Lensrentals tears down Canon's 50mm F1.2 RF lens to reveal new optics, tech and surprises
|Photo kindly provided by Lensrentals|
For the latest edition of LensRentals gets down and dirty with camera equipment, Lensrentals founder Roger Cicala tore down Canon's new 50mm F1.2L RF lens to reveal what tech and construction is lurking inside.
'Usually, I start tear down posts with a joke about "those of you who are following along by disassembling your own lens at home",' reads one of the introductory paragraphs of Cicala's teardown blog post. 'Well, no joke today; this is not a home disassembly project. I’m not really sure it’s even a Lensrentals disassembly project. But we got out tools out and boldly went where we probably shouldn’t have gone.'
|The unusual screw arrangement is seen tucked inside the front barrel assembly of the Canon 50mm F1.2L RF lens — photo kindly provided by Lensrentals|
Right off the bat, Cicala came across something he had never seen in a lens before — a unique screw arrangement on the front part of the lens barrel. Figuring the unique arrangement 'was some kind of binary code for "Do Not Enter",' Cicala instead flipped the lens over and started to disassemble it from the rear.
With each new layer peeled back, new surprises awaited Cicala. There was wiring, rather than simple ribbon cables (which Canon has almost always preferred), a denser PCB, and a little extra electrical shielding.
|Cicala noted the denser PCB and wiring (visible bottom-right) inside the Canon 50mm F1.2L RF lens — photo kindly provided by Lensrentals|
The teardown also confirmed Canon is using the same USM motor for the 50mm F1.2L RF as it is for its much, much larger 400mm F2.8L IS III lens, which Cicala teases as Lensrentals' next teardown. Near the USM motor, Cicala noticed an interesting tensioning spring, but it remains unknown what purpose it serves.
|Photo provided kindly by Lensrentals|
Eventually, Cicala turned the lens back over and removed the front lens barrel. After a little work, what he ended up with was the stripped down optical core of Canon's 50mm F1.2L RF lens. 'Like a shaved cat, it’s always kind of shocking how small the core of the thing is,' says Cicala.
|The stripped-down optical core of the Canon 50mm F1.2L RF lens — photo kindly provided by Lensrentals|
Other details revealed in the teardown include a piece of electrical discharge tape that seemingly leads to nowhere, additional sealing felt and a collection of springs that serve an unknown purpose.
|Photo kindly provided by Lensrentals|
All in all, Cicala was impressed with the lens, going so far as to say that this lens, and this lens alone, makes him lust for Canon's EOS R system. Cicala concludes his assessment saying 'One thing that is very clear [...] Canon has invested very heavily into developing the lenses of the R system. This level of engineering didn’t all happen in the last year, they’ve been working on this for quite a while.'
To read and see the entire teardown, head over to the Lensrental blog and set aside a good ten minutes or so.
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