The Canon R series of cameras are set to be the new flagship range. Currently, there are several high-quality EOS R cameras including the Canon EOS R6, Canon EOS R5, and Canon EOS RP. These brilliant mirrorless cameras all utilize the RF lens mount. As this is a relatively new mount, the variety of lenses is limited when compared to Canon’s EF lenses. However, as you will see from the Canon RF lens roadmap, this is set to change!
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The Canon RF Lens Roadmap: Overview
Canon is set to announce a range of new products in the second half of 2021. This is rumored to include a new camera and a plethora of new RF lenses. It is clear that Canon wishes to expand the RF lens range and make it comparable to the EF mount in terms of choice.
Currently, you may need to utilize the EF mount adapter on your EOS R camera if you want to undertake a wide range of photography. This is because the RF range only encompasses approximately 20 lenses. It has some excellent kit lenses and unique telephoto lenses, but it lacks depth in terms of specialty lenses. This is what the Canon RF lens roadmap is set to address.
It is rumored that 14 new RF lenses that are set to be announced in 2021. A couple of these have in fact already been announced in 2020 – just not released yet. If this transpires to be accurate, EOS R camera owners will no longer have to rely on EF lenses and using an adapter!
This will be a big change, and it shows Canon’s continued support and development of the EOS R cameras for the future. With 14 new lenses set to be announced, this will increase the RF range by nearly 75% and give photographers a far greater choice and flexibility. The following are the current rumored lenses in the Canon RF lens roadmap:
Proposed Canon RF Lens Roadmap
- 1. Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L
- 2. Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L
- 3. Canon RF 10-24mm f/4L USM
- 4. Canon RF 14-35mm f/4L IS USM
- 5. Canon RF 24mm f/1.8 IS STM Macro
- 6. Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L USM
- 7. Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
- 8. Canon RF 135mm f/1.4L USM
- 9. Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-7.1 IS USM
- 10. Canon RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
- 11. Canon RF 500mm f/4L IS USM
- 12. Canon RF 600mm f/4L IS USM
- 13. Canon RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
- 14. Canon RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM
1. Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L
Since the RF mount doesn’t currently have any tilt-shift lenses, it would make sense that Canon plans to release a tilt-shift model. However, quite surprisingly, it is rumored that two tilt-shift models should be released this year!
The Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L is the first on the map and it is expected to have impressive autofocusing capabilities which should make it great for just about any tilt-shift shooter.
2. Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L
The second of the tilt-shift lenses is the Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L. It is expected that this will be very similar in terms of quality and design to the TS-E model already on the market for EF-mount lenses. With this in mind, this will be a great lens for specialist wide-angle photography.
It is fair to say that the addition of the two tilt-shift lenses is very exciting!
3. Canon RF 10-24mm f/4L USM
Ultra-wide-angle photographers will rejoice at the news of a 10-24mm RF-mount lens in the works! And rightly so too. Canon’s current widest RF lens is the 15-35mm and the extra 5mm offered by a 10-24mm lens can definitely make all the difference. We expect the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM lens to be a great addition.
4. Canon RF 14-35mm f/4L IS USM
Interestingly, there is much debate about the actual focal length of this lens. Some believe that rather than being 14-35mm, the lens will actually be a standard 15-35mm model and the patent information simply contains a typo. If Canon does go down the 14-35mm route, this could be a very interesting lens that is great for landscape or travel photography.
5. Canon RF 24mm f/1.8 IS STM Macro
As with much of the standard lens options offered for EF-mount cameras, the RF mount is lacking a 24mm prime lens. With a lovely f/1.8 aperture, this lens is sure to please many. We’d expect the lens to offer something similar to the current EF 35mm f/1.8 IS STM macro lens on the market. Since it isn’t an L-series lens, this should be much more affordable making it a great option for hobbyists and those on a budget.
6. Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L USM
It appears that this new batch of RF releases will contain many lenses with a large maximum aperture. The Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L USM is one such model. This should be a superb lens for landscape and street photography, but also for portraits. The only current 35mm prime for the RF-mount is the RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens, so the RF 35mm f/1.2L should be a great improvement in terms of quality and versatility.
7. Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon’s RF 100mm macro was announced earlier, and it has already been released. Still, it is definitely worth a mention since it is one of the best options for macro photography. This is an excellent quality lens and one of the first to offer a magnification of 1.4x. It has a fantastic design and an RF control ring that can be programmed for various functions. It offeres excellent image stabilization and superior image quality. It is also lighter and slimmer than the EF counterpart.
8. Canon RF 135mm f/1.4L USM
The Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM has been an incredibly popular lens and is widely used. It’s versatile for a range of photography and offers excellent quality. We expect the Canon RF 135mm f/1.4L USM to go one step further. With a maximum aperture of f/1.4, this L-series RF lens should be fantastic for low-light photography.
9. Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-7.1 IS USM
RF users already have access to the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens which performs fantastically. However, many people prefer the zoom range of 100-400mm. Hopefully, if rumors prove accurate, Canon will announce the RF 100-400mm f/5.6-7.1 IS USM. This would be the RF equivalent of the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.
10. Canon RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
The Canon RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM is a brilliant lens that was announced in 2020. It is available for sale but as with most new RF lenses, stocks are low, and finding a seller is difficult. This lens costs over $13k, but it is arguably the best super-telephoto lens currently available in the RF series.
11. Canon RF 500mm f/4L IS USM
This prime lens should be another excellent choice for professional wildlife and sports photography. You can expect it to work fantastically with the IBIS of the Canon EOS R5 and R6 cameras, and the constant f/4 aperture should allow for excellent low-light performance.
12. Canon RF 600mm f/4L IS USM
The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM is one of the best super telephoto lenses available. The RF counterpart to offers even better quality and usability. However, you must also swallow the hefty price tag. The RF version costs over $13k! But with a constant aperture of f/4 and RF image stabilization, this lens should be an absolute dream for wildlife photography. It is already available however, it is out of stock online and incredibly difficult to find a seller.
13. Canon RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
If you are looking for a professional super-telephoto lens, the RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM could possibly be your next purchase. We expect this to be an incredibly expensive lens, but with that price comes impressive performance. This is expected to be a parallel to the current Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM. The EF model costs around $10k, so we would expect similar pricing for the RF version.
14. Canon RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM
Lastly, we have a reported 1200mm super-telephoto lens. 1200mm! If this is indeed announced, it will take wildlife photography to the next level. We expect the design and style to be similar to the current Canon RF 800m f/11 IS STM lens. These unique lenses have already proved popular and benefit from a compact and lightweight design, despite offering ridiculous focal distances.
As you can see from the Canon RF lens roadmap, EOS R owners are in for a treat! If the above lenses are announced as expected, this will provide a huge boost to the RF lens options. It will give photographers a far greater choice – particularly with high-quality prime lenses.
Lenses like the Canon RF 135mm f/1.4L USM, and the Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L USM, for example, will give unrivaled quality for professional photography. Also, we are excited at the prospect of the RF super-telephoto lenses – particularly the Canon RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM. This could completely change the landscape for telephoto photography and open the door for further improvements in this area.
Canon RF Lens FAQ
Can you use RF lenses on an EF-mount Canon camera?
No. There is currently no RF to EF adapter, and there is not likely to be any such development in the future due to the spacing and mount construction.
Can you use EF lenses on an RF-mount Canon camera?
Yes. There are three different EF mount adapters that allow you to use both EF and EF-S lenses on EOS R cameras.
Are RF lenses superior to EF when used on an EOS R camera?
Generally yes. Native lenses usually perform better than a lens attached using a mount adapter. Also, RF lenses are futureproofed, and have some excellent features like DLO, and better image stabilization.
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