Reports suggest that two new Canon tilt-shift lenses for the RF mount are out in the wild right now, being tested by a select group of photographers, suggesting that we will see an imminent release soon.
Tilt-shift lenses are a fairly niche variety of lens, typically used by professional photographers, as they can be expensive, and have a limited purpose. But they offer a unique way to create images that are not possible with other types of lens, and are becoming increasingly popular even with enthusiast photographers who want to elevate their creativity.
The two new lenses, according to a report by Canon Rumors, are the Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L and the Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L. These are not only the first tilt-shift lenses for the RF mount, but would also be the first ever tilt-shift lenses from any manufacturer to feature autofocus.
A tilt-shift lens is a special type of lens that works by tilting the lens, relative to the camera's sensor. This enables the photographer to control the angle of the plane of focus, which is the area in front of the camera that is in sharpest focus.
There are two main uses of tilt-shift lenses; the first is in architectural photography, where often taking photos of tall buildings from ground level will give an unusual perspective of the building, making it look narrower at the top than at the bottom, or like it is falling backward. By shifting the lens, the photographer can make the subject appear closer or further away, or they can use it to correct converging verticals to correct this phenomenon.
Tilt-shift lenses are also popular in miniature photography. By tilting the lens, the photographer can make the plane of focus shallower or deeper. It is typically used to create a miniature effect, where objects in the foreground and background are in focus while the middle ground is blurred.
Canon has always offered a range of pretty niche lenses, and there are some solid tilt-shift options for the EF mount that can be used with the EF-RF mount adapter. However, having a native lens for EOS R cameras that can also autofocus would be a big selling point for Canon.
There are no hints as to the pricing of these lenses, though the current Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens costs $2,149 / £2,349 / AU$3,499. RF lenses have typically cost more than their EF equivalents, so we would expect these new rumored lenses to come in even more costly.