Canon applied for a lens patent that was published back in December and featured a number of different optical embodiments, including a high-magnification zoom lens for a 1″ sensor format.
In the patent, the true technical measurements of the lens reveals an 8-180mm zoom with an aperture range of f/2-3. Adjusting these numbers for the roughly 3x crop factor of a 1″ sensor and rounding them off for marking purposes, you get a 24-600mm f/2-3 equivalent lens.
Note that while the 180mm on the telephoto translates close to a 540mm full frame equivalent reach, it is common practice for lens manufacturers to round up within a certain tolerance of an even number. This is particularly true on zoom lenses. Think your $2000 70-200mm f/2.8 lens reaches all the way to 200mm? It’s more like 193mm. Compare it with a prime 200mm sometime and you’ll see the slight difference on the telephoto end.
What is a 24-600mm f/2-3 lens going to look like on a 1″ sensor camera? It would be massive – quite a bit bigger than Sony’s RX10 with an constant f/2.8 lens.
Notably, the patent emphasizes the requirement for smooth focus during video operation. So, perhaps this could be a very video-centric camera where a large lens like that would be more appropriate. Crazy focal lengths like this have been common over the years on studio cameras with 2/3″ sensors and B4 lens mounts, so this wouldn’t be much of a stretch for the pro video crowd.
Of course, that begs the question… Is Canon working on a 1″ sensor video camera? That could be a big deal.
The other embodiments of the optical formulas include a 20-100mm f/4 lens, a 6.4-193.6mm f/1.8-2.2 lens and a 30-135mm T3.5 lens. These are all numbers given in true 35mm terms and do not account for the crop sensor equivalents on the intended camera. The 6.4-193.6mm version is clearly a superzoom camera or camcorder that is roughly a 24-800mm equivalent zoom.
The 30-135mm T3.5 is probably the most interesting other lens in the patent. It is clearly a cinema lens that would be added to Canon’s Cinema EOS line and it appears to be a fully powered lens with a built-in teleconverter. Of course, that is a higher-end pro video lens that will be tens of thousands of dollars if it gets made.
As with all patents, we may or may not see actual products produced from any of these applications. However, it is something to keep your eye out on because we have seen real products slip out months and years ahead of time in patents before.