Canon has announced a new RF lens, but it’s not exactly one you’ll be using for your average photographic endeavors. This new lens is a 5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens is the world’s fist digital interchangeable lens that captures stereoscopic 3D 180º images onto a single sensor for processing in virtual reality (VR) post-processing software.
The lens features a unique folded optic design that consists of 24 total elements in 20 total groups (12 elements in 10 groups for each of the two lenses), including four ultra-low dispersion elements and an array of Canon’s proprietary coatings. The offers an aperture range of F2.8 through F16 and has an interpupillary distance of 60mm. The minimum focusing distance is 20cm (7.9”) and it includes a built-in gelatin filter holder for slipping in a neutral density filter in bright environments.
Canon notes this lens works particularly well with its EOS R5 camera, particularly when recording 8K video at 30 frames per second (fps) and 4K video at 60 fps. Photographs and video captured with this lens must be processed using a VR-specific workflow. Canon says it will soon release a subscription-based EOS VR System software, as well as a Canon EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro, both of which will be able to process the images from these lenses.
The resulting images should be compatible with most VR headsets and applications, but Canon particularly references Oculus’ Quest 2 headset, which is one of the best-selling headsets on the market.
The Canon 5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens is set to be released in late DEcember 2021 for $1,999. Neither the EOS VR Utility, nor the EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro have a price yet, but Canon says the software is ‘currently in development’ and expects to announce further availability and details in ‘early 2022.’