Especially for those of following the camera industry for many years, the lack of third-party autofocus lenses for the Canon RF mount seems unusual.
We expected to, minimally, have RF-mount AF lenses from the big lens companies like Sigma and Tamron by now. In talking to marketing reps at these companies, no comments were provided, though I (and likely everyone else) sense a strong desire to have products in this market.
Another data point is that the RF-mount version of the Rokinon (Samyang) AF 14mm F2.8 Lens (the mount versioned reviewed here) has gone missing. Also, there are no other brand RF-mount AF lenses available at B&H.
A statement German Photografix Magazine attributes to Canon Germany confirms what many of us were thinking:
"SHENZHEN JUEYING TECHNOLOGY CO.LTD, manufactures auto focus lenses for Canon RF mount under the brand name “Viltrox”. Canon believes that these products infringe their patent and design rights and has therefore requested the company to stop all activities that infringe Canon’s intellectual property rights."
That statement provides an improved understanding of where the third-party RF mount AF lens market currently stands. However, it does not tell us what the future holds.
Will Canon begin disclosing the RF mount specifications under licensing agreements? That is the position Sony is currently taking (and likely profiting from). Or, will the RF mount remain a protected, proprietary, closed system?