Canon has patented a new lens with diffractive optics (DO) in the body of the 400mm f/4 IS DO super telephoto lens, which may be released on the market soon.
Trusted sources revealed at the beginning of 2014 that this would be Canon’s year of the lenses, suggesting that the company will announce a lot of optics throughout the year.
Well, the year did not start in a promising fashion. In fact, it has been an absolute disappointment as the first lenses were only revealed around mid-May. The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM and the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM were revealed on May 13, while the company’s last lens of the year is the EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM.
As stated above, only three new optics have become official in 2014, although we still have the promise that we will see many more by the next New Year’s Eve. Among them we may have three new lenses with come packed with diffractive optics.
Without further ado, the latest DO model to be patented by the Japan-based company is the Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens, which follows two other DO optics patented earlier in 2014.
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens patent discovered in Japan
Perhaps the more important information is that the lens has a built-in “diffractive optics” element. The inner construction consists of 17 pieces in 12 groups and it includes a fluorite element.
The addition of a multi-layer DO element will reduce the size and weight of the lens, while improving the image quality by significantly cutting down chromatic aberration.
Two other Canon DO lenses have been patented recently
Canon is not selling very many DO-based lenses. The 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM and the 400mm f/4 DO IS USM are the models available for purchase right now.
As you can see, the latter is probably getting replaced by the new model, although it is unclear why it has lost the ultrasonic autofocus motor (USM).
It is worth pointing out that the previously-patented DO duo included the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM, which will replace the current version. The third addition to the DO series will be the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DO lens, according to recently-published patents.
We can expect these DO optics to feature that distinctive green ring on them. However, this is still just a rumor so we will have to wait for more information because concluding that they are definitely coming to the market in the near future.