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Canon EF Lenses – rumours and news

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New Lenses and Canon EF Lenses

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

For several years I’ve gathered information and links for Canon’s new EF lenses and rumours about new ones. I’ve also written numerous articles and reviews covering lenses and photography related issues.
Please use your own judgement when reading the speculation, and remember that rumours are for entertainment as much as anything else!

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EF42mm F1L

Previous year’s rumours: 2006-2008 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

New lenses – facts, rumours and speculation

2018 May

24th I’m working on my TS-E90mm F2.8L Macro review and was lucky enough to get the Benro GD3WH geared head to test at the same time. I’ve just written up a review. It made the TS-E lens so much easier to level and set up. Definitely one for my Christmas list…

Diffractive optics make a show in a new US patent application [USPTO]

Canon DO lens

Examples shown are all around 800/5.6

Various aspects of moulding and curing the parts of a DO lens element appear in a new patent application [USPTO

do lens element

18th A Canon Japanese patent filing shows a short back focus 16-28mm f/2.8 zoom.

It’s a full frame mirrorless design – not for EF mount.

16-28 f2.8

Zoom ratio 1.67
Focal length 16.48 – 27.44 mm
F number 2.88
Half angle 52.70 – 38.25
Image height 21.64 mm
Back focus 12.33 – 10.00 mm

The size of the rear element also makes me wonder if it’s too large for EF-M? There’s been an ongoing debate about what lens design limitations you’d get with a full frame sensor behind the EF-M mount. My suspicion is that if you eventually want to make top-end mirrorless cameras with lenses better than the current best EF models you need a wider opening than EF-M provides.  Having used Karen’s little 100D for some shots for a review the other day, I’m not convinced by those that say that the EF mount makes the camera too deep. If I want a small camera I’ll buy a small camera – if I want a pro level camera I want something with 1 series heft -and- ergonomics. Each time I pick up one of the Sony mirrorless cameras I still find them a tad too small for comfort.
That said… Sony, if you still want to convince me otherwise, you do know our address ;-)

via HL

17th More about electrochromic filter elements, both within a lens or a camera body, in a Canon US patent applications [USPTO] – more about the practicalities of driving them than any specific new use.

15th The likelihood of new ‘L’ Canon EF70-200 lenses (F4 and F2.8) is raised to ‘very likely +’  at CR

BTW, after years of ‘not quite getting round to it’ we’re setting up a newsletter for the articles/news/reviews on the site. It should be no more than 2-3 times a month, and for rumour fans will have a brief note about any significant stuff we hear. That said it’s mainly about my more serious (useful!) stuff on the site. It will not be ‘yet another list of deals’ – Newsletter signup

14th Another Yongnuo EF mount AF lens has appeared [YN]

This time a new version of the 50mm, the YN50mm F1.8 II

YN 50mmF1.8 mkII specs

The MTF chart promises ‘interesting’ wide open performance with those lumps and bumps.

YN 50 1.8e mtf

12th The Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro Art lens [info] will be available in Canon mount at the end of May for $569 in the US  [B&H]

10th Three Nikon designs for wide angle lenses (~20mm f/2) for curved full frame sensors [HL]

nikon lens for curved sensor

Fixing plastic (resin) lens elements into lenses without introducing mechanical stress is covered in a US patent application [USPTO].

I’m not aware of any plastic elements in EF lenses at the moment (apart from DO elements sandwiched between glass).

canon zoom lens design

A Canon zoom lens patent application [USPTO] covers a number of higher resolution designs for small sensor cameras (sub APS-C)

Likely 4k camcorders and their ilk.

A firmware update for the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4x [Canon]

Firmware Version 1.1.0 is incorporated with the following correction.

  • Corrects a phenomenon in which the subject may not be in focus on some occasions when using this lens with some camera models (*) and performing AF shooting from approximately 3m.
    * Some camera models: EOS-1D X, Mark II, EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark III

9th Yongnuo have announced a new 60mm f/2 manual focus macro lens for EF mount.  With a max 1x magnification it features electronic aperture.

Full details for: Yuongnuo 60mm F2 Macro

7th Canon Europe have published an interesting article about how they make lenses.

