Patent: Canon RF 135mm f/1.4L USM

reef58

EOS RP
Apr 16, 2016
237
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The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens has an 82mm front filter thread as compared to 105mm for the Sigma. I don't know how everyone is coming up with their pricing, but as it relates to front filter thread size... I say it is a bad way to judge price. The Sigma is $1,599 usd and the Nikon runs about $2,500 usd. All the hand wringing over what the final cost will be based on this or that lens is just sillyness. It will be fun revisiting this price arguement once the lens is released... if it ever is.
I get your point, but top quality optics use top quality glass. Top quality glass is very expensive and gets more expensive in large sizes. I am not a technical guess, but at one time had a fetish for nice APO refractors. a 4" refractor may costs $2000 to $3000. An 8" refractor will cost $20,000 or more. A good portion of that difference is the cost of the raw glass,

You can buy cheaper glass of course but most are assuming if Canon were to build a lens as mentioned they will use the top shelf glass. All that being said I would vote for an MSRP around $3500.
 

CanonFanBoy

O.K. Boomer
Jan 28, 2015
4,574
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I get your point, but top quality optics use top quality glass. Top quality glass is very expensive and gets more expensive in large sizes. I am not a technical guess, but at one time had a fetish for nice APO refractors. a 4" refractor may costs $2000 to $3000. An 8" refractor will cost $20,000 or more. A good portion of that difference is the cost of the raw glass,

You can buy cheaper glass of course but most are assuming if Canon were to build a lens as mentioned they will use the top shelf glass. All that being said I would vote for an MSRP around $3500.
I agree to your MSRP. My point was that although the Sigma had a much larger front element the Nikon cost far more. People were saying the Canon would cost upwards of $5k to $7k. Just silly.
 

Larsskv

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
799
221
I have a hard time understanding Canon's fans enthusiasm for large, heavy, fast and very expensive RF lens that are a poor form fit for their small mirrorless cameras. Fuji is the only mirrorless company that has produced quality fast prime lenses that are small and relatively light. I thought the whole purpose of the mirrorless revolution was to reduce the size ? Looks like Canon's approach is to increase their bottom line rather than provide their customers with lenses that are a better form fit for their new cameras.
Don’t forget Canon M series. It is focused on size and weight, on both camera bodies and lensss. Sure, they don’t have the lens line up that compares to Fuji, but the 11-22mm and the 32 F1.4 are really fine, small and lightweight lenses, that I believe is better than Fuji‘s offerings. The 22mm f2 pancake is also worth mentioning. Sigma supplements the longer focal lengths to some degree with their new 56(?) F1.4.
 

SwissFrank

EOS RP
Dec 9, 2018
328
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not a very strong logic. Sorry.
compare price of Sigma 150-600 C vs 150-600 S lens. 92mm front filter vs 105mm.
My mistake, I assumed you'd notice the similarity of the three lenses I was talking about in terms of being fast, short-medium telephotos of a single product line (EF L) by a single manufacturer and comperable quality.
 

Bangrossi

I'm New Here
Feb 5, 2018
15
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I think the physical size will be comparable to EF version of 200mm f2 or 300mm f2.8. I imagine the 135mm f1.4 just a bist shorter than 200 f2
 
Jul 12, 2017
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Don’t forget Canon M series. It is focused on size and weight, on both camera bodies and lensss. Sure, they don’t have the lens line up that compares to Fuji, but the 11-22mm and the 32 F1.4 are really fine, small and lightweight lenses, that I believe is better than Fuji‘s offerings. The 22mm f2 pancake is also worth mentioning. Sigma supplements the longer focal lengths to some degree with their new 56(?) F1.4.
The M6II and 11-22 + 32mm combo is my new daily walk around combo. Light weight compact and great function and image quality.
 
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Joules

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 16, 2017
593
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Hamburg, Germany
I think the physical size will be comparable to EF version of 200mm f2 or 300mm f2.8. I imagine the 135mm f1.4 just a bist shorter than 200 f2
The EF 200 mm 2.0 is 208mm long, at 162 mm this 135mm 1.4 is a good bit shorter and you save an additional 24 mm is you look at the body + lens combination.

