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Thread: "Classic" EF Lenses

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    "Classic" EF Lenses

    Hi Everyone...

    Just gathering thoughts. But I have finally dipped my toe into the RF lens lineup. As my EF lens kit was a bit oddly constructed in some ways as I built it over time, I had wanted to wait until around now, 2024-2025, until the RF lens lineup was more developed, to start settling in on a RF kit.

    That said, I plan to continue with mostly an EF kit for the foreseeable future. But I am likely starting a transitional period where more and more RF lenses enter my kit.

    This has me wondering, which EF lenses are distinctive enough that I should hold onto no matter what, in other words are true classics? Or does such a thing really exist and kits should populated with functional/needed lenses?

  2. #2
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    There are certainly some EF lenses for which there is no RF analog. I will be keeping my TS-E 17/24 and my MP-E 65, and we'll see when/if Canon offers something in RF to replace them.

    Of lenses where there's overlap, I personally don't see many (if any) cases where the EF version is a 'classic' worth keeping because of that. But there may be some, for some people. For example, the RF 100-300/2.8 is a great lens and seems to be Canon's 'replacement' for the EF 300/2.8 II, but it's much bigger than the EF prime and for some that size increase may be problematic. The rumored RF 200-500/4 is likely to be the size (based on the published patent applications) of the EF 600/4 III, and for some people that will be too much.

    OTOH, I can also see many cases where the RF version doesn't offer sufficiently compelling advantages to justify the cost of upgrading. I thought that about the RF 100/2.8 Macro (I don't need 1.4x since I have the MP-E, and there is the focus shift issue). But I succumbed to temptation on a good deal, and I found the focus shift to be a non-issue. Likewise, I had little interest in the RF 10-20/4 since I have the 11-24/4 and sometimes use filters in the adapter (front filtering the 11-24 is possible but a PITA). However, the much smaller size and lower weight of the RF 10-20/4 is a big advantage, as I directly noticed when packing the 11-24 for a recent trip. I now plan to get the 10-20/4 before I go to the Swiss Alps in early summer.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Thanks John.

    In terms of image making, which is the fundamental point, I think your breakdown is spot on. I've been particularly impressed with the 100-300 f/2.8, especially how well it seems to take extenders. While expensive, it is essentially a 140-420 f/4 and it seems to even be a very good 200-600 f/5.6 lens.

    After 2024, I think the RF lineup will be mostly, if not completely "mature", and perhaps it is now. I have been waiting to see what special lenses they come up with, how they put their supercomputer to use in lens design. And, they have not disappointed. We are at 18 prime lenses, 20 if you count TCs, and 21 zoom lenses. So, 39-41 lenses. Pretty amazing really. The RF 24-105 f/2.8 and RF 200-800 filled niches for me enough I pulled the trigger on them even though I am just hitting my planned window of considering my RF lens kit construction.

    First announced in September 2018, ~40 lenses in just over 5 years, they are basically announcing 8 new lenses a year. In 2024, I am hopeful to see the 500 f/4 replacement, likely the 200-500 f/4 you mentioned. Also, hopefully a f/2 "portrait zoom" (50-150, 70-150, etc) and something for astro, UWA f/1.4 or f/2 lens. In terms of what I want for Canon to round out the RF lens lineup, a RF 70-300L (although that may effectively be the RF 100-400 non-L), and a lightweight FF general purpose zoom would be nice.

    In terms of EF, I am planning to start drawing down. It will be easiest to look at lenses I do not use much or at all. The Sigma 150-600S, EF 40 f/2.8, Rokinon 14 f/2.8 and sadly, the TSE 24 f/3.5 II are not used at all.

    I think I will be using two definitions of "classic": 1) lenses that I want to have when I re-experience OVFs and DSLRs and 2) Lenses that in 15-20 years, I will wish I held onto them. Ultimately, I want a pretty "tight" lens kit, tighter that what I have now, but I will keep a few lenses around for the sake of it. Maybe 3-4.

    I am definitely keeping my EF 24-70 II. As I have the 5DIV, I'll always have it. As an example of a lens I may keep as I view it as a classic, the EF 70-200 f/2.8 II. I have been debating about as I have in a way already replaced it with the EF 85 f/1.4 as my go-to portrait lens and now the RF 24-105 f/2.8. But, if I pull out the 5DIV, I can see wanting to have the EF 70-200 II.

    I am starting to envision a pretty simple RF lens kit. Perhaps the RF 16 f/2.8, RF 24-105 f/2.8, and then the RF 200-800 for wildlife and RF 100-400 for travel. Or, just the RF 100-500 instead of the other teles. Everything else, use a trimmed down EF lens kit, but occasionally adding a special RF lens, like say a 200-500 f/4, 50-150 f/2, or an amazing nightscape lens, if they ever come out.

    Anyways...off to play with the 1.4TC and 200-800. See if 1120 mm of reach is really something.

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