For several years I've been collecting information and links for Canon's new EF lenses and rumours about even newer ones. I've also written numerous articles and reviews covering lenses and photography related issues.
Over the years I've received all kinds of lens rumour info - some more believable/risible than others. Please do use your own judgement when reading the stuff here, and remember that what I've collected here is for entertainment as much as anything else. Oh, and that 42mm f1.0 lens that you can see at the right is a fake...
The chronology, filter sizes and date codes articles are on our EFLens.com site.
23rd A new Canon 25-125mm F2.8 patent appears, but only for a cinema lens (Super35 which is similar to the old 1D APS-H size) [EG-Goog xlt]
Compare the size gradation of the first few elements with some of the designs below (such as the 24-300). Note how keeping f/2.8 right to the long end of the focal range needs much bigger lens elements towards the front. There are a few other factors that come in with cine lens design, few of which keep the price down...
20th A new focal range for Canon with a 20-45mm F2.8-4 patent. [EG-Goog xlt]
Given that it's not far off, this could be seen as a 17-40 replacement, although as I've said before, look at lens patents as the overall lens design, not just the example focal lengths.
19th Hints of a new 16-35mm to come with one of Canons higher end announcements next year [CR]
16th Updates for EF-S lenses? 10-22 3.5-4.5 (2004) and the 17-55 2.8 (2006) could do with a makeover, but I suspect they won't be cheap [CR]
16th Sigma announce the 20/1.4 [info at B&H $899 preorder]
Shipping in November.
15th Zeiss add a 28mm f/1.4 lens to the Otus range
"The ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 ZF.2 and ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 ZE will be available worldwide starting in the second quarter of 2016. The lens shade is included with delivery. The retail sales price is unknown to date."
Meanwhile, a far more useful (IMHO) Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG Art is due this week
Lens construction: 15 elements / 11 groups
One large-diameter aspherical element
Two FLD elements and five SLD elements to best correct chromatic aberrations
In-lens HSM autofocus motor. New mechanism for full-time manual override in autofocus mode
Total length: 129.8mm
Maximum diameter: 90.7mm
9 diaphragm blades, rounded
Maximum magnification: 1:7.1 (0.14x)
It seems that at ~1kg for a 28mm lens, camera makers have finally decided that there is a market for huge glass. Keep one of these and a Canon 11-24 (~1.2kg) in your bag and a sturdy assistant becomes ever more useful. My standard lens bag for architectural work is already rather heavy already at ~4.3kg or just under 10 lbs
(8-15, 11-24, ts-e17, ts-e24, 24-70)
13th The EOS M10 is launched with an EF-M 15–45mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM lens [EFLens]
Focal length 15–45 mm
Image stab. Yes (3.5 stops)
Lens mount Canon EF-M
Max aperture F3.5 - F6.3
Min aperture F22.0 - F40.0
Min focus 0.25 m (9.84″)
Weight 130 g (0.29 lb)
Length 45 mm (1.77″)
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The front meniscus element is reminiscent of the internal focusing 50/1.4 patent from July (below). There are a whole load more Canon ~50/1.4 patents from July 2014
28th An updated 70-200L is suggested [CR] - more likely an update for the F4 version?
24th Useful Canon/Sigma comparisons at 35mm f/1.4 [LR]
"...the new [Canon] lens is significantly better than the original 35mm f/1.4, particularly in the edges and the corners. The difference is pretty significant and should be apparent in most photographs. That, of course, only tells you about the MTF."
21st A new Canon patent [EG-Goog xlt] for an EF-S 9-20mm f / 4.5-5.6 IS STM
This would seem to be a slightly wider version of the EF-S10-18 [review], which I've got on my 100D
Samyang (Rokinnon) announce a couple of lenses for mirrorless, for Canon EF-M mount, Sony E-mount, Fujifilm X-mount, Micro Four Thirds mount.
Not sure how convinced I am for using manual focus wide aperture lenses like this on mirrorless, perhaps I need to wait for a new EOS-M to see...