As well as the TS-E90mm from Canon, Benro have sent me a GD3WH geared tripod head for a review. My first tests with my TS-E17 in the TSE-Frame show how easy it is to set up accurately.

ts-e17 on GD3WH geared Benro head

5th Yay, the Canon TS-E90mm F2.8L Macro has turned up. I’ll be looking to finish my reviews of all three new TS-E lenses.

Unlike the 50mm and 135mm I already have a TS-E90mm F2.8 to compare it with…

TS-E90mm old and new

The new one feels a lot heavier…

3rd A Canon patent application [USPTO] shows ongoing development work in DO elements for lenses.

Of particular importance is the angle at which ‘steps’ in the DO element are cut – this affects flare and other undesirable aspects of DO designs.

DO element surface angles

Several example designs are included from a long ~800/5.6


to a wider 200/2

wider DO lens

Of course, these are just examples using the DO element, but may yet point to something interesting.


26th Two lenses appear in certification notes [Nok]

  • Interchangeable lens 1 | SKU: 2309C005AA | Made in Japan
  • Interchangeable lens 2 | SKU: 2439C005AA

I’ve just published a short interview with Venus Optics (Laowa), from when they were at the UK Photography Show recently. Here’s their chief lens designer.

Mr. Dayong Li of Venus Optics

Mr. Dayong Li of Venus Optics

A Canon US patent application [USPTO] for those of you interested in lens<->body communications protocols.

This one looks at changing the number of data words communicated in messages. This matters because in rapid shooting and live-view, the existing data exchange protocols take too long. It also lets a lens communicate a large amount of data to a body quickly when first attached. An example of this would be custom lens aberration and calibration data, related to the actual lens you are using.

This looks like part of Canon’s ongoing updating/expansion of the capabilities of the EF lens system, whilst retaining backwards capability. It looks as if my excellent 1987 EF15mm F2.8 fisheye should work for many years to come ;-)

If you’re curious, I keep my EF lens mount info/data on a page on the site [EF lens mount information]

20th Laowa have announced four new lenses for a variety of mounts.

A Canon patent application [mirrorless page] looks at a new mount adapter design that can be swapped out for different lens mounts.

19th Meike have announced an 85/1.8  AF lens in EF mount – no other info as yet [epz]

Meike 85/1.8

17th Diffractive optics is still going strong – this time with A 600/5.6 PF due ‘soon’ from Nikon [NR]


Nikon 600mm f5.6 lens patent

SIGMA Factory Tour  [Cinema5D]

11th Mention of a new TS-E17 for next year [CR]

In terms of TS-E lens design I’ve noted the latest set being referred to as ‘third generation’ ones – I asked about updating the ‘2nd gen’ ones and only got a broad smile…

6th Whilst Tamron goes for spikes, a Japanese Canon patent application [CN] goes for a smoother curved aperture.

aperture ring

5th A Japanese patent from Tamron [HL] has a star shaped aperture to improve high frequency MTF

star aperture

That and it will give nice 10 pointed stars to point light sources… interesting to see if this actually appears and how it works in practice.

A slew of patent applications [USPTO] for making use of new glasses, such as this one for a 14mm/2.814mm f/2.8 example

The patent includes several 14/2.8 examples and an 11-24/4 design – all EF full frame

A patent application for several teleconverter designs [USPTO] 1.4x/1.8x/2x

2x TC example

All follow the theme of using new glasses to reduce aberrations.

The use of glass with high dispersion and negative anomalous dispersion is discussed, along with a number of long lens designs (inc 400/2.8 and 70-200/2.8) in a US patent application [USPTO]

400/2.8 example70-200 f/2.8 example

A US Canon patent application looks at improved control of chromatic aberration and field curvature. It includes 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 50/1.2 [shown below], 85/1.4 examples. [USPTO] – all FF EF mount designs.

