Canon Is Working on Some Truly Insane Lenses

Canon Is Working on Some Truly Insane Lenses

While their mirrorless bodies have received mixed responses, no one can accuse Canon of playing it safe when it comes to mirrorless lenses, and they're showing no signs of stopping, as patent documents have emerged showing a positively ludicrous lens design.

Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon recently filed a patent for a 50-80mm f/1.1 (no, that's not a typo) zoom lens for their mirrorless full frame mount. Of course, f/1.1 is a ridiculously wide maximum aperture for a prime lens, and it's entirely unheard of in a zoom lens. In fact, the widest full frame zoom lenses are the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 and the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L; f/1.1 is approximately 1.72 stops faster than those. If the optical quality is there, photographers will essentially get a highly versatile portrait lens that offers both the classic headshot focal length and the half-body focal length.

Now, one has to remember, of course, that a patent is not the same as a product, and we see plenty of patents that never come to market. Nonetheless, Canon has shown that they can push the boundaries of design with the RF mount, and it's quite exciting to see that they're not slowing down. 

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Matt Williams's picture

I love carrying a camera around with my lens

(nah seriously this would be cool - wildly impractical, but so is the Noct-Nikkor for most people... both would be fun to use once or twice though)

Headline: “...Truly Insane...!” Taken literally, I disagree! Design experimentation is needed or their market will evaporate. What’s insane is the hours we spend pining for the Grail and never finding it!

Hey mark mark, do you need to put this in every article. We get it. 35mm is dead, like tomorrow. And next week everyone will be walking around with digital 8x10 view cameras, because phones have bested 5x7 large format. The horse is properly beaten. You can stop now.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Yeah, sorry, that's NOT how it is, your comment has hyperbole all over it... Wake up and get a clue of reality, cause you don't seem to have a good grasp of it.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

I like coffee, I like to smell and drink it, and I like the sensation of alertness it provides me after a nice hot cup, so that I'm awake enough to realize the complete and utter nonsense you're spewing.

We get it, you love Medium Format, good for you. You went out and spent a ton of dough on your PhaseOne, again, if that's what your workflow demands to provide your desired results, good on you again.

But please, stop preaching your complete nonsense about cameras with sensors smaller than MF, because it really is laughable.

Go have a look at Joe Edelman's portfolio, especially his works from the last 1-2 years, after he switched to a (gasp) Olympus Micro 4/3's camera, and then come back here and talk about the relevance of cameras smaller than m4/3.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Wow, just wow! Your arrogance and ignorance is astonishing! You think that agencies is the end-all and be-all of what determines a “standard”. I have news for you pal, there are LOTS of agencies that will accept work from photographers who shoot with gear OTHER THAN a PhaseOne or Hasselblad, you’re just ignorant to this fact. So no, you do NOT have to shoot with just one of those two brands in order to work with agencies.

Also, as for quality, I’ve seen the output from PhaseOne systems, whilst they offer the huge MP count that is needed for billboard productions and similar, they actually don’t have the most pleasing colour science to them, when compared against even other MF cameras, such as Hasselblad or Fuji, so sorry, even if I had the money to waste on one, I would never buy one.

The Fuji GFX100 is a phenomenal camera, no doubt about it, and marks a shift in the MF genre, however it’s not a tectonic shift that will occur overnight, but rather over a decade or more. If anything, it’s akin to the Sony A7III and A7RIII (now also the A7RIV) shaking things up in the FF world; it’s a process that will take a long time for people to start switching from Canon and Nikon to other platforms, if at all.

And BTW, MF is NOT the future, at least not for mainstream professional photographers, enthusiasts, or even pro-summers, and I’ll give you two reasons why, cost and size. The glass for these cameras is much larger, heavier, and MUCH more expensive, something that many in the above three categories of photographers don’t want in gear they have to lug out into the field, myself included. And the cost of the bodies ($10k for a GFX100), and the lenses, easily reaching double the cost of FF glass, will deter many in the industry away.

Now, I can see studio-only photographers, especially newcomers who haven’t already invested a ton of capital into an existing platform and glass, will want to jump onboard with this camera and platform, as for studio work it’ll be the future. But again, try getting your average studio photographer to put down $50k or MUCH more to completely switch their entire collection of bodies, glass, over a totally new system... It’s not happening to the vast majority, because existing platforms already offer spectacular quality, and that sort of capital investment for a modest increase in quality usually cannot be justified.

You are also completely ignoring the advancements being achieved in APS-C and m4/3 platforms, and how their imaging quality is advancing to the point they are nipping at the heals of FF, whilst offering smaller bodies, smaller lenses, for much less money, especially when weighted against MF systems. If anything, I think the future may end up being divided into the following four groups:

- Smartphones for average consumer (we already see it, as Point-and-Shoot is dead)
- m4/3 or APS-C for pro-summers
- FF for legacy studios and in-the-field professionals
- MF exclusively for studio-only professionals

Now, go back to your agency shooting where you HAVE to shoot P1 and HB cameras in order to be “accepted”, and your love of MF, and open your eyes a bit more to the broader industry.

