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Canon accelerates RF lens designs with 7 new patents and 2 product registrations

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS
(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

Canon Rumors (opens in new tab) reports patents for four new Canon RF prime lenses, filling a bit of gap in the RF lens range for fast, wide primes. There is no guarantee that patents will turn into finished products, but it’s an indication of the way Canon is thinking.

The four new patents are for four f/1.8 RF primes; an RF 18mm f/1.8, RF 20m f/1.8, RF 24mm f/1.8 and RF 28mm f/1.8. There’s no definite indication yet as to whether these might be premium L-series lenses or regular and more affordable RF primes – though the patent does target high optical performance and limited aberration fluctuation with focus changes. 

We don't yet know if Canon's four new wide-angle prime lens patents relate to premium L-mount optics or more affordable lenses like the RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM. (Image credit: Canon)
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More Canon L-series Defocus Smoothing (DS) lenses?

That’s not all. The site also reports patents for three new L-series DS (Defocus Smoothing) RF primes; an RF 24mm f/1.4L USM DS, RF 50mm f/1.4L USM DS and RF 135mm f/1.4L USM DS, also reported by Canon Watch (opens in new tab).

DS (Defocus Smoothing) is an optical feature used to enhance the bokeh of out-of-focus areas in a picture and has already been used in the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS.

The patents suggest these lenses will use an apodization filter, a kind of graduated neutral density filter, to ‘contour’ the appearance of an out of focus image with a smoother gradation. Sony and Fujifilm have used apodization filters in their own lenses – the downside is a reduction of the overall light transmission of the lens, so that although the depth of field is as you would expect from a given lens aperture, the exposure will be affected.

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS

Canon's current RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS Defocus Smoothing lens could soon be joined by three more with focal lengths from 24-125mm, all sporting an internal apodization filter for smoother bokeh. (Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

Two new Canon RF lenses now being certified

The last bit of Canon lens gossip is that two new lenses have been registered with Russian certification authorities. This is a next step from patent registrations, indicating that prototypes have been made and are being passed for production. 

However, product information at this stage is top secret, so tall that’s know about these lenses is their product designations, which are eight-digit codes that tell us nothing!

We will bring more news about Canon’s RF lens plans for 2022 just as soon as we have it.

Read more:

Best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab)
Canon RF lens roadmap (opens in new tab)
Best Canon cameras (opens in new tab)

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.