My mistake, I assumed you'd notice the similarity of the three lenses I was talking about in terms of being fast, short-medium telephotos of a single product line (EF L) by a single manufacturer and comperable quality.
There are definitely similarities, yes. But there are also significant differences from what I can tell looking at the patent (Disclaimer: I may well misinterpret it, so please correct me if you have a better understanding of the description).

Namely:

Far simpler design, the 200mm 2.0 is 17 lenses in 12 groups, the 135mm 1.4 appears to be 13 lenses in 3 (!? Are they just not describing the others?) groups.

Less constraints thanks to the RF mount.

No IS in the 135mm 1.4.

I assume there is a bigger market for a 135mm prime than a 200mm or 300mm prime. This is just based on my subjective impressions though.

As was said earlier, it makes little sense to quarrel about the price of this lens, as we will probably find it out soon enough. I personally would be shocked though if it is above 4k.
 
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Sator

EOS T7i
Oct 14, 2015
72
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You can buy cheaper glass of course but most are assuming if Canon were to build a lens as mentioned they will use the top shelf glass. All that being said I would vote for an MSRP around $3500.
The manual focus Mitakon version of the 135mm f/1.4 costs $3000 USD. It is starry-eyed wishful thinking to believe that Canon would charge only $500 dollars more, especially for a version that also has autofocus, in addition to more state of the art optics. It is understandable that people want to believe it will be cheap but there is every reason to think this is pure fantasy. When did Canon start charging a mere ~15% premium over rival third-party Chinese designs? And that doesn't even take into account the fact that the Canon is highly likely to have autofocus.

Canon have been applying for a lot of patents for optical formulae that use extra aspherical elements to reduce the lens size and weight, but with the latest iterations of the great whites, it has also increased the price. There are a lot of aspherical elements in this patent for the 135mm f/1.4 and this will push up the price. Mitakon's optical designs are hardly the bleeding edge of engineering design either, and that is putting it mildly.

Keep in mind that the Rokinon 135mm f/2.0 manual focus lens costs $430 USD on B&H. The Canon EF 135mm f/2L costs $999, and it is a very old design. On this basis alone, it is reasonable to conclude that a Canon version of a 135mm f/1.4, especially one with autofocus, would likewise cost at least twice the Mitakon version.
 
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SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
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In AUD, look at the MSRP for the 200mm f/2 ($7499 AUD) vs the 300mm f/2.8 ii ($8099 AUD); right around an 8% price difference. Do you really think a 135mm f/1.4, which requires the same large front elements as the 200mm f/2 and 300mm f/2.8, brought to market 12 years later is going to be half the price? Also look at the new 400mm f/2.8 III and 600mm f/4.0 III. By your thinking the 400 should be substantially cheaper than the 600, but the prices come in at $12K and $13K respectively, also around an 8% price difference.
no, not the same front element size. 92-96mm ain't no 105mm. big difference in size and weight. and no, my thinking is not what you think my thinking is.
I do not understand why you even brought the 400 vs 600 use case. they are a very similar lenses in size and weight, tech and typical use cases, more or less.

look at Sigma 150-600 Contemporary 90-is mm front filter vs Sigma 150 - 600 Sports 105mm front filter. big difference in weight and cost. granted also difference in construction / build quality, weather sealing.

In any case, your point is taken. Let's agree to disagree.
 
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Sator

EOS T7i
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The Sigma 150-600 is a consumer-grade zoom, designed to be cost-effective, and whatever it may weigh or whatever its front element size, it cannot be compared in its optical qualities, and hence price, with high-end great whites. In terms of its engineering-grade and hence pricing, an approximately 3kg 135mm f/1.4 high-end prime beast is going to end up in the same ballpark as the great whites. It may even end up being a great white itself and for these Canon always charges a premium over third-party makers like Sigma, thus giving us another reason not to use the price of Sigma or Tamron lenses to estimate the price of a Canon native lens.

But people who badly want to believe in the tooth fairy are most welcome to do so. There is clearly no point in trying to reason with such thinking. Unfortunately, it is almost routine for people to fantasise online about f/0.95 pancake lenses that cost a few bucks. When the baby with the ridiculously large maximum aperture arrives, reality hits for the first time, and they are horrified at the weight and price of the thing.
 
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SecureGSM

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Feb 26, 2017
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The Sigma 150-600 is a consumer-grade zoom, designed to be cost-effective, and whatever it may weigh or whatever its front element size, it cannot be compared in its optical qualities, and hence price, with high-end great whites. In terms of its engineering-grade and hence pricing, an approximately 3kg 135mm f/1.4 high-end prime beast is going to end up in the same ballpark as the great whites. It may even end up being a great white itself.

But people who badly want to believe in the tooth fairy are most welcome to do so. There is clearly no point in trying to reason with such thinking.
for starters, i compared sigma to sigma.. contemporary vs sports. please read carefully. But people who badly want to believe that others believe in the tooth fairy and not have an alternative opinion that 135mm lens will be hard to market at $6000+ price point especially in this market.
There is clearly no point in trying to reason with such thinking.
here is my opinion: Canon would have to use some tricks in order to bring the size, weight and complexity of the lens down in order to enter the market with a better than $6000 price. ok. make it $4500, this is Canon after all. let's revisit this subject when and if the product was released.
 
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Joules

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 16, 2017
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The manual focus Mitakon version of the 135mm f/1.4 cost $3000 USD. It is starry-eyed wishful thinking to believe that Canon would charge only $500 dollars more, especially for a version that also has autofocus, in addition to more state of the art optics.
Canon always charges a premium over third-party makers

[...]

But people who badly want to believe in the tooth fairy are most welcome to do so. There is clearly no point in trying to reason with such thinking.
The issue aren't the people, it are the circumstances the presented reasoning is based on.

You for instance seem to imply that the pricing of a one off production run limited to less than 100 units remotely reflects on the costs associated with a 135mm 1.4.

And we saw many comparisons with the current big whites, but those are EF lenses designed for a different system and manufacturing process. They are also aimed at a different kind of photography that may not be purchased in such great volumes as portrait work. We don't really have enough RF mount lenses to draw conclusions on just how much easier and efficient it is to manufacture the new lenses.

The RF system is a new system though - it needs lenses with big profit margins to offset the initial development cost, yes. But it also needs lenses that are attractive enough to pull people into the system from DSLR and other brands mirrorless systems.

I doubt this lens will materialize if it isn't affordable enough. The great strength of the current RF mount cameras is portrait work, among other things. Giving portrait photographers an option they can't get for another system doesn't really make sense if they can't get it anyway because it is beyond their budget. That just makes the other systems more attractive because they have 'small', 'affordable' 135mm portrait options.

Let's just wait and see rather than throw shade at folks.
 
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Larsskv

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
799
221
Don’t forget Canon M series. It is focused on size and weight, on both camera bodies and lensss. Sure, they don’t have the lens line up that compares to Fuji, but the 11-22mm and the 32 F1.4 are really fine, small and lightweight lenses, that I believe is better than Fuji‘s offerings. The 22mm f2 pancake is also worth mentioning. Sigma supplements the longer focal lengths to some degree with their new 56(?) F1.4.
It is a combo that makes very good sense to me. The wide zoom for flexibility at the wide angles (which is very fun to shoot), and the 32mm for bokeh, portraits and low light. The image quality gap from these lenses compared to my full frame cameras and equivalent L lenses is so small that it can be hard to justify the investment in FF. If I ever did a reality check along these lines, I could save a ton of money. ;)

I must say, the reviews of the new M6II really makes me want to upgrade from my M5.
 

sulla

EOS RP
Dec 31, 2012
275
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www.flickr.com
The EF 135 f/2 lens really has a very big competitor in the EF 70-200 f/2.8, because f/2 and f/2.8 for many people, myself included, is not enough of a difference to justify a second lens, especially given the versatility of the zoom. Therfore I guess it makes sense to make the 135 lens a f/1.4, also considering Sigma's f/1.8 competition.

Personally, I like the 85 1.2 lens for portraiture, 135 is a bit long to me.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
8,167
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The EF 135 f/2 lens really has a very big competitor in the EF 70-200 f/2.8, because f/2 and f/2.8 for many people, myself included, is not enough of a difference to justify a second lens, especially given the versatility of the zoom. Therfore I guess it makes sense to make the 135 lens a f/1.4, also considering Sigma's f/1.8 competition.

Personally, I like the 85 1.2 lens for portraiture, 135 is a bit long to me.
Then you need to change your thinking, f2 - f2.8 is the same as f2.8 - f4, or twice as much light, would you value an f4 zoom the same as an f2.8 zoom? An f2 135mm prime would be smaller lighter and cheaper than a 70-200 f2.8 zoom and let in twice the light thus giving shallower dof and or faster shutter speeds.