50mm example

1st A Japanese Canon patent [CN] shows 135/2 | 185/3.5 | 400/2.8 designs with apodisation filters (11 in the diagram)

apod 135-400


28th To go with the new C700FF camera, Canon have announced a 20mm T1.5 video prime lens

canon 20mm T1.5

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 28, 2018 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the launch of a new addition to the Cinema EOS System: the CN-E20mm T1.5 L F lens – a full-manual 20mm Cinema Prime Lens for EF Mount cameras. A popular focal length, the 20mm lens delivers exceptional optical performance in a compact form factor. With the introduction of this new lens, Canon further enhances its EF Cinema Lens family to meet a diverse range of cinematic and video-production needs, further contributing to the world of cinematography.
“As Canon continues to expand its reach in the cinema space, we are thrilled to introduce the CN-E20mm T1.5 L F lens, further expanding a robust line up of Cinema Prime lenses,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “This new lens will provide users with an option in-between our 14mm and 24mm lenses, giving greater flexibility for their scene framing. Canon is excited to see the projects our users create with this lens and Canon Cinema cameras.”

The new CN-E20mm T1.5 L F lens can provide 4K resolution from the center of the images to the periphery, providing high image quality for Canon cameras that feature full-frame sensors such as the new EOS C700 FF digital cinema camera. In addition, the 11-blade aperture diaphragm alongside a T number1 of 1.5 allows the lens to provide beautifully soft bokeh. Like all Canon Cinema Prime lenses, the CN-E20mm T1.5 L F lens features warm, natural-looking tones, 300 degrees of focus ring rotation, and minimized focus breathing.

Since the launch of the Cinema EOS System and EF Cinema Lenses in November 2011, Canon has greatly expanded the EF Cinema Lens offerings. The lineup—which includes the Prime, Zoom, Compact Zoom, CINE-SERVO and COMPACT-SERVO series of lenses—has become very popular for a wide range of users. With the introduction of the CN-E20mm T1.5 L F lens, the lineup now boasts a total of 21 lens models. This expansive line of lenses provides cinematographers with even more options to choose from, which can support enhanced content creation for a variety of uses and shooting scenarios.

The CN-E20mm T1.5 L F lens is scheduled to begin shipping in fall 2018. For more information please visit

27th I’ve just published a detailed review of the Canon TS-E50mm F2.8L Macro lens, with an emphasis on what you can do with the lens (and how, and why)

50mm on 5Ds tilt and shift

A CP+ interview at DPR describes some of Tamron’s thoughts on their lens range.

An observation that may be of interest is that their Sony experience makes it relatively easy for them to provide lenses for possible upcoming Canon/Nikon models. Does this suggest that they think Canon will throw the EF mount under the bus for FF mirrorless? OK not quite the disruption of the FD->EF change, but something that would need care.

25th Interesting article about the development of the EF85 F1.4L IS [Canon]. The advances in lens technology are notable.

“…It’s easy to overlook the importance of glass technologies, materials and advances. Indeed, as Iwamoto explains, more than half of the glass elements in the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM are made of materials that were not yet put into practical application when the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM was released in March 2006.
Correction for axial chromatic aberration (colour fringing in defocused areas) is important in any lens designed for use at wide apertures, and Canon’s design team had the answer.
“To correct axial chromatic aberration, we placed glass with anomalous dispersion in front of or near the diaphragm. In addition, we used high refractive index glass for the positive lens, which is essential to improve image plane characteristics. In this lens, axial chromatic aberration and image plane characteristics are favourably corrected through the optimal arrangement of glass, having both high refractive index and anomalous dispersion characteristics….”

By using new glass materials and aspherical lenses that did not exist at the time the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM was developed, the design team was able to correct each type of aberration and reduce the size of the lens at the same time.”

22nd The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D wide angle is announced for mirrorless (EF-M,Sony E, Fuji).

21st The new Canon 70-200 F4L IS II is due in April [CR]

20th You may have noticed the optical design diagrams I often include from patents. Well it appears that a lot of patents have more than enough detail to set up an optical bench model. Bill Claff of the Photons to Photos site has set up an interactive optical bench which includes quite a few designs, including recently a couple of canon examples, such as this for the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

19th An interesting interview [DPR] with the Sigma CEO shows some real desire to produce even more great lenses.

