The Best Small Weather Sealed Prime Lenses to Adapt to the New Canon EOS R

Canon took to the stage earlier this week to announce their new full frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R. The EOS R will be able to use current EF mount lenses via an adapter, which will no doubt please many who have long been invested in Canon’s ecosystem.

While the new RF mount lenses look and sound amazing, early adopters will be disappointed with the low amount of native RF mount lenses on offer, especially when it comes to primes. Thanks to the adapter, photographers can use their current arsenal of lenses, or they can buy more EF mount glass to use on the new Mirrorless body. Here’s a look at the best small, weather sealed, prime lenses to adapt to the Canon EOS R.

IRIX 11mm F4 Blackstone


If you like super wide angle lenses, but are bummed that there were none announced with the new native RF mount, you’ll be hard pressed to beat the IRIX 11mm f4 Blackstone. The lens has got fantastic build quality thanks to its all metal build and weather sealing, and the images it produces are sharp from edge to edge.

In our review we said:

“When you use the IRIX 11mm f4 Blackstone lens, you’ll realize that it’s pretty difficult to get a bad photo with it. Like pretty much every lens on the market, it’s got good image quality and there is very little to discredit it with when it comes to the image quality.” 

The IRIX 11mm f4 is a manual focus lens, but it’s incredibly easy to use. With the EOS R you can enable focus peeking mode to nail focus, or you can just set the lens to infinity and know that unless objects are really close to you, everything will be in focus.  The front element on the IRIX is huge and unable to take a filter, but thanks to a great design feature, users can drop in filters by the camera mount. If you want to go really wide with your new Canon EOS R, check out this lens from IRIX.

Buy it now $595. Amazon


IRIX 11mm F4 Sample Images



Pro Tip: Be sure to grab this ND Filter set for the IRIX 11mm f4 Blackstone.


Sigma 14mm DG HSM F1.8 Art


If you need a wide angle lens that is a little faster when it comes to aperture, the Sigma 14mm f1.8 is a fine choice to adapt to the EOS R. As we have all come to expect from Sigma’s Art series, this lens is beautiful in just about every way. Excellent build quality is a given, and weather sealing is a welcome feature. Inside the lens there are 16 elements in 11 groups, and nine rounded aperture blades which all help produce the overall excellent image quality.

In our review we said:

“The Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art is a fantastic lens is every single way. I’ve got pretty much no issues at all with its image quality. As far as sharpness, colors, and overall image quality go, this lens can’t be beat.

The Sigma 14mm f1.8 is firm fan favorite within the astrophotography world thanks to its sharpness and low levels of chromatic aberration. The lens is fast to focus thanks to the quiet HSM motor, and the bokeh the lens can produce is about as nice as you can get from such a wide angle lens. If you need a wide angle lens with outstanding low light performance for your new EOS R, check out the Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art.

Buy it now $1,409. Amazon


Sigma 14mm DG HSM F1.8 Art Image Samples




Pro Tip: Add another layer of protection to your gear with this waterproof shoulder bag.



Tamron 35mm F1.8 Di VC


Like Sigma, Tamron have been producing some great quality lenses over the last few years, and the great news is that quality doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. The Tamron 35mm f1.8 is a fantastic lens for the price. The lens features 10 elements in nine groups, and has nine rounded diaphragm blades which can produce eye pleasing bokeh. As with a lot of Tamron lenses, the build quality is of a very high quality, and the weather sealing means you can take this lens out into the elements without having to worry about anything.

In our review we said:

“This lens has the absolute best exterior texture I’ve ever felt. Zeiss, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma–nothing can compare to this. It just feels so soft and elegant, yet I know for a fact that it can take a beating. This lens has weather sealing and at a $599 price point, who can beat that for a DSLR lens?”

A fast focusing, well built 35mm lens with a maximum aperture of f1.8 should cost a lot more than Tamron’s asking price. When your throw in great overall image quality, and Tamron’s six year warranty, it’s clear to see why this lens would be perfect to adapt to the Canon EOS R.

Buy it now $599. Amazon


Tamron 35mm F1.8 Di VC Image Samples



Pro Tip: Keep your cameras sensor in tip top shape with this cleaning kit.


Canon EF 35mm F1.4 L II USM


Canon’s own L series of lenses are hard to beat when it comes to overall build and image quality, and the Canon 35mm f1.4 L II USM is no exception to this rule. If you absolutely must have a Canon L series lens in this focal length you will not be disappointed. The 35mm f1.4 L II features a nice textured finish on it’s metal body, and Canon’s legendary weather sealing is in tow, unlike the 35mm offering from Sigma. Image quality is hard to beat thanks to the fantastic optics (14 elements, in 11 groups, with nine rounded aperture blades) that Canon uses in their L series line of lenses.