I agree that too many people don’t really value the difference and consider the numbers too close, f2 f2.8 does sound too similar! I also agree that for many, despite the tradition of 135mm lenses giving a very complimentary perspective to facial features particularly if the subject has a larger nose, find the focal length a bit long. Though that is countered by the fact that most people use a 70-200 in its place and are often at the 200 end!

Personally I never really bought into the f1.2’s, I just never found a compelling use for the shallow dof, I used to own an FDn 50 1.2L but would far rather have the EF 85 f1.4 than pay so much more for the EF f1.2.
 

Sator

EOS T7i
Oct 14, 2015
72
19
photonicshunkan.blogspot.com
The issue aren't the people, it are the circumstances the presented reasoning is based on.

You for instance seem to imply that the pricing of a one off production run limited to less than 100 units remotely reflects on the costs associated with a 135mm 1.4.

And we saw many comparisons with the current big whites, but those are EF lenses designed for a different system and manufacturing process. They are also aimed at a different kind of photography that may not be purchased in such great volumes as portrait work. We don't really have enough RF mount lenses to draw conclusions on just how much easier and efficient it is to manufacture the new lenses.

I doubt this lens will materialize if it isn't affordable enough. The great strength of the current RF mount cameras is portrait work, among other things. Giving portrait photographers an option they can't get for another system doesn't really make sense if they can't get it anyway because it is beyond their budget. That just makes the other systems more attractive because they have 'small', 'affordable' 135mm portrait options.
My principle argument has always been that the best guide to the pricing of a hypothetical 135mm f/1.4 from Canon (assuming it has autofocus) is to look at the example of the great whites eg EF 200mm f/2.0, EF 300mm f/2.8, or 400mm f/2.8. Canon would be doing well to keep the weight of a 135mm f/1.4 down at around 3kg even after the addition of the autofocus mechanism. At 3kg it would put it in the same weight class at the 200mm f2.0 (2.5kg), 300mm f/2.8 (2.3kg), 400mm f/2.8 III (2.84kg). It would also be a similar high-end category of lens, several ranks above Chinese third party manual focus lenses like the Mitakon.

The reference to the Mitakon price is simply that it corroborates this notion that high-end glass in this circa 3kg weight category cannot be expected to be cheap, especially since it is being made by Canon...and NOT by a third-party Chinese manufacturer. Nor does comparing with this hypothetical circa 3kg high-end lens to the price of a consumer zoom lens of a similar weight or front element size by Tamron or Sigma provide a helpful comparative price point.

As for the notion that a 135mm f/1.4 will sell like hotcakes, I am rather sceptical. I own the Canon 200mm f/2.0 and it tends to be a studio lens. It's rather too heavy to be able to carry around with you all that much. I couldn't imagine a wedding photographer carrying it around all day instead of, or in addition to, a 70-200mm f/2.8. I was seduced by the thought of the f/2.0 aperture but it's a lot less practical than I thought.

Just because Canon are making this 135mm f/1.4 for the RF mount, it isn't going to make the glass super cheap. In fact, the opposite is true. The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 costs $2300 USD (B&H current price) vs $1600 (on sale at B&H from the usual $1900 USD) for the EF 24-70mm f/2.8. If anything, the new RF lenses are looking like they are going to be more expensive rather than cheaper, especially if they are being designed with a 100+MP sensor future in mind.

Some might point out quite rightly that Canon are patenting optical formulae that help reduce the size of the lens. That's how they got the size of the 600mm f/4 to 3kg on the Mark III, down from 3.9kg for the Mark II version. However, the weight reduction is accompanied by a price hike from $1,370,000 yen to $1,820,000 yen (Canon JP website, the US price for the Mark II looks discounted)! The use of a lot of aspherical elements in the patent for the 135mm f/1.4 suggests that they are using them in a similar way to reduce the size of the lens. That means it might be possible to keep the weight at around 3kg or slightly less even after the addition of autofocus. All that does is put it in the same weight category as the 200mm f2.0 (2.5kg, $5699), 300mm f/2.8 (2.3kg, $6099), 400mm f/2.8 III (2.84kg, $8000). It simply becomes inconceivable that Canon would sell a high-end lens in this heavyweight-class for thousands of dollars less than these comparative great whites. If you're a diehard optimist then hoping for around $5500 might be the closest thing to a nice bargain for a 135mm f/1.4 with autofocus that you could realistically hope for. Anything less and you might as well hold your breath in expectation of the tooth fairy visiting soon.