15th There are a few lenses that have been a staple of the lens rumour pages for a long while - well, the 100-400 and 35/1.4 are real... Now the 24-70 2.8L IS makes a return [CR]
Given my habit of using the 24-70 hand held on a 5Ds, I suppose this is a lens I'd look at - and just when I was getting used to the light weight of the 5Ds
13th Any 120MP camera is at least a couple of years away [CR] but we could well see some new lenses appearing sooner with it in mind.
We're already starting to see more evidence of the huge improvements in optical design and manufacturing technologies that have taken place in the last few years.
Some great lenses have been designed (and prototyped) in the past, but never produced, for economic reasons.
With better quality (and more economical to produce) aspherical optics and the use of new glasses and coatings, it's not surprising that many lens designs are getting a significant makeover, rather than 'update'.
Looking at the timeline on EFLens.com, there are plenty to choose from:
Of course when an update is 'new' and when it is 'MkII' is as much a marketing decision as optical... ;-)
10th New Zeiss lenses announced for those fed up with autofocus...
(more info at B&H or Adorama just in case you have a pile of spare cash and fancied making a donation to the running and development of this site ;-)
The new ZEISS Milvus SLR lens family contains six focal lengths with ZE or ZF.2 mounts for DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon1. The ZEISS Milvus lens family with precise manual focus offers high and consistent image performance across all focal lengths. The new lenses are the ZEISS answer to the current trend toward sensors with increasingly high resolution which, in turn, require higher and higher image quality. They are therefore ideal for current DSLR cameras and also for mirrorless system cameras of the Sony α7 series via an adapter solution and offer the customer excellent value for the money for professional applications. An equally important benefit: their high contrast rendition and low level of stray light ensure that the lenses meet the latest video standards such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and resolutions of 6K and more. For the user, they open up the field of professional video and cine applications. The ZEISS Milvus lenses will be delivered to dealers in October 2015.
Diversity of focal lengths for wide spectrum of applications
With its diversity of focal lengths, the ZEISS Milvus lens family covers many of the photographer’s important fields of application where the benefits of manual focus lenses can be optimally utilized. “We want to provide users with the freedom to use the focus position as an artistic tool because it is one of the most important creative possibilities available to photographers,” Christophe Casenave, Product Manager for ZEISS Camera Lenses, emphasizes. The ZEISS Milvus lenses are therefore targeted at all owners of a high-resolution DSLR camera, offering them considerable added value. They are also suitable for photographers who have specialized in applications which the six focal lengths optimally support, e.g. portrait, landscape and macro photography.
The ZEISS Milvus lens family will initially consist of the following six focal lengths: ZEISS Milvus 2.8/21, ZEISS Milvus 2/35, ZEISS Milvus 1.4/50, ZEISS Milvus 1.4/85 as well as the two macro lenses ZEISS Milvus 2/50M and ZEISS Milvus 2/100M. Further focal lengths will be added to the ZEISS Milvus lens family over the next few years. “With this diversity of extremely high-quality SLR lenses, we are underscoring that, with our Milvus lenses, we can supply the right focal length for almost any application or personal preference,” Casenave says.
Modern product design
The ZEISS Milvus lenses continue the award-winning ZEISS product design already featured in the ZEISS Otus lenses. The advanced design ensures excellent image performance and outstanding ergonomic convenience. The easy-grip focus ring enables precise manual focusing for highly precise photography. The robust all-metal barrel of the ZEISS Milvus lenses guarantees many years of reliable use. They are protected against dust and spray water. The robust metal lens shade is an integral part of the overall product design and is a standard feature of all ZEISS Milvus lenses on delivery.
Fully compatible with DSLR cameras
The ZEISS Milvus lenses support all important operating modes of DSLR cameras (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority and program modes, as well as manual time and exposure settings) The ZEISS Milvus lenses feature an interface that transmits the lens data to the camera (e.g. focal length, set aperture etc.). This information is saved to the photo’s EXIF data.
