Canon's mirrorless cameras made a splash hype-wise, but due to trade issues beyond their control that hasn't translated to a robust sales year. In fact, Canon is expecting a dismal year with more than 25% drop over 2018. But can super quick lenses -- ones twice as fast as the competition -- turn the tide? If Canon's recent patent filing is any indication, it looks like the company is hoping that lightning will strike twice.

Abstract: Provided is a zoom lens including a plurality of lens units in which intervals between adjacent lens units are changed during zooming. The plurality of lens units consist of, in order, from the object side to the image side, a positive first lens unit, a negative second lens unit, and a rear lens group including at least one lens unit. 

The constant zoom layout of Canon's 50-80mm F1.1  RF lens

According to Canon Rumors, the patent issued on August 8, 2019 shows a so-called Fast Portrait Zoom RF 50-80mm f 1.1. The lens will come with a half angel of view range of 22.79° – 18.63° – 14.69°, and focal length of 51.50mm to 82.52mm. Actual F-stop number is 1.13. And yes, that's a constant aperture reading all along the focal length.

The Canon RF 50-80mm f1.1 by the numbers

According to the patent, the lenses are full frame in design to take advantage of the entire image sensor of the Canon EOS-R and EOS-RP mirrorless cameras. Also included in the patent are designs for slightly slower RF 50-80mm f/1.2, RF 50-80mm f/1.4, RF 50-80mm f/1.6 and a RF 50-80mm f/1.8 zooms. 

The lenses will presumably be announced in the first half of 2020, just in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but it's important to remember that patent designs don't always translate into new product releases. All too often, it's to protect a design feature from being "copycatted," and may be used in a future design. 

But if Canon does come out with an F1.1 RF lens, imagine how blazing fast it'll be with a Speedbooster!