Canon Clarifies Discontinuing 26 EF Lenses: ‘Series Optimization’

Over the last month, Canon has been reportedly discontinuing EF lenses as the company focuses on mirrorless. While most regions have been silent when questioned on the subject, Canon Australia has released a statement explaining that the process is more about optimization, not wholesale abandonment.

As reported by Inside Imaging, Canon Australia wanted to clarify that the discontinuation of lenses is not about abandoning DSLRs but removing redundancy. Below is the company’s full statement:

Canon has around 80 lens options for creators to choose from – only 22 of which are RF at this time. Over the past two years, we’ve been focused on building out our range of RF lenses to expand the creative possibilities of our R-System consumers, however our commitment to supporting our EF lens range is unwavering. It’s true, Canon has recently discontinued select EF lenses in our range, however this is a process of series optimization, not an indication of us abandoning EF lenses. Lenses that have been recently discontinued are lenses that have multiple versions available; comprise technology that’s been superseded by other available options; or, are low volume lenses. There are still many options for creators to choose from in our EF range, while our RF range continues to expand.

As noted earlier in April, Canon has already discontinued a long list of EF lenses:

Additionally, Inside Imaging confirms the initial report that four more are slated to be discontinued “sometime in 2021:” EF 35mm f/2 IS USM, EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM II, EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM II, and the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM II.

As noted previously, calling a lens “discontinued” does not necessarily mean it will no longer be available (but is sometimes the case as several of the lenses on the list are listed as no longer purchasable by dealers), but that Canon is no longer actively producing the lenses. In many cases, the available inventory of these lenses is enough to sustain demand for some time and Canon will assuredly continue to service them for years to come. It is not hard to purchase any Canon EF lens right now, and Canon likely is able to cease production of the lenses after gauging that the market is saturated enough with them that it can now focus on the production of RF lenses moving forward.

Canon Australia clarifies that there are still a lot of options for EF-mount photographers available not even counting the long list of lenses that are slated to cease production. Canon has a limited manufacturing capacity, so halting the production of lenses that either have low demand or have high available stock internationally in order to allow the company to produce new RF lenses that do not have nearly that same availability makes a lot of sense.