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Rumor: Canon files patents for pair of 600mm lenses

If a post by the Japanese blog Egami is for real, Canon has filed patents for a pair of 600mm prime lenses, which is a bit surprising considering that Canon announced its 600 f4L IS Mark II just 3 years ago. The interesting point: these lenses could be appreciably smaller than what's currently on the market.

So, what are we looking at?

For starters, the details are very, very sketchy at this point as all that's known (if the rumors are true) are the focal lengths, apertures, and optical configuration of the lenses. Additionally, it must be considered that these patents have only reportedly been filed, not granted, which means that they probably haven't even left the drawing board yet. Additionally, if the patents were to be granted, no one knows when, or even if, these lenses would make it into mass production

This aside, here's the rumored optics:

For starters, both are 600mm f4 IS lenses. Of the two, one is interesting thanks to the fact that it mentions the use of diffractive optics in the design. The key implication here: diffractive optics are a great way to reduce size, as evidenced by both of Canon's current diffractive models: a 70-300mm model and a 400 f4, both of which are a lot smaller than their traditionally-designed stablemates.

My feelings about these lenses: a 600mm f4 DO IS could very well be in the works as a 600mm f4 lens is very big and heavy, which is a pain, literally, for the wildlife and sports photographers who have to go running around all day with a lens the size of an astronomical telescope.

Needless to say, stay tuned for further updates.

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