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Canon RF / EF Lenses – rumours and news

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New Lenses, Canon RF and EF Lenses

Rumours, news and patents for Canon Lenses and other lens info

Keith’s assorted information and links for Canon’s  EF lenses and rumours about new ones such as the RF lens range. He’s written numerous articles and reviews covering lenses and photography related issues if you’re after something rumour free.
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EF42mm F1L

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What does the RF mount mean for EF/EF-M? …an historical perspective

2019 February

21st Some new DO lens designs appear in Japanese patent info [HL]

400/4, 600/4 and 800/5.6 designs a bit different from previous ones. Remember that patents only usually show some aspects of designs rather than complete products.

DO-lens 600/4

20th Tamron announce three new lenses SP 35mm F1.4, 35-150mm F2.8-4 and E-mount 17-28mm F2.8 III. All three are full frame, however it’s worth noting that the first two are Canon EF and Nikon F mount, whilst the mirrorless one is Sony E mount only.  I suspect we’ll see version for Z and RF mount before too long.

As yet though, we don’t know how difficult Canon and Nikon have made it for third party lens makers…

17th Whilst not mentioned in the recent lens list, a RF50/1.8 and RF24/1.4L are suggested as possible additional lenses [CR] – both seem pretty obvious additions to expand the range at some point.

16th There appears to be renewed interest in apodisation[WP], with respect to the RF 85/1.2L USM DS recently pre-announced. This is something Canon have worked on a lot.

In the recent Canon interview at IR they say

DE: Is this something like an apodization lens? Can you share any more detail about what the lens is like internally?

Canon: Yes. It uses basically the same technology as apodization. There are several manufacturers that have apodization lenses, but our approach to apodization is slightly different. What we do is we use coating technology to make the apodization.

A recent patent application [USPTO] shows how variations in coatings can give light transmission that varies across the element.


A look back to March 2018 shows several examples that may give clues in a whole range of Canon fast prime lens designs (24/1.4 shown below) in a US patent application [USPTO]

Designs include 50/1.4 | 35/1.4 | 24/1.4 | 85/1.2  This example is the 85/1.2


In this example elements 41 and 42 give a transmission that falls off towards the edges as shown in this graph


This particular patent looks at control of apodisation as focus is changed. Note that these are not short back focus RF type designs, so any optical layout is likely to be more symmetrical, with larger rear elements. I’d also suspect we would see the front apo filter moved inside the lens, maybe as a coating to a lens element (as at ’42’ above)

This is the 24/1.4 with apo elements ’31’ and ’32’.

apo-24 1.4

Another patent application looked at graduated filter elements [USPTO]

grad filter

More about this from 2017 [USPTO]

14th Nikon announce the Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S [Information page]

Canon produce a lens roadmap – first I’ve ever seen


Here’s the accompanying press release.

Canon commits to future of its RF Mount with development of six new lenses for the EOS R System

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 14 February 2019 – Canon, the world leader in lens manufacturing, today reaffirms its commitment to its recently launched EOS R System and RF Mount, announcing the development of six full frame lenses for release in 2019 in celebration of reaching a production milestone of 140 million EF and RF lenses[i]. Redefining the possibilities of photography and videography, Canon?s innovative EOS R System and existing RF portfolio of lenses provides the tools for users to enhance their skills and shoot creatively, without limitations.

The RF Mount – built from the ground up

Built from the ground up, the EOS R System and RF Mount takes the heritage of the existing EOS System to new heights. Developed in line with technological advancements and end user feedback, Canon’s development of EOS anticipates the future technical and creative needs of photographers and videographers. The EOS R System incorporates the best of EOS, with even greater levels of performance, lens design possibilities and creative flexibility. Launched in September 2018, the RF lens mount enables a radical new optical design, allowing large lens elements to be placed as near to the sensor as possible, allowing light to hit the sensor straight on. The RF Mount enhances communication and power transmission between the lens and camera body, as well as helping to achieve the world’s fastest autofocus speed for a full frame mirrorless camera system[ii]. The mount’s short back focus and wide 54mm mount diameter has made it possible for Canon optical engineers to have a new degree of freedom in order to create a new generation of optics – it provides an ideal balance between reducing the size of the system, high-quality images and high-spec performance. When developing the EOS R System, Canon’s engineers considered the ease of handling and potential to expand the lens portfolio in the future. This new line-up of lenses provides shooting options for all users of the EOS R System, whatever their requirements – from stills and movies, to landscapes or weddings.

Six lenses – shoot your own way

Six full frame RF lenses are currently in development, suiting the needs of every user from advanced amateurs, to professional photographers and videographers, all in pursuit of the perfect shot. Building on Canon?s optical lens heritage, this range of lenses will push forward the frontiers of creative capture thanks to the new, cutting-edge optics and advanced image processing for both stills and video.

