The Japanese camera manufacturer has recently filed a patent (number 2019-113645) in its home country for a barn door-like lens cap that simultaneously works as a lens hood as well.
First spotted by Canon Watch, the “invention works as a lens hood function at the time of shooting and as a lens protection function at the time of non-shooting, thus eliminating the need for lens cap attachment / removal and barrier opening / closing operations”.
The idea behind Canon’s design is that it will be permanently attached to the lens, so losing another lens cap might be a thing of the past.
However, Canon only uses the term “digital camera” in the patent, so whether the new lens cap design will make its way to the new RF-mount lenses or the older EF, EF-M or EF-S lenses remains to be seen. Instead, the patent seems to be for lenses with extending barrels that are typical for point-and-shoot snappers.
There have been solutions for the lost lens cap problem in the past – Canon is by no means the first company to try and solve this issue.
The Olympus LC-63A lens cap has been around for a very long time now, and was designed to fit on the XZ-1 and XZ-2 compact cameras. It’s attached to the lens barrel via a screw mount and automatically opens and shuts when using a button on the camera itself.
For those of us with multiple lenses for DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, Kuvrd (as in ‘covered’) launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 for a silicone-based one-size-fits-all lens cap that claimed to be waterproof, dirt-proof, shock-absorbent, portable and malleable, but it wasn’t designed to be permanently attached to the lens itself.
While Canon’s design is still just a patent, it would be nice to see a major manufacturer provide a solution to a common problem that most photographers face.
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