Canon files patents for new zoom lenses up to 800 mm

Canon in Japan has filed patents for three new zoom lenses. Two are intended for full-frame cameras and one for use with APS-C sensors.

What do we know?

The Japanese blog website Asobinet broke the story regarding the new Canon patents filed with the Japanese Patent Office. Patent application reference 2023-125584 describes three new lightweight telephoto lenses. The two full frame lenses would be for the Canon RF mount cameras. However, according to the website Canon Rumors, the APS-C lens would not be designed with either an RF mount or EOS-M mount. It has been suggested therefore that this lens will feature on a PowerShot range camera.

A 200-800 mm zoom lens

The most interesting lens in the patent is a full frame lens with a focal length of 200 mm to 800 mm. The aperture range for the lens is also quoted as f5.8 to f9.2. The slightly unusual numbers are probably because it’s a prototype design and for practical purposes can be considered as f5.6 to f9. In addition, the lens design shows around 20 glass elements including a group providing optical image stabilization. The Canon patent application describes the 200-800 mm zoom lens as “compact and lightweight.” However, with such a long zoom range, it’s likely to be quite a bulky lens, even with only an f9 maximum aperture.

A 100-600 mm zoom lens

Canon lens patent for 100-600 mm lens

The other full frame lens in the Canon patent covers a zoom range of 100 mm to 600 mm. It also has the same aperture range of f5.8 to f9.2 as the 200-800 mm lens. In addition, the 100-600 mm lens again shows a group of lens elements to provide optical image stabilization.

A 20-150 mm zoom lens

The lens intended for use with an APS-C sensor in the Canon patent has a zoom range from 20 mm to 150 mm. The document also shows this lens with an aperture range from f4.1 to f8.1 which can be considered f4 to f8 in reality. Canon APS-C sensor cameras have a crop factor of 1.6 times compared to full frame cameras. That means the 20-150 mm lens would have a field of view range equivalent to 32 mm to 240 mm on a full frame camera.

What we think

The lenses in new Canon patent have some very powerful zoom ranges. An 800 mm reach on a zoom lens would be ideal for sports coverage or wildlife videography for example. The inclusion of image stabilization is intriguing as well as it suggests that Canon is designing the lenses to be compact enough to be used handheld. Of course, we must stress that registering a patent is done to protect a technological design or development. It doesn’t always result in a product coming to market. However, the new patent filing is an interesting tease of what to expect from the company in the next few years.

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