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The Canon RF and EF mount differences?

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The Canon RF and EF mount lenses are designed for different types of camera systems within the Canon ecosystem. Here’s a comparison of the two:

Canon RF Mount Lenses

  • Compatibility: RF mount lenses are designed for Canon’s EOS R series of mirrorless cameras. This includes models like the EOS R, EOS RP, EOS R5, and EOS R6.
  • Design and Technology: Being newer, RF lenses often incorporate more advanced technology and optical designs. They are designed to take advantage of the shorter flange distance of mirrorless cameras, which can result in better image quality and more compact lens designs.
  • Performance: RF lenses generally offer superior performance in terms of autofocus speed, image stabilization, and optical quality, due to the latest lens technologies and design optimizations.
  • Variety and Price: As a newer system, the RF lineup is still growing. The lenses tend to be more expensive due to the advanced technology and superior performance they offer.

Canon EF Mount Lenses

  • Compatibility: EF mount lenses are designed for Canon’s EOS series of DSLR cameras. This includes a wide range of full-frame and APS-C models. With an adapter, they can also be used on EOS R series mirrorless cameras.
  • Design and Technology: EF lenses have been around since 1987, benefiting from decades of optical design advancements. While they are highly capable, the inherent design constraints of fitting DSLR systems mean they might not exploit the full potential of mirrorless camera bodies without an adapter.
  • Performance: EF lenses offer excellent performance and have been the choice of professionals and enthusiasts for years. However, when adapted to use on RF-mount systems, there might be slight compromises in autofocus speed compared to native RF lenses.
  • Variety and Price: There is a vast selection of EF lenses available, covering almost every photographic need. The prices range widely, offering options for budget-conscious photographers as well as high-end professionals. Used and third-party market for EF lenses is also more robust due to their longer time in the market.

Key Differences

  • Mount and Compatibility: RF lenses are for mirrorless cameras, EF lenses are for DSLRs but can be adapted for mirrorless.
  • Technological Edge: RF lenses typically feature more advanced technology for superior performance, particularly in autofocus and optical quality.
  • Price and Selection: EF lenses offer a wider selection and generally more affordable prices, especially in the used market.

When choosing between RF and EF mount lenses, consider your camera body, budget, and specific photography needs. If you’re invested in the Canon mirrorless ecosystem, RF lenses will provide the best performance. If you’re using a Canon DSLR or looking for a wider range of price points and options, EF lenses remain a compelling choice, with the added flexibility of being adaptable to mirrorless bodies.


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