Canon files patents for four more EF-M zoom lenses

by Felix Esser

posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 9:16 AM EST

Update: In a previous version of this article, we stated that all four patents show concepts for 'pancake' type lenses. However, only the standard zoom lenses are pancake designs. We apologize for the mistake.

Canon Watch has posted a couple of patents unearthed by Egami, which show design concepts for four more zoom lenses for the EOS M mirrorless system. The lenses that Canon has filed patents for are an 18-40mm f/4-5.6, and 18-55mm f/4-8, a 9-18mm f/4-5.6, and a 10-20mm f/4-5.6. In terms of 35mm full-frame, these would translate into a 29-64mm, a 29-88mm, a 14.5-29mm and a 16-32mm respectively. So the first two are standard zooms, while the latter two are wide-angle zooms.

What is most interesting about these patents is that -- according to the description given by Egami -- the two standard zooms are supposed to be pancake lenses. It's not uncommon for standard kit zooms to be built as collapsible lenses that have a very slim profile when retracted, such as the recent Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, Sony's 16-50mm kit lens or Nikon's 11-27.5mm lens for the 1 system. And with the EOS M's compact body, it only makes sense that future kit lenses would come with an equally small footprint.

For the time being, these are only patents, so we shouldn't speculate too much. It is possible that Canon might realize one or more of these lenses in the future, but it's also possible that these are just concepts that will never see the light of day. However, the fact that Canon is still developing lens concepts for its EOS M cameras is a good sign for those who bought into the system, as it shows that Canon is still committed to its mirrorless system, despite the meagre sales figures outside of Japan.

Canon EF-M 18-40mm lens patent
Canon EF-M 18-55mm lens patent
Canon EF-M 9-18mm lens patent
Canon EF-M 10-20mm lens patent