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Canon EF-M 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens patented in Japan

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Canon EF-M 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens patented in Japan

Canon has patented four new lenses for the EF-M mount aimed at its EOS M mirrorless cameras, including two pancake zoom models based on a tiny design.

The mirrorless camera market is keeping steady in these tough times for manufacturers of digital imaging products. Both Fujifilm and Olympus are showing signs of recovery, while Panasonic and Sony have promised to turn things around and improve their offerings.

Contrary to the rest of the industry, Canon and Nikon are actually at the back of the pack as the DSLR-centric Japanese giants have not managed to entice mirrorless fans enough to buy their EOS M and 1-system cameras, respectively.

Nikon has not extended its offer at CES 2014, while the Canon EOS M2 has been launched only in the Japanese market. However, it seems like the latter is more keen on the mirrorless system, as it has just patented four new lenses.

Canon EF-M 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens patent approved in the manufacturer’s home country

Canon EF-M 18-40mm
Canon EF-M 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6 is a pancake zoom lens which has just been patented in Japan and could be released soon.

Patents do not necessarily mean that products will be released in the near future or at all, so to speak. Nevertheless, they give us a glimpse of what we could see and what companies have in mind for the future.

By looking at these patents, it seems like the EOS maker is attempting to provide a couple of pancake zoom lenses for EF-M mount adopters. Optics based on a pancake design are very small and lightweight, which is the entire purpose of MILCs as well as their biggest advantage over DSLRs.

One of the most exciting optics is the Canon EF-M 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens. It will provide a 35mm equivalent of 27-60mm, meaning that its focal range is more limited than the one provided by the rumored Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ optic – also a pancake zoom – standing at 28-84mm.

Another pancake zoom and a pair of ultra wide-angle lenses patented just for Canon’s mirrorless cameras

The other three lenses begin with the EF-M 18-55mm f/4-8, which is another pancake model. It is very small too, but its aperture is not as bright as what photographers would want it to be. This could be the biggest factor that would prevent it from ever being released on the market, as a maximum aperture of f/8 at a 55mm focal length is unacceptable.

The list continues with the EF-M 10-20mm f/4-5.6, which will provide a 35mm equivalent of 15-30mm.

If this wide-angle lens is not enough for you, then the Canon EF-M 9-18mm f/4-5.6 will certainly do the trick. Its 35mm equivalent stands at 13,5-27mm, so it remains to be seen whether the Japanese company will choose this model or the aforementioned one.

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Canon EF-M 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens patented in Japan