We’ve been covering the slow death of DSLR bodies and lenses for a bit now. Sony recently pulled the plug on its A-mount, and now it seems like Canon is slowly following suit. 

Even though Canon had said it planned on making consumer-level DSLR bodies, its range of lenses for this format has been reduced. 

But as the old tech starts disappearing, the photography sleuths have uncovered some Canon patents that may blow your socks off.

Let’s dig in a bit deeper. 

EF Lenses All But Gone

While Canon has quietly discontinued many of its EF lenses over the last year, a new report by PetaPixel suggests the end might be close for Canon’s DSLR lenses altogether. 

A Japanese photographer, Kimio Tanaka, tweeted the other day and compared Canon’s offering of EF lenses between January and February 2022. 

For those that don’t speak Japanese, Twitter translated the following from Tanaka. 

“The number of interchangeable lenses for Canon single-lens reflex cameras is decreasing due to ‘rapid acceleration.' Comparing only the lineup of EF mount and single focus lenses in just one month, the number has (decreased) from 21 to 9 lenses.”

Tanaka ended the tweet with, “I'm sad as an EOS single-lens reflex user…”

So are we, bud, so are we. 

Much like Sony with its A-mount, the entire affair was handled without any fanfare, leaving the 12 discontinued EF lenses to die a quiet death. 

But rumblings of these shifts in lenses have been happening for quite some time, so this shouldn’t be news to many shooters. The writing was on the wall. 

However, that doesn’t mean that Canon has left a void in its lens lineup for its new mirrorless cameras. 

This leads us to—

Meeting Unreasonable Expectations

Canon Rumors pointed over to Keith Cooper at Northlight Images, who dug up a few Canon patents on several RF zoom lens designs. 

The consensus?

An RF mount superzoom might be just over the horizon. Something that Canon Rumors called a “mythical lens that forum posters sometimes use as an example of unreasonable expectations.”

Cooper found the following lens ranges in Canon’s US patent application:

  • 24mm f/4 – 400mm f/6.5
  • 24mm f/4 – 300mm f/5.6
  • 28mm f/4 – 500mm f/7.2
  • 33mm f/4 – 600 f/7.2

Canon RF Lens PatentCanon RF Lens PatentCredit: US Patent and Trademark Office

But how is Canon able to meet these unreasonable expectations?

In part, possibly due to overcoming the space requirements of DSLR camera bodies. Lenses made for the now dying format were forced to sit quite a distance from the film plane or sensor. At least when compared to mirrorless cameras. 

This distance introduced engineering challenges in getting light perpendicular to the sensor. More glass had to be used to focus the light just right. 

Mirrorless cameras borrow from the foundation developed by rangefinder cameras and decrease the distance between lens and sensor. In turn, reducing those pesky engineering hurdles. 

Rangefinder CameraRangefinder CameraCredit: Clay Banks

Now, we’re not lens engineers ourselves, we just use them to make movies, so Canon could be using some new tricks in developing these lenses.

However, a 33-600mm zoom lens is truly a ludicrous focal range, and if Canon can pull it off, they’d have a leg up on Sony. Currently, Sony only has a 70-350mm and 200-600mm, at least according to B&H

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Source: Canon Rumors