Skip to main content

Has Canon cancelled more DSLR optics in its latest major mirrorless push?

Canon
(Image credit: Future)

Further rumors are doing the rounds that Canon is discontinuing EF lenses, with two more DSLR optics being added to the three that were apparently discontinued earlier this year.

It now appears that a pair of short telephoto optics – the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM (opens in new tab) and Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II (opens in new tab) – are on the chopping block. That's according to a report (opens in new tab) by Canon Rumors, claiming that two of Canon's workhorse lenses along with the popular pancake have joined the the discontinued list (opens in new tab).

• Read more: Best Canon lenses (opens in new tab)

Announced back in 2006, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise if the rumor was true for the EF 85mm f/1.2L. But it would be far more shocking and eye-opening if the 70-200mm f/4L was indeed getting axed, as this lens is considered by many to be a workhorse for professional portrait and wildlife photographers – and it was only announced in 2018, meaning it hasn't had a very long tenure.

It's worth noting that if the lenses are to be discontinued you'll still be able to pick them up from retailers for a while until they sell through all of their new stock and of course there is the second-hand market too.

Canon's EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM (Image credit: Canon)

Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II (Image credit: Canon)

In February 2021 we saw Canon discontinue the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (opens in new tab), one of the best pancake lenses (opens in new tab), and the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM (opens in new tab), with a report last month (opens in new tab) that they were being joined by the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM lenses. If the two latest rumored optics do indeed get the chop, it would appear that Canon is making some very big strides to push users down the mirrorless path.

This is potentially no bad thing, as the newer mirrorless technology grants better performance, image quality, and features such as in-body image stabilization. But the mirrorless lenses and bodies are often much more expensive, and would require DSLR users to sell off their existing kit and start all over again – which many are reluctant to do.

We've already seen Canon release mirrorless counterparts for both of the newly rumored discontinuations. The Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM (opens in new tab) and Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM (opens in new tab) are both groundbreaking and impressive optics that felt like a real step-up from their DSLR equivalents. There is even a Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS (opens in new tab) option that possesses Defocus Smoothing for some of the butteriest bokeh we've ever seen.

However, the RF 70-200mm f/4L and RF 85mm f/1.2L are both around 30% more expensive than their DSLR counterparts – and that goes up to 50% more expensive for the DS lens. So is this just a way for Canon to leave users no choice but to cough up and pay the mirrorless premium? With lots of Canon patents coming to light for mirrorless lenses, it would certainly seem that way.

As with all rumors a large pinch of salt should be taken. However, if this is true, it would seem clear that Canon is now making a hard push to get loyal DSLR users to switch over and upgrade to mirrorless models if they want to get the newest optics.

Read more:

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM review (opens in new tab)
Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM review (opens in new tab)
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM review (opens in new tab)
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS review (opens in new tab)
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review (opens in new tab)

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

Dan Mold
Technique Editor

The Technique Editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan also brings his technical wizardry and editing skills to Digital Camera World. He has been writing about all aspects of photography for over 8 years, having previously served as technical writer and technical editor on Practical Photography magazine, as well as Photoshop editor on Digital Photo


Indeed, Dan is an Adobe-certified Photoshop guru, making him officially a beast at post-processing – so he’s the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, Dan provides news, techniques and tutorials on everything from portraits and landscapes to macro and wildlife, helping photographers get the most out of their cameras, lenses, filters, lighting, tripods and, of course, editing software.