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Canon RF / EF Lenses – rumours and news

  |   Canon camera rumour, Rumours

New Lenses, Canon RF and EF Lenses

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

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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.
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

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What does the RF mount mean for EF/EF-M? …an historical perspective | Keith’s review of the EOS RP
All about using tilt and shift – articles/reviews index

2020 May

21st You want zoom?…  A Canon patent application [USPTO] includes a 10-800mm f/1.8-4.2 lens design

10-800-zoom

Unfortunately, the specs suggest it’s a design for a smaller sensor video camera…

A different approach to diffractive optics is outlined in a Canon US patent application [USPTO]

DO-lens-construction

The new approach uses a phase modulation system. The patterns are smaller than the wavelength of light

The pattern on the lens element is formed by using a resist (6A). This when etched produced holes who’s depth directly relates to size of the ‘holes’ in the resist.

etching

As ever, a big reminder that a patent is not a product

9th 5 RF lens stock numbers spotted [Nok]

SKU: 3986C005, 3987C005, 4112C005, 4113C005, 4114C005, 4234C005

One is likely the RF100-500 – Announcements unlikely for a few months.

7th Designs for wide range  RF zoom lens appear in a new Canon patent application [USPTO]

This would be a 24-240 F4-6.4

RF24-240

Other examples include:

24-300 F4-6.4 | 24-280 F4-6.4 | 24-200 F4-6.4

April

30th I just published a short article about using lens tilt to move beyond the ‘model world’ look

Partly because there is so much more you can do with such lenses ;-)

A Canon US patent application shows designs for an RF24-70 f/2.8 IS and RF24-105 f/4 IS [USPTO]

RF24-70 IS

23rd Canon Japanese patent applications show several RF zooms, such as a 70-300 F3.5-5.6 and a 100-500 F5.6-6.4 [HL]

RF70-300RF100-500

 

16th A slew of ~f/2.8 macro lens designs for RF mount cover the 90-110mm focal length range in a Canon US Patent application [USPTO]  See alo the patent from last week [9th USPTO]

One of these could be the basis for a RF100mm F2.8L 2x Macro

RF-macro-lens

 

Another Canon patent application [USPTO] looks at lens mount communications, showing for example an a adapter with lens and control ring.  Just what you’d want for a combined EF->RF teleconverter, with a control ring on them.

adapter-ring-communications

9th Assorted Canon RF zoom lens designs in a new patent application [USPTO]

All around the 15-35/2.8 range.

15-35

 

Several prime lens designs for RF mount cameras in a Canon Patent application [USPTO]

85mm f2_8

Design options include:

90/2.8  | 100/2.8 | 95/2.8 | 110/2.8

The patent looks at various internal focusing options with a concentration on image quality over the focus range, and minimisation of overall lens size.

The length and design suggests we may be seeing ‘Macro’ lenses here

6th As part of my ‘stuck at home work’ I’m writing up three review articles looking at stacking images to increase DOF.

The first looks at using focus stepping…  next is stacking images from a moved camera, and finally looking at really tiny stuff…

An RF85/2 IS STM gets a mention at CR

I note the RF 85/1.8 design below…

3rd Two Japanese Canon patent applications [HL] for an RF85/1.8 and RF100/2.8

rf85 f/1.8RF100 f/2.8

Note how broadly symmetrical the designs are – the RF mount’s larger rear elements can reduce the size of the front elements in some designs.

2nd A Canon US patent application [USPTO] shows designs 180º fisheye lens (8mm f/4) – the details suggest it could be a design for a zoom too.

8mm-fisheye

Although the image height in the patent is only 11.4mm this does not mean it’s an EF-M lens – the image projected is a circular fisheye view. More likely design work for an eventual RF fisheye lens at some point.

Two Canon US patent applications [USPTO  | #2 ] show manufacturing ideas for DO lens elements

DO-manufacturing

March

26th Canon is applying for quite a few patents covering aspects of the RF mount and communications protocols involving adapters and the like (teleconverters for example).

Nothing specific in the way of potential products though.

