Canon to launch world's first autofocus tilt-shift lenses (report)

Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L
Our mockup of the Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L

Canon is preparing to launch the first ever tilt-shift lenses with autofocus: the Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L and Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L. According to a new report, they could be announced in late 2021. 

The Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L would be an RF-mount update of one of the best tilt-shift lenses on the market, the

, while the Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L would be the widest tilt-shift lens we've ever seen (even wider than the recent Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift, the first such lens native to the RF mount, though it lacks a tilt facility). 

• Read more: Best Canon RF lenses

This isn't the first we've heard of these two new lenses, as they were revealed in the leaked Canon roadmap back in October 2020. At that point their incorporation of autofocus wasn't widely known, but a new report by Canon Rumors reveals that they are set to be the first autofocus TS optics. 

"I have reported on the coming tilt-shift lenses for the RF mount, these are apparently going to be the first tilt-shift lenses with autofocus," wrote the site, noting that "these lenses were to come in late 2021."

It should be stressed just how big a technical achievement it would be, to produce a tilt-shift lens with autofocus. These lenses have always been manual focus because AF systems operate and calculate based on a flat focal plane; obviously the ability to tile and shift that plane creates added dimensions, which autofocus technology simply isn't designed to accommodate for. 

Indeed, not only do tilt-shift lenses manipulate the focal plane in ways unfriendly to AF calculation, the very physical movement radically changes the amount of light that's transmitted to the image sensor. With the amount of vignetting introduced by extreme tilt and shift, light transmission can be reduced by a couple of stops, which again can interfere with autofocus calculation. 

Still, Canon's RF mount and EOS R bodies have conspired to make such things as 600mm and 800mm f/11 lenses not just workable, but wonderful. We can't wait to see if, and how, Canon does indeed tackle this challenge.

Read more: 

Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift review
Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM review
Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM review

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.