Aside from the common zoom lens trinities and primes, which old lenses would you like to see revamped and redesigned?
It has certainly been an exciting week for Canon R system users with the announcement of two new EOS R cameras and a handful of new lenses. In recent years, along with the development of these seemingly impressive new cameras that are about to hit the market, Canon has been building their RF lens lineup from the framework of the tried and tested EF lens system. As expected, the brand first focused on their zoom lens trinities, mainstay prime lenses like the 50mm and 85mm, along with some interesting variations.
Now this doesn’t just apply to Canon, of course. Sony has just released an f/2.8 GM version of their 12-24mm lens which is quite exciting for me as a landscape and architecture photographer. At the same time, Sony has come up with interesting lenses lately like the 20mm f/1.8 G which is quite compelling for its design and price point. I wouldn’t dare say much for Fujifilm and Nikon at this point simply because I’m not as immersed into their lens ecosystem. That said, this question applies to any photographer of any camera brand. What old DSLR lenses would you like to see revamped for the mirrorless cameras? I have a few in mind.
This lens is always at the top of my list simply because I love extended range lenses. You may have read about that in my recent article about walkaround lenses. I did mention that I still consider this lens as a walkaround lens due to the range that it offers but a fair and interesting point from one of the comments said that simply because of its weight of 1.6Kg, it wouldn’t be a good walkaround lens. Of course, I would agree. Which is why I thought that maybe it is due time for Canon or even any other manufacturer to come up with such a lens for the newer camera systems and probably make it better and lighter. One can say that a close contender would be Tamron’s new 28-200mm for Sony mirrorless cameras but that difference of 100mm is quite significant if you ask me. Sony also has a 24-240mm lens that comes close but has been said to be lacking in image quality. A valid contender would have to be Canon’s RF 24-240mm.
What was good about this lens was that aside from its flexible focal range, it had really good optics for its time. Even now that I’ve migrated over to the Sony mirrorless system, I still use this old but reliable lens on my a7R mark III with a Sigma MC11 adapter. If it were up to me, I would love to see this lens reborn either as a new lens for the full frame mirrorless system, or maybe even as a 2nd version for DSLR cameras. I wouldn’t mind having a Sony equivalent, of course but ultimately, I’d love to see it in the form of Tamron’s lightweight 70-180mm f/2.8 lens. Having it in a much lighter form, even with cheaper and lighter materials, would really be a game changer in the lineup for photographers like myself who like having extended range zoom lenses.
The Canon EF 17mm f/4 TSE
This is definitely out of a biased perspective since I’m an architectural photographer. This 17mm Tilt-shift lens is basically one of those end-game lenses for photographers like me and though the current version of this lens is still very much viable in the year 2020. It would be a delight to see a newer version of this lens. Maybe even a bit wider at 15mm if that’s not too much to ask.
More than anything, having a native full-frame mirrorless version of this lens is definitely something I’m looking forward to. Sony hasn’t even hinted about any tilt-shift lens in development so as of now, the only choices we have are either the Canon 17mm TSE on an adapter or the Laowa 12mm zero-D on a Laowa Magic Shift Converter. The latter produces the same 17mm focal length after the crop factor.
The Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
This lens was a favorite of mine before I gave up my Canon DSLR. I used the first generation of the Tamron SP 15-30mm for over 5 years and never even thought of letting it go until I started to transition into mirrorless. While there are similar lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f/4 and f/2.8 GM, this lens was definitely not as expensive and it may very well be due to the extra 3 millimeters on the wide end.
Tamron has, of course, produced the 17-28mm as the ultra-wide angle lens for their full frame mirrorless zoom lens trinity but I’ve always said this about Tamron’s current lenses: I know there’s more coming. Just by looking at what Tamron has released for the Sony full frame mirrorless system, I believe they’re developing or at least are planning to develop premium glass versions of what they have now. Don’t get me wrong, their lenses are a favoring among many Sony a7 camera users but after first hand experience with their SP lenses, I know that the brand can and will produce more premium stuff and definitely ones with vibration compensation this time around.
Basically Any of the Full Frame Fisheye Lenses
Lenses have been going wider and wider and with even less distortion than what we’re used to. In the recent weeks, I’ve reviewed Laowa’s 10-18mm and 9mm for full frame mirrorless cameras and they are quite impressive. However, there are still many photographers who love the effect of fisheye lenses for that extra dash of creativity. Right now, the only available options for mirrorless cameras are the old DSLR lenses mounted with an adapter. Now, maybe it’s time to see some newer and maybe even lighter fisheye lenses to mount directly on the mirrorless cameras. If we’re lucky they might come automatically with rear filter slots or drop-in filter slots to make things easier for us.
Now it’s your turn. Don’t think of the cost if it limits you. Don’t think of the limitation in lens engineering. Which lenses would you like to see updated for the newer cameras? Leave your answers in the comments. We don’t really know if any of the brands would consider them, but we can at least try.