Canon Expands Dragonfly Telephoto Array With 120 EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II Lenses

Dragonfly Telephoto Array

We reported about the Dragonfly Telephoto Array in the past. It’s a project developed by the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics for which Canon delivers the optics.

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array started with 10 lenses and is designed to reveal

[…] the faint structure [of the universe] by greatly reducing scattered light and internal reflections within its optics. It achieves this using ten, commercially available Canon 400mm lenses with unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses.

Now Canon provides 120 (one-hundert-twenty) more EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II lenses to the array. So, now that you got what it is about, here is a more detailed description about the Dragonfly Telephoto Array:

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is a novel telescope concept designed to image large and extremely faint structures in the night sky. These structures hold important clues to the distribution and nature of dark matter, the elusive substance whose contribution to the total mass-energy density of the Universe is five times higher than that of normal matter. These structure are hard to see with conventional telescopes due to a combination of scattered light from bright stars and their mosaicked detectors. Dragonfly harnesses the power of commercially-available high-end telephoto lenses to address these issues. The latest generation of Canon 400 mm f/2,8 lenses have superb anti-reflection properties, owing to one of the first applications of nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structures on optical glasses. Furthermore, each lens is equipped with a single monolithic wide-field detector covering six square degrees, and with multiple redundant lines of sight Dragonfly achieves extremely accurate modeling of the night sky emission. 

Commissioned in 2013 with three lenses, the array currently consists of 48 lenses in two clusters of 24. Optically the telescope functions as the equivalent of a 1.0 m diameter refractor with a focal ratio of f/0.4, the largest and by far the most sensitive lens telescope in existence. “Behind the scenes” innovations include the use of AI planning tools to optimize nightly operations and survey design, unit-based basic data processing with compute sticks, the application of Internet of Things operational protocols to communicate with the 48 lenses, and fully automated gate-driven cloud-based data analysis. Our dual goals are to:

1. Improve our understanding of dark matter through study of the low surface brightness universe

2. Harness the potential of distributed telescopes, combined with advances in information technology, for transformational science

Canon press release:

Canon U.S.A. Inc., to Provide 120 EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lenses for Expansion of the Dragonfly Telephoto Array Project

MELVILLE, NY, November 18, 2021 Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the company will provide technical assistance to Project Dragonfly, an international research team from Yale University, and the University of Toronto, in its plan to expand the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. The company will provide the project with 120 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM large-aperture super-telephoto single-focal length lenses, and its parent company, Canon Inc., will provide technical assistance.

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is a telescope array equipped with multiple Canon large-aperture super-telephoto single focal length lenses – specifically, the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. The telescope was designed in 2013 by Project Dragonfly, an international research team from Yale University and the University of Toronto. The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is capable of capturing images of galaxies that are so faint and large that they had escaped detection by even the largest conventional telescopes. Its mission is to study the low surface brightness universe to elucidate the nature of dark matter and to utilize the concept of distributed telescopes.

In support of this research, Canon provided technical assistance by supplying 40 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses in 2015, expanding the array to 48 lenses with 24 telescopes bundled on two separate mounts. Since then, the research team has produced significant results in extragalactic astronomy, including discovering the ultra-diffuse galaxy Dragonfly 44 in 2016 and the identification of a galaxy that lacks dark matter, NGC 1052-DF2, in 2018.

This time, Canon will provide technical assistance by supplying 120 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses to the research team, further expanding the telescope array. With a total of 168 lenses, the telescope array has a light-gathering capability equivalent to that of a refracting telescope of 1.8 meters in diameter, with a focal length of only 40 cm, and is expected to open new windows on the universe.

Canon is committed to contributing to the development of science and technology by leveraging the technological strengths it has cultivated as a leading imaging company.

Message from Professor Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University comments

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is the pre-eminent survey telescope for finding faint, diffuse objects in the night sky. It has enabled us to discover ultra-diffuse galaxies and other low-surface brightness phenomena—rendering images that deepen our understanding of how galaxies are formed and providing key insights into the nature of dark matter. The initial array was equipped with 48 Canon EF 400mm telephoto lenses featuring anti-reflection coatings that mitigate the effects of light scattering, overcoming the limitations of conventional telescopes in detecting faint structures. The lenses are coupled to monolithic wide-field detectors that permit excellent error control. With the addition of 120 of these lenses, in a newly developed configuration allowing extremely narrow filters to be used, Dragonfly will be the most powerful wide-field spectroscopic line mapping machine in existence. A major goal of the next iteration of the Dragonfly array is to detect and study the faint gas thought to exist around and between galaxies. By opening this new window on the cosmos, Dragonfly will tackle some of the most critical questions in astrophysics today.

