In this Japan Patent Application, JP 2023-118490, Canon is investigating creating smaller built in teleconverters for use in lenses that we would normally not expect to see a teleconverter installed in.
The idea of this patent application is to make the mechanism and the sliding out of the optical elements that make up the teleconverter as small as possible, and that can fit inside of the lens body without requiring the “hump” we now see on the built-in teleconverter lenses.
Here is the mechanism animated.
It’s kind of cool, I’m not sure how practical this would be in terms of reliability over time and survivability if you ever dropped the lens, but there could be some great use cases if Canon gets this working right.
I found it curious and also a little interesting that Canon would show the cross-section of what appears to be a 50mm with this mechanism, suggesting a possible 50mm and 85mm hybrid lens using a built-in teleconverter, so consider as an example a 50mm F1.2 and an 85mm F2.0 built into the same lens and able to switch between the two primes with just a touch of a button. Interestingly our smartphones allow us to switch between two (or more focal lengths) with just a touch of a button or slider, so this way we could conceivably have a similar capability with our larger cameras.
This is also the continuation of a prior patent application (2023-066205), which at least shows that Canon is somewhat serious in the early stages of development.
Now of course, as with all of Canon’s Patent applications, it’s simply a patent application. Not a patent yet and certainly not a product yet (or ever). It does give us a glimpse into what the smart minds at Canon are dreaming up though.
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