Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

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Stig Nygaard
Stig Nygaard Regular Member • Posts: 371
Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
5

Hi

I just noticed that I couldn't find the productpage for Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8 RF anymore on their homepages (viltrox.com, viltroxstore.com).

A website error? Temporary unavailable? Or has Canon forced Viltrox to discontinue the RF-mount autofocus lens? ...

Or is it just me who cannot find it?

I can't even find the latest firmware version 1.1.5 for it...

I was expecting to find something on pages like this (from various links and my browser historic):

https://www.viltrox.com/NewsInfoCategory?categoryId=362130&PageInfoId=0
https://viltroxstore.com/en/products/viltrox-85mm-rf-mount-for-canon-eos-r-mirrorless-camera
https://www.viltrox.com/NewsInfoCategory?categoryId=362130&PageInfoId=0

There was rumors of some (more) upcoming RF-mount AF fullframe and APS-C primes from Viltrox. But if they for some reason can't produce RF-mount AF-lenses, I guess we can forget our hopes about them:
https://photorumors.com/2022/05/22/viltrox-rumored-to-release-several-mirrorless-lenses-for-canon-rf-mount-full-frame-and-aps-c/

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And-roid
And-roid Senior Member • Posts: 3,176
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

Gone!

Threat of lawsuits and ip infringement not worth the hassle, Canon really on high alert with stopping 3rd party RF lenses!

Stig Nygaard wrote:

Hi

I just noticed that I couldn't find the productpage for Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8 RF anymore on their homepages (viltrox.com, viltroxstore.com).

A website error? Temporary unavailable? Or has Canon forced Viltrox to discontinue the RF-mount autofocus lens? ...

Or is it just me who cannot find it?

I can't even find the latest firmware version 1.1.5 for it...

I was expecting to find something on pages like this (from various links and my browser historic):

https://www.viltrox.com/NewsInfoCategory?categoryId=362130&PageInfoId=0
https://viltroxstore.com/en/products/viltrox-85mm-rf-mount-for-canon-eos-r-mirrorless-camera
https://www.viltrox.com/NewsInfoCategory?categoryId=362130&PageInfoId=0

There was rumors of some (more) upcoming RF-mount AF fullframe and APS-C primes from Viltrox. But if they for some reason can't produce RF-mount AF-lenses, I guess we can forget our hopes about them:
https://photorumors.com/2022/05/22/viltrox-rumored-to-release-several-mirrorless-lenses-for-canon-rf-mount-full-frame-and-aps-c/

Kharan
Kharan Senior Member • Posts: 2,465
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
3

Uh-oh, this isn't good at all. The lens is still available in other shops, like B&H, but has indeed vanished from Viltrox's page and store. This is really an ill omen, if it was caused by Canon threatening Viltrox.

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antonio-salieri Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

And-roid wrote:

Gone!

Threat of lawsuits and ip infringement not worth the hassle, Canon really on high alert with stopping 3rd party RF lenses!

This doesn't really make sense --- reverse engineering isn't an IP infringement, and there is no real indication that Viltrox even did anything substantially different from what's in EF lenses (i.e., nothing that would could require the copying of Canon software) --- really, the Viltrox RF lens is a sort of combination of a mirrorless design with the Canon EF protocol (as connected through an internal "adapter"). And Canon had no ability to stop the production of third-party EF lenses. They also have not stopped the production of any manual RF lenses (which they couldn't, because the basic design of the mount isn't patentable).

I'll note that Viltrox's website no longer lists their EF-RF adapters and speed boosters either --- but these are not "active" adapters, but rather dumb connectors. Of course, a number of other companies still sell EF-RF adapters and speed boosters.

Moreover, there is no legal difference between the physical EF and RF mounts, especially if you're talking about using the EF protocol (in which case the only difference is in the flange distance of the physical design).

Also, Viltrox's 1.1.5 update is still there: https://www.viltrox.com/newsinfo/3139593.html

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,497
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
2

And-roid wrote:

Gone!

Threat of lawsuits and ip infringement not worth the hassle, Canon really on high alert with stopping 3rd party RF lenses!