Definitely more of interest for those wanting to create third party devices for the RF system [USPTO#1 | USPTO#2| USPTO#3 | USPTO#4 | USPTO#5 |

23rd Several new Canon lenses appear in certification info [Nok]

  • 3986C005
  • 3987C005
  • 4112C005
  • 4113C005
  • 4114C005
  • 4234C005
  • RF 1.4x Teleconverter
  • RF 2.0x Teleconverter

One is suggested at the RF100-500 f/4.7-7.1 L IS at CR.

Here in the UK we’re stuck indoors, so I’ll be looking at subjects for new articles/reviews more suited to the situation, such as printing, colour management, macro and anything else… [ideas welcome!]

Time perhaps to check back through your archive? – I’ve several hundred thousand images and started looking through some I took with the 1Ds back in 2004.  I’ve just written up a look at making an A2 sized print from a crop of a 1Ds (11MP) image. It seems that image processing software has come on a long way.

20th Could we see a burst of new EF-M lenses [CR]

No real details but a plausible list…

  • EF-M 15mm f/2 STM
  • EF-M 52mm f/2 STM
  • EF-M 62mm f/4 Macro IS STM
  • EF-M 18-45mm f/2.8-4 IS STM
  • EF-M 100-300mm f/5.6-8 IS STM

19th A suggestion [CR] that an RF14-28 F2L might be included in a set of f/2 zooms.

If you’re interested in the communication capabilities/protocols of the RF lens mount, a new US Patent application [USPTO] includes more about how it works with an intermediate device between lens and adapter.

13th A Japanese Canon patent application [HL] has designs for RF 85/1.2 and 50/1.2 – both have ~14mm backfocus. Canon is getting a lot of lens design features into their patents, which given the future of the RF system is only to be expected.

12th More adapter/lens comms info in a patent application [USPTO]

Another Canon interchangeable mount adapter patent [USPTO]

Somewhere in this may lay the foundations of how the 18mm flange distance EF-M mount fits in the future of the RF mount (20mm flange distance). I know some are concerned about the mismatch between lenses for Canon mirrorless offerings, but I’ve long had the feeling that there not being a clear ‘upgrade trajectory’ from EF-M to RF is not the big deal some consider. Of course, if/when we see an APS-C RF mount camera, the question becomes even more complex – perhaps there will be a way of using EF-M lenses with an APS-C RF mount camera…

5th A Canon US patent application [USPTO] includes a lot about lens/adapter communications protocols, signals and electrical info.

Probably of distinct use to 3rd party adapter/lens makers…

Several small RF primes are noted in a Canon Japan patent application [CN]

45/1.8 | 35/1.8

There’s an RF24-150 F4 design in a Canon patent application [HL]

rf24-150_f4

February

28th Panasonic have updated their lens roadmap, adding 6 new lenses and dropping the 100mm macro.

  • 24mm f/1.8 lens
  • 50mm f/1.8 lens
  • 85mm f/1.8 lens
  • Fast wide-angle zoom lens
  • Standard zoom lens
  • Telephoto zoom lens

So, if you add a teleconverter to a tilt/shift lens, do you set tilt using the original or extended focal length? Some experiments were called for…

I’ve just written a follow up to Using extenders with lens shift which looks at Using lens tilt with extenders/teleconverters

height-above-table

tldr: yes for shift, no for tilt

27th In Japan Canon have a patent application for an RF 13-21mm f/2.8 zoom [HL]

13-21mm

22nd Whilst Canon has said it’s going to be releasing quite a few lenses, there are not many details about just what they are.  A few suggestion at [CR] add to the existing announcements

  • Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM (Announced)
  • Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM (Announced)
  • Canon RF 1.4x Extender (Announced)
  • Canon RF 2.0x Extender (Announced)

suggested:

  • Canon RF 10-24mm f/4L USM
  • Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L USM
  • Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 MACRO IS STM
  • Canon RF 85mm f/1.8 IS STM
  • Canon RF 70-135mm f/2L USM ​​​