I was interested in his suggestion that given the choice, his aim was for optical quality over lightness – one of the more open and informative camera industry CEOs

15th DO lens elementA Canon US patent application looks at aspects of making the moulded elements for diffractive optics (DO) elements.


Looks as if we’ll see a EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II and EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM appear sometime this year [Nok]

The 70-200/4 is quite a good lens so it will be interesting to see how a new design improves it – the 32mm give a ~51mm equivalent FOV, making for a nice ‘standard lens’

I’ve been out trying out the TS-E50. Full tilt at f/2.8 – De Montfort university campus near my home. [click to enlarge]

DMU model campus

Although not a fan of ‘small world’ or ’tilt-shift effect’ images, I definitely had to try it with the TS-E50.

13th Canon have sent me the TS-E5omm F2.8L Macro lens to have a go with – I’m hoping to add a TS-E50mm review to go with my TS-E135 review in a few weeks.

TS-E 50mm on 5Ds

12th A suggestion that development of Canon’s 24-70 2.8L IS is ongoing [CR] but not a lens for this year.

After the big trade shows a series of ‘interviews’ tend to emerge, helping fill the slack for photo news sites.  These range from the bland/anodyne to genuinely interesting.

Sigma’s CEO is one of the more forthcoming – The article at the French site FN (paywalled) has had some points translated [PR]

  • Sigma will develop new full-frame mirrorless lenses for Sony E-mount (only the wide angle lenses can be made smaller)
  • Sigma will make more DSLR lenses available in Sony E-mount in the future
  • Sigma will develop new zoom lenses for Nikon.Canon DSLR cameras
  • The new Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art lens is not available in Nikon F-mount because of the new autofocus motor they implemented in the lens (similar to the Nikon AF-P lenses)
  • The new Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is much bigger than the Nikon version because it offers less vignetting (2 EV for the Nikon lens at f/1.4 vs. 1.6 EV for the Sigma lens)

Last week (main rumour page) Sigma’s CEO was interviewed for a French website Mizuwari [Google xlt] where he covers quite a few topics such as the use of plastic for lens elements (poor thermal performance), curved sensors (good for phones), Foveon chips for others (it depends) and possible MF from Sigma (too expensive).

9th A Japanese patent application [HiL] includes and APS-C 18-135 f/3.6-6.5 zoom and an 18-185 version for mirrorless/compact

18-135 lens

8th Apodization [WP] gets an outing in a whole range of Canon fast prime lens designs (24/1.4 shown below) in a new US patent application [USPTO]


The elements 21/22 in the example above have a graded optical transmission (darker at the edges), which improves some aspects of image sharpness and OOF performance.

Probably more than you wanted to know about the construction of IS units in lenses in two Canon US patent applications [#1, #2]

Canon IS unit

7th I’ve just published my first review of Canon’s new TS-E lenses, starting with the TS-E135 f4L Macro

The review includes a lot of detail about how you use this excellent lens, not just lens info.

One example – taking a photo looking down my stairs at f/4 with all steps in focus.

stairs livewiew

New firmware for three EF-M lenses supports ‘dual sensing IS’  – as found on the new M50 (and only M50)


6th Just how big a rear element can you fit into the EF mount?  The Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 seen at CP+ has a go [DCW]

mitakon 50mm f/0.95 rear

That pretty much rules it out for Nikon F and Sony FE.

mitakon 50mm f/0.95

2nd One for macro fans – I’ve just finished my review of the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x macro lens

Here next to my Canon MP-E65, which it slightly bests, wide open

extended lens comparison

1st A Japanese patent application for a 15-105 mm F1.8 – 6.0 for APS – C mirrorless lens appears [HL]

Canon 15-105 patent

Zoom ratio: 6.75
Focal length: 15.21 52.83 102.65 mm
F no .: 1.85 4.20 6.00
Image angle: 36.19 14.50 7.58
Image height: 11.13 13.66 13.66 mm
Lens length: 83.84 101.55 121.52 mm
Back focus: 3.81 3.81 3.81 mm


A Canon patent application [USPTO] looks at eliminating the annoying self zoom creep of some lenses when pointed up/down.

lens structure


27th Updates on the way  for Sigma lens firmware, offering Canon lens aberration data.