Same thing seems to have happened with the Samyang 85mm f1.4.

I guess if we want cheap third party options, we should have picked Sony.

theninth
theninth Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
1

antonio-salieri wrote:

This doesn't really make sense --- reverse engineering isn't an IP infringement, and there is no real indication that Viltrox even did anything substantially different from what's in EF lenses

I agree - so far apart from speculation there does not seem to be any real indication that Canon is actively working against third party lenses for RF, or is there?

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antonio-salieri Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
1

theninth wrote:

antonio-salieri wrote:

This doesn't really make sense --- reverse engineering isn't an IP infringement, and there is no real indication that Viltrox even did anything substantially different from what's in EF lenses

I agree - so far apart from speculation there does not seem to be any real indication that Canon is actively working against third party lenses for RF, or is there?

Well, there are maybe some indications, in the sense that Canon certainly doesn't particularly encourage the fact, unlike Sony --- and, I guess, the fact that some of the AF RF lenses have gone off the market may have to do with this. I would suggest it is less that they would get sued by Canon, and more that they are concerned with the R&D costs of making sure that the lenses continue to work properly with new bodies and firmware versions.

On the other hand, Viltrox apparently pulled its speed booster and adapter from the website --- and these definitely cannot be subject to any patents. Also, while the Viltrox store site linked removed the RF products, the pages on viltrox.com still include banners for RF products and still include an RF category (albeit with no items in it).

Similarly, while not on the Samyang site, the RF lens lineup remains online at Rokinon's site: https://rokinon.com/collections/canon-rf?gf_307462=278651469993 --- although all the items are listed as sold out.

I guess I look at it this way. I don't think there is a huge market for this stuff on Canon RF vs. on Sony E. The reason why is backwards compatibility. The brands that have come out with lenses for RF so far are generally budget-oriented. Canon's DSLR system was (and in reality is still) massively popular. There are a ton of Canon DSLR lenses out there. And they all work with the R bodies with a dumb adapter, without the AF problems (and expenses) that arise from using any of those lenses on a Sony body.

Personally, the only lens company to whose lenses I look forward on RF is Sigma. Their CEO said in 2021:

‘Less cameras sold also means less potential customers interested in buying a lens, which is why our short‑term strategy indeed involves a possibility of introducing lenses with new mounts – to such photography systems as Nikon Z or Canon EOS R. So far, however, the number of orders for our lenses is still above our manufacturing capacities, and especially the capabilities of our R&D department.’

‘[The] photography market is indeed getting smaller – but it won’t be getting smaller infinitely. According to our estimations, it will reach its minimal size next year, in 2021 – and since then it will stay pretty stable. I would compare the ultimate size of this market to the level of camera sales in times of traditional photography, before the great digital revolution. The true number of passionate people, who want to make photos with high‑quality cameras and lenses is now – and was then – probably very similar.’

With the chip shortage and R&D issues, they're not in a rush (and remember that they still sell a lot of DSLR-designed lenses, many of which have no DN successor on FF, and many of which I can wholeheartedly recommend for use on RF bodies right now) --- but I'm certain we'll see Sigma lenses hit RF eventually.

As for the other companies, I do believe that the discount segment of the market targeting RF specifically is probably not very strong, between the existing strength of the EF userbase, the great number of used EF lenses available and the shrinking of the camera market (especially in the budget segment).

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SNJops
SNJops Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
4

I recently spoke to a Sigma UK rep he told me that they are waiting on a license to make both RF and Z mount glass.

Going back to Viltrox this is the 2nd company to suddenly remove RF products from their website with little or no announcement. Something is definitely happening behind the scenes but what is up for debate. My speculation is that 3rd party RF lenses with electronic contacts are somehow infringing Canon’s IP.

Just had a look for Yongnuo’s 85mm f1.8 that was announced for mirrorless last year and can’t find any mention of the RF version on their website http://en.yongnuo.com.cn/enwww/goods-350-YN85mm+F18S+DF+DSM.html  , it’s available from some retailers though.

