Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

The State of RF Lenses 5 Years In


Canon have got a lot of flak from users who, for various reasons, prefer 3rd Party lenses over the Canon native ones.  That could be performance, cost or pure bias (believe it or not), or because they felt the release of Canon native lenses is too sluggish.  Many have complained mightily when comparing the release of lenses by Sony in particular, and some threatened to switch brands because they feel that they are not being respected or supported as customers.

Earlier this year I looked at the third-party lens issue by going back to check out the release of such lenses for the Sony E-Mount, which first entered the market in 2010, so over a decade ago.  I found the makes, models and release dates of major 3rd-Party makers and listed them by year. 

What I actually found was that, not unlike Canon and Nikon, there was a period of about 5 years when there were very few, if any 3rd party lenses for Sony, and those were, not surprisingly, predominantly manual.  The pace really picked up from about 2018 when the lens mount, firmware etc. were well-established and assumedly Sony had returned a fair amount of their investment in the system.  In the last 5 years there has been a veritable deluge of such lenses and I think this is where the perception comes from comparing contemporary release levels.

I then looked at Canon and surprise, surprise, found that the pattern was very similar - but with a lower initial output, particularly of the lower-end units that might have attracted some of that 3rd-party constituency.  However, they too have picked up the pace (as have Nikon).  Since earlier on this year, both Canon and Nikon have begun licensing the marketing of 3rd-Party lenses for the RF mount, on a case-by-case basis.  So, the bottom line for me was that, especially given the disruptions initiated, and continuing to manufacturing and logistics by COVID, wars etc. the development of both native and 3rd-Party lenses is not incomparable.

I was thus interested and appreciative to see the following article posted on Canon Rumors about this subject area.  So, it's not simply my perception, there is more material to support it from other parties.

The State of RF lenses 5 Years in: Canon Rumors 

cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, 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


Thanks Trevor, that's interesting!


Yeah, I point that out to people sometimes.  Sony did not have third party lenses right away.  Never looked at how long it took.  It was a new mount.  My neighbor had a Sony.  He liked the camera but not the lenses.  Like so many others, he was using adapted Canon lenses.

Canon is actually moving faster than Sony ever did.  Third party lenses for Sony did not really start appearing until Sony had a full lineup of lenses.  Canon is following the same path.

BTW, the rumor mill announced today that Sigma will be releasing RF lenses very soon.

"The right mouse button is your friend."
click here to view the press release