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Canon contemplating more DO small telephotos
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Canon contemplating more DO small telephotos

Love them or hate them the Canon RF 800mm F11 and 600mm F11 DO super telephotos have created conversation.  I personally feel that with an R5, they have an unexplored market segment that not even micro 43's could reach.

Mynavi News sat down and talked about these lenses with Kengo Iezuka, one of the executives in charge of planning Canon lenses.

Mr. Iezuka was asked how they released these lenses and why for the RF mount and he gave a very detailed response on the Canon history of their development.  He admits there was plans to make a lens like the RF super telephotos for the EF mount, but the F/11 aperture was problematic for DSLR's Autofocus phase detect, and he also suggests there is room for more lenses such as this.

In the days of manual focus film SLR cameras, there were many lenses such as the 500mm F8 reflex (mirror lens). However, when the viewfinder screen for focusing is split, it is difficult to see because the open value is as dark as F8, and in reality it was difficult to focus. This lens has a darker F11 opening value, but it can be said that it was born because of the EOS R, which can use high-speed and high-precision AF even at such an opening value.

I didn't use a mirror lens like in the MF era because the lens barrel becomes thick. It is a general refraction type optical system, and it is a retractable type that can be stored compactly when not in use.


Lenses such as 600mm and 800mm are generally large and heavy, and are extremely expensive. However, if you don't have this focal length, you can't enjoy shooting wild birds and aircraft. Especially in the world of wild birds, "600mm is the standard lens". We have developed these two lenses because we want to make super-telephoto shooting, which is expensive and difficult to reach, familiar.

Actually, even with the EF mount, there was a concept for such a lens. However, in the case of a single-lens reflex camera, there is a limit to the open F value required for AF, that is, the brightness of the lens, and depending on the camera, if it is a little dark, AF will only work near the center. With the mirrorless EOS R, the dual pixel CMOS AF II is extremely strong in dark places, and AF works even when the F value is dark, so it is finally possible to make a small and affordable super telephoto lens. That's why.

The design is designed with the user's point of view in mind, while scraping off the parts to be scraped off and leaving the necessary parts properly. The success in reducing the cost of diffractive optical element lenses (DO lenses), which have been used only for expensive lenses, has also contributed significantly to the commercialization of these lenses. By the way, there was a plan to use a DO lens from the early stages of development.

When we released the EOS R, we wanted to show the potential of a new mirrorless system. It is possible to produce a short focus lens with a large aperture and overwhelmingly high image quality, and a zoom lens with specifications that have never been seen. However, such lenses are quite expensive, so I don't think that's enough. As a future plan, I would like to consider lenses with reduced price and size as well as this 600mm and 800mm.

Mynavi News then asked the question - is there room to complete the trinity? Is there a possibility of a 400mm F11 to complete the set? (I would have maybe asked for a 1000mm personally.. ;) ).  Mr Iezuka was surprisingly open in his wishes for this lens, suggesting he'd love to see a series of these lenses depending on how well they sell.

The 400mm will be as small as the 600mm and 800mm, and I think it will be an attractive lens. I would like to think positively whether it is better to make a series depending on how much the 600mm and 800mm echoes are.

The interview from Mynavi News then discusses more and is worth the read here.

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