In this patent application (2023-125584), Canon is attempting to design lightweight telephotos with good optical characteristics.

First up we have some full-frame telephotos ranging from a 4x 200-800 F5.6-9 to a 6x 100-600mm F5.6-9. The designs are interesting, but they, even with F9.0 would have some pretty big front elements, and at least two large groups, balancing these lenses may be difficult, and if they are lighter, that may actually work against the lens. The IS units seem to be quite a bit more forward than usual on the two telephoto designs. The telephotos are also at the minimum 1.4x tele-extender friendly, with the 100-600 most likely capable of supporting the 2x tele-extender as well.

The APS-C lens would not be used on the RF mount or even the EOS-M mount. It could though be used on an APS-C powershot. With a back focus distance of 10mm, it's not suitable for any Canon ILC (interchangeable lens camera).

Canon RF 100-600mm F5.6-9

focal length           100.02  231.27  599.98  
F number                 5.83    7.10    9.20  
Half angle of view (°)  12.21    5.34    2.07  
Image height            21.64   21.64   21.64  
Total lens length      300.08  336.79  373.49  
BF                      77.78   77.78   77.78  

Canon RF 200-800mm F5.6-9.0

Focal length            206.00  404.42 775.96  
F number                  5.83    7.10   9.20  
Half angle of view (°)    6.00    3.06   1.60 
Image  height            21.64   21.64  21.64  
Lens total length       330.07  361.31 392.54  
BF                       38.46   38.46  38.46  

Canon APS-C 20-150mm F4-F8

Focal Length             19.99   51.56  150.00  
F Number                  4.12    6.60    8.12  
Half Angle of View (°)   30.77   14.84    5.20  
Image Height             11.90   13.66   13.66  
Lens length             118.37  134.53  150.69  
BF                       10.01   10.01   10.01  

As with any Canon Patent Application. This may not be used to create an actual product, and may not even get processed into a published patent by Canon. It does however give us a glimpse into what Canon is researching.

Source: Japan Patent Application 2023-125584

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75 comments

  1. Just when I thought f/7.1 was bad. “Hold my beer,” says Canon. “We’re moving the bar higher…again!”
    f7.1 on RF100-500L and f8 on RF100-400 is excellent for what you get. Only people who loves to take things out of context bash this.

    Canon DPAF II is capable of decent AF at f11 anyway. What so salty about 800mm/900mm at f9.

    If these lenses are Canon's answer to the 180-600/200-600G, I'm getting one.
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  2. These appeal to me. 800mm f/9 has 2/3rd stop more light gathered per duck than a 500/7.1 or 400/5.6 and the same as a 600/6.3 (all have the same diameter front element/entrance pupil). For many years, my main telephoto was an EF 400mm f/4 DO II with a 2xTC on it to give 800mm f/8, which was used on a DSLR. f/9 on a current mirrorless will be better for AF and IQ. A 200-800mm f/9 should be approximately the same size as a 200-600mm f/6.3 and give extended range. If it is built to a lightweight design, it should be light enough even for me and a winner as far as I am concerned. Even at L-standard, I might consider it as an alternative when I do not need to hike. The 100-600mm f/9 is very slightly slower than a 100-500 f/7.1 and could either be an expensive successor to the current RF 100-500 or a cheap larger version of the RF 100-400, depending on the quality of construction.

    I've been using the 1.4xTC on the RF 100-500mm to give 700mm f/10 with the R7, and f/10 is quite ok as these cameras go up to very high isos when combined with DxO PL or other modern noise reduction software..
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  3. An RF 200-800mm F5.6-9.0 and an APS-C PowerShot 20-150mm F4-F8 would both make a lot of sense.
    I don't see Canon making an RF 100-600mm F5.6-9 but not having to switch lenses between the RF 100-400 and 600 f/11 would be nice.
    This is especially true will a teleconverter.
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  4. An RF 200-800mm F5.6-9.0 and an APS-C PowerShot 20-150mm F4-F8 would both make a lot of sense.
    I don't see Canon making an RF 100-600mm F5.6-9 but not having to switch lenses between the RF 100-400 and 600 f/11 would be nice.
    This is especially true will a teleconverter.
    At first when I was writing up the application I entirely dismissed the APS-C lens until I thought about an APS-C compact camera, then it sounded a lot better. It's certainly never going on an ILC.
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  5. I could see the 200-800 becoming a thing, a nice big brother to the 100-400. The 100-500 will get a $15000 200-500 big brother.
    I agree, looking atht he list of patents, this was the one that caught my eye. A zoom that stretches out to 800mm @ f9 is a very attractive proposion. At 800mm, one would need an aperture of F9 for depth of field anyhow. So as long as it's sharp wide open, this would be a nice addition to a wildlife and birding kit.
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  6. I remember when f/5.6 was slow.
    I realize that camera AF systems are way ahead of those of the past in terms of operating with low light, but the ISO/shutter speed/Aperture triangle hasn't changed.
    Won't even mention bokeh.
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  7. Just when I thought f/7.1 was bad. “Hold my beer,” says Canon. “We’re moving the bar higher…again!”
    Too right, man. How dare Canon design supertelephoto lenses with such narrow apertures that they are in price ranges affordable by a large number of photographers? The hubris! Such focal lengths should be restricted only to professionals and those with a ton of disposable income.

