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"Our focus is on RF”, says Canon – no new EF lenses unless "market demands it"

"Our focus is on RF”, says Canon – no new EF lenses unless "market demands it"
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Canon has confirmed that it is focusing development on producing RF-mount lens for its full-frame mirrorless system. As it stands today, while the EF mount for DSLRs is still supported, there won't be any new EF lenses unless they are demanded by the marketplace.

The news comes as the company celebrates the launch of its new flagship camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III – a camera that, like all Canon's full-frame DSLRs, can only use EF lenses. 

“As you know, last year we launched the RF mount and EOS R system," said Richard Shepherd, pro product marketing senior manager at Canon Europe. "To date we’ve launched ten critically acclaimed lenses, and as it’s a new system we plan to continue this, launching more RF lenses while still fully supporting the EF lens system. And of course, should the market demand it, we are ready to create new EF lenses. But for now, our focus is on RF.”

While it may seem unthinkable for development to draw to a close on EF lenses, the truth is that the lens mount has now been in existence for 33 years. When EF was introduced in 1987, it replaced the Canon FD mount – which at the time was an institution, and it many couldn't fathom the company no longer producing FD lenses.

However, now as it was then, the EF mount has pretty much accomplished all that it can accomplish. After three decades, every lens you can dream of – super fast f/1.0 lenses, tilt-shift lenses, fisheye lenses, macro lenses, super wide and super telephoto lenses – are already on the market. There really isn't a lens that doesn't exist for the EF mount, so there isn't really much left for Canon to develop for it. 

And of course, the EF mount hasn't been discontinued; as Shepherd notes, it is still very much supported – and should there be a sudden surge of interest for a lens that somehow doesn't yet exist, Canon will develop it. 

The truth of the matter is that the EF mount has had its day, and it had a very good 33-year innings. With 2020 comes the manufacturer's full focus on its mirrorless future – the Canon RF lens roadmap and the Canon EOS R system. 

Read more: 

Hands on: Canon EOS-1D X Mark III review
Canon RF lens roadmap: everything we know so far
Canon EOS R review

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.