There have been suggestions of something ‘interesting’ for a while, but definitions of interesting vary rather widely. Whilst we’ve heard that next year there will be an RF TS-E update to go with the high MP ‘pro’ EOS R later this year (or early 2021), that info is even less certain…

21st A Japanese Canon patent application [HL] shows a design for an EVF eyepiece. This is one of the areas that a few years ago Canon noted as falling behind the best OVF experience. Expect quite a good viewfinder on the R5 when it appears.

eyepiece optics

19th 5 stock codes for new Canon RF lenses have appeared at a Russian certification agency [Nok]

3986C005, 3987C005, 4112C005, 4113C005, 4114C005

The first two may be RF extenders. Of the other 3 one is likely the RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM

That leaves 2 lenses (the new 24-105 isn’t one of them)

13th Canon have formally announced the RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM. [Lens info]

In a development announcement for the upcoming R5 [R5 page] there is mention of a whole stack of RF lenses

“Alongside the EOS R5, Canon is also developing seven RF lenses and two RF lens extenders scheduled for release during 2020, including the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM, Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x.”

The RF extenders were always very likely [see my testing of the Extender 1.4 III with tilt/shift lenses for more]

RF 1.4xRF 2xRF100-500

 

11th A bit more on upcoming Tamron lenses from yesterday.

tamron lenses

Oh dear, it seems that the 24-105 is f/4 to f/7.1 in these specs from [NOK]

 RF24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM  specs are 13 elements in 13 groups, and the shortest distance is 0.2m (AF) /0.13m (MF) The maximum shooting magnification is 0.4x (AF / 105mm) /0.5x (MF / 24mm), the camera shake compensation effect is 5 stops, the filter diameter is 67mm, Φ76.6mm x 88.8mm, it seems to be 395g.

However, the close focus distance is good and with an EVF and DPF, f/7.1 isn’t quite as awful as it might first appear to seasoned DSLR users. This comparison suggests it will have a place…

Canon RF 24-105 IS STM Canon EF 24-105 IS STM Canon RF 24-104 F4L
Max aperture 4-7.1 3.5-5.6 4.0
Design 13 elements in 11 groups 17 elements in 13 groups 18 elements in 14 groups
MFD .2m AF (.13m MF) .4m AF .45m
Magnification .4x AF (.5x MF) .3x 0.24x
IS compensation 5 stops 4 stops 5 stops
Filter diameter 67mm 77mm 77mm
Size 76.6×88.8mm 83.4x104mm 83.5×107.3mm
Weight 395g 525g 700g

10th Expect more higher end lenses from Tamron as they adapt to the shrinking market [DC]

“In the digital camera market in 2019, the digital camera market saw a 20% drop in the interchangeable lens market and a 12% drop in interchangeable lenses, both of which were down double digits. In interchangeable-lens cameras, mirrorless cameras continued to increase, but the number of single-lens reflex cameras fell by more than 40%, causing the market to shrink.
The interchangeable lens market also shrank due to the camera market. However, even in mirrorless cameras, full-size cameras with high image quality and high unit prices are performing well, and full-size cameras were down only 6% YoY. The market for compact models also continued to shrink, dropping 18% year-on-year.”

A Canon article about the RF70-200 is worth a look, to give an idea of some of the changes we can expect to see as Canon moves away from EF.

rf70-200

6th Some photos of the Canon RF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.67.1 IS STM ‘kit lens’ have appeared via [Nok]

RF24-105mmSTM on camera

RF24-105mm STM

There were also photos of the 850D, but no other new cameras, so if there is a new R camera body, it’s unlikely to be part of the next product announcement … OK, it could be another ‘on its way’ announcement like the 1D X mk3 got.

A US patent application [USPTO] looks at accessories to go between lens and camera. The RF mount has a much increased capability for high speed multichannel communication and Canon clearly have eyes on just what they can produce. The diagram shows just one intermediate unit, whilst the patent also shows stacking.

RF mount accessories

I’ve just written up some notes on using teleconverters with shift lenses  and one thing that occured to me was that we should be due a range of RF->RF and EF->RF extenders. The EF->RF models would make for good solutions for mounting EF glass and could have added features such as a control ring.