While you’re at it, go read the article posted here just a day or two ago about living in a photography BOX, cause you are definitely in one!


Found this over at PetaPixel, shows your average consumer trying out a P1 $52k Camera, and at the end a pro photographer telling us most people should never buy one, enjoy!

Edison Wrzosek's picture

OMG, ok, I’m done with you, as this last post shows you basically glazed over EVERYTHING I just said, so I’m not wasting my time with you anymore.

I HAVE worked with PhaseOne RAW files, because I was curious about the platform having switched to CaptureOne for my DAM, and wanted to see what a 150MP camera can deliver. As stated, I love the level of detail it delivers, but this is simply because of MP count and sensor size, and I am not a fan of the colour science, nor having to work with the HUGE files it generates.

Your assumptions definitely lead credence to that old saying “Don’t assume, cause it makes an ass out of you and me”, and you could easily be a poster child for that expression. You make one asinine assumption after another, think in your mind it’s gospel, and cannot grasp the reality you may (and bluntly are) wrong, and to expand your horizons and open your mind to other possibilities.

I think it’s time for you to just zip it and walk away from this conversation, as you’ve been outed by myself and many others here, and I know I’m not alone when I say we’re tired of your meandering nonsense.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

You know what, I've been more than patient with your extreme ignorance and hubris, but seriously, I've had it with you... STFU!

I have not LIED one iota, whereas you have been spewing complete nonsense, irrelevant to this article, since you came in, straight up, and have been called out by many here!

You also seem to have issues with comprehending what others write, as I NEVER said there was any sort of ISSUE with using P1 files in C1, where the hell did you even pull that one out from??? I simply said I don't like dealing with the large files generated from a 150MP camera, THAT'S IT! That has NO implications on the usability or technicalities of using said files from a P1, short of slow processing speeds vs images from lower MP cameras!

And I NEVER told you how a P1 works, I told you I DO NOT LIKE THE COLOUR SCIENCE, read, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the camera!! Can I make that any clearer for you pal? You seriously should lay off the acid or fentanyl, cause you act like you're in la la land right now.

Logan Cressler's picture

Sounds like someone just got his first medium format camera, or at least really wants one. Everything you say is hogwash.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Each comment of yours is loaded with incorrect facts, misinformation, hyperbole, and grandiose assumptions, all of which have no grounding in reality.

Stuart Carver's picture

Or just blowing smoke where the sun doesn’t shine.

Eric Robinson's picture

Your posts could possibly makes sense if they dealt with photographic reality rather than your obsession with the niche market that is MF........that incidentally has nothing whatsoever to do with the above article. I think it’s just more MF trolling on your part. You could do everyone a big favour if you went off and played with your MF of choice.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

I beg your pardon?? Hate??? Offensive remarks?? Mark, what the hell are you smoking??

Your posts have NO COMMON SENSE in them, they run around the block a few times and end up saying nothing of consequence or substance, and have no basis in reality.

My comments didn't use any vulgarities, didn't contain any hateful or scornful remarks, and simply pointed out a reality of your comments.

Where you interpret these as HATEFUL and OFFENSIVE (well maybe to you since people like you don't like being called out for your hyperbole), is beyond me.

Now go away, you've shown your true colours, and they are very dark and dank shades of grey.

Logan Cressler's picture

Sorry Marky mark, I really gotta say, I read all of Edisons posts, and went back and re read them, and I see zero "hate and offensive remarks" in any of his posts.

Perhaps you have a misunderstanding as to what hyperbole means?

"Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric, it is also sometimes known as auxesis. In poetry and oratory, it emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally."

As an example of hyperbole that you used, when you said "soon there will be no more 35mm cameras...." even though the industry trend for almost a hundred years now has been towards smaller and smaller sensors, not larger ones. I know you are going to jump on it, so I will say it first, when I said sensors, of course I also meant film, which is a sensor.

Mark Sawyer's picture

But, but, but... I thought they finally solved spherical aberration with just one element?

I'm glad I invested in all th 1.2 and 1.4 L primes. Gear announcements like this along with the 28-70mm f2 just roll off my back. I can get close enough or better. It's not zoom but I can deal with that. I never need to daydream what it would be like. G.A.S. evaded.

Farhad Farajov's picture

50-80 f/1.1 lens will never be manufactured with current lens technology. Constructing such a lens might be possible from physical stand point. However, practically it is not. Look at the size of new Canon RF primes: RF 50mm F/1.2 and 85mm f/1.2. Although they are prime lenses with max aperture of f/1.2, they are enormous.

Their 85mm f1.2 was one of my all-time favorite portrait lenses! That thing had a depth of field about an inch deep. Just killer! You could take one of those horrible "messy kitchen in the background" selfies that people post on social media, and it would look amazing.