Is Canon bringing us linear focus motors in the future? Latest patent shows they’re working on it.

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It looks like Canon may be ready to jump on board with the likes of Sony, Fuji, Tamron and Sigma with the use of linear focus motors in future lenses. Linear focus motors are a benefit to video shooters with their fine adjustment as well as quieter and smoother performance over Ring USM and STM

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TonyG

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I sure hope they adapt linear motors, it would be a nice addition to have.
I have noticed the difference between my sony lenses and canon lenses. Primarily the "clicking" from the nano usm is a little annoying. I have yet to hear a sound from the GM's.
Speed I would say seems close but not the same (it's had to compare apples to apples since the lenses themselves are all different) but trying to compare similar lenses like the RF 24-70 2.8 L to the 24-70 2.8 GM II and the RF 70-200 2.8 L to the 70-200 2.8 GM II, I do notice the sony is snappier and near instant where on the nano usm you can almost see the focus shift.
For Primes, it's a little harder to compare because there is no RF 14 or 35mm to compare too.
The 50's are also hard to compare because the RF has an extending barrel for focus which give it a disadvantage in focus speed.
Either way this is nit picking and comparing the two together. Nano USM is still very fast and accurate and works like a charm, but friendly competition is never a bad thing.
 
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I hope they do. I can\'t stand the cheap primes with their slow stm motors. All of Sony lenses focus faster and are silent. Canon is lacking with lenses that are actually good for video. They either have slow, loud auto focus or terrible focus breathing and sometimes both. I sold my A7iv even though I preferred their lenses because of the overheating and terrible eye af even with GM lenses.
 
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Jul 21, 2020
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I hate to break it to you, but Nano USM is already a linear motor. Sony DDSM was the equivalent technology of Nano USM, both are piezoelectric linear motors, but Canons appears to function better imho.

Sony XD Linear Motors, Nikons SSVCM, Tamrons VXD, and Sigmas HLA all use voice coil linear motors. There are advantages to voice coils, and disadvantages. The advantage is that if well specced, they can move faster, more silently, and more accurately than Nano USM. The disadvantages are that they require power to hold their position (no power means free floating focus group), and they are more limited in their length.

Canon has not mentioned the TYPE of linear motor in use in this patent, so it is most likely Nano USM until proven otherwise.
 
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Maximilian

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I read the headlines and my first thought was: "Isn't nano USM already a linear motor?"

I hate to break it to you, but Nano USM is already a linear motor. Sony DDSM was the equivalent technology of Nano USM, both are piezoelectric linear motors, but Canons appears to function better imho.
...
Canon has not mentioned the TYPE of linear motor in use in this patent, so it is most likely Nano USM until proven otherwise.
So thanks for confirming that though.
 
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knight427

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I've been wondering what the second generation of RF lenses might bring to the table. If it's mostly this, I'll be quite happy to stick to building my kit around the current generation lenses. The biggest advantage to mark II RF lenses will likely be price completiveness between the first gen RF and 3rd party offerings.
 
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I've been wondering what the second generation of RF lenses might bring to the table. If it's mostly this, I'll be quite happy to stick to building my kit around the current generation lenses. The biggest advantage to mark II RF lenses will likely be price completiveness between the first gen RF and 3rd party offerings.
It could be this and more.
 
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I sure hope they adapt linear motors, it would be a nice addition to have.
I have noticed the difference between my sony lenses and canon lenses. Primarily the "clicking" from the nano usm is a little annoying. I have yet to hear a sound from the GM's.
Speed I would say seems close but not the same (it's had to compare apples to apples since the lenses themselves are all different) but trying to compare similar lenses like the RF 24-70 2.8 L to the 24-70 2.8 GM II and the RF 70-200 2.8 L to the 70-200 2.8 GM II, I do notice the sony is snappier and near instant where on the nano usm you can almost see the focus shift.

Here's what it says at Canon Europe: https://www.canon-europe.com/pro/infobank/usm-stm-lens-technology/

Like other USM units, the Nano USM motor has an elastic metal body, a ceramic voltage element and a drive unit. Sending current and varying the voltage applied to the ceramic elements creates two types of vibrations, which enable the motor to precisely control the speed and direction of the drive unit. However, the movement is linear rather than rotational – the lens focus elements are driven by a rack, with guide bars to control the forward and backwards movement. The outcome is smooth focusing with fine control over speed and near-silent operation.

Launched in October 2019, the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM is the first lens to feature Dual Nano USM technology. It has two Nano USM motors, each driving different lens groups, working together to produce faster, more efficient focusing.
 
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TonyG

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Here's what it says at Canon Europe: https://www.canon-europe.com/pro/infobank/usm-stm-lens-technology/

Like other USM units, the Nano USM motor has an elastic metal body, a ceramic voltage element and a drive unit. Sending current and varying the voltage applied to the ceramic elements creates two types of vibrations, which enable the motor to precisely control the speed and direction of the drive unit. However, the movement is linear rather than rotational – the lens focus elements are driven by a rack, with guide bars to control the forward and backwards movement. The outcome is smooth focusing with fine control over speed and near-silent operation.

Launched in October 2019, the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM is the first lens to feature Dual Nano USM technology. It has two Nano USM motors, each driving different lens groups, working together to produce faster, more efficient focusing.
Thanks for the marketing read... Like I said, I sure hope they adapt "newer" linear motors, it would be a nice addition to have.
The clicking gets a little annoying at times.
 
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Not to beat up the poster but there is nothing in the patent that says there will be any less "clicking".
what i'm wondering is this. USM is still loud. but not having owned Nano USM, is it quieter? is it a lot quieter? I think all my lenses are either USM or STM. for RF, I have 85 1.2 which is USM. I have the 35, 24, and 16 which are STM. I have 100 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. forgot what those are...
 
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koenkooi

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what i'm wondering is this. USM is still loud. but not having owned Nano USM, is it quieter? is it a lot quieter? I think all my lenses are either USM or STM. for RF, I have 85 1.2 which is USM. I have the 35, 24, and 16 which are STM. I have 100 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. forgot what those are...
Nano USM is so quiet, the sound of the cams and elements moving around inside can be clearly heard. The RF100L and RF100-500L don't make distracting focus noises, even when using the internal microphone. They still make noise, but it's not the type of sound that makes everyone think "Hey, that's a focus motor."

Also, the STM motors in video mode are fairly quiet as well. Glacial, but quiet.
 
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