Canon Pranks 2022: New f/1.4 Prime Designs… But Only with ‘Defocus Smoothing’

Jan 3, 2022 | Canon, Lenses, News, Patents, Portrait, Weddings

A new RF 135mm (or 24mm) f/1.4 sounds scrumptious to you too? Willing to swallow that with the “Mr. Magoo” effect? We may find out. Several of Canon’s lens design patent applications were published showing work on what would otherwise seem to be highly-sought-after configurations. Both are saddled with the defocus smoothing (DS) effect, which uses a coating sprayed on lens elements to create the real-world equivalent of a radial filter, darkening and blurring the image progressively from the center to the edges.

85mm ds

The extra coatings on other lenses, such as the revered RF 85mm f/1.2, cost an additional $300 and – most importantly – another stop and a half of light loss. This means a $3,000 f/1.4 lens would be come a $3,300 f/2.4 lens. But with less work needed in lightroom after a portrait shoot, provided that you always shoot subjects toward the center of the frame.

While RF shooters have been enjoying the release of bonkers-class lenses, there are a number of professional work-a-day lenses that haven’t yet made it out of the Canon design shop. F/1.4 primes are probably the most desired among them, especially the 24mm and 35mm focal lengths. It is likely that DS-equipped lenses won’t be counted as filling those niches, as professionals use them specifically for uses like low-light events, allowing them to eke out just-adequate shutter speeds by having the wider aperture.

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