The RF mount was designed to offer a lot of new features, relatively few of which have yet been seen.

January

30th It’s been suggested to us that there is at least one RF mount Canon tilt/shift lens on its way later this year. No specs, but it would confirm my own testing that suggests the RF mount would allow somewhat more shift before mount vignetting becomes a problem. There are Canon patents that include driven movements, although having the movements recorded in EXIF data would be a good start.

There is a mention of Canon RF teleconverters/extenders and an RF 100-500 [CR]

I’d not be surprised to see a combined EF->RF adapter/converter as well to give just that bit more encouragement to move to an RF mount body.

23rd Some lens designs found in Japanese patent applications [CN]

An RF 17-70 f/3.5-5.6 IS would seem to be something for a cheaper kit lens option, whilst a range of long tele lenses seem similar to those seen in US patent info last week (see Jan 16th below) [USPTO]

22nd One advantage of the move to mirrorless and the shorter flange distance for camera mounts is that there is much more space for adapters to work in. I’ve been testing the Fotodiox TLT ROKR tilt shift adapter for a while on my EOS RP, and with ±15mm of shift and 10º of tilt it’s made my old Mamiya M645 medium format lenses a whole lot more useful. I’d go so far as to say it’s added another strong reason to consider updating my 5Ds when Canon bring out a mirrorless replacement.

Anyway, I’ve a review that also looks at how you use tilt and shift with the lenses.

Review: Fotodiox tilt shift adapter

35 shifted

19th Via Chinese social media, some pictures of a new Laowa 15mm f/4.5 W-Dreamer shift lens appear [W]

It seems to have 11mm of shift.

15shift-2

15shift-1

Interesting…

At last I’ve finished writing my book about using tilt-shift lenses – it’s unlikely to be available until later in the year, but it’s been an interesting experience writing for print again.

17th At a presentation in China, it seems that Venus Optics mentioned that hey were going to introduce a new f/0.95 lens under the ‘Argus’ name. Whether this is a one-off or a line of lenses is unknown.

Any actual lenses are unlikely to appear until later in the year – and yes I do hope to add it/them to our Laowa reviews in due course ;-)

Designs for an RF 24-100 F2.8 (and 24-85) are found in a Japanese patent application from Canon [HL]

24-100

16th A Canon US patent application has a lot of designs for long white lenses [USPTO]

800/5.6 | 600/4 | 500/4 | 400/2.8 | 300/2.8

Sure, there will be RF mount long white lenses eventually, but the replacement of the EF line-up won’t be rapid.

There’s a RF135/1.4 design found in a Japanese patent application at [CN]

14th Canon is working mostly on new RF lenses… they are not really doing EF any more.

Some comments from Canon Europe’s senior product marketing manager have been widely taken as that they are almost giving up on EF.

Whilst this may be true, it probably wasn’t quite the message that many EF lens users (still the majority of Canon users). Thom Hogan has a good note on this from a marketing perception POV [TH]

I can well believe that they want to switch – the majority of the lens patents I’m seeing are for RF designs.

There will obviously be new RF lenses this year as the range is filled out. Two that get a mention are a basic 50mm and a pancake lens of some sort [CR]. There is also a mention of an RF 70-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens – one of many designs already seen in patent info for 2018/2019

 

9th A Canon US patent application includes designs for a range of fast RF mount primes [USPTO]

85/1.2 | 70/1.2 | 130/1.4 |

The example here is one of several 85/1.2 designs

rf85mm f1.2

8th Canon has released new firmware V1.0.6 for the 70-200mm f/2.8 RF lens

2nd A Canon Japanese patent application [CN] shows a field enlarging teleconverter.

adapter-ef-s-rf

That would allow APS-C lenses to cover full frame sensors, albeit with at least a stop reduction in aperture.

Given the smaller apertures you tend to get with APS-C lenses anyway, I’m not sure I’d really want to use even the moderately good EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS on my RP when it becomes f/6-f/9.

Perhaps more use for the likes of the 2014 EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

2019 news/patents/articles moved to their own 2019 Lens archive page

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Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith ...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles.