Canon cuts back EF and EF-S lens ranges – Update

February 16, 2022

The Canon Japan website has confirmed that the total amount of available Canon EF lenses is now down to just 40, with all of the other previously available lenses listed in a ‘Discontinued Product Information’ part of the site.

Those 40 lenses listed by Canon Japan as current are 27 EF lenses, six EF-S lenses and seven EF-M lenses. On a page headed Products Discontinued by EF Lens the Canon Japan website lists 55 discontinued EF lenses, 14 EF-S lenses, one EF-M lens and three TS-E lenses, though it should be noted that some of these have been discontinued for some time.

UPDATE: 16 February 2022 – Canon replies on EF lens rumours

In the wake of the speculation about the future of Canon’s EF lens range Amateur Photographer contacted Canon UK to ask about the current discontinuation of EF and EF-S lenses and what plans Canon had for the future of the EF lens range. This was the response:

‘The reports stating that Canon has ended manufacturing of EF lenses are not true. While we are indeed expanding our line-up of RF lenses as the global market shifts toward mirrorless products, we continue to value our customers who use EF lenses. EF lenses may be attached to EOS R system cameras through the use of an adapter. Meanwhile, as the market continues to shift towards mirrorless products, it is a matter of course that there will be less user demand from customers for some EF lenses. Canon will consider its line-up of lenses according to customer needs.’

The story is only very slightly different with regards to current lens listings on the Canon UK website. Currently it is showing a total of 27 EF lenses, six EF-S lenses and eight EF-M lenses as being in stock and on sale. When Canon lists a product as being ‘discontinued’ it is effectively saying it is not making any more of them.

According to the website PetaPixel the Japanese photographer Kimio Tanaka took to the social media platform Twitter to tweet that he’d compared the availability of Canon EF prime lenses from 8 January to 10 February 2022… and that the number available had dropped from 21 optics down to nine. Many of these were already ‘low in stock’.

The 12 prime EF lenses that have been made ‘not available’ since 8 January 2022 are:

• The EF 14mm f.2.8L II USM

• The EF 20mm f.2.8 USM

• The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM

• The EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM

• The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

• The EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

• The EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

• The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

• The EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

• The EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM

• The EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM

• The EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM

An image from photographer Tanaka showing the EF prime lens range on 8 January 2002 (left) compared to the range on 10 February 20002. Previous 'low in stock' lenses are marked with red circles

An image from photographer Tanaka showing the EF prime lens range on 8 January 2002 (left) compared to the range on 10 February 20002. Previous ‘low in stock’ lenses are marked with red circles

Production shifts

The rapid discontinuation of EF and EF-S mount lenses appears to reflect the obvious shift of Canon from DSLR production to mirrorless camera production. Indeed, in January 2022 Canon’s CEO and Chairman, Fujio Mitarai, admitted that the EOS-1D X Mark III would be Canon’s last flagship DSLR camera.

However, Canon Japan didn’t rule out the possibility of more DSLRs being produced, stating, ‘Demand for beginner and intermediate SLR cameras is strong overseas, so we plan to continue development and production for the time being.’        

Related articles:

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III will be last flagship DSLR

Best Canon EF lenses to buy in 2022

Opinion: Why I only buy Canon DSLRs

Best EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs

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