Industry News: Zeiss Celebrates 175 Years Since Its Founding


Could this be the oldest optics brand of the planet. Any expert out there?

Zeiss celebrates the 175 years anniversary of he company foundation. Lotsa years. Zeiss makes some fine lenses for Canon mounts but they are not inexpensive.

Zeiss press release:

ZEISS Celebrates 175 Years of Innovation, Passion and the Courage to Develop

ZEISS ran a virtual celebration to mark its 175th anniversary at its founding site in Jena.

  • German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “Its interplay of entrepreneurial spirit, drive to research, and inventiveness make the ZEISS Group a pioneer of modern industry.”
  • After a 5-million-euro donation to the Deutsches Museum, the global initiative “A Heart for Science” will serve as inspiration for tomorrow’s discoveries

Jena/ Oberkochen, Germany | 17 November | ZEISS Group

175 years ago, on 17 November 1846, young mechanic Carl Zeiss opened his workshop for precision mechanics and optics in Jena, thus laying the foundation for what would become ZEISS.

To mark this special day, the company ran a celebration event, the highlight of a jam-packed anniversary year. The virtual event took place on 16 November 2021 at the Volkshaus, in the company’s founding city Jena. During the virtual event, Dr. Karl Lamprecht, President and CEO of the ZEISS Group, praised the company’s successful past, celebrated its present and shared his outlook on the future.

“ZEISS’ unique history and its exceptional achievements make it a truly extraordinary company. Its 175 years also demonstrate the company’s high level of resilience and its willingness to accept change. And, above all, ZEISS’ tremendous passion, coupled with its pioneering spirit and its pragmatism in challenging and pushing the limits of the technically feasible,” said Dr. Lamprecht. “175 years of ZEISS are more than just a historical milestone in our corporate history. It’s also what motivates us to look ahead and help contribute to a bright future shaped by technological innovations.”

In a video message, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier congratulated all ZEISS employees around the world: “175 years of ZEISS is much more than an anniversary. Its interplay of entrepreneurial spirit, drive to research, and inventiveness make the ZEISS Group a pioneer of modern industry.” The President underlined ZEISS’ responsibility as a foundation-owned company: “Thanks to Ernst Abbe’s visionary realization that economic success, scientific progress and social cohesion all go together, he set up the Carl Zeiss Foundation and thus paved the way for the company to take entrepreneurial responsibility for the common good.” He also expressed his conviction that we most definitely need this collaboration between science and industry to achieve goals like climate neutrality as well as to safeguard jobs and ensure social welfare.

“As ZEISS’ sole shareholder, the Carl Zeiss Foundation benefits in particular from the economic success of its foundation company,” said Minister Theresia Bauer, Chair of the Carl Zeiss Foundation Administration, adding: “Upwards of 300 million euros have been invested in more than 700 research projects since 2007 alone. This makes it one of the largest private foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science. I’d like to thank all our employees for enabling us to promote science through their innovative power,” said Dr. Dieter Kurz, Chairman of the Carl Zeiss Foundation Council and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG. He analyzed the reasons behind ZEISS’s success: “ZEISS 175 is the fascinating story of an evolution from a small workshop with just one employee in Jena to a global market leader for the optics industry that employs 35,000 people. However, it’s a success story that’s not as straightforward as it looks today. In fact, it’s a story packed with twists and turns, ups and downs. Its long-term success has been possible because core virtues, values and skills have always been protected, while plenty of other aspects have been reinvented time and again. This is part of ZEISS’ innovation culture.”

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Vehicle AF Coming To Canon EOS R5 and R6 With Next Firmware Update

Canon EOS R6 Review Camera Sales

It seems that Canon might add a new autofocus mode to the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 through a firmware update.

Canon latest press release tells the company will release a firmware update for the EOS R5 and EOS R6. Besides receiving updates to eye and face detection AF, both cameras will also get “vehicle AF”. Both cameras will also get “SMOOTH EVF”, a special mode for when you are shooting in dark settings. The firmware update is expected for the end of November or the beginning of December. All new features coming with the firmware update are described below.