Sigma has announced the two new lenses – both look very interesting examples of lens design
I’ve just published a news article with all the new Sigma lens info

Also of note is the addition of E mount versions for many ‘Art’ lenses

Here’s the internal design of the 105/1.4


25th Two hefty lenses in the ‘Art’ category on the way from Sigma. [DCI]

A 105mmf/1.4 (described as possibly for Sony FE as well as Canon/Nikon)

sigma 105mm f1.4

A 70mm f/2.6 macro

sigma 70mm f2.8 macro

23rd canon 470EX-AIThe Speedlite 470 EX – AI

  • Auto intelligent (AI) bounce mode of “Full Auto” and “Semi Auto”.
  • With an electric head rotation device, the 470EX-AI automatically determines the optimal bounce position eliminating unnecessary shadows.
  • The guide number is 47 (105 mm).
  • It is driven by 4 AA batteries.
  • It covers the field angle of 24 – 105 mm. Wide panel (14 mm adapter) allows light to spread wide.
  • Clip-on bounce adapter that makes light more soft.
  • Equipped with a dot matrix display that can display more detailed information.
  • The setting can be quickly changed with the shortcut button and the controller wheel.
  • Size 74.6 x 130.4 x 105.1 mm.
  • Weight 385 g (excluding batteries).

A note from Sigma in the US says their new 12-24mm f/2.8 will be available for $1299 in mid March.

B&H | Adorama pre-order 

22nd  The Tamron 70-210mm f4 VC is announced.

tokina 50mm f1.4Tokina will soon be announcing an ‘Opera’ 50/1.4  AF full frame lens

It won’t appear until September though [Nok]

The Canon 135 is here and it is one hefty lens…


20th The Samyang 50/1.2 is announced

I’ve a Canon TS-E135mm F4L Macro coming for a review
please email me if you’ve any specific questions?

18th A busy time at [Nokishita] with images of a Samyang XP 50/1.2

samyang xp50 f1.2

xp50 f1.2

and a suggestion that the pending Tamron lens is a 70 – 210 mm F/4 Di VC USD

tamron zoom

15th A new teleconverter patent application from Canon [USPTO] includes several optical formulae (the TC is marked ‘LC’ below)

teleconverter designs

Three Canon zoom lens US patent applications – more video oriented with high zoom ratios.

#1, #2, #3

A Canon US patent application [USPTO] looks at using diffractive optics for longer wavelength infra red optics

It’s still time for superzooms for 1″ sensors in a series of Japanese patents for 20x zooms. [HL]

Canon 20x zoom

14th Tamron have a new lens teaser image doing the rounds – difficult to say anything more than it doesn’t look like an ultra-wide or a long telephoto. No doubt it will appear soon for CP+

13th An EF-M 32/1.4 is expected [CR] in the run up to Photokina.

9th The Sigma 14-24 is announced [info and specs]. It will be interesting to compare with the 12-24mm that’s in my detailed Sigma 12-24mm f4 review and exploration of using the 12-24mm for architecture.

A Canon patent application for mirrorless zoom designs in the  ~18-150 f3.5-6.5 category [USPTO]

mirrorless zoom

8th Images of the new Sigma lens appear [Nok] 1150 gm – 11 groups 17 elements – 9 blade circular aperture

sigma 14-24mm f2.8 dg hsm art lens

7th Suggestions that we are soon getting a Sigma 14-24 mm f / 2.8 DG HSM Art [Nok]

2nd A new 24-70 2.8L is suggested in the Photokina timeframe [CR] but with something ‘different’

How about a change to Canon’s long lasting detachable lens mount? A lot of people would like to see Canon make it easier to fit to ‘Arca Swiss’ style base plates.

1st An upcoming EF-M lens is said to be ’50mm equiv’ and ‘fast’ [CR]

Some specs for the Laowa 2.5-5x Macro I’m testing

25mm specs

I’m only just getting into some testing, but here’s an animation, based on stacking 114 images (x 50MP) at x5 and f/2.8

Made using Helicon Remote/ Focus for stacking and 3D visualisation.

