Canon is set to introduce fast f/1.4 prime lenses to the RF mount system, with both a Canon RF 24mm f/1.4L and Canon RF 50mm f/1.4 lens spotted in a recent patent filing that included a total of six optical formulas.
In addition to the f/1.4 primes, the registration also described two new f/1.8 optics: a Canon RF 28mm f/1.8 and another version of the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 (opens in new tab). As yet, none of these lenses have appeared on the Canon RF lens roadmap (opens in new tab) – nor on the recently rumored unofficial lineup of RF lenses for 2021 (opens in new tab), which included shift lenses and super telephotos.
• Read more: Best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab)
The newly patented lenses, spotted by Canon Watch (opens in new tab), comprise three versions of a Canon RF 24mm – two f/1.4L variants (with only a 0.79mm difference in backfocus between them) and an f/1.8 option. Then there are the 28mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.4.
There is an established tradition of releasing prime lenses in various aperture ranges, typically f/1.2, f/1.4 and f/1.8. And indeed, there already exist EF versions of these optics: the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L (opens in new tab), the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 (opens in new tab).
With regard to the 50mm, this would be the first focal length to receive the complete range of apertures on the RF mount system, as the f/1.4 would join the current Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM (opens in new tab) and Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM (opens in new tab).
In terms of the 35mm, it's slightly more curious since there already exists the RF 35mm Macro lens. It's possible that this is just Canon doing its usual thing of registering optical formulas, or even that some sort of compact or pancake version (without the macro feature) is in the works.
The 24mm and 28mm options will certainly be of great interest to EOS R users, as Canon currently doesn't offer anything natively wider than 35mm without investing in the expensive Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM (opens in new tab). Indeed, if you want to go wide on an RF mount camera without using an adapter, you're looking at the much slower and all-manual Samyang MF 14mm f/2.8 RF (opens in new tab).
As ever, the fact that Canon has designed and patented these optics doesn't necessarily mean that they will make it to market. However, they do fill obvious gaps in the RF lineup and are historically true to form – so we wouldn't be at all surprised to see some of them officially announced before long.