In our review we said:

“Let’s be very concrete here for a second: this is a bloody fantastic lens. The Canon 35mm f1.4 II L USM can render great image quality, beautiful bokeh, and will most likely appeal to the photographer that is smitten with Kodak Portra or Fujifilm Astia.”

While there is a 35mm STM lens with Canon’s new RF Mount, it does not offer weather sealing, and it is not an L series lens. If you demand the absolute best, the 35mm f1.4 II L USM will fill in the prime gap when it comes to the RF mount line up. If you already own this lens, or plan to buy it and adapt it to the EOS R, you will enjoy fast focusing, outstanding build quality, amazing image quality, and some of the best weather sealing around.

Buy it now $1,699. Amazon


Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM Sample Images



Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t get caught out with failing memory cards. Stock up and be safe out in the field with these quality SD cards.


Tamron 45mm F1.8 Di VC


When Canon announced the four RF mount lenses that will accompany the EOS R, many were hoping for an affordable weather sealed 50mm lens, but unfortunately they did not deliver. The Tamron 45mm is pretty darn close to the 50mm sweet spot. It’s weather sealed, and comes at a price that won’t sound the alarm at your local bank. The 45mm f1.8 Di VC sports 10 elements in nine groups, with nine aperture blades, all housed in a metal body.

In our review we said:

“It’s got image stabilization, nine aperture blades, weather sealing, an affordable price, and can deliver good image quality to the user. Plus, it’s got a metal build to it, is lightweight and just looks good. In the right situations, it’s very sharp and the lens renders images to be really beautiful.” 

The Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC is image stabilized which is impressive for a lens at this price point. The lens focuses fast and should have no problem with the new autofocus system in the EOS R. Overall image quality is good, as is color reproduction. While you shouldn’t expect the world from this lens, for what it is, it’s pretty darn great, and it will plug the gap in the RF mount line up nicely.

Buy it now $379. Amazon


Tamron 45mm F1.8 Di VC Image Samples



Pro Tip: A quality camera strap can go a long way when it comes to comfort during a long shoot. Use a comfortable camera sling instead of standard neck straps.


Zeiss 85mm F1.4 Milvus

If you are a portrait shooter and plan on switching over to the new EOS R you will be needing a high quality 85mm lens to adapt, and there are few that can match the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Milvus. While it is one of the most expensive lenses listed here, if you are serious about creating the highest quality images you can, this lens is the one to adapt using the EF to RF mount adapter.

In our review we said:

“Zeiss has always done incredible portrait lenses and this one is no exception. It’s super sharp wide open and you may never even need to stop it down. It renders beautiful image quality with solid color performance, no fringing and it even features weather sealing.”

Zeiss is no stranger to quality and the 85mm Milvus carries on that tradition. The lens has a build quality that beggars belief, and weather sealing that will keep it safe no matter what mother nature throws at it. The Zeiss features 11 elements in nine groups, seven of those being anomalous partial dispersion elements. The glass is also covered in the Zeiss T anti reflective coating. All of this adds up to produce wonderful, sharp images with excellent color reproduction. If you plan on using the EOS R as a primary camera for portraits, then this lens is a no-brainer when it come to adapting to the new RF mount.

Buy it now $1,760.29. Amazon


Zeiss 85mm F1.4 Milvus Image Samples







Pro Tip: Keep your lenses in excellent shape. Clean up smudges and dust with this Zeiss lens cleaning kit


Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art


The Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art is another marvel of engineering from the company and should definitely be a prime that you should convert to use with the EOS R, especially if you are a portrait shooter or a concert photographer. This lens pretty much has it all. Incredible Sigma build quality we have all come to love, great ergonomics, and simply outstanding image quality.

In our review we said:

“The Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens is really incredible when it comes to image quality. Like many of the other art lenses, there isn’t a whole lot to complain about. The bokeh of the Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens is arguably the best of any Sigma prime lens designated for portraiture. At all times it is very creamy. Then when you consider how close this lens can focus, it’s no contest.

The maximum aperture of f1.8 means this lens can focus in very low light which makes it great for wedding photographers, concert photographers, and event photographers who don’t always have the best conditions to complete their work in. The weather sealing is very good and will hold up well to rain, snow, dust, and anything else that can be thrown at it. This lens can focus incredibly fast and will pair very well with the 5,655 auto focus points in the EOS R. When it comes to telephoto primes that have a small form factor, it is hard to pass by the Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art.

Buy it now $1,149. Amazon


Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Image Samples



Are you planning to buy the Canon EOS R? What small, weather sealed primes would you adapt? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.