Canon Patent For a Fast 15-45mm EOS-M Lens Shows Still Don’t ‘Get’ Mirrorless

Canon’s new EOS-M patent applications have us shaking our heads… again. 

A lot can be said for Canon’s [amazon_textlink asin=’B01LXTX4HC’ text=’EOS-M5′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8bfed5b7-cfba-11e7-8435-615de5638de6′], which is now just over a year old. The camera in many ways is the APS-C mirrorless camera they should have made in the first place, despite its price tag. However, for all the progress Canon has been making with their EOS-M system in terms of cameras, the company still seemingly refuses to see that their mirrorless lens strategy has hurt it more than their camera tech has.

Nothing makes this more apparent than these recently discovered patent applications for what appear to be new midrange 15-45mm zoom lenses…

The three patent applications that have been discovered all feature the same 15mm to 45mm focal range but each features a different aperture range. One model features a fast F1.8-3.5 vari-aperture, one an F2-F4 vari-aperture, and the other an F2.8-5 vari-aperture. Some have questioned if these could be new designs for a better kit lens for the EOS-M system which, if the case, would be nice for those buying into the EOS-M system.

However, it just shows Canon still doesn’t want to take their EOS-M system seriously. Besides a very small number of exceptions, the company has continued to push out slow, vari-zoom aperture amateur lenses and continually refreshing them, rather than expanding the EOS-M lens lineup. It’s getting beyond frustrating. The EF-M 22mm F2 is a great lens that keeps your EOS-M kit small and compact with great image quality. Why can’t we get more prime lenses like that? I mean heck, just adding a 50mm equivalent and an 85mm equivalent prime lens would go a long way towards that end.

But instead, we appear to be getting yet another kit lens refresh, or yet another compact vari-aperture zoom no one is asking for. We understand the company wants EOS-M users who want more professional glass to make use of EF or EF-S lenses but, until they can give us an adapter that provides us with a minimal loss of performance, that is never going to be a path any serious professional or advanced hobbyist (which lets face it, are the only people spending $1,000+ on a Canon mirrorless camera) will want to take. Plus, that is not even touching on the awkward ergonomics of using EF glass on most of the tiny EOS-M cameras.

An interesting note about these patent applications mentioned over on Canon News is that these appear to be the first Canon patents that illustrate distortion aberration control being done in camera, rather than in the lens itself. This allows for a smaller lens because they can leave out the extra internal lenses for distortion control. The company already does this in their compact PowerShot cameras and lenses, but this would be, as far as we know, the first time in a Canon interchangeable lens camera.

At any rate, while it is nice to see some faster lenses being cooked up for the EOS-M system, it is disappointing to see variable apertures and still no faster compact prime lenses. We can only hope those are next on the list. Obviously these are just patent applications, not full patents, nor confirmed products – so don’t flip out yet. But it is a pretty clear look into what Canon’s R&D people are spending their time on in regards to the EF-M lens lineup.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.