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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  8. I remember when f/5.6 was slow.
    I realize that camera AF systems are way ahead of those of the past in terms of operating with low light, but the ISO/shutter speed/Aperture triangle hasn't changed.
    Won't even mention bokeh.
    Very true that the iso/speed/triangle hasn't changed. But the ability of sensors to cope with high iso and software that removes noise without losing detail have changed dramatically. Here, for example, taken at random is the crop from the centre of an image taken at iso 20k on the R5. It's not a wonderful photo but it shows you can go up to high iso on a high resolution sensor. I used standard XD noise reduction with DxO PL6 followed by Topaz AI denoise.

    309A0186-DxO_Dunnock_iso20k-dn.jpg
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  9. I remember when f/5.6 was slow.
    I realize that camera AF systems are way ahead of those of the past in terms of operating with low light, but the ISO/shutter speed/Aperture triangle hasn't changed.
    Won't even mention bokeh.
    I too would certainly prefer a 5,6/200-800 if:
    - It weren't for its huge weight
    - It weren't for its exhorbitant price
    - It weren't for its size requiring the largest possible backpack
    And that's why I'll happily accept, as a non professional, its f9 aperture. ;)
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  10. I remember when f/5.6 was slow.
    I realize that camera AF systems are way ahead of those of the past in terms of operating with low light, but the ISO/shutter speed/Aperture triangle hasn't changed.
    The ISO side of the triangle has certainly changed significantly (from the relevant standpoint of image quality). Sensors have lower read noise, and AI-driven noise reduction software is far better these days.

    My first FF DSLR was a 5DII, and I preferred to keep the ISO at 1600 or lower, but would use 3200 if really needed. With my R3, I prefer to keep it at 12800 or lower but will use 25600 if needed (and if anything, my tolerance for image noise has gotten more stringent over the years).

    That’s a 3-stop improvement in ISO, which more than offsets the 2/3 to 2-stop narrower aperture some people are complaining about.

    Subject isolation is a different matter (but another area in which AI is being successfully applied).
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  11. The people/market decided that they could live quite well with the f/8 of the 100-400 as well as the f/7.1 of the 100-500L.
    So why not give them more choices.
    Personally, I know both RFs, the 100-400 and the 100-500. And from my point of view, those were definitely good designs.
    And for sure, I'd take a 200-800/9 with variable aperture over an 800/11 fixed.
    Of course, the MFD would be very interesting/deciding for me.
    Let the people decide if they like it or not.
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  12. I too would certainly prefer a 5,6/200-800 if:
    - It weren't for its huge weight
    - It weren't for its exhorbitant price
    - It weren't for its size requiring the largest possible backpack
    And that's why I'll happily accept, as a non professional, its f9 aperture. ;)

    Yes but something similar to the Sigma 200-500 F2.8 would be perfect ;)
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  13. The people/market decided that they could live quite well with the f/8 of the 100-400 as well as the f/7.1 of the 100-500L.
    So why not give them more choices.
    Personally, I know both RFs, the 100-400 and the 100-500. And from my point of view, those were definitely good designs.
    And for sure, I'd take a 200-800/9 with variable aperture over an 800/11 fixed.
    Of course, the MFD would be very interesting/deciding for me.
    Let the people decide if they like it or not.
    No contest for me of 200-800/9 vs 800/11. The 800 will be off to MPB. An 800 prime is a specialised lens. You and I both like the semi-macro of the RF 100-400 and 100-500, and I could see travelling with both a 100-400 and 200-800. Here's a shot I took a few minutes ago with the RF 100-400 on the R7 at mfd of a Speckled Wood Butterfly.

    3R3A3023-DxO_Speckled_wood_butterfly.jpg
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  14. These appeal to me. 800mm f/9 has 2/3rd stop more light gathered per duck than a 500/7.1 or 400/5.6 and the same as a 600/6.3 (all have the same diameter front element/entrance pupil). For many years, my main telephoto was an EF 400mm f/4 DO II with a 2xTC on it to give 800mm f/8, which was used on a DSLR. f/9 on a current mirrorless will be better for AF and IQ. A 200-800mm f/9 should be approximately the same size as a 200-600mm f/6.3 and give extended range. If it is built to a lightweight design, it should be light enough even for me and a winner as far as I am concerned. Even at L-standard, I might consider it as an alternative when I do not need to hike. The 100-600mm f/9 is very slightly slower than a 100-500 f/7.1 and could either be an expensive successor to the current RF 100-500 or a cheap larger version of the RF 100-400, depending on the quality of construction.

    I've been using the 1.4xTC on the RF 100-500mm to give 700mm f/10 with the R7, and f/10 is quite ok as these cameras go up to very high isos when combined with DxO PL or other modern noise reduction software..

    I agree...currently using the 600iii F4, and for pelagic birding or raptors I would absolutely use 800 f/9. Some spots I go to are mixed habitat, so I could bring the 800 for the spots where I want that huge reach, then when back in the woods pop the 600 back on. I would get this thing day 1.
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  15. Very true that the iso/speed/triangle hasn't changed. But the ability of sensors to cope with high iso and software that removes noise without losing detail have changed dramatically. Here, for example, taken at random is the crop from the centre of an image taken at iso 20k on the R5. It's not a wonderful photo but it shows you can go up to high iso on a high resolution sensor. I used standard XD noise reduction with DxO PL6 followed by Topaz AI denoise.

    View attachment 211478

    That's fantastic....I've also found that the new AI-driven denoising function in LR works great as well...I'm getting very usable shots at 12800 with just that alone.
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