Skip to main content

Canon could use Diffractive Optics tech to shrink a 1,000mm lens to half its size

canon patent 1000mm lens diffractive optics b amp h1200
It’s not uncommon to see patented products never make it off paper. But if Canon’s latest lens patent is anything to go by, Canon could soon have one of the most impressive super-telephoto lenses on the market.

According to patent publication No. 2016-102852, Canon has developed the optical formula to create a massive EF 1000mm f/5.6 DO lens.

Originally filed back in November 2014, the patent (translated) was only published last week and gives us a look inside what would be Canon’s longest telephoto lens since its EF 1,200mm f/5.6 L USM lens that was designed specifically for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the longest lens in the world with full autofocus capability.

A blown up diagram of Canon's thumbnail-sized optical design for the EF 1000mm f/5.6 DO
A blown up diagram of Canon’s thumbnail-sized optical design for the EF 1,000mm f/5.6 DO Image used with permission by copyright holder

The key to Canon’s latest patent is the little “DO” inside the naming scheme. “DO” is Canon’s acronym for Diffractive Optics, a lens technology that enables to focus light in such a way that Canon can create a longer equivalent focal length without the need to create a longer, heavier lens.

A visual example of how Canon utilizes a scallop element design to create a larger effective focal length
A visual example of how Canon utilizes a scallop element design to create a larger effective focal length Image used with permission by copyright holder

Take for example Canon’s EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens released early last year. Although its focal length is equivalent to 400mm (~15.75 inches), the lens itself is only 233mm (~9.2 inches) long. Likewise, compared to Canon’s 400mm ƒ/2.8L IS II lens, which weighs in at 8.5 pounds and doesn’t utilize the Diffractive Optics technology, the EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM weighs a mere 4.6 pounds, almost half as much.

An example from Canon showing how much Diffractive Optics can shrink down a telephoto lens
An example from Canon showing how much Diffractive Optics can shrink down a telephoto lens Image used with permission by copyright holder

Unsurprisingly, there’s a trade-off with using Diffractive Optics – image quality. While Canon’s ‘DO’ technology is impressive, Diffractive Optics will never offer the amount of sharpness and clarity of traditional optical designs. But considering the EF 1000mm f/5.6 DO lens could come in at half the size of a more traditional counterpart, the trade-off is worth it for many photographers who would take convenience over quality on special occasions.

Being Canon has used the Olympics as a one-off opportunity for a lens in the past, it’s not too far-fetched to imagine it’s potentially doing the same this time around. Who knows? Canon could be testing it now for all we know, as pointed out by Canon Watch.

Best GoPro deals: Save on action cameras and accessories
Prime Day 2022 GoPro deals graphic.

Action cameras are great for recording your active lifestyle; whether it's tracking through a mountain range or skiing down a slope, they can keep up with even the most strenuous activity. Of course, one of the best action camera brands is GoPro, and there are a lot of options you can pick from within its lineup, with a lot of great deals on the base camera and other accessories, of which we've collected our favorites below. You could also check out these drone deals to give you another cool perspective, or if you don't want to grab a GoPro, these camera deals might be good for you instead.
Best GoPro camera deals
GoPro HERO9 Black (open box) -- As low as $156

The GoPro HERO9 Black is a bit of an older GoPro at this point, but that certainly doesn't mean that it's geriatric, and the older age means you can get it for a lot cheaper. It has a large front screen for you to work with, and it can take 27MP stills, although the 5k video recording is a little bit pointless on a model like this. It has a larger battery, which is nice, and if you're okay with going for a refurbished or open-box version, then you can save a little cash.

Read more
Hurry! The GoPro Hero12 has a $100 price cut at beat buy
GoPro HERO12 offers waterproof use.

There are a lot of action cameras on the market, but one of the best and most well-known is the GoPro, so if you want something that can handle your active lifestyle, a GoPro is a great option. That said, GoPro cameras can be quite expensive, which is why you'll likely want to grab a deal on one to save you a little bit extra. Luckily, this GoPro Hero12 has a great deal on it from Best Buy that discounts it down to $300 from $400, saving you a solid $100, which is a nice discount.

Why you should buy the GoPro Hero12
One of the most important parts of any action camera is its video quality, and you'll be happy to know that the Hero12 can manage a whopping 5k at 60fps, which is pretty impressive for something so small. If you need more frames, you could go for the equally impressive 4K at 120fps, which is still quite impressive, and you could even go as fast as 240fps at 2.7K, so you have a lot of options when it comes to resolutions and framerates that work best for you. Another big positive is that the Hero12 has a pretty large field of view and can capture an aspect ratio of 8:7, which is pretty massive, all things considered.

Read more
Best camera deals: Save on DSLR, action cameras, point-and-shoot
Best DSLR cameras for beginners Canon Rebel T7i

There are a lot of great camera phones that offer high-quality pictures and video, but if you really want to take your photography to the next level, then you'll want to grab yourself a self-contained camera. Not only do they have more space for complex hardware, but many cameras have interchangeable lenses, so you can do different types of photography. Luckily, there are a lot of options to pick from, including Mirrorless vs. DSLR, and we've collected some of our favorite camera deals below.

That said, if you'd like something a little bit different, check out these drone deals, and for more action cameras, there are these GoPro deals, too.
Best DSLR camera deals

Read more