Has Canon finally eased up on third party RF lenses? New Tamron patent suggests so

Tamron RF 17-50mm f/4 patent
(Image credit: Asobinet)

It’s no secret Canon can be pretty difficult when it comes to allowing third-party lenses for RF mount cameras. Compared to other brands, very few exist and the ones that do don't feature autofocus. However,  there is hope on the horizon that Canon could be easing up on restrictions as a patent for a Tamron 17-50mm f/4 lens has emerged.

Tamron and Sigma arguably make some of the best third-party lenses for Sony, Nikon and Canon EF mount but as things stand, there isn't a single lens available for RF-mount Canon cameras from either brand.  When it comes to wide-angle lenses, there's the Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM for APS-C systems such as the Canon EOS R50 or the Canon EOS R7 but nothing even close for full-frame systems. For anyone who shoots landscapes, portraits or street photography, a 17-50mm lens would be a versatile choice and I'd hazard a guess it won’t break the bank either. 

• These are the best Canon RF lenses including a range of primes, super telephoto and standard zooms

According to Asobinet Tamron published a patent application on July 4 for a full-frame compatible 17-50mm f/4 lens with internal zoom. According to early specs, it will have a 110.7°-47.33° angle of view and dimensions of 21.6 x 134.5mm. This small compact lens, if it comes to fruition, will be one of the widest angle lenses available for Canon full-frame cameras - currently only beaten by the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM which has an RRP of $249/£299/AU$479.

While Samyang, Rokinon, Laowa and Lensbaby have released several RF mount lenses including the Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic, many of these are manual focus or cine lenses that don't compete with Canon’s own RF mount lineup. It would be a welcome move for Canon to start opening up the doors to brands such as Sigma and Tamron as it means customers will not only have more choice but also access to slightly cheaper lenses - after all several of the RF mount lenses cost thousands of dollars/pounds. 

It’s still early days for this potential new lens and with no official announcement on when it may be released, how much it will cost or the lens configuration itself (other than the patent diagrams) it’s hard to judge whether it will be more or a pro or entry-level lens. But one thing is for sure, Tamron has made some pretty stellar affordable lenses that when compared in lab tests, give own brand lens a run for their money so I’m hopeful this will be the case here. 

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

Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.