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And-roid
And-roid Senior Member • Posts: 3,176
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
4

Kharan wrote:

Uh-oh, this isn't good at all. The lens is still available in other shops, like B&H, but has indeed vanished from Viltrox's page and store. This is really an ill omen, if it was caused by Canon threatening Viltrox.

Canon have closed down every 3rd party, presumably non-licenced reverse engineered, RF lens with electronic contacts. We can safely say Canon are not and will not allow this to happen. Currently its Canon's way or the high-way and they do not want anything unlicensed on their RF mount, period.

Nikon are allowing it to happen with a few 3rd parties and have badged Tamron's 28-70 2.8 mk i. So I think Nikon is being a bit more flexible but neither are exactly encouraging Tamron/Sigma.

thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 9,800
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
1

tkbslc wrote:

And-roid wrote:

Gone!

Threat of lawsuits and ip infringement not worth the hassle, Canon really on high alert with stopping 3rd party RF lenses!

Same thing seems to have happened with the Samyang 85mm f1.4.

I guess if we want cheap third party options, we should have picked Sony.

That's my conclusion as well.

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 9,800
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

theninth wrote:

antonio-salieri wrote:

This doesn't really make sense --- reverse engineering isn't an IP infringement, and there is no real indication that Viltrox even did anything substantially different from what's in EF lenses

I agree - so far apart from speculation there does not seem to be any real indication that Canon is actively working against third party lenses for RF, or is there?

If the only "real" indication would be an official statement from Canon it's also very likely you would never get a real indication in case Canon would actively work against third party lenses.

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Avenger20 Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
6

Really frustrating to see Canon blocking other vendors to sell RF adapters/lenses. Luckily the EF lenses still work with a (Canon) adapter, but would not be surprised if they start to limit or cripple this in some way on new Canon bodies (to sell more RF glass).

Avenger20 Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

thunder storm wrote:

theninth wrote:

antonio-salieri wrote:

This doesn't really make sense --- reverse engineering isn't an IP infringement, and there is no real indication that Viltrox even did anything substantially different from what's in EF lenses

I agree - so far apart from speculation there does not seem to be any real indication that Canon is actively working against third party lenses for RF, or is there?

If the only "real" indication would be an official statement from Canon it's also very likely you would never get a real indication in case Canon would actively work against third party lenses.

Also very strange that these vendors (viltrox, samyang, etc) start to pull firmware from their website. Looks like support of their EF-RF adapters and RF lenses is completely dropped and they might not work anymore on newer bodies.

theninth
theninth Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

thunder storm wrote:

If the only "real" indication would be an official statement from Canon it's also very likely you would never get a real indication in case Canon would actively work against third party lenses.

I would not wait for that, but also none of the third parties have made any statements. If there is some legal action from Canon, or threat thereof, I think somehow the word would get out. Also, with everything else that is going on in the world, there may be many other reasons for companies not being able to develop and deliver RF lenses at the moment.

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SNJops
SNJops Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
2

theninth wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

If the only "real" indication would be an official statement from Canon it's also very likely you would never get a real indication in case Canon would actively work against third party lenses.

I would not wait for that, but also none of the third parties have made any statements. If there is some legal action from Canon, or threat thereof, I think somehow the word would get out. Also, with everything else that is going on in the world, there may be many other reasons for companies not being able to develop and deliver RF lenses at the moment.

There is something happening with Canon specifically as Viltrox still mention Z mount lenses on their website. Even taking into account the chip shortage that merely makes production and shipping delayed. But Samyang, Viltrox and Yongnuo removing all mention of their RF lenses is something else entirely.

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Sittatunga Veteran Member • Posts: 5,144
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
1

Avenger20 wrote:

Really frustrating to see Canon blocking other vendors to sell RF adapters/lenses. Luckily the EF lenses still work with a (Canon) adapter, but would not be surprised if they start to limit or cripple this in some way on new Canon bodies (to sell more RF glass).