Features for demanding users
“The excellent image performance of the ZEISS Milvus lenses, also in difficult light conditions, is sharply focused on the requirements of current and future high-performance digital cameras,” says Casenave. The lenses offer a harmonious bokeh and excellent reflection reduction thanks to T*® anti-reflective coating from ZEISS. The further optimization of the lens coating reduces ghosting, flare and shading effects in critical light situations. All ZEISS Milvus lenses have a Floating Elements Design which compensates for aberrations at different distance settings. This is achieved by varying the axial distance between individual lens elements or groups. The adjustment of the distance between elements is coupled to the distance setting so that this always results in the right correction.
4th Canon patent for an EF-S 15-53 F2.8-4 [EG-Goog xlt]
The Mk3 version of the EF16-35 2.8L seems likely [CR] although several others are mentioned.
I've been hearing about new tilt/shift lenses and 'something special' for a while now - so long in fact, that I've almost been tempted to move them into the same category that the 100-400 replacement lived in for many years ;-)
28th Whilst only theoretical, the differences between the new and old 35mm f1.4L lens MTF charts are striking.
All information we find about this lens will appear on the EFLens.com site: EF35mm f1.4L II If you've not seen the site, it has info on all EF mount lenses, and articles about things such as date codes and filter sizes.
EF35 F1.4L II announced
MELVILLE, N.Y, August 27, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., has developed Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR), a new optical element for use in camera lenses that corrects chromatic aberrations at an extremely high level to achieve superb imaging performance.
The new Canon-developed BR optical element offers characteristics that significantly refract blue light, which lies within the short-wavelength range, to achieve impressive levels of chromatic aberration correction for outstanding imaging performance. The BR optical element, positioned between two glass lens elements to create a BR lens, will make its debut in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM wide-angle fixed-focal-length lens, which is scheduled to go on sale in October 2015.
Natural light, or white light, comprises a spectrum of wavelengths, or colors, each of which realizes a unique refractive index when passing through a lens. As all colors do not converge on the same point, this disparity causes chromatic aberrations, or color fringing, to occur in an image.
Canon develops optical elements by reviewing organic optical materials, beginning with the design of molecular structures, with the aim of achieving optimal chromatic aberration correction that suppresses color fringing. With the successful development of the BR optical element, which offers unique light-dispersion characteristics that significantly refract blue light—a wavelength that, until now, had proven particularly difficult to converge to a specific focal point—Canon is able to develop lenses that result in outstanding imaging performance by correcting chromatic aberrations at an exceptionally high level.
The BR element is probably the most significant new technical feature. Testing will show the differences...
BR (blue spectrum refractive optics), 2 aspherical, 1 Super UD elements + fluorine coating
0.28 m (11.02″)
Full time manual
760 g (1.68 lb
80 mm (3.15″)
106 mm (4.17″)
26th A bit more info about the 35/1.4 mk2
"The lens should start shipping in the middle of October 2015.
New manufacturing techniques used for the aspherical elements.
The BR Lens is 'Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics'. Which will refract the light differently in the blue spectrum. Reduces chromatic aberrations.
New techniques used for weather and dust sealing, as well as increased resistance to impact."
25th A new Canon patent for a tilt/shift adapter that works with any EF lens appears.
There is an article about it at PB. They also have the PDF of the patent.
Looking at the patent, I believe that they have misunderstood how it would work, at PB.
Without any optical elements, you cannot put such an adapter between a normal EF lens and an EOS dslr body and still retain normal working.
This adapter, as described, could work with an EOS-M body.
It says as much in the opening paragraph of the patent.
It is also relevant to the design of future TS-E lenses where the motorised tilt/shift and other functions in the patent, could be incorporated into the lens mount.
Lens construction: 14 elements, 11 groups
2 aspherical lenses (1 ground aspherical and 1 large diameter glass molded aspherical)
One UD lens
One BR lens
9 blade diaphragm(circular aperture)
Minimum focusing distance of 0.28m.
