Canon May Have Four Lenses in the Pipeline, Including Two Potential Game Changers [Rumor]

Many have accused Canon of being less innovative than other manufacturers, and while that may or may not be true when it comes to camera bodies, they do have some pretty extreme lenses out there. As they prepare to announce their next batch, there could be some very intriguing pieces of glass coming to the market.

As has been reported, a Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS lens is likely on its way to complement, not replace the 85mm f/1.2L II. There's no doubt an L-quality, wide-aperture, image stabilized portrait prime would be a smash hit. Now, the awesome people over at Canon Rumors are reporting that Canon will likely be updating the TS-E 45mm f/2.8 and TS-E 90mm f/2.8, both of which are rather long in the tooth and not L-class lenses. Both new versions will be L lenses and will bring a bit more uniformity in both quality and modernization to the tilt-shift lineup, which is led the TS-E 17mm f/4L and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, both of which are optically excellent.

Where things get interesting is the third rumored tilt-shift lens, which is reported to possibly be a TS-E 135mm f/2.8L with macro capabilities. While the maximum aperture is unconfirmed and it's not clear that the macro capabilities would be full magnification (1:1), such a lens would be a huge boon to macro, food, and product photographers if it does indeed have good maximum magnification (the widest aperture matters less), as adding tilt-shift capabilities would reduce or possibly eliminate the need to perform focus stacking, vastly reducing the complexity and time involved both in shooting and processing such shots. While one could easily accomplish this with a large format camera, as far as I know, no modern 35mm system has a lens that couples tilt-shift capabilities with a significant maximum magnification. If all this comes to fruition, the next few months could be very interesting for Canon shooters. 

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anonymous's picture

Maybe interesting for a fairly small group of Canon shooters. :-/

Josh Leavitt's picture

An L-series 85/1.4 with image stabilization will make for an excellent pairing with the 5DS/R. The current 85/1.4 and 85/1.2 produce mouthwatering quality as it is, but optical image stability opens quite a few doors with ultra-high resolution sensors.

Danny Grizzle's picture

I own every tilt/shift lens in the Canon lineup. There have been rumors of a redesign on the TS-E 45mm f/2.8 for 10 years. While there is little to fault the TS-E 90mm f2.8 optically, I think there is room for improvement in the mechanical design, particularly in the precision of the manual focus, which has play in the helicoils that is a bit sloppy. I'd sure like to see these built to the standard of a Zeiss Milvus lens.

I'm not understanding the concept of a 135mm tilt-shift macro, which does not seem to have much application for architecture, the main reason these lenses exist. I understand that a telephoto macro is useful, and that tilting can be useful in macro photography. But it seems like the longer the lens, the more extreme the movements would need to be to actually be useful.

Frankly, if I were to rank the utility of the existing lenses in the distribution of photos I take with them, it would break out something like this in architectural applications: 24mm - 75%, 17mm - 20%, 45mm - 3%, 90mm - 2%.

Joshua Baker's picture

Think product shots at an angle for the 135 tilt shift macro as the use case. Like architecture you need to keep lines straight for products

Anonymous's picture

But you need the shift function for architectural due to your position limitations. Why would you have that problem with product photography?

Jeff Morris's picture

Partick - Shifting for architecture often has nothing to do with "position limitations" but rather with how items or spaces are translated from 3D to 2D. It's all about being able to get the desired composition while maintaining nonconvergent verticals.

While you don't always need to keep your verticals vertical for product shoots (ie small appliances, toys, organic shapes in general), it is often desirable with furniture photography. If you want those table legs looking straight, you'll either need to photograph it from about 2 feet off the ground or use a TS lens to get a more flattering composition.

Mark Davidson's picture

I think what is often more relevant for product shooters is the tilt for extending DOF at a given aperture and thus minimize focus stacking.
In the old film days we desperately needed this on 4x5 and 8x10 cameras to maximize DOF at close range and shooting at f90.
THAT is why 4800 w/s strobes were made.

Edward Porter's picture

I primarily shoot architecture, but still find shifting critical for designers wanting product photography. Perspective plays an equally critical role for controlling surface area and line angle.

A simple example is shooting a table leveled while minimizing negative space around the object. With a regular lens, comping a tight shot would lead to an angle that doesn't show the tabletop. However with T/S we could capture the tabletop with the entire object tightly in frame.