Canon press release:

Canon brings the precision and simplicity of the EOS R3 to its range of professional cameras

London, United Kingdom, 16ᵗʰ November 2021 – Canon Europe today announces firmware updates for the EOS R5 (firmware v1.50), EOS R6 (firmware v1.50) and EOS-1D X Mark III (firmware v1.60). Following the recent launch of the EOS R3, a powerhouse for sport and reportage photography, Canon bolsters its professional range of cameras with enhanced detection, seamless file transfer and optimized support for lenses.

Unrivalled detection for subject tracking

Across both the EOS R5 and EOS R6, this update delivers enhanced recognition of subjects. Users of these cameras are now able to select “vehicles” as the main subject. Inheriting this abilty from the  EOS R3, the cameras can track racing cars and bikes. The update also enhances the overall AF tracking of people, with improved eye and face detection even when the subject is wearing a mask, as well as adding body detection. Strengthening detection within the EOS-1D X Mark III for winter sports, the firmware provides improved head detection for subjects wearing goggles and helmets.

Simplified operation for streamlined workflows

For professional photographers, their camera needs to operate as an extension of them, with seamless and intuitive functionality to help them capture the shot. This upgrade gives EOS R5 and EOS R6 owners the ability to set a custom white balance in Live View, streamlining manual white balance control. Across all models, the firmware ensures that photographers aren’t able to mistakenly transfer files by pressing the multi-controller when “Transfer with SET” is set for FTP transfer. Previously, the EOS-1D X Mark III employed separate buttons for voice memo and image rating, but with newly added settings users can use one button to do both functions simultaneously.

Enhanced support for lenses

As the RF lens range continues to grow, photographers are able to unlock new possibilities with their cameras. Thanks to this latest update, the EOS R5 is now compatible with Canon’s EOS VR SYSTEM and the RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens, enabling content creators to easily capture immersive footage for virtual reality. The update also offers full-time manual support for the RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM¹, even if AF is selected.

Firmware update summary:

No.UpdateEOS R5EOS R6EOS-1D X Mark III
1Change the settings for “simultaneous recording” and “current drive” during remote operationXXX
2Disable the multi-controller for FTP transferXXX
3Change the default from Active to Passive with the FTP Server Passive Mode SettingXXX
4Enhanced recognition of subjects, including vehicle and body detectionXX 
5Improved Face/ Eye Detection with masksXX 
6Added White Capture Mode in Live View (Manual White Balance)XX 
7Added EVF Smooth to suppress lower frame rates in low lightXX 
8Full-time manual focus support for RF 70-200 mm F4L IS USMXX 
9RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE supportX  
10Added settings to enable image rating and voice memo to be set at the same time  X
11Change the Default Power Saving Settings for FTP Transfers from “use” to “not use”  X
12Enhanced Head Detection for winter sports athletes wearing goggles  X

Canon Says The EOS R3 Is “expected to take a lot of time”, Release On 27 November?

Canon Eos R3 Review

Canon released a statement where they apologies for the upcoming delay in shipping the Canon EOS R3. And the say it will start sales on November 27, 2021.

Sounds conflicting, isn’t it? From the machine translated text below: “the camera body EOS R3 and RF lens RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM announced this year are expected to take a lot of time“. In our interpretation that means that not all EOS R3 order can be fulfilled in the expected time. Sales of the EOS R3 will start on November 27, 2021, according to Guess it’s first in, first out, with a lot of orders on backorder.

Canon press release:

Apology and guidance regarding the supply status of products

Updated: November 16, 2021
Publication date: July 10, 2020

Thank you for your continued patronage of Canon products.

Currently, regarding the supply of each of the following products, we have received more orders than expected, and due to the influence of the worldwide supply of parts, we are causing a great deal of inconvenience to our customers. In particular, the camera body EOS R3 and RF lens RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM announced this year are expected to take a lot of time. Even if you are considering purchasing the following products, it may take longer than usual to deliver.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to customers who are looking forward to our products. We will continue to take measures to ensure a stable supply of products so that we can deliver our products as soon as possible. Thank you kindly look forward for your understanding.


