Opinion: Canon should ignore EF and focus on RF lenses

Canon EOS R: price, specs and release date announced

With Canon and Nikon both now firmly in the full-frame mirrorless marketplace, the next question on the lips of all their converts is: what about new RF lenses?

To some extent, the big two have addressed these questions with adaptors promising full compatibility with all their users’ existing EF and FX lenses. But this isn’t enough.

Nikon, to its credit, has released a partial lens roadmap for its Z mount. Last week we reported that Nikon has updated its website to say that the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is ‘coming soon.’ And after the Z6 and Z7 launch in August 2018 it promised 20mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and 14-30mm f/4 optics in 2019.

Canon, however, has remained tighter-lipped about its plans. At the launch of the EOS R in London the company talked about working delivering new RF lenses, but to date it has released no such roadmap to let people know what to expect.

Of course, we can probably guess which optics are taking priority, but for people considering investing in the new R system a lens roadmap would really reinforce Canon’s commitment to full-frame mirrorless.

Canon has suggested that it won’t release any new EF lenses in 2019, and we think this is the right course.

Canon’s range of EF lenses is enormous. If you’re a Canon DSLR shooter, is there really any lens you need that doesn’t already exist in this range?

Likewise, Canon’s EF-S mount range is equally big and offers plenty of choice.

Of course, there are several optics that are quite old within these ranges and could use an update, but aggressively developing its RF lenses should be Canon’s top priority if it has any hope of making the R system competitive in the mirrorless market.

And as Canon develops its R system and RF lenses, it also raises some further interesting questions. Canon currently has four lens mounts: EF, EF-S, RF and, the oft-forgot, EF-M mount.

This can be confusing enough for anyone, let alone newcomers to Canon. At Camera Jabber we wonder if there will eventually be a new APS-C-format R-mount that is compatible with full-frame as well.

And, of course, R-mount lenses should also fit future APS-C-format cameras. So is Canon’s EF-M mount on its way out? Time will tell.