The RF 85mm F1.2L USM is a large aperture mid-telephoto prime lens, offering the ultimate performance for advanced and professional portrait photographers. The RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS, with Defocus Smoothing, is a unique high-performance lens, offering a combination of beautifully smooth, defocused foreground and background bokeh and a super-fast aperture to produce breathtaking portraits. The RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM is a high-performance, standard zoom lens for professionals and photo enthusiasts alike – ideal for shooting portraits, landscapes, documentary or weddings. Offering a wide angle and fast aperture in a single package, the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM is ideal for a range of genres including architecture, interiors or landscapes. The fifth lens currently in development, the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, is a must-have for any professional photographer shooting weddings, sport or wildlife. This lens is a great all-round, high-speed, medium telephoto zoom lens. Finally, the RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM is the perfect travel companion – practical in both size and performance. It is a versatile all-purpose lens for the advanced amateur photographer or videographer offering a range of focal lengths for capturing extraordinary shots.

Mr Issei Morimoto, Senior Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Canon Europe, commented: “Last year, with the launch of the EOS R System we showcased the future of photography and videography. With that, Canon championed the core strengths of our EOS R System and RF Mount – innovation, compatibility and quality. As the production of our EF and RF lenses reaches a momentous milestone of 140 million, our new RF Mount opens a new world of creative opportunities for all photographers and videographers, whether they’re an existing EOS user, new to EOS R or stepping into the world of full frame. Today, with the announcement of our lens roadmap, we?re building on our lens heritage and firmly committing to the future, showcasing our investment in our pioneering full frame world. Delivering incredible image quality and optical excellence for our customers is paramount and this is just the first step on a long journey, ensuring every Canon user can achieve their perfect shot.”

Adding to the full frame family

Further expanding the EOS R System, Canon today also launches the EOS RP – ideal for those looking to take a step-up from Canon’s APS-C models into Canon’s full frame world. It is compact, lightweight and versatile. Ideal for travel, landscape and portrait photography and videography, the EOS RP opens up the full spectrum of benefits of the EOS R System – including the world’s fastest autofocus – and as Canon’s smallest, lightest[iii] full frame digital camera to date it provides the ultimate blend of practicality and ease of use, with impressive image quality. Promising greater potential, advanced amateur photographers and videographers can use the EOS RP to enhance their technical skills and explore their creativity. Additionally, three lens mount adapters allow more than 70 current EF and EF-S lenses to be used with the EOS RP and the innovative EOS R System, adding new functionality to existing optics, while maintaining the excellent levels of performance and functionality previously seen with EOS DSLRs.

For more information about the EOS R System and Canon?s commitment to the RF Mount, please visit .


13th The Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S lens is due soon.

Z 24-70 F2.8 S

12th One of the RF lenses coming soon is the RF85mm F1.2L USM DS

It’s suggested [Nok] that the DS refers to a recent Canon trademark ‘Defocus smoothing’ [TM]

There may well be RF85mm F1.2L USM DS and a RF85mm F1.2L USM versions.

Well, you’re going to be using an 85/1.2 for soft backgrounds, so why not make up a new marketing term ;-)

11th Samyang are widely expected to be expanding their range of AF lenses for EF mount. At the moment they just have 14mm and 85mm with AF.

7th A Japanese Canon patent application [HL] appears for a 70-300 f4-5.6 in RF mount



I’d note that there is currently a (2016) Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM and a (2010) Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, not to forget the (2004) Canon EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Links are to lens data on

Canon continue to address performance issues for diffractive elements for lenses, and their manufacture in a new patent application [USPTO]. The DO element includes resin layers of differing optical characteristics.


Lens designs for long telephoto in a patent application [USPTO]

300/2.8  400/2.8 600/4 800/5.6 – all with internal filter option [G]


A second patent application has some slightly different designs [USPTO] – here’s the 800mm


Al designs full frame and with enough back focus distance for RF or EF mount

4th 2018 patents, info and rumours moved to the 2018 lens archive page

A rush of RF lenses due in a week or two [Nok]

4 ‘L’ lenses in the 5 listed (there may be some others too)

RF 70-200 mm F 2.8 L IS USM

RF 70-200 mm F 2.8 L IS USM

RF 15 - 35 mm F 2.8 L IS USM

RF 15 – 35 mm F 2.8 L IS USM

RF 24 - 240 mm F 4 - 6. 3 IS USM

RF 24 – 240 mm F 4 – 6. 3 IS USM

RF 24 - 70 mm F 2.8 L IS USM

RF 24 – 70 mm F 2.8 L IS USM

RF 85 mm F 1.2 L USM

RF 85 mm F 1.2 L USM

Canon knows which lenses are ‘needed’ to give the RF mount some depth. Expect some more basic kit lenses too, since I doubt Canon expect everyone to go for an ‘L’ lens collection…

1st For fans of the lens/body communications protocols of the new RF mount, 2 US patent applications discusses high speed data transfers [USPTO#2]

Some more examples of ‘extreme optics’ appear in two patent applications from Canon [USPTO, #2]


Primarily intended for automotive use, they are asymmetrical, so the field of view (and F number) differs for side to side FOV and vertical FOV

catadioptric optics


29th Canon has published a lengthy Developers’ Interview for the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM & EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lenses [PDF, 19.6 MB].

