Third-Party RF Lenses on the Horizon for Canon's Mirrorless Cameras

Kimmy Jo By Kimmy Jo - June 10th, 2024
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Canon's EOS R cameras have been on the market for nearly six years, and a point of contention for many Canon users has been the absence of third-party RF mount lenses. Canon took a hardline stance, preventing lens manufacturers from producing autofocusing lenses for the system, even issuing cease and desist letters to those who attempted to reverse-engineer the mount.

With comparatively limited choices from Canon’s proprietary lineup, users (and potential users) expressed concerns over creative freedom and affordability within Canon’s mirrorless system. The good news is, the requests to allow third-party autofocusing lenses have not fallen on deaf ears, and Canon has finally softened their stance on this.

This is a huge shift for Canon seeing as until recently, they were the only camera manufacturer that did not allow third-party glass for its mirrorless system. While Canon has more than 40 proprietary lenses in their lineup, it’s apparent that more choice within the ecosystem may positively benefit camera sales. At this stage, Canon is open to third-party APS-C lenses, and hopefully full-frame lenses will follow in the future.

Sigma and Tamron RF Mount Lenses to Come

While the initial announcement to allow third-party lenses only came out earlier this year, there has already been traction in this space, with top lens manufacturers Sigma and Tamron recently announcing their licensing deals with Canon. This is exciting news for Canon users as an extensive selection of lenses begins to open up!

Sigma Announces Six RF-S Lenses

In April, Sigma announced an entire lineup of interchangeable lenses for Canon’s RF mount system, set to be released later this year. An autofocus drive control program tuned for each lens and high-speed data transmission, ensures the lenses will offer high-speed autofocus. The six lenses to be released from July 2024 onwards include:

  • SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary - Versatile zoom lens that never needs to leave your camera.
  • SIGMA 10-18mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary - Small and lightweight ultra-wide-angle zoom lens.
  • SIGMA 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary - Ultra-wide prime lens with fast f/1.4 aperture, offering tack-sharp detail.
  • SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary - High optical performance, fast f/1.4 aperture, and compact enough to carry around everyday.
  • SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary - Versatile wide angle lens with a fast f/1.4 aperture.
  • SIGMA 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary  - Mid-tele lens that is compact, lightweight and offers fantastic image quality.

Tamron Announces Ultra Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

Tamron also announced their 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD lens - an ultra wide-angle zoom lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras. A compact and lightweight design will feel perfectly balanced on the small and light APS-C camera bodies. The lens also incorporates an AF drive system with an RXD (Rapid-eXtra-silent stepping Drive) stepping motor to deliver fast and silent auto-focus. It is also highly practical, with Moisture-Resistant Construction, Fluorine Coating, and other features designed for outdoor shooting.

Check out Canon's RF Cameras at PB Tech!

In the past, the lack of support for third-party lenses was a deterrent for many shooters who’ve been on the fence about whether to invest in the Canon mirrorless system. With third-party RF lenses on the horizon, it’s set to potentially become more affordable and versatile than ever before. If you’re just getting started within the Canon ecosystem, head over to the Canon brand store to check out their full range or browse our Camera department!

Still trying to decide what camera to buy and have no idea where to start? Head over to our Camera Buying Guide!

Written By

Kimmy Jo

Waiting for the day I can download food.

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