Canon shows commitment to RF mount, announces 6 more lenses coming in 2019


posted Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT


Canon is continuing to place the emphasis of their brand into their optics over all else with the announcement of six additional RF series lenses to come in 2019. All the lenses under development and in the 2019 timetable for release are built around Canon's new mirrorless RF mount, which features a large 54mm diameter and shorter flange back distance than on their DSLR cameras. This upcoming group of lenses will fill usage needs from entry-level through professional photographers and videographers.

Mockups of the upcoming RF lenses

The six lenses are as follows (no specific release order was revealed at this time):

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM

The mirrorless version of the classic EF 85mm f/1.2L! This updated large aperture, mid-telephoto prime lens Canon says will offer "excellent performance for advanced and professional portrait photographers." 85mm is a very popular portrait lens length, so this addition will surely please serious portrait photographers.



Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS

Canon is also introducing what they call "Defocus Smoothing" lens technology, which at this time is pretty vague, but they say it will offer a combination of "beautifully smooth and defocused bokeh." It's not clear what that actually means, but given that this is a wholly separate lens from the other RF 85mm f/1.2, it clearly is enough to make a difference.



Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM

This is the lens that most photographers characterize as their "desert island" lens due to its versatility. It's great to see Canon releasing this highly sought-after lens in 2019. This lens will also feature Canon's Nano USM technology. 



Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Wider by 1mm than Canon's existing EF 16-35mm zooms, this new optic is highly versatile for landscape, astrophotography and time-lapse use. This lens will also feature Canon's Nano USM technology.



Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

This is another highly sought-after lens, especially given its wide f/2.8 aperture. Canon says that this lens is a great all-around, high-speed, medium telephoto zoom lens and does well to round out any camera bag. This lens will also feature Canon's Nano USM technology.



Just to give you a sense of how incredibly small the new RF-mount version of the 70-200mm f/2.8L lens really is. Here is a mockup of the new lens next to the EF-mount variety.


Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM

This is Canon's "all-purpose" RF lens that should pair nicely with the newly-announced EOS RP camera. Lightweight and with a huge zoom range, it will appeal to entry-level photographers looking for a lens that can do it all.


As noted above, the RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM, RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM, and RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM will all feature Canon's Nano USM technology, which will allow for faster and more accurate tracking autofocus in both stills and video. This type of motor is most effective with mirrorless cameras, as it provides swift, decisive AF for stills while also allowing for smoother, consistent focusing actuations needed for video. Half the battle for great continuous autofocus in live-view is with the sensor, but the other half requires an autofocus motor capable of maintaining that focus. Canon's addition of this tech into those three lenses should make them great for video especially.


Canon says that their RF mount allows for fast, light, and high-performing optics. In addition, the RF mount enhances communication and power transmission between the lens and camera body.

All six of the new Canon RF lenses under development are expected to be available throughout 2019, though actual release times and schedules as well as pricing are not yet available.