Is Canon Getting Extra Serious About Bokeh?

Is Canon Getting Extra Serious About Bokeh?

When it comes to photo gear, few things get the attention of more photographers than the promise of extra-smooth bokeh. And while Canon already has plenty of lenses that can offer that, they seem to be investing in taking it even further with several intriguing new lens designs. 

Digicame.info uncovered several rather impressive lens patents from Canon, all four being zooms with wide maximum apertures, some particularly so. What makes these even more interesting that each has a "DS" label, short for "defocus smoothing," Canon's designation for an apodization filter. Apodization filters are radially graduated ND filters that offer especially smooth bokeh. The tradeoff is a loss of about 1-2 stops of transmittance, but they are often prized for their ultra-smooth out-of-focus areas. The four lens designs are:

  • 18-35mm f/1.8 DS 
  • 21-50mm f/2.8 DS
  • 50-100mm f/1.8 DS
  • 120-300mm f/2.8 DS

Canon already has one such model in the RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS. That being said, just because a lens design has been patented, it does not mean it will eventually make it to the market, but it is still quite interesting to see these, particularly in zoom lenses. In particular, I find the 50-100mm f/1.8 DS exciting, as it would likely be a fantastically versatile portrait lens. Hopefully, we'll see it eventually! 

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1 Comment
Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

If they were extra serious about bokeh, they'd bring back their old 50mm f/0.95 dream lens in an updated design with autofocus. Just saying, cause I hope they read it :)