Canon Wins Patent for Its ‘Shoulda Coulda’ Supertelephoto Designs

tiggy@mac.com

R5
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Remember back to the good old days of March 2021, when a glint of hope surfaced showing Canon was working on a set of completely new supertelephoto designs? Canon Rumors wrote then of a patent application surfacing that showed big, beautiful, crazy-aberration-free lenses ranging from a 200mm f/2 through to an 800mm f/5.6.
Well, that patent application has now been registered as an official Japanese patent. Each lens showed adapted designs, using similar concepts, rather than throwing in teleconverting groups to double the focal length.
Functionally-Perfect-Aberration-168x168.jpg

Everything else, in the meantime, went a little sideways. Canon recently opted to announce the release of differently-designed lenses, employing magnification lens element groups on the...

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mbike999

EOS M50
Jan 18, 2018
42
86
Bay Area
Canon was on a roll with the 28-70 F/2, 100-500L, 70-200/2.8 L, 100 macro, etc. - all superlative lenses that seemed like an omen of good things to come, but these "new meets old" lenses are puzzling. Especially the 800/1200 with the borrowed TC groups. Someone else already mentioned it here, but these would probably have been much better received if they were simply built in TC groups you could toggle like the Nikkor 400/2.8 TC, versus paying an eye-watering premium to buy a separate lens thats otherwise identical to the 400/600.

It almost seems like Canon was caught flat footed and chose to rush this stuff to the market. Hopefully Canon will redeem itself with a genuine RF design 500/300 L later this year. The R3 is incredibly capable and deserves a lightweight modernized version of those lenses.
 
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Canon was on a roll with the 28-70 F/2, 100-500L, 70-200/2.8 L, 100 macro, etc. - all superlative lenses that seemed like an omen of good things to come, but these "new meets old" lenses are puzzling. Especially the 800/1200 with the borrowed TC groups. Someone else already mentioned it here, but these would probably have been much better received if they were simply built in TC groups you could toggle like the Nikkor 400/2.8 TC, versus paying an eye-watering premium to buy a separate lens thats otherwise identical to the 400/600.

It almost seems like Canon was caught flat footed and chose to rush this stuff to the market. Hopefully Canon will redeem itself with a genuine RF design 500/300 L later this year. The R3 is incredibly capable and deserves a lightweight modernized version of those lenses.
I don't think we'll see a 500 L for a long time. It is a lens that is sold when they can't push any more of the 600's. The 300 on the other hand I expect to morph into a 70(120)-300mm f/2.8 so they can get out a lens that is more expensive, doesn't compete with the 400 f/2.8, and offers something competitive with the Nikon 120-300 f/2.8 which is being well receive and performs as well at 300.
 
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mpmark

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Aug 9, 2016
251
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Im using the R5 + 500mm F/4II and although I am completely happy with what I get from it, the weight of the lens (7lbs) is a bit much for all day use. Yes the image quality is amazing but this lens design is pre version 3 of the 400 and 600 and Im upset Canon has left the 300 and 500 in the dust when it came to version 3 designs (lighter).

And you'd think with the new RF mount they would start with the 300 and 500 first before placing a built in converter to the 400 and 600 and releasing those. Its about time they come out with e 500mm f/4, the current EF version ii is long in the tooth.
 
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mbike999

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Jan 18, 2018
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I don't think we'll see a 500 L for a long time. It is a lens that is sold when they can't push any more of the 600's. The 300 on the other hand I expect to morph into a 70(120)-300mm f/2.8 so they can get out a lens that is more expensive, doesn't compete with the 400 f/2.8, and offers something competitive with the Nikon 120-300 f/2.8 which is being well receive and performs as well at 300.
I could see them putting out a 500/4.5 or F/5 DO per the old rumors.
 
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I could see them putting out a 500/4.5 or F/5 DO per the old rumors.
I could see that too. Just not a main line 500 f/4.0 as they compete with the 600 f/4.0 too much. A 500 f/4.5 DO would be very welcome for Canon shooters and compete somewhat in-between the Nikon Z 400mm f/4-4.5 PF and Z 800mm f/6.3 PF. I think the DO/PF lenses are pushed at wildlife shooters and the traditional lenses are pushed at sports shooters.
 
