Canon publishes patent for four new lenses with defocus smoothing

Canon RF lenses
(Image credit: Canon)

Canon has just published patents that hint we might get not one but four new lenses sometime next year. Patent applications don’t always come to fruition (at least not when it’s an entirely new product) but Canon has a good history of making lens patents a reality. If that’s the case, we should be getting a new RF 70-200mm f/2.8, a 70-135mm f/2.5, a 28-70mm f/1.6-2 and an 80-150mm f/1.8.

Canon already has an impressive lineup of RF lenses; there are over 30 of them covering focal ranges from 14mm with the RF 14-35mm f/4 L IS USM  to the impressive Canon RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM (although this lens will set you back $20k). But that doesn’t mean one of the world’s leading camera manufacturers is ever going to stop improving and refining its lens selection as is evidenced by the patent for four fast aperture, zoom lenses likely aimed more at the pros than beginners. 

According to Canon Watch, the RF mount lenses will have defocus smoothing - a coating that is applied to the lens surface offering a soft, unique defocus rendering effect. It helps control the amount of light passing through the lens and gradually decreases the amount of light passing the center to the edge of the lens resulting in a smooth, blurred image. This gives bokeh a much softer edge and detracts less from the subject.

Just one Canon lens currently benefits from the defocus smoothing apodization effect - the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS but this patent is a sign Canon is looking to grow its DS range. And its not just Canon, Sony, Laowa and Fujifilm have also released lenses that offer a very smooth blur effect on the outer edges such as the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD and the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS.

When defocus smoothing first started being implemented on commercial lenses, it was reserved almost entirely for prime lenses but Canon is looking to implement this tech in zoom lenses too. While the advantage of these lenses is, of course, the beautiful image quality and soft edges, the downside is they are likely to be big, heavy and rather expensive (the Canon RF 85mm lens is $2,600) but if money is no object and quality is a priority these lenses are likely to blow the existing range out of the park. 

Canon Rumors has also hinted that we may be getting another f/2 lens to join the Canon 28-70mm f/2 L USM as part of the holy trinity. There's not been so much as a whisper as to what it might be but we're expecting something similar to the RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS or the RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS only faster and more expensive. 

Check out the best Canon cameras and browse a range of APS-C models more aimed at novices as well as top-of-the-range professional cameras

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.