Canon has been busy: it has recently applied for a number of patents for its mirrorless system, including a new version of the popular 100mm f/2.8 macro, two fast wide-angle lenses, and an RF cinema camera mount.
These strings of patent applications were first noticed by Canon News. The EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro is one of Canon’s most popular lenses as it is ideal for a set of tasks ranging from macro to portraiture. According to Canon News, it was “groundbreaking” as it supported an image stabilization system that worked pretty well at macro distances, separating itself from competitor products.
The patents do not make mention of anything special about the RF 100mm f/2.8 but do note that the lens will have a maximum magnification of 1:1.4 instead of the 1:1 found on most macro lenses. Of note, Canon has submitted two designs for consideration at this 100mm macro focal length and one is a bit confusing as seems to indicate that as the magnification increases, the f-number decreases as low as f/1.4. What this actually will mean isn’t clear, but the idea of a 100mm f/1.4 Macro is exciting.
Canon also submitted patents for two wide-angle prime lenses: an RF 12mm f/2.8 and a 14mm f/2.8. They’re not wildly fast, but in exchange, they may very well be more affordable and more compact than lenses with faster apertures.
Finally, Canon appears to be — not unsurprisingly — looking at making a more serious cinema application of its RF mount. According to Canon News, the patent provides a means of locking the lens onto the mount using a standard bayonet mount like the RF mount, which would avoid the connection being either too loose or too tight. It appears the design would make for a better mounting experience, better consistency, and a stronger overall mount.
The camera that is depicted in the patent looks similar to the ME20F line of cameras from Canon’s past, which accepted the EF mount “cinema lock type.” Referencing a previous device with a locking cinema mount may be part of how Canon is explaining the RF version would work, hence the inclusion of a very specific camera design in a new patent.