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Im using the R5 + 500mm F/4II and although I am completely happy with what I get from it, the weight of the lens (7lbs) is a bit much for all day use. Yes the image quality is amazing but this lens design is pre version 3 of the 400 and 600 and Im upset Canon has left the 300 and 500 in the dust when it came to version 3 designs (lighter).

And you'd think with the new RF mount they would start with the 300 and 500 first before placing a built in converter to the 400 and 600 and releasing those. Its about time they come out with e 500mm f/4, the current EF version ii is long in the tooth.
Careful what you wish for. They still have a 1.4X TC they could shove into the 400 f/2.8 and call it the new 500mm f/4.0.
 
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PhotoRN86

EOS M50
May 25, 2020
33
58
My Apologies, I had a hard time understanding the article, So did Canon just release a Patents that includes a new design for a 400mm 2.8 lens? I ask, because I just ordered the new RF 400 2.8 lens which I know is based off of the EF version 3, and I wasn't sure if they had any plans or patents for a future Native RF design, is this it? if so, I rather be super super patient, not spend 12k lens right now and see what they do in the future, Thank you everyone!
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jul 21, 2010
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My Apologies, I had a hard time understanding the article, So did Canon just release a Patents that includes a new design for a 400mm 2.8 lens? I ask, because I just ordered the new RF 400 2.8 lens which I know is based off of the EF version 3, and I wasn't sure if they had any plans or patents for a future Native RF design, is this it? if so, I rather be super super patient, not spend 12k lens right now and see what they do in the future, Thank you everyone!
No, the patent was just approved in Japan. The short version is that a company files a patent, and then 18 months later that patent is published for the world to see. At some point after that, the patent is (or is not) approved by various countries at various times, in most cases with some changes to the actual claims of the patent.

So in this case, Canon filed the patent we're discussing in September 2019, the patent published in March 2021, and Japan just granted the patent.

Many patents never actually become products, so patent filings are a poor guide to buying choices. The best practice is if you need something now buy it now, and if you don't need it now, wait because there will always eventually be something better.
 
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PhotoRN86

EOS M50
May 25, 2020
33
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No, the patent was just approved in Japan. The short version is that a company files a patent, and then 18 months later that patent is published for the world to see. At some point after that, the patent is (or is not) approved by various countries at various times, in most cases with some changes to the actual claims of the patent.

So in this case, Canon filed the patent we're discussing in September 2019, the patent published in March 2021, and Japan just granted the patent.

Many patents never actually become products, so patent filings are a poor guide to buying choices. The best practice is if you need something now buy it now, and if you don't need it now, wait because there will always eventually be something better.

Ah Thank You! makes a lot of sense!
 

InchMetric

Switched from Nikon. Still zooming the wrong way.
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Jun 22, 2021
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I don't understand why these state-of-the-art optical designs issued a few years ago and unequaled by any competitor are now considered so disappointingly old to some critics. It's not an "EF" lens design, it's a modern Canon lens design that works on EF and RF mounts, and was surely intended this way from the outset.

The many improved RF designs we enjoy are some enabled by the RF mount, and some are simply a new design to replace an old one. The EF 400 f2.8iii was not an "old" design. It was a new one with no need for updating or improving in any credible way that I have heard anyone articulate (it's as light and sharp as they can make it).

I do grant that they ducked the chance to add a control ring like an EF-RF adapter provides.
 
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Dragon

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May 29, 2019
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I am thinking that 8k video coupled with 800 and 1200mm lenses makes a combination that many government agencies (both military and civilian the world over) will be looking to have in their bag of tricks. We, the forum dwellers, were not impressed, but given world events of late, I suspect Canon will be able to sell more of the modified EF lenses than they can make (along with a lot of R5Cs). The global market is a bit more complex than just satisfying those of us who chase birds and squirrels. I wouldn't be surprised to see Canon make all three items in olive drab or camo for an extra few grand.
 