[Applicable products]

・ EOS R3

・ RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM

・ RF16mm F2.8 STM

・ RF100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM

・ RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM

・ Eye cup ER-hE

・ Lens hood EW-65C

Canon EOS R3 at a glance:

  • 24MP Full-Frame Stacked BSI CMOS Sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, Eye Control AF
  • 6K60 Raw and 4K120 10-Bit Internal Video
  • 30 fps E. Shutter, 12 fps Mech. Shutter
  • 5.76m-Dot EVF with 120 fps Refresh Rate
  • 3.2″ 4.2m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
  • Sensor-Shift 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Multi-Function Shoe, Built-In Vert. Grip
  • CFexpress & SD UHS-II Memory Card Slots
  • Wired LAN and 5 GHz Wi-Fi Support

You can download the Canon EOS R3 user manual from Canon. Or you might read it online.

A technical brochure about the EOS R3 is available. You can watch the EOS R3 live-stream again here. All EOS R3 coverage is listed here. We put together some interesting videos about the EOS R3, listed here. Be sure to check Gordon Laing’s in-depth review of the EOS R3, part 1 and part 2. Oh, and don’t forget to listen how the R3’s 30fps sound. Canon EOS R3 product description after the break.

Preorder in the USA ($5,999):
B&H Photo | Adorama

All Canon EOS R3 world-wide preorder links:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, Canon CA, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Wex Photo Video, Canon DE, Canon UK

[via CN]

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Canon Opens A New CMOS Sensor Factory, Increases Production Capacity

Canon Eos R5c Canon Rf 16mm Rf 35mm F/1.2L EF Lenses Tilt-shift Lenses Rumor

Canon is set to establish a new CMOS sensor manufacturing factory at Hiratsuka Plant, Japan. The production will fulfill primarily Canon’s own imaging sensor needs but they may also sell to third parties in the future.

The report comes from Newswitch and as spotted by Digital Camera Info, which summarizes what it is about (emphasis mine):

Canon will utilize part of the site of the Hiratsuka Plant (Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture) to build a new CMOS image sensor manufacturing building. The investment amount is over 21 billion yen. Scheduled to start operation in July 2023. In addition to increasing the production capacity of CMOS image sensors installed in its own products such as cameras, it will also respond to growing demand for external sales.

Originally, Canon produced CMOS image sensors for the purpose of in-house production for its own cameras, but started selling them outside a few years ago. It is used in applications such as surveillance cameras and inspection equipment.

I wonder if this plant will also produce imaging sensors for consumer cameras. Guess it will, given the global supply chain issues.

Canon Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Of Cinema EOS System

Cinema Eos

It’s 10 years since Canon introduced the Cinema EOS system. Time to celebrate.

Canon press release:

Canon’s Cinema EOS System Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

MELVILLE, NY, November 4, 2021 Canon Inc. announced today that the company is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Cinema EOS System of professional digital cinema camera and lens products for the film and visual production industries. Since its debut, the company’s line of products has received an abundance of support from professional filmmakers around the world.

In 2011, both film-analog and digital equipment were being used side-by-side in the cinema production industry. Digitalization was continuing its spread, and digital cameras equipped with Super 35mm equivalent large-format sensors were becoming the mainstay of the industry. Amid this environment, Canon leveraged its visual technologies, including the optical technologies cultivated since its founding, and launched its Cinema EOS System, thus formally marking its entry into the cinema production industry.

When developing equipment such as cameras and lenses for the cinema production market, it’s essential to have assistance from professionals in the field who use the equipment. From the release of its first digital cinema cameras (EOS C300 / EOS C300 PL) and lenses (CN-E14.5-60mm T 2.6 L S / CN-E14.5-60mm T 2.6 L SP) in January 2012, Canon has always sought out feedback about performance, ease-of-use and recording styles from end-users on the front lines of cinema production. Canon strives to develop products with designs and intuitive ergonomics that enable the shooting styles and visual expression demanded by professionals.

Canon has continued to expand the boundaries of visual expression and pursue the development of devices with ever-evolving technology. The company’s first Cinema EOS camera, the EOS C300, which is equipped with a CMOS sensor that produces video reproduction comparable to 35mm film, was awarded a Technology and Engineering Emmy® award from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) in 2012. What’s more, the company has been honored for its cinema lenses, having received another Technology and Engineering Emmy® award in 2017 for its 4K cinema lenses that have earned high praise from the market for its excellent optical performance.

Canon’s Cinema EOS System is widely used in the modern cinema production industry, including in film and television production. The EOS C300 Mark II (released in September 2015) digital cinema camera and eight cinema lenses were used to film the 2018 Academy Award-winning documentary Free Solo. The System was also honored at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020, where the winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography, ACASĂ, MY HOME, was filmed with the EOS C300 and EOS C100 Mark II cameras (released in December 2014).

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