Maximum magnification is 0.21x
Dust and water resistant
Filter diameter: 72mm
Total length: 105.5mm
Maximum diameter: 80.4mm
21st Canon patent for an EF 100-300mm F4-5.6 IS [EG-Goog xlt]
The previous EF100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM dates from 1990 (info at EFLens) and is one of Canon's longer lasting zooms, although I'd imagine that no new ones have been produced for a while.
There were a couple of 100-300 5.6 lenses (L and non L)
Looks to be an essentially new lens for Canon users not wanting to dip deep into their pockets for an 'L' zoom.
However, in the Egami link, it's also referred to as EF-S. There are no long EF-S lenses, but perhaps this is a bigger version of the 55-250? which has appeared in three versions so far.
20th Interesting tear-down of Zeis 85 and Xeen 85 cine lenses [LR]
It seems that cine lenses get a lot rougher treatment than photo lenses and are built for it
16th Canon patent for a 10-120mm f/1.8 lens for 1" sensor [EG-Goog xlt]
The large distance behind the last element suggests that the block at the end might be a beam splitter for broadcast camera use (3 sensors).
13th Three more Xeen cine lenses next year? [DH-Goog xlt]
12th Another Canon cine lens patent for a CN-E20-100 and 20-120 [EG-Goog xlt]
11th In July there was an 600/4 DO patent - seems like ther might eventually be an 800/5.6 DO [CR]
10th Samyang/Rokinon launch a new line (XEEN) of Cine lenses in EF, PL, F, E and M4/3 mounts.
After my recent 5Ds testing, not an expense I'll be thinking of incurring.
26th Given the reception for Sigma's 'Art' lenses, it's no surprise that more will be on their way.
A suggestion that we may get another announced this year [CR]
21st Suggestions that a fast 'L' zoom is due after the 35mm - but no timescale [CR]
The 16-35 could well be due for a performance (price) boost who knows, maybe a 2.8 lens with IS
20th A new Canon patent for a 600mm f/4 Diffractive Optics (DO) lens [EG-Goog xlt]
19th A suggested $1699 price for the 35/1.4 mk2 [CR]
15th Two new lenses on the way from Canon, one long expected, one less so
EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM
The information supposedly comes from a certification list in Russia [PR]
8th Canon celebrate a big pile of lenses:
"MELVILLE N.Y., July 8, 2015 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., will celebrate the achievement of a new lens-manufacturing milestone with the production of the Company’s 110-millionth EF-series interchangeable lens for Canon EOS cameras on June 22, 2015 -an EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ultra-wide-angle interchangeable zoom lens..."
EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x
TS-E 17mm f/4L
TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II
EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF 35mm f/2 IS USM
EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
EF 50mm f/1.8 II
EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro
EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
TS-E 90mm f/2.8
EF 100mm f/2 USM
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
EF 135mm f/2.0L USM
EF 200mm f/2L II USM
EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM
EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM
EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
The list does raise a few questions - the missing TS-E45 reflects its age and that whilst quite good, it doesn't match the quality of the 17/24/90
"London, UK, 11 May 2015 – Canon today unveils the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, a new prime lens that enables you to capture images with subjects that pop from the scene, or create impact with beautiful background blur. The successor to the incredibly popular EF 50mm f/1.8 II, and an ideal second lens for anyone looking to take their photography to the next level, the EF 50mm F/1.8 STM excels at portraiture, low-light photography, and adding an artistic edge to everyday objects and settings, thanks to its wide f/1.8 maximum aperture and 50mm focal length.
The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM now features an improved design, Canon’s super spectra lens coating, a 7-blade aperture and STM technology for smooth, near silent focusing. Compact, lightweight and affordable, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a welcome addition to any kit bag for people who want to create more impactful imagery.
Explore creative portraiture and low-light photography
It’s easy to capture superb portraits, or bold, artistic photos and movies with the new lens – the wide f/1.8 maximum aperture provides precise control over depth of field. It gives you the creative freedom to pinpoint focus on your subject and let the rest of the frame blend into a smooth blur – instantly allowing you to draw the viewer’s attention to a specific area. Additionally, the aperture lets more light into the lens, so you can comfortably shoot in darker conditions.