24th A Canon US patent application [USPTO] looks at zoom lens designs using exotic glass. Short back focus, so RF full frame.

rf zoom

Examples include 70-300 f/4-5.6 | 100-400 f/4-5.6 | 50-240 f/4-5.6

Fairly simple zooms – these could be the basis of some non-‘L’ designs for the EOS R system

18th patent 500 - 600 DOCanon show some more DO lens designs in a Japanese patent application [CN]

If you look back on this page (and the archives from previous years) you’ll see lots of DO related patent info.

Diffractive optics designs still suffer from light leakage, and quite a lot of work has gone into reducing this.

Where a normal lens bends all the light that isn’t reflected off surfaces, DO elements can ‘leak’ undiffracted (‘zeroth order’) light through, reducing contrast and producing some of the halo effects associated with early DO lenses.

When we do see new DO designs launched, expect them to be rather good…

17th Sigma have updated their compatibility info for their lenses with the EOS-R.

All work functionally, but some in-camera lens fixes have issues. There are still potential lock-up issues with these three – firmware updates are expected

  • SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art
    ・It may require the battery to be taken out once, if restarting the camera does not work when the lens is taken off the camera while the lens’s OS function is in operation.
    ・It may stop the focus driving from infinity to closer focus distance while shooting video with AF.
  • SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports
    ・It may require the battery to be taken out once, if restarting the camera does not work when the lens is taken off the camera while the lens’s OS function is in operation.
  • SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary
    ・It may require the battery to be taken out once, if restarting the camera does not work when the lens is taken off the camera while the lens’s OS function is in operation.
    ・It may stop the focus driving from infinity to closer focus distance while shooting video with AF.

11th Not lenses, but a new article I feel is important – Why printing will improve all of your photography

Some RF zoom lens designs appear in a Canon US patent application [USPTO]

All full frame and short back focus. 28-70 f/2 and 24-70 f/2.8 are in the sample specs.

rf24-70 f/2.8

Possible RF 24-70 f/2.8 lens design – a lot of glass.

If you’re a fan of unusual optical designs, a Canon patent application [USPTO] is packed full of them

unusual optics

Intended for sensors and projectors.

Just one more ;-)


A Japanese lens patent application by Canon [via HL] shows various lens designs with additional focal reducers.

Focal reducers reduce a lens focal length and increase maximum aperture (the opposite of a normal teleconverter)

Canon hasn’t produced any such products in the past, but perhaps there is a desire to allow EF lenses to perform as they would on a full frame sensor, on an EF-M mount (or crop sensor EOS R)

focal reducer

A Japanese patent application [CN] shows a number of wide zooms that fit the Super35 format (~APS-H) and are EF mount. Almost certainly for video use

cine zoom

5th A new basic EF->RF adapter is available from Commlite.  It’s a metal one with detachable foot and supports full lens/body communications.

ef-rf adapter rearef-rf adapter front


3rd A few lens patent applications at the USPTO for Canon…

What look to be RF designs (full frame short back focus)

24-80/4, 24-100/4 and 24-130/4 (with IS) [USPTO]

Canon RF zoom

A second patent [USPTO] has longer zooms

70-200/2.8 – note how far forward the IS is

rf 70-200 2.8 IS

Also included are several design variants such as a 100-200 f/4

APS-C isn’t forgotten with some smaller zooms [USPTO] where the designs concentrate on the rear elements and achieving good telecentricity.

Examples include: 15-50 f3.5-6 | 20-130 f3.5-6 | 18-200 f3.8-6.5

Probably EF-M?

January 2nd 2019 We’re all expecting Canon to make a serious expansion effort for the EOS-R range and RF lenses this year.

In terms of lenses, there is this suggested announcement list at [CR]

  • RF 16-35mm f/2.8L (or similar)
  • RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS (or similar)
  • RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS (or similar)
  • RF 105mm f/1.4L
  • RF 85mm f/1.8 IS STM
  • RF Macro lens
  • RF non-L kit lens

The availability of lenses will show where Canon is pushing EOS R adoption – I’d simply note that it will be based on Canon’s business projections and not any whinging on forums ;-)

It’s interesting to see it suggested that Canon is going to release at least 15 new lenses within the next 2-3 years

2018 news/patents/articles moved to their own 2018 Lens archive page

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