Canon Patents

Patent: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 with apodization filter

As soon as I read this patent, I immediately thought of someone. The Canon Rumors community knows who I’m talking about.

This patent covers the optical formula for an EF 50mm f/1.4 with an apodization filter, perhaps this could be part of a new line of “DS” lenses, first started with the RF 85mm f/1.2L DS.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 Japan Patent Application 2019-056780:

  • Focal distance 52.43mm
  • F number 1.49
  • Field angle 22.42°
  • Image height 21.64mm
  • Length of the lens 88.51mm
  • BF 39.71mm

The goal of this patent is to improve the bokeh of the lens using new apodization technology that Canon has developed.

QuisUtDeus

EOS 80D
Feb 20, 2019
115
80
This is the same or virtually the same optical formula as the present 50/1.4. There is no jiggle element for IS.
I don't think many people (even that one) were unhappy with the image quality of the old 50/1.4; it was the fragile micro-USM that could be damaged by bumping the extending front element. If this has ring- or nano-USM it would address that, at least. But doesn't the apodization filter heavily reduce the light transmission, making it less suitable for general use?
 

Antono Refa

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 26, 2014
860
133
I don't think many people (even that one) were unhappy with the image quality of the old 50/1.4
I'm not happy with the 50mm f/1.4's image quality, specifically

1. It's not that sharp. E.g. on 21mp sensors @ f/2, it isn't as sharp as the 35mm f/2 IS USM. At f/2.8 it isn't as sharp as the 40mm f/2.8.

Shouldn't it be easier to make a sharp 50mm lens than it is to make a 35mm or 40mm lens?

2. Having nearly three stops of vignetting wide open doesn't make me happy. I'd like under 2.

3. It's probably going to look worse on higher resolution cameras.

it was the fragile micro-USM that could be damaged by bumping the extending front element. If this has ring- or nano-USM it would address that, at least.
That too. IS would be nice as well.

Is it really that hard to make a 50mm f/1.8 IS USM with better IQ for $600?
 

padam

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 26, 2015
604
219
I'm not happy with the 50mm f/1.4's image quality, specifically

1. It's not that sharp. E.g. on 21mp sensors @ f/2, it isn't as sharp as the 35mm f/2 IS USM. At f/2.8 it isn't as sharp as the 40mm f/2.8.

Shouldn't it be easier to make a sharp 50mm lens than it is to make a 35mm or 40mm lens?

2. Having nearly three stops of vignetting wide open doesn't make me happy. I'd like under 2.

3. It's probably going to look worse on higher resolution cameras.



That too. IS would be nice as well.

Is it really that hard to make a 50mm f/1.8 IS USM with better IQ for $600?
Yes it is. You add in a lot of corrective elements to combat distortion vignetting and other optical errors and you still need to move at least some those elements around, so the lens has to be internal focusing as well (none of Canon's 50mm lenses are internally focused) and add stabilisation onto that as well. At this point the lens is probably as big and heavy (and as expensive) as the Sigma 50/1.4 Art lens.

Meanwhile the 50/1.8 STM is still very sharp on the 5DsR...

http://www.martinmojzis.com/en/en-clanky-38-canon-ef-50-1.8-stm.html

With the RF mount begin a much better platform to make primes like this(and it will have built-in IS as well, which can be handy...), it is probably not worth bothering with any more EF 50mm primes other than doing some more minor tweaking like this one.
 

peterzuehlke

EOS 80D
Oct 1, 2015
106
19
I'm not happy with the 50mm f/1.4's image quality, specifically

1. It's not that sharp. E.g. on 21mp sensors @ f/2, it isn't as sharp as the 35mm f/2 IS USM. At f/2.8 it isn't as sharp as the 40mm f/2.8.

Shouldn't it be easier to make a sharp 50mm lens than it is to make a 35mm or 40mm lens?

2. Having nearly three stops of vignetting wide open doesn't make me happy. I'd like under 2.

3. It's probably going to look worse on higher resolution cameras.



That too. IS would be nice as well.

Is it really that hard to make a 50mm f/1.8 IS USM with better IQ for $600?
Agree. And the 50mm 1.4 has very poor contrast wide open, really down to f/2. And I had to repair the focus track after dropping mine onto a sofa from about 1 foot up. (during a video shoot). My Tamron 45mm f/1.8 is a much much better lens, in terms of IQ, contrast, resolution, and bokeh, especially wide open, and has IS. Don't use my Canon 50 1.4 anymore. There is a lot of room for improvement. It's not just him ;-)
 

QuisUtDeus

EOS 80D
Feb 20, 2019
115
80
Interesting; I thought I'd read people saying it was fine. Maybe not. Either way, the big complaint I always heard was the AF motor.
 
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Normalnorm

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 25, 2012
536
139
I can attest that the 50 f1.4 is a poor contender in this day of some very good competition. AF was rotten in almost every environment and I went through three versions before giving up and buying the Sigma.
The new RF 50 1.2 sets the bar for premium lenses and I expect the replacement for the 1.4 to be superb.
 

Antono Refa

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 26, 2014
860
133
Yes it is. You add in a lot of corrective elements to combat distortion vignetting and other optical errors and you still need to move at least some those elements around, so the lens has to be internal focusing as well (none of Canon's 50mm lenses are internally focused) and add stabilisation onto that as well. At this point the lens is probably as big and heavy (and as expensive) as the Sigma 50/1.4 Art lens.
And somehow that doesn't happen at the 35mm focal length?
 

padam

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 26, 2015
604
219
And somehow that doesn't happen at the 35mm focal length?
There is obviously a fair bit of difference between 35 and 50.
That's only an f/2 lens, the Tamron 35/1.8 VC is already somewhat bigger and the 35/1.4 lenses (no IS) are bigger still, especially the L II (and very expensive)
I'm not saying it is not possible, I am saying it might not be feasible to recoup the development cost (it just wouldn't sell that well if it needs to be priced high), especially with mirrorless where the distortion can be inherently lower with less elements, so basis is much stronger (but it still provides some challenges, seeing how big and heavy the RF 50/1.2 is).
 

Antono Refa

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 26, 2014
860
133
There is obviously a fair bit of difference between 35 and 50.
Yes, AFAIK, it should be easier with 50mm.

That's only an f/2 lens, the Tamron 35/1.8 VC is already somewhat bigger and the 35/1.4 lenses (no IS) are bigger still, especially the L II (and very expensive)
Hence my question about 50mm f/1.8 IS USM.

I'm not saying it is not possible, I am saying it might not be feasible to recoup the development cost (it just wouldn't sell that well if it needs to be priced high)
Probably the real reason.
 

SwissFrank

EOS RP
Dec 9, 2018
304
117
The new RF 50 1.2 sets the bar for premium lenses and I expect the replacement for the 1.4 to be superb.
The problem is that getting that sharpness is straightforward, but results in huge monster lenses. Heck, a 1.4 as sharp as the RF 50/1.2 is going to be nearly the size of the RF 50/1.2.

I'd rather a seriously premium implementation of a modest "double-Gauss" formula, like the Leica M-series' 50/1.4 or even 2.0.
 

SwissFrank

EOS RP
Dec 9, 2018
304
117
I'd like these apodization filters to be drop-in, via a slot, so you could try different ones, make your own, or go without. When I first got into photography I did "poor man's" version using permanent magic marker on CD cases, shaping highlights to spell out "Seasons Greetings" and so on with out-of-focus Christmas lights. While you can do that at the front element, you can do a better job of shaping at the diaphragm point.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,396
775
Theoretically, it might be possible to use leaf shutter as a kind of dynamic apodization filter. Even with a flash (in HSS mode).