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entoman

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The best practice is if you need something now buy it now, and if you don't need it now, wait because there will always eventually be something better.
99% agree, the only caveat I would add is that it's usually wise to wait until about 6 months after launch date, as by then the prices will probably have dropped, and that's a major consideration for the majority of buyers.
 
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mbike999

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Jan 18, 2018
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I don't understand why these state-of-the-art optical designs issued a few years ago and unequaled by any competitor are now considered so disappointingly old to some critics. It's not an "EF" lens design, it's a modern Canon lens design that works on EF and RF mounts, and was surely intended this way from the outset.

The many improved RF designs we enjoy are some enabled by the RF mount, and some are simply a new design to replace an old one. The EF 400 f2.8iii was not an "old" design. It was a new one with no need for updating or improving in any credible way that I have heard anyone articulate (it's as light and sharp as they can make it).

I do grant that they ducked the chance to add a control ring like an EF-RF adapter provides.
Except Canon was touting all of the benefits of the RF mount for lens design including fewer focusing groups and lighter/shorter lenses, none of which materialized in the 400/600. The new Nikkor 800 is sharper and lighter and less than half the cost of the Canon 800/5.6. For the 800/1200 Canon literally copied and pasted their teleconverters into existing lenses resulting in performance that is hardly better than 10+ year old lenses as the article points out. Very few seem to be thrilled about these new lenses.
 
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takesome1

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None your business Alaska
99% agree, the only caveat I would add is that it's usually wise to wait until about 6 months after launch date, as by then the prices will probably have dropped, and that's a major consideration for the majority of buyers.
When has this ever happened with Canon L lenses and Bodies?
Maybe after several years and the next generation of the lens or body is released.
In 6 months maybe the body and lens is finally in stock and you don't have to pre-order.
 
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unfocused

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99% agree, the only caveat I would add is that it's usually wise to wait until about 6 months after launch date, as by then the prices will probably have dropped, and that's a major consideration for the majority of buyers.
Three years ago I would have agreed with you. But in this new era of supply chain delays and shortages, waiting six months often results in a higher, not a lower, price. The 100-500 has seen two price increases since I ordered it in May of last year.
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
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99% agree, the only caveat I would add is that it's usually wise to wait until about 6 months after launch date, as by then the prices will probably have dropped, and that's a major consideration for the majority of buyers.
Several recent RF lenses went the opposite direction, with one or two successive price increases in the months following launch.
 
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Dragon

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May 29, 2019
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99% agree, the only caveat I would add is that it's usually wise to wait until about 6 months after launch date, as by then the prices will probably have dropped, and that's a major consideration for the majority of buyers.
When was the last time you saw a big white on sale :).
 

FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
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Except Canon was touting all of the benefits of the RF mount for lens design including fewer focusing groups and lighter/shorter lenses, none of which materialized in the 400/600. The new Nikkor 800 is sharper and lighter and less than half the cost of the Canon 800/5.6. For the 800/1200 Canon literally copied and pasted their teleconverters into existing lenses resulting in performance that is hardly better than 10+ year old lenses as the article points out. Very few seem to be thrilled about these new lenses.
I think another aspect to the disappointment with these lenses is the fantastical PRICES. As other's have already pointed out in other Forum threads, for the cost of the 1200mm one could buy an R3, the RF 600mm f/4, and an RF 1.4x tc, with some money left over for the piggy bank.
 
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dominic_siu

R5, RF1435, RF2870, RF100500, RF100 Macro
Aug 31, 2018
94
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99% agree, the only caveat I would add is that it's usually wise to wait until about 6 months after launch date, as by then the prices will probably have dropped, and that's a major consideration for the majority of buyers.
Now not the case especially with COVID screwing up parts procurement (part of the reason), just like RF lenses increases prices twice within one year in HK, I just bought 100-500 L with more than 30% price increase since release in Sep 19.