About Canon deciding to discontinue EF lenses...

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions thread
Siobhan_K Regular Member • Posts: 225
Discontinuity's dissent

Messier Object wrote:

Siobhan_K wrote:

ADW02 wrote:

I think in the long run, as mirrorless technology is better refined, that may be a good thing, but what does that mean for those of us who are heavily invested in EF lenses, and the DSLR cameras that use them?

It means nothing. It presents no complication whatsoever to your photographic endeavors.

Let's say you decide one day in the near or distant future that you that want an EF lens you don't already own? You're in luck, friend: Canon has produced more than 125 million EF lenses in the 30+ years they've been offered. Any EF lens you desire won't be hard to find for decades to come. (Why am I so confident? Because it's easy to find almost any Canon FD lens you may want, today, even though they were discontinued 30+ years ago and produced in far smaller quantities.)

Or let's say your DSLR wears out 300,000 shutter actuations from now, and you need a new camera body? OK, then you go buy a R5, R6, or whatever RF body Canon produces next, with your choice of three Canon EF-to-RF adapters,

you assume that Canon will continue to produce the adapters. At some stage Canon may find that the adapters have become detrimental to RF lens sales.

At the moment the adapters are a gateway to EOS R body sales, but lenses are the real long term earners for Canon.

Couple of thoughts on your argument:


Adapters Canon produces now don't evaporate into thin air. They don't have an expiry date or a sell-by date. If Canon pumps millions of EF-to-RF adapters into the marketplace, onto warehouse and store shelves, into user hands, they will circulate in stock and in used markets for years after the last one rolls off an assembly conveyor. And they will therefore be easy to acquire long after Canon decides to discontinue selling them, whenever that is. There are already nearly three years' worth in circulation, right now.

So if you want the "adapters will be impossible to get" narrative to really stick, you'll have to lobby Canon to end production of them very soon.


Even if Canon decides to end adapter production, other companies won't. And there's already a huge third-party adapter selection. Because they're easy to make. The basic EF-to-RF adapter doesn't require any active lens-control electronics. It's just a physical flange-distance adjustment; it doesn't need to translate autofocus or lens control protocols. It simply passes the RF mount's contacts forward.

If you want a "discontinuity" narrative to stick, killing Canon-branded adapters tomorrow won't get the job done; you'll have to lobby Canon to engineer EOS-R bodies without communication protocols for the specific lenses an EF user might mount. And unfortunately, that change would apply only to future EOS-R bodies; the R, RP, R6 & R5 (and certainly the upcoming R3) all speak EF as well as (or better than) DSLRs.

So . . . just how far out into the future are we talking, here? The R5 and R3, both happily capable of pushing adapted EF lenses, will be on the market for years to come, relevant for years after that.


Canon makes money whether customers buy RF or EF lenses. EF lenses are and have been an exceptional long-term "earner" for Canon, have they not? Are the margins on RF lenses better? Maybe, or maybe they will be some time in the future, when their R&D costs are amortized over a longer term? Regardless, it's hard to believe that--in this camera market--Canon wouldn't be happy to sell anybody any lens they offer.


How big is current demand for EF lenses, anyway? Is it growing, or is it declining?

Let's get our story straight: is Canon brazenly pushing its user base into a mirrorless future that the base by-and-large doesn't want? Or did the user base badger Canon for years and years and years to make a full-frame mirrorless system available before the company actually did so?

Is Canon just greedy? Or has Canon's relationship with mirrorless over the past five or six years actually been rather hesitant? Belabored?

Lots of people would argue the latter: that Canon's mirrorless efforts over better part of the last decade were planned largely to protect DSLR and EF lens sales as long as possible. To a fault. That Canon's reluctance to take mirrorless seriously left the company's offerings perilously behind the state of the art. That meaningful numbers of customers departed over it.

When's the last time you bought an EF lens? New or used? Which one?

If you had the production capability to run batches for 10 different lens models and you knew 7 of 10 buyers wanted lenses with the RF mount, would you devote most or even more than a couple of your batches to EF? Why?

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Canon EOS 5DS Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon 85mm F1.4L IS USM Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM +3 more
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