Being told that the tooth fairy doesn't exist needn't be received as apocalyptic doom and gloom news. It's just about being realistic rather than falling prey to wishful thinking. It's better to face up to reality sooner than living in fantasy land for longer. Sometimes you also have to be careful what you wish for. You are going to find this circa 3kg beast a lot less practical than you thought it was, and it might end up a white elephant.
 
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CanonFanBoy

O.K. Boomer
Jan 28, 2015
4,574
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Irving, Texas
My principle argument has always been that the best guide to the pricing of a hypothetical 135mm f/1.4 from Canon (assuming it has autofocus) is to look at the example of the great whites eg EF 200mm f/2.0, EF 300mm f/2.8, or 400mm f/2.8. Canon would be doing well to keep the weight of a 135mm f/1.4 down at around 3kg even after the addition of the autofocus mechanism. At 3kg it would put it in the same weight class at the 200mm f2.0 (2.5kg), 300mm f/2.8 (2.3kg), 400mm f/2.8 III (2.84kg). It would also be a similar high-end category of lens, several ranks above Chinese third party manual focus lenses like the Mitakon.

The reference to the Mitakon price is simply that it corroborates this notion that high-end glass in this circa 3kg weight category cannot be expected to be cheap, especially since it is being made by Canon...and NOT by a third-party Chinese manufacturer. Nor does comparing with this hypothetical circa 3kg high-end lens to the price of a consumer zoom lens of a similar weight or front element size by Tamron or Sigma provide a helpful comparative price point.

As for the notion that a 135mm f/1.4 will sell like hotcakes, I am rather sceptical. I own the Canon 200mm f/2.0 and it tends to be a studio lens. It's rather too heavy to be able to carry around with you all that much. I couldn't imagine a wedding photographer carrying it around all day instead of, or in addition to, a 70-200mm f/2.8. I was seduced by the thought of the f/2.0 aperture but it's a lot less practical than I thought.

Just because Canon are making this 135mm f/1.4 for the RF mount, it isn't going to make the glass super cheap. In fact, the opposite is true. The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 costs $2300 USD (B&H current price) vs $1600 (on sale at B&H from the usual $1900 USD) for the EF 24-70mm f/2.8. If anything, the new RF lenses are looking like they are going to be more expensive rather than cheaper, especially if they are being designed with a 100+MP sensor future in mind.

Some might point out quite rightly that Canon are patenting optical formulae that help reduce the size of the lens. That's how they got the size of the 600mm f/4 to 3kg on the Mark III, down from 3.9kg for the Mark II version. However, the weight reduction is accompanied by a price hike from $1,370,000 yen to $1,820,000 yen (Canon JP website, the US price for the Mark II looks discounted)! The use of a lot of aspherical elements in the patent for the 135mm f/1.4 suggests that they are using them in a similar way to reduce the size of the lens. That means it might be possible to keep the weight at around 3kg or slightly less even after the addition of autofocus. All that does is put it in the same weight category as the 200mm f2.0 (2.5kg, $5699), 300mm f/2.8 (2.3kg, $6099), 400mm f/2.8 III (2.84kg, $8000). It simply becomes inconceivable that Canon would sell a high-end lens in this heavyweight-class for thousands of dollars less than these comparative great whites. If you're a diehard optimist then hoping for around $5500 might be the closest thing to a nice bargain for a 135mm f/1.4 with autofocus. Anything less and you might as well hold your breath in expectation of the tooth fairy visiting you soon.

Being told that the tooth fairy doesn't exist needn't be received as apocalyptic doom and gloom news. It's just about being realistic rather than falling prey to wishful thinking. It's better to face up to reality sooner than living in fantasy land for longer.
Except that the weight vs cost theory of yours is turned on it's head by the recent RF heavy glass pricing. Weight/cost is not a linear equation. Canon lenses aren't sold by the pound like pork chops. The lens won't be inexpensive, but it also won't prices into the heights of the super-tele or even EF 200mm f/2L.
 
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