Has the pendulum finally swung when it comes to third-party lenses with electrical contacts being released for Canon's RF mount?
Ever since the company released the original Canon EOS R in 2018, third-party lenses have been a point of contention. Back in August 2022, third-party RF lenses by Samyang and Viltrox were pulled from sale after the companies were told to stop by Canon. For many people waiting for cheaper optics, this news was devastating – but now it looks like the manufacturer might have had a change of heart.
Canon has said that it is going to license specific third-party lenses on a case-by-case basis, starting with the recent Voigtlander 50mm f/1.0 lens. It will be the first third-party lens that can communicate with the body's RF mount without an adapter, and Canon is also in talks with other manufacturers about more third-party lenses.
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"It is true that we are approached by many third-party manufacturers," said Tetsuji Kiyomi, manager of Canon's Imaging Communications Business, in an interview with Photo Trend.
"We hear their demands. However, we have no direction or policy as such on this subject. Naturally, I cannot share more details with you, but what I can say is that if this aligns with our strategy, we will take the necessary action on a case-by-case basis. I can't tell you more."
Citing the launch and approval of the new Voigtlander lens, Go Tokura , general manager of Canon's Imaging Division, added, "We are in the process [of] discussion with other lens manufacturers. This is the situation at present."
Canon isn’t the only brand to have effectively banned many third-party lenses; just recently Nikon banned third-party lenses that compete with its own Z-mount glass, but brands such as Sigma, Samyang and Tamron have found ways around it. Rather than releasing an identical lens, these lens manufacturers launch lenses with slightly different focal lengths such as the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN.
This comes as excellent news for anyone who invested in an EOS R camera in the hope they would be able to buy cheaper third-party lenses in the future. There’s no saying whether Canon will authorize any or many more, but this at least is a step in the right direction.
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