RP bodies, along with a few lenses. Then something completely unplanned happened.  COVID hit. 

The impact was massive across the world and across many industries, especially those relying on Chinese manufacture - and Canon was one of those.  There were reports of empty factories, and closed production lines for lack of staff, lack of raw materials and as simple things as screws, without which parts could not be assembled. Because different manufacturers got their components from different sources, they were impacted in different ways.  That disruption is still being felt and it has had two impacts on Canon's processes.   

The design and development of new lenses and significant disruption to supplies for production.  We are seeing the same thing with the Nikon Z9, for example with massive backlogs of orders, so this is not unique to Canon.

Canon should have got more lenses out and would likely now be in a position to license their IP to other makers, but they are likely not - their lens road map is still not fully developed.  They have done great work via their adapters to allow legacy native and 3rd party lenses to work well with Canon R-series bodies, but the native R lenses are lagging, especially in the lower price bracket.  Things have got more complicated as people clamoured for more bodies, APS-C bodies and lenses to match - the market they have to fill has expanded significantly. 

However, 3rd party suppliers have also been impacted and the bigger names are likely also stressed for resources for both development and production for the same reasons.

Canon aren't stupid, they know that having 3rd party glass will enhance their market for those who, for one reason or another, do not use native Canon glass, so it's actually to their advantage to let that market develop. Sigma and Tamron have signalled that they will be developing glass 'in due course'.  I doubt that they will say that and risk criticism if that was not a practical possibility.

So, instead of committing to statements about abandoning Canon, or whatever, I am merely saying that there are many more factors to consider than the ones being touted to make Canon into a villain.  Canon is a business entity and it is pragmatic in engaging with trusted suppliers.  However, given their behaviour, Viltrox may not be on the immediate list for early licensing.  I note that they are still selling EF and EF-M glass with no issues, and they have said they are stopping production of RF glass for the time being. 

So, be patient - this situation is very, very new and let's wait until the dust settles.


cheers, TREVOR
Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Oz
Apprentice

Last year I debated to buy the Canon R5 or Sony A7SIII.  I purchased the R5 since I do both stills and video for Real Estate Photography and portraits.   It's frustrating when I have to convince Realtors why my $4000 dollar camera and $2300 16-35 RF lens (not including ef-rf adapter and ef lenses) is better than their Apple, Samsung or Google smart phone. It's even more frustrating not having 3rd party lenses to choose from.  I've been patiently waiting for 3rd party lenses and no longer have the patience. I've heard and read Canon make Samyang pull the 85mm f1.4 just as I was planning to buy it.  I would've prefered the Samyang over the Canon 85mm F2.0 and the RF 85mm F1.2 is out of reach at $3000. Since then I've watch Sigma and other 3rd party companies release lenses for other brands other than Canon and Nikon and I've had to buy a Ninja V just to get pass the overheating from the R5.    

It's clear now that we will not see 3rd party lenses for RF mount any time soon.  If Canon was working with 3rd party companies or at the very least had reasonable licensing agreements we would have already seen 3rd party lenses on the RF mount system. I like the R5 but I'm now disappointed that I purchased it.  I just cannot recommend any Canon cameras for anyone at this moment and I'm now thinking to moving to Sony.

I don't know if you read my last response but there is a lot more to this than has been hyped.

If you want to go to Sony I think you should, they make great gear and they have been in the MILC business well ahead of Canon and Nikon.  

As to the cell phone vs dedicated camera.  That happens a lot from those who don't understand the qualities that a large sensor and excellent optics of a dedicated camera can bring to the market.  As a matter of interest,  I am curious why you are specifically in need of an 85mm lens in this context.


cheers, TREVOR
Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

I read your previous response after I posted my comment.  You make some good points.  The reason I need an 85mm is for client headshots and portrait work that I've taken up as a hobby.  With the exception to Sigma Art lenses, I found EF lenses are not sharp enough for the R5 and the chromatic aberration can be intense and time consuming to deal at post. I need an efficient work flow for my work and having to swap EF-RF adapter with EF lenses is cumbersome and places a limit to my creativity.  For the price that I've spent on my Canon gear I could've instead purchased a Sony A7SIII, the new Sony A7IV and had money left to fix them with 3rd party lenses.

You're absolutely right about those who don't understand the benefits of a large sensor and great optics, unfortunately the problem is that most of those people are clients or potential clients and some of these clients are having trouble justifying hiring a professional when there cell phone camera along with decent compositions are able to produce beautiful photos.  I agree COVID has been a big problem for all manufacturers but that also includes Canon's customers.  We are dealing with inflation, Canon has raised their prices on their expensive lenses and the lack of 3rd party lenses does not help anyone.  It's already been 3 years since the RF mount was introduced, It'll be a foolish business decision to not allow 3rd party lenses, it would also be foolish to wait to long and watch your customers migrate to other systems.  

Hi Oz:
Thank you for responding, and your detailed reply.   

Switching brands is expensive, and given you appreciate the costs of getting professional gear for professional results, I would suggest that doing so would be a last resort.  It would be particularly galling if, having done so, it was then announced that Sigma was releasing lenses in the foreseeable future that you wanted.

If I can make a suggestion that might help ease the road ahead. I am assuming you are happy with the R-series bodies you are using and are used to Canon's interface, so if you could retain those there would be a benefit to you. So, if you have not sold your previous EF glass, and it worked for you, I would suggest investing in the EF-RF adapters.  I don't know what glass you are currently using, but If it is just one EF-mount  lens that is the issue, just leave the adapter on the lens with the appropriate caps and it will be transparent. If you are in a position to have to mix several EF lenses then the adapter goes on with the first one goes on, and you leave the adapter on for the second EF lens; or if that is too clumsy, otherwise just get a basic adapter for each EF lens - they are not a huge investment.  The main thing is you will get the results you want with lenses you like and are used to.

If you still like the RF body performance, then this will work - I have tested multiple EF lenses  and several Sigma units via the adapter on R5 and R6  units and they have, so far, been flawless. 

I shoot multiple systems: Fuji, Nikon, Olympus and Sony and they are all good brands.  That said, I have to say that of the bunch in terms of ease of using the interface, Canon are ahead of the bunch in my experience. From there I would go (in descending order): Nikon, Olympus, Fuji and Sony.  Sony makes awesome gear, but their menus are a nightmare!  So, I would look past the hardware to the user interface and consider that, because you will face it every day.

I hope this will help and give you food for thought.  What might seem a disaster is not necessarily so, there are ways to continue to gain the benefits of the bodies until your preferred lenses come out.  I am absolutely convinced that reliable 3rd parties will be engaged to make lenses for the RF mount, but you may have to be patient for a while.

 


cheers, TREVOR
Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me
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