Canon is working on new smaller RF macro lenses, according to new patents

Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
(Image credit: Canon)

Don't be fooled scrolling through Canon's website, it lists a lot of RF lenses with Macro in the title, but these are not true macro lenses – instead offering only half macro (0.5x) magnification. Canon currently only offers a single 1:1 macro lens for its RF cameras, although if newly uncovered patents are anything to go by – that might be about to change.

Canon wowed us when it released the Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, building on what was already an incredible EF version of the lens but managing to make the lens even sharper than before. Not only that Canon managed to make the maximum magnification bigger, the image stabilization even greater, and add clever SA bokeh controls.

That's all great, except the current RF 100mm Macro lens is expensive! Cheaper 0.5x Macro lenses like the Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM exist to fill the gap at the moment, but Canon's RF system is crying out for a smaller, lighter, and above all – more affordable 1:1 macro option.

The patents – uncovered by Asobinet – suggest that Canon has been working on designing several other options for RF mount cameras with a 1.0x magnification and floating focus. The lenses are all designed with narrower f/4 apertures, which would allow the lenses to be smaller but restrict their ability to gather light. 

The patents cover lenses with focal lengths of 52mm, 90mm, and 110mm. While two of these focal lengths are quite close to the existing Canon RF 100mm Macro, it wouldn't be unusual to see a cheaper version with nearly the same focal length, as this is the standard length for macro primes – Canon had two similar competing macro lenses for its EF mount.

Canon's RF mount has several great manual focus macro lenses to choose from Venus Optic's Laowa range, but with Canon still locking down its lens mount to autofocus lenses, we have the long wait for Canon to give macro fans without deep pockets more first-party macro options, but hopefully with these patents we won't have too long to wait.

For more, check out our top picks for the best Canon RF lenses, or the best Canon camera.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.