RF vs EF Lenses: A Comprehensive Guide for Canon Photographers

Canon offers two primary lens options: the newer RF mount lenses and the older EF mount lenses. Understanding the differences and advantages of each system is essential for making informed decisions about your photography gear.

Coming to you from Josh Sattin, this informative video delves into the world of RF and EF lenses, exploring their compatibility, performance, and overall value. Sattin emphasizes the significance of considering factors like cost, availability, and adaptability when choosing between these two lens systems. He highlights the affordability and vast selection of EF lenses, which have been a staple for photographers and videographers for decades.

Sattin also discusses the versatility of EF lenses, particularly their ability to be used on various camera systems beyond Canon through adapters. He showcases several adapters, including options for Sony E-mount, L-mount, and Fujifilm X-mount cameras, demonstrating the potential to expand the use of your EF lenses across different platforms. This adaptability can be a significant advantage for photographers who own multiple camera systems or plan to upgrade in the future.

However, Sattin acknowledges potential drawbacks of using EF lenses with adapters, such as autofocus performance and stabilization issues, particularly with older models. He recommends opting for newer Canon L-series EF lenses or Sigma Art EF lenses for better compatibility and performance on RF mount cameras. Additionally, he emphasizes the superior autofocus, stabilization, and image quality offered by native RF lenses, especially when paired with the latest Canon mirrorless cameras.

Ultimately, the choice between RF and EF lenses depends on your individual needs and preferences as a photographer. If you prioritize affordability, versatility, and access to a wide range of lenses, EF lenses with adapters can be a compelling option. On the other hand, if you seek the best possible performance, image quality, and native compatibility with Canon's latest mirrorless technology, investing in RF lenses may be the ideal choice. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Sattin.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I agree with your comments on the EF L lenses, I received an EF16-35/2.8LIII today in excellent condition for a great price and am pleased with it. I don't see myself going to mirrorless anytime soon but would use the Canon adapter if I did. My only Sigma Art lens is the 35/1.4 and it has been a great purchase.

The reason I don't own any RF lenses? Price, price, price... and the first one I've been waiting for is the 50 1.4 RF.

We know how that story went.

Then Canon went and made sure the prices of old EF L lenses stayed nice and high.. the 24 to 70 2.8 Mark II is still a cool 2000. The 85 1.4? 2000.

The 35 1.4? 1800 or so.

This is why I Cannon didn't win that many awards this time around because they make some great bodies and some great top-end lenses but after that they are a hollow shell