Canon introduced computer-aided technology to its optical design half a century ago, leading to more analytic design and rational approaches to lens development. Meanwhile, in the industry of precision instruments, especially optical devices, adept craftsmen are absolutely essential for high-precision processing and assembly. L-series lenses are developed and manufactured in environments where designers and skilled craftsmen are free to exchange ideas in pursuit of superior image quality and performance.
Photographic lens optical performance is expected to continue to advance due to digitalization of SLR cameras. As expectations rise, Canon aims for its next-generation L-series lenses to achieve unprecedented optical performance. The objective of developing the latest L-series lenses is to increase both resolving power and contrast, which are among the more important factors in appreciating the quality of magnified images.
EF lenses are designed by applying sophisticated optical theory and proprietary optical design tools (software). Recently, because improvement in computer processing speed is significant, the time required for optimization computing (of architecture of lens group for minimizing various aberrations) has been shortened dramatically. Canon takes advantage of higher processing speeds to explore the best solutions required for next-generation L-series lenses. Moreover, the company has driven optical performance even farther ahead by introducing evaluation tools including the latest image simulation and tolerance analysis simulation applications.
Canon's sophisticated lens processing technology, optical elements and coating technology establishes a firm foundation for developing L-series lenses and improving their optical performance. True high-quality imaging — significantly improved from previous L-series lenses — is achieved through innovative technology for manufacturing precision-ground aspherical and fluorite lens elements, as well as proactive use of such technology; use of SWC and ASC; and development of UD lenses, Super UD lenses and BR Optics.
Manufacturing superior-quality high-performance L-series lenses requires extremely high-level processing and accurate assembly that state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, measurement devices and adept craftsmen provide. Handling the most delicate L-series lenses manufacturing processes with outstanding skills and know-how requires these craftsmen to polish the original molds needed to produce ground aspherical lenses with subtlety and precision within the order of an angstrom (one 10-billionth of a meter) and undertake the complex assembly with outstanding accuracy. At Canon, operations that are processed automatically and those handled by craftsmen are optimized according to lens type in order to maintain a balance between productivity and quality. Canon has also taken action to direct more of its exceptional knowledge and technology in manufacturing equipment and facilities toward research and development. Moreover, the company has been introducing innovations in lens manufacturing.