Canon has been working hard to bring us unique lenses, we need more from others!
Canon has really put in the effort to make their RF lenses great. They’ve given us some real lens innovation. The RF 28-70 f2 took a lot of us off guard. Canon boldly released this lens early in their Mirrorless career. No one else has done anything quite like it before or since. However, Canon kept up throwing the punches. They released the RF 50mm f1.2. Less innovative, perhaps, but a fan favorite. Following up those, Canon announced the innovative RF 600mm and RF 800mm f11 lenses. These are the smallest and lightest lenses for Full-Frame in that focal length yet. Read on after the break to see what else we could be looking forward to.
Canon Has Some New Patents
The folks over at Canon Rumors have dug up some interesting new patents. It would seem that Canon isn’t done with lens innovation yet. The patents include 130mm f1.4, 135mm f2, and 24mm f1.4 lenses. While the latter two don’t scream “innovation,” the first lens does. A 130mm lens is fairly unique on focal length alone. (Provided it doesn’t end up being a 135mm). Add an aperture of f1.4 to that, and it really gets interesting. At present, the rare Mitakon 135mm f1.4 is the only similar lens out there. Sony has come close with their 135mm f1.8, however. Seeing Canon take this head-on and perhaps surpass it is great. Lens innovation and competition is great for all of us. We want to see more.
Nikon Needs Some Lens Innovation
In contrast to Canon, Nikon has seemingly played it safe. They started their Mirrorless line conservatively. While Canon was pulling out all the stops, Nikon was releasing old standbys. Their current lenses for Z-mount mirror their F-mount lenses. However, they haven’t yet matched the size of their old lens library. Also, they’ve not done much exciting lens innovation. The Noctilux was a valiant attempt. That lens is quite niche and expensive, however. It would be great to see Nikon develop some exciting lenses. They have a long and celebrated history in optics. If anyone could create an innovative line of lenses, Nikon can. Their old lenses could serve as a great deal of inspiration. Their vintage designs are quite popular for adapting to modern cameras. It would be excellent to see Nikon build some lenses with character again.
Sony Needs to Stay on Their Toes
Sony has had a big head start on the Mirrorless market. They have a large lens line-up. The aforementioned 135mm f1.8 GM being one of the more innovative among them. However, Sony has seemed to be releasing lenses in a reactionary fashion lately. Their new line of small primes, for example. These lenses look like a reaction to the new Sigma “I” series lenses. Also, their new 12-24mm f2.8 lens was timed after Sigma released their 14-24mm lens. Sony did hit back hard, though. They went even wider and brought the lens innovation with them. While Sony is always innovating on sensors, they need to stay on their toes with lenses. I hope their new lens releases are as exciting as their new cameras.
Third-Parties Should Keep up Lens Innovation, Too
As mentioned, Sigma has been pushing innovation in lenses. Their 135mm f1.8 was great. The Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 is great competition for the newer Sony 12-24mm. Their line of lightweight “I” series primes is a refreshing alternative to their chunky Art series siblings. It seems with Sigma in the L-Mount Alliance, they’re primed for lens innovation. They’ve recently released the 105mm macro lens for Mirrorless. I hope they decide to release one or two wider macro lenses. They’ve only offered macro in 105mm for quite a while. It would also be great to see them go after Canon’s RF 600mm and 800mm lenses. Having more affordable telephoto primes for Sony and L-mount would be awesome.
Similarly, Tamron hasn’t been asleep at the wheel. Rather than go with the traditional lens trinity, Tamron switched it up. They decided to go small and light for their three f2.8 zooms. The 17-30mm, 28-75mm, and 70-180mm make up for lost range with lost weight. It’s also been interesting to see them beat Sigma to the punch with their 150-500mm for Sony. Also, it’s nice to see Tamron innovating in the APS-C lenses. The 17-70mm f2.8 is great. They’ve also just announced the 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens for Sony. I really want to see Tamron continue to bring out interesting lenses for APS-C. It would be nice to see some competition to Fuji in that arena.
We still have some interesting times ahead of us, it seems. Mirrorless technology is a great ground for competition and experimentation. The Full-Frame lens world is slowly getting more diverse and exciting. I hope to see that trend continue. I often espouse the virtues of vintage lens character. However, it can get boring seeing yet another 24-70mm f2.8 lens be announced. Non-traditional lenses can be exciting. Lenses with character can also be amazing. Here’s to hoping for a future of exciting lenses and beautiful images.