As a prime lens, the fixed 50mm focal length provides high quality results, with enhanced visible sharpness and contrast. When paired with an APS-C EOS DSLR, the lens is ideal for portraiture, helping you capture the perfect head and shoulder composition. It’s also a useful every day ‘standard’ lens for full frame DSLRs and is great at shooting a diverse range of subjects with a natural viewpoint and perspective.
The lens also provides a minimum focusing distance of just 0.35m, allowing you to get even closer to subjects and achieve a greater level of magnification, while the 7-blade aperture delivers beautiful blur and out of focus highlights. Providing enhanced image quality when compared to its predecessor, the lens features Canon’s Super Spectra Coating, which minimises internal reflections, as well as ghosting and flare.
The lens has a compact and lightweight design, weighing a mere 160g, and easily slips into your bag adding very little to the overall weight of your kit. The lens’s new external design compliments both Canon’s consumer and mid-range EOS DSLRs, while the new metal mount provides a more robust connection to camera bodies. Additionally, the lens’s manual focusing ring gives you added freedom to control the precise area in focus in your photos and movies."
Macro Telephoto Manual Focus Lens
High refractive (HR) and extra low dispersion lens (ED)
Ultra Multi Coating (UMC) technology of Samyang Optics
Circular aperture with 9 blades
Available for 10 camera mounts: Canon EOS, Nikon AE, Pentax K, Sony ∝, Canon M, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX, Sony E, FT, MFT.
31st We're told [thanks] that both of Canon's 'old' shift lenses (45mm and 90mm) have been pushed up the refresh list to go with the 5Ds/R, but that glass supplies (more exotic types) are limiting the introduction of a whole load of new top end lenses. Canon has new manufacturing capacity, but optical glass making still takes a lot of time and is not just something you can just quickly ramp up.
I still don't think we'll see these lenses updated this year, there are far bigger selling options that could do with modernising.
I've just written a review of the Piccure+ plugin and have to say that it works a treat. The sharpening it offers is not profile based so works very well with images from my TS-E17 just as well as the EF11-24.
At several minutes per image it isn't fast but is capable of a style of detail extraction that I've not seen before. It's changed aspects of my large print workflow from RAW processing through to print sharpening.
24th a 100/2.8 Macro is suggested [CR] from Samyang - sounds a bit pricey (~$800)
4th New lens rumours have gone a bit flat lately, after the 100-400 (rumoured for years) finally appeared. The 35/1.4 is probably next on the 'long expected' list ('expected' just after the new 24/1.4 II appeared in 2008).
The next 'L' won't be along for a while and is said to be a prime [CR]
Although not one I'd necessarily look to get, to add to the group below, the TS-E45 looks increasingly out of date (1991 launch), particularly once the 5Ds arrives. It's a lens, that with today's lens technology, could be astonishinly good.
3rd A few more 11-24 updates.
1st The 11-24 is a sharp lens - I'm updating the EF11-24 page with samples and info as I get them. Please make use of the comments section on the page if you've any specific things you like info on. I hope to have a full review once I've used the lens a bit more widely.
13th The new 100-400 is very solidly built - see a stripdown [LR]
10th Sigma introduce a 24/1.4 into their 'Art' lens range
"YOKOHAMA, Japan — February 10, 2015 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the new Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens, the ninth Global Vision lens to join the company’s iconic Art line-up. The announcement comes at the start of the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2015, which begins on Feb. 12 in Yokohama, Japan.
The much anticipated 24mm F1.4 Art wide angle lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs, and when used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, it effectively becomes a 38mm. The lens is ideal for capturing a variety of photography subjects, including cityscapes, mountain ranges, astrophotography and weddings and is great for videography work as well. The 24mm also excels at indoor photography in low illumination thanks to the combination of exceptional focal plane sharpness, and gorgeous bokeh rendered by nine rounded aperture blades. The lens achieves a maximum magnification of 1:5.3 with a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches. The 24mm incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in a design of 15 elements in 11 groups to minimize chromatic aberration of magnification especially in the edge of the image field. Moreover, the optimized power layout includes aspherical elements that are positioned in the rear of the lens for improved wide open performance. This helps to ensure minimal distortion through the correction of axial chromatic aberration and sagittal coma flare. The new lens element design also delivers excellent peripheral brightness."
