NEWS: Canon Officially Announces Development of Six New RF-Series Lenses

18 February 2019


NEWS: Canon Officially Announces Development of Six New RF-Series Lenses

Continuing with the message of “optics at its core,” Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced that its parent company, Canon Inc, is developing six new RF-series lenses, further displaying the company’s commitment to the EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera system. Canon’s new RF mount allows for fast, light, and high-performing optics with a large opening diameter and short back focus distance. Each new lens in development will help fulfil the needs of amateur and advanced amateurs to professional photographers and videographers, covering critical focal lengths.

While the rumours certainly left a lot the air out of this announcement of six new RF lenses for Canon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, we at least now have a more clear picture of what is coming to the lineup.

Of the six new RF lenses, five are L-series glass while the one other appears to be an all-around budget-friendly travel lens. The lenses announced to be under development are the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM, RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS, RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, and RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM.

In the most matter-of-fact way to describe a new lens announcement, Canon U.S.A. President and Chief Operating Officer Kazuto Ogawa said in the press release, “With this collection of new lenses, customers will have more of the tools they need, for the images they desire to create.” At least it’s spot on. Canon building up their native RF-series lens war chest quickly has obvious benefits in giving security to their customers that they are serious contenders in this space.

All six RF lenses under development are built around Canon’s new RF mount, which features a large 54mm diameter and shorter back focus distance than on current EOS DSLR cameras. In addition, the RF mount enhances communication and power transmission between the lens and camera body, which has helped Canon to achieve the world’s fastest autofocus speed for a full-frame mirrorless camera system.

One obvious omission from the announcement is any further explanation as to what Defocus Smoothing (DS) means for the 85mm f/1.2L USM DS. While it can be presumed to mean an even more creamy smooth out of focus effect, there is question to how that would be achieved and if there are any negative side effects in doing it, such as a reduction in sharpness.

No prices have been given by Canon as of yet, but they did mention that all six lenses would be “available later in 2019.”

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Image credit: Canon