A 100% crop of the actual still image with a scale marker [click to enlarge]

sodimm 100


30th Maybe I’ll get round to updating my 70-200 2.8L IS some time … it seems there is talk of a Mk3 version out for testing [CR]

28th Some shots of a Laowa 9mm f/2.8 lens for mirrorless (inc. EF-M) are spotted  [PR]

If the image quality is on a par with the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 I reviewed then this is a great APS-C option.


23rd Venus Lens have kindly sent me the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Extreme Macro lens to try out. I’ll be writing up a review in due course. I’m very interested in this lens since I happen to have the (somewhat bigger) Canon MP-E65 and use it for quite a bit of our macro work. – please do email me if you’ve any specific questions?

[Click to enlarge]

extended 5x comparisonmin-mag comparisonx2.5 on 5Ds

18th Suggestions for two EF-M lenses this year [CR] – first up a prime of some sort within the next month or so.

16th I’ve been testing a new lens adapter for the TS-E17 and TS-E24 tilt/shift lenses.

The Rogeti TSE Frame lets you attach the lens to the tripod and shift the camera. I get to see a lot of camera gadgets, and not many get such a quick promotion to my camera bag ;-)

11th Two interesting primes in a Japanese patent application a 15/4 EF and a 9.5/4 for APS-C (likely mirrorless, with short backfocus distance) [via CN]

Some short telephoto primes in a new Japanese patent application [via CN]

  • EF 50mm f/1.8
  • F 85mm f/1.4
  • EF 85mm f/1.8
  • EF 100mm f/1.8

A Canon US patent application [USPTO] shows a lens barrel design for inserting optical filters into and out of the optical path

moveable filter

A patent app last year showed a mirror lens with a variable electronic ND filter in it. A new US application [USPTO] shows an electrochromic variable filter design. A compound changes its optical properties in response to an applied electrical signal via transparent electrodes.

EC filter unit

One of the issues is avoiding colour shift as the density is changed, whilst the chemical mix of the inner filtering layer sets the overall transmission spectral response.

This example shows the filter inside a lens.

ec filter in lens

9th Nikon announce their version of the Canon 200-400 f4L 1.4x TC I’ve put full details of the 180-400 f4 TC1.4 on their own page (UK and US info) – Just £11,000 and available in March.

You may remember that the 200-400 was first mentioned in Feb 2011, but not formally announced until May 2013. I’m minded to suggest that the days of being able to ‘get away with’ such a long time gap are long gone…

8th The Samyang 14/2.8 AF lens is announced for the EF mount.

4th It looks as if we’re about to start seeing more EF mount AF lenses from third party lens makers

A Samyang 14/2.8 was announced for E mount – now it looks as if we might be seeing it in EF?

If it’s of similar quality to the Samyang  XP 14/2.4 I reviewed a while ago, this looks interesting.

sy14-28 ef-2

sy14-28 ef

via Nok

A good indication of how much easier curved sensors make some aspects of lens design is shown in this Nikon full frame patent app ~50mm f/2.8 [via HL]

nikon curved sensor


1st A Japanese patent application spotted at CN shows aspects of adding IS to a TS-E tilt shift lens (including the problems of flexible electronic connectors)

A US patent from last January [Jan 7th 2017 here] includes a similar diagram, although in the context of a lens adapter with tilt and shift.

A US patent application [from July] found in Oct 16th here shows an actual construction for a TS-E lens with IS/AF.

With the 2017 patent info, I had wondered if updated TS-E lenses might get some more electronics. Unfortunately, the new TS-E50/90/135 lenses don’t even have encoders to let the body know what the tilt/shift settings are, so we’ve a long way to go. The TS-E24 is very good optically and the 17mm is one of my go-to lenses. I don’t see any pressing requirements for updating either, especially since wide TS-E lenses tend to be used in circumstances where AF and IS are of limited use. OK I’d not be averse to to a TS-E14 0r 15, but I suspect that’s such a difficult lens to design with a large image circle, that it’s well down Canon’s to-do list.


2017 news/patents/articles moved to their own 2017 Lens archive page

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