9th A 'because we can' unusual Canon macro lens is mentioned at CR no details though...
We've been told that updates to the remaining TS-E45 and TS-E90 were coming along 'soon' for rather a long time now, but a tiltable macro lens would certainly be different. A longer focal length would be interesting, but combining tilt and telephoto design is tricky.
An object-space telecentric version of the MP-E65 would also be interesting to use for stacking...
8th Additional sample images link added on the 11-24mm page.
- Lens arrangement 16 sheets group 11
- 4 aspherical lens (large diameter grinding aspheric single, large-diameter glass molded aspherical one, two glass mold aspherical)
- One Super UD lens, one UD lens
- SWC coating (two-sided)
- ASC coating (one side)
- The fluorine-coded into the rear lens and the front lens
- Diaphragm blades nine. The aperture circular
- Minimum aperture is F22
- In the shortest shooting distance is 24mm 0.28m, 0.32m in 11mm
- 0.16 times at the maximum photographic magnification is 24mm, 0.06 times in 11mm
- AF motor ring USM
- Full-time manual focus
- Dust and water
- Rear gelatin filter holder
- Total length 132mm, maximum diameter 108mm
- Weight 1180g
The 18-200 dates from Aug 2008 (EFL) and would really benefit from the improved build quality of Canon's recent STM lenses, as well as the better focus drive. If it really is 300mm at the long end, then it will be an impressive bit of optical design to perform over such a zoom range.
12th Samyang [Sy] launch the (widely leaked) 135/2 manual focus telephoto lens in a range of mounts, along with a cine version.
Good luck trying manual focus on most DSLR standard focus screens ;-)
See my quick test of an old Zeiss manual focus 135mm on my 100D
11th A patent for a 35-260mm f/2.8 Soft Focus (Super 35mm Size) lens with a soft focus adjustment appears [EG - Google xlt]
Expect an expensive lens, should it appear. I note that there hasn't been a soft focus lens in the EF lens range since the 135/2.8 soft focus lens, from 1987, which is a rather good cheap 135, even if you never find a use for the soft focus ;-)
9th Karen has finally finished all the Canon EF lens pages for EFLens.com
If you have reviews of older Canon lenses that you'd like her to look at mentioning, please visit the site and let her know.
Now that all the lenses are listed, we're aiming to add plenty of new info, as we come across it.
6th Nothing much from Canon at CES, but Nikon do have a new lens with an interesting 300/4 'Phase Fresnel' design.
As you might guess, it's not dissimilar to Canon's diffractive optics [NR]
4th More 'budget' lenses on the way from the Chinese company Yongnuo [PR] This time, an EF 35/2
Whilst according to one recent review, they are not exact copies of Canon's older primes, they are certainly 'inspired' by Canon's designs ;-)
8th New SP.2 prime lenses form Tamron? All the talk of high MP sensors has upped the mentions of prime lenses that are 'sharp enough' [sr]
With higher MP sensors, expect plenty of clueless debate about lenses 'not being up to the job' ;-)
It's taking a good few years of sensor development yet, before todays crop of good lenses have any real problems, and we won't even go near the already high pixel densities of crop sensors, or the fact that to get the real benefits of 50-100MP full frame sensors, a lot of us would need to change aspects of our photo taking technique (I still dislike tripods for landscape photography other than at night).
5th A Canon lens patent appears for an EF-S 9-22mm F4.5-5.6 [EG - Google xlt] It looks to be similar in design to the 10-18.
It's worth noting that there is often quite a delay between patent filings and lenses appearing (if they ever do) and also that the real idea being patented may be just one particular aspect of a design.
If the EF-S 10-22 is to be replaced, then it might well get a bit wider to distinguish it more from the surprisingly good EF-S 10-18