It's far too early for that, and it would be counter-productive at this stage.  There are a huge number of Canon DSLR users (both the diehards and those who find it ain't broke and see no reason to fix it).  Canon will lose an awful lot of EOS R camera sales and goodwill if the answer to "what's the best replacement camera to use all (or even both) my EF lenses on isn't "Canon". My EOS R with the mount adapter is a better EF mount camera in a lot of ways than my 5Ds.  That's what sold it to me even though I was comparing it with the 5D IV at the time.

thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 9,800
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

Beside the value for money EF options there aren't a whole lot of reasons to stay with Canon anyway.

RF 85mm f/1.2, 28-70mm f/2.0, 600&800mm f/11

That's it.

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 9,800
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

Sittatunga wrote:

Avenger20 wrote:

Really frustrating to see Canon blocking other vendors to sell RF adapters/lenses. Luckily the EF lenses still work with a (Canon) adapter, but would not be surprised if they start to limit or cripple this in some way on new Canon bodies (to sell more RF glass).

It's far too early for that,

True, but with the introduction of the R6&5mkII bodies.....

and it would be counter-productive at this stage. There are a huge number of Canon DSLR users (both the diehards and those who find it ain't broke and see no reason to fix it). Canon will lose an awful lot of EOS R camera sales and goodwill if the answer to "what's the best replacement camera to use all (or even both) my EF lenses on isn't "Canon". My EOS R with the mount adapter is a better EF mount camera in a lot of ways than my 5Ds. That's what sold it to me even though I was comparing it with the 5D IV at the time.

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Sittatunga Veteran Member • Posts: 5,144
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?

thunder storm wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

Avenger20 wrote:

Really frustrating to see Canon blocking other vendors to sell RF adapters/lenses. Luckily the EF lenses still work with a (Canon) adapter, but would not be surprised if they start to limit or cripple this in some way on new Canon bodies (to sell more RF glass).

It's far too early for that,

True, but with the introduction of the R6&5mkII bodies.....

In 2025? I hope the second generation IBIS will work well enough with my EF lens to tempt me to replace my R with one.

and it would be counter-productive at this stage. There are a huge number of Canon DSLR users (both the diehards and those who find it ain't broke and see no reason to fix it). Canon will lose an awful lot of EOS R camera sales and goodwill if the answer to "what's the best replacement camera to use all (or even both) my EF lenses on isn't "Canon". My EOS R with the mount adapter is a better EF mount camera in a lot of ways than my 5Ds. That's what sold it to me even though I was comparing it with the 5D IV at the time.

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And-roid
And-roid Senior Member • Posts: 3,176
Re: Has Viltrox AF 85/1.8 RF been removed from Viltrox homepage?
1

SNJops wrote:

theninth wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

If the only "real" indication would be an official statement from Canon it's also very likely you would never get a real indication in case Canon would actively work against third party lenses.

I would not wait for that, but also none of the third parties have made any statements. If there is some legal action from Canon, or threat thereof, I think somehow the word would get out. Also, with everything else that is going on in the world, there may be many other reasons for companies not being able to develop and deliver RF lenses at the moment.

There is something happening with Canon specifically as Viltrox still mention Z mount lenses on their website. Even taking into account the chip shortage that merely makes production and shipping delayed. But Samyang, Viltrox and Yongnuo removing all mention of their RF lenses is something else entirely.

Yes, they have possibly threatened them with ip infringement and basically Canon is so powerful it can really do these companies harm, they've obviously decided not fight it and remove all mention of them, end of story.

The writing was on the wall with Samyang, Canon are not endorsing non licensed reverse engineered lenses for RF and they will threaten to sue you if you do!

Honestly, I'm ok with this, its not great but its their camera, their ip and their r&d time who says you should be able to mount anything on it? They seem ok with non-electronic ie manual focus but electronic contacts, not allowed.

I'm intrigued if discussions are underway with Sigma to port the aps-c trio  and 18-55 2.8, and I see a bit more flexibility possibly on the rf-s front, so be interesting if they allow Viltrox, Sigma and Tamron to be able to fill the aps-c space with their latest aps-c releases for e and Fuji x and past lenses for ef-m. That would certainly be very appealing as I'm only really interested in RF lenses that benefit the R7, ie 70-200's/100-500, everything else I want dedicated smaller rf-s lenses or primes.

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