Edward Porter's picture

I'm most looking forward to a locking switch on the tilt. Can't tell you how many times I've seen the 45mm's tilt move even when fully tightened. Love not having to worry about that on the 17 and 24.

Mark Davidson's picture

The 17 has a lock, however that did not stop me from shooting several key images with the tilt of by a smidge.
Fortunately the client only used those ones at web size.

Darren Loveland's picture

I'm still waiting on Canon to finally manufacture a 24-105 f/2.8. Leica has a close one at 24-90 f/2.8 but it's $5k. Wide enough to shoot landscapes, wide aperture for low light situations/bokeh, and enough zoom for strong portraits or distance nature shots. IMO that would be the holy grail of lenses. Until then, I'll keep saving and puttin' along with a heavy bag of random glass.

Joshua Baker's picture

Won't happen. Leica's is f4 at long end. For same price (or even less) you can get a great 24-70 2.8 and a great 70-200 2.8.

Alex Cooke's picture

That'l never happen. Such a lens would be prohibitively large and expensive.

Tim Wilson's picture

As a Jewelry photographer the thought of a 135 TS lens is AMAZING. Of course I'm a Nikon guy. Hmmm.

paul aparycki's picture

Something you don't address Mr. Cooke, and I suspect it is because you, like most bloggers (that is what this site is . . . a money generating load of mis-informed tripe, like most blogs), is the design differences between an optic made for film, and an optic made for digital . . . there is a universe of difference. When people bitch about a Canon, Nikon, Pentax piece of glass that might not measure up to the latest offerings from someone like Zeiss, they are unknowingly crapping about a lack of upgrading a design.

READ the excellent treatise published by Rodenstock on the "why" of digital lense design, and why they continue (for the moment) to cater to both markets.

Canon, Nikon, etc, "new" lenses are nothing more than an admission that their existing designs are useless for their current body offerings. Period.

We pay the price.

Alex Cooke's picture

Um, I'm like what? You never actually said it. Also, I'm not sure why you're bringing film into this; the only reason I mentioned large format was because it has the inherent ability to perform t/s maneuvers with any lens due to the bellows system, which has literally nothing to do with lens design, which is what this article is about (nor did I complain about lens design).

Anyway, if you think I'm misinformed, feel free to point out what it is you think I'm specifically wrong about and what is correct. Lastly, you told me to read that treatise two years ago, and I did.

paul aparycki's picture

You, like EVERYONE else involved in photography don't seem to understand manufacturer's dilemmas. What makes a great "film" lense does not make a great "digital" lense . . . why I brought this up, or are you so I'll-informed.?

Nikon, Canon, and to a lesser degree Pentax have superb optics that were designed to contend with the vagaries of film . . . I.e. focusing onto varied planes. Come the digital world, a premiere optic would and should be designed to focus on ONE plane. Zeiss, Schneider have redesigned their entire line from scratch . . . why they are near perfect, and near priceless . . . $$$. Sigma miraculously seems to understand and has addressed the issue.

It would be stupid for anyone to think that a company that has such a massive portfolio of glass (Nikon, Canon, etc) would just redesign everything overnight to satisfy a bunch of wankers. Financially, and physically impossible and stupid.

Thus we get the time to time "new" lense, which is nothing more than a company bringing an old design up to date. That is it . . . nothing more.

Considering that the vast majority of optics from the companies involved were designed for "film", and are now being changed at a penny per level, yes, film has everything to do with it.

I don't know if it is still available online, but I urge you and any other who think you might understand what is happening between the front end of your lense and the sensor to look for and READ Rodenstock's technical sheet. They, along with Schneider and Zeiss, make the world's finest optics and know what they are talking about . . . unlike most bloggers.

Alex Cooke's picture

Ok, again, I've read that document, just like you suggested to me two years ago. On the other hand, yes, I'm aware of the difference between varying thicknesses of film emulsion versus the absolute distance of a digital sensor. Again, the reference to large format film had to do with bellows movements, not the design of lenses. I'm honestly not sure why you think I (the wanker?) was implying that Canon, Nikon, or whoever should redesign their entire lens lineups. Thanks for commenting.

Daniel L Miller's picture

I'm curious, Paul. If "this site is . . . a money generating load of mis-informed tripe"… then why are you here?