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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 and Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II – are on the chopping block. That's according to a report by Canon Rumors, claiming that two of Canon's workhorse lenses along with the popular pancake have joined the the discontinued list.

• Read more: Best Canon lenses

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, one of the best pancake lenses, and the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM, with a report last month 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 and Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM 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 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
Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM review
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM review
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS review
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review

Dan Mold

Technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan brings his technical wizardry to DCW from from Practical Photography and Digital Photo. A Photoshop guru, Dan is also a beast at post-processing, making him the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, he's a particularly keen wildlife photographer –  and unsurprisingly, he's definitely a Canon man!