Canon's DSLR Lens Library Is Rapidly Disappearing

Canon's DSLR Lens Library Is Rapidly Disappearing

The Canon EF lens exodus is continuing, with over a dozen more being discontinued or slated for it at some point this year as the company rapidly pivots toward mirrorless and its RF mount. 

Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon has discontinued over a dozen more lenses from its EF mount DSLR line, as it seems to be pivoting toward mirrorless with increasing momentum. In the latest round, a fair number of kit and lower-level lenses are getting the ax, but there are some more notable professional options, including the 300mm f/2.8L, 400mm f/4L, and 500mm f/4L supertelephotos and the beloved 135mm f/2L. Personally, I am bummed out to see the 135mm f/2L disappearing. It is certainly not surprising given its age, but it has always held a special place in a lot of photographers' hearts as an underrated portrait lens that gives a rather magical rendering. In fact, it was my first non-kit lens. It will surely be replaced by an RF option, however.

The good news for anyone who owns these lenses is that Canon is expected to continue service support for at least several more years, which isn't surprising, given just how many EF lenses are out there in the hands of photographers and how severely early discontinuation of support would affect many shooters. Head on over to Canon Rumors for the full list of newly discontinued lenses.

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16 Comments

Robert Nurse's picture

This could be good news for those eying deals on those EF super-teles!

Michael Marcelletti's picture

I don’t have a lot of time to post so my numbers maybe off a bit.

But a quick search using DPR’s lens finder tool showed about 125 EF and EF-S lenses.

Trimming down the lineup even without the push to mirrorless would make sense especially in a declining market.

And given the small percentage being deleted from the lineup I would say this article is really an overreaction.

T Van's picture

I wonder if other video production companies beside the one I work for will consider leaving the Canon format. Lets see, get an adapter to use their RF lenses on pro video cameras, or switch. Not a big fan of lens adapters...Red and Blackmagic Design cameras are starting to look better to me....

Steve White's picture

How would you adapt an RF Lens to something that (I assume) is designed to work with EF or EF-S lenses? The EF>RF adapter is basically a spacer to move the lens farther from the sensor to account for the distance where the mirror isn't. An RF lens will focus in front of a sensor that's behind an EF mount, so unless you can find a magical negative distance spacer.

T Van's picture

Good question....and why I'm now looking at selling Canon gear...although it's completely possible to make an adapter with a focusing lens in it that would focus the image on the RF body sensor.

Steve White's picture

Late to the party, but ... Putting a lens in it would make it more of a converter than an adapter. That's feasible or course, but you'll presumably sacrifice some image quality and it definitely makes the converter heavier and more expensive. That makes it possible, but (far?) less than ideal.

The EF>RF adapter OTOH, is pretty close to ideal if you have a bunch of EF glass that you'd like to use on an RF mount. It's a pretty minor expense and probably less weight than putting the EF lens on a similar camera with an EF mount (and therefore the mirror assembly). The only real downside I see is dealing with the adapter when you switch from an EF lens to an RF lens.

T Van's picture

It's a major downside for me.

Tammie Lam's picture

The 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM is still available everywhere including Canon USA. Where this information is coming from?

Tammie Lam's picture

This article is not accurate. CR say "Lenses to be discontinued sometime in 2021", not "Canon has discontinued". That's quite a big difference ;)

Carl Marschner's picture

I'm not thrilled by this because everything I buy is EF. I'm not thinking of doing mirrorless but if I ever do, I'm staying with EF because they just work everywhere. One set of glass for film, digital and potentially even mirrorless keeps it simple.

Trey Mortensen's picture

At least there's good news for people in your situation. Having used the canon adapter, there really is no difference in the EF glass performance between the EF camera bodies and the RF bodies with the adapter.

Carl Marschner's picture

Exactly. EF is universal. I prefer the EF designs and build of a lot of the lenses, too.

Przemek Lodej's picture

I have Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8LII for sale if anyone is interested. I don't use it anymore since I do strictly portraiture work.

Kirk Darling's picture

It should have been clear in 2018 that EF lenses were going to be discontinued. Canon's first announcement of their RF lens future clearly showed that their designers were concentrating on RF lenses. Anyone who truly expected Canon to continue EF lenses infinitely into the future just had their heads in the sand.

Steve White's picture

Well, it would have been clear if they announced plans to stop making any cameras that use EF (or EF-S?) lenses when they started making mirrorless cameras. Discontinuing some EF lenses that haven't been great sellers may be sensible, but unless they plan to force their customers to use lenses from 3rd party manufacturers selling cameras with an EF mount sort of demands selling lenses that fit them.

Considering that Canon was slower than others to jump on the mirrorless bandwagon and that they just introduced a new $6500 flagship EF camera it seems rather early to make a drastic reduction in the availability of lenses that fit it. Aren't the people who buy that sort of camera also the people who buy a lot of lenses?

Kirk Darling's picture

You mean like when Canon released the absolutely awesome EF T90 flagship camera just before absolutely and instantly dumping the FD mount one year later? That happened to me. Going to an EF body from my F-1 meant dumping my stable of FD lenses. That caused me to hold on to my F-1 cameras for as long as possible.

This time, at least Canon has not instantly obsoleted their EF lenses. People who currently own a 1D-series camera likely own EF lenses they need. If they buy a new R1 camera, they can continue to use those EF lenses to the same extent they can use them with their current 1D. As those EF lenses wear out, they can progress to RF lenses.

And that is precisely my own game plan going forward. I had no "entrance barrier" to buying an R-series body because I can continue to use my EF lenses for just as long as I'd planned to use them anyway.

But it was a clear signal to me that Canon's plans did not include continuing EF lens development because the hot lens designs they had released and announced indicated their lens development team was working on RF lenses. And they had, in fact, said that EF development had been halted.

I suppose some people were counting on Canon's RF salient to fail miserably and that Canon would give it up, but that was a foolish bet.