Canon has filed a patent for barndoor style lens caps you can’t lose that double up as a hood

Jul 18, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canon has filed a patent for barndoor style lens caps you can’t lose that double up as a hood

Jul 18, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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This is quite an interesting idea from Canon. I mean, photographers are often losing lens caps, especially if they shoot on location. You take off your cap, put it down somewhere, come back to it after shooting and suddenly, oh, where’s it gone? I’ve lost track of how many I’ve lost by now, to the point where I usually buy 5 at a time.

Canon’s new patent application (JP 2019-113645), though, describes a lens cap with a barndoor style configuration that allows you to open it up, shoot through it, and then close it again without having to take it off the lens at all.

As well as the obvious implication of having a lens cap that you don’t need to remove from the camera in order to shoot through, Canon says that it doubles up as a lens hood while shooting.

The present 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.

While that was one of my initial thoughts on seeing the designs in the patent, I don’t think that it will be as reliable in all conditions as an actual purpose-designed hood for a particular lens. It will help to some degree, though. But the design as a lens cap does potentially have issues, too. Naturally, there will be slight gaps between each of the doors that need to be dealt with somehow.

And it might not become available in a generic sense for all lenses. While the diagrams in the patent application do show something that’s DSLR-like, they don’t specifically mention DSLRs, just “digital camera” and they specifically talk about lenses with a zooming barrel, so it may only appear for something like bridge cameras. Even though the camera design is generic and DSLR-like, I don’t see a lens release button.

That is, assuming it ever appears at all. This might be another one of those that Canon files for the sake of filing, just because they can, without ever actually bringing it to market.

It is an intriguing idea, though, and while it doesn’t have quite the same impact as announcing a new camera, it’s nice to see some of the small attention to detail stuff coming from the Canon camp.

If you want to see the complete patent application, head on over to the Japan Patent Office website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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19 responses to “Canon has filed a patent for barndoor style lens caps you can’t lose that double up as a hood”

  1. Pascal Popp Avatar
    Pascal Popp

    I think the main question will be if it serves the purpose of a lens hood properly, at least for ambitious photographers. If not, ditch it and get a regular one.

    But I guess ambitious photographers won’t be the target market for this…

  2. Michael Estwik Avatar
    Michael Estwik

    The best thing with a lens hood is that it also protects the longer end of the lens when you bump into things or, if you do as I’ve done, dropping the camera.

    Hopefully, this will only appear on smaller lenses where the hood takes up a lot of space, think street photographers.

    But the best thing would be that it didn’t appear at all.

  3. Lars Stokholm Avatar
    Lars Stokholm

    I saw a similar lens cover/hood a couple of years ago on eBay. I should have bought some, before Canon gets the patent ?

  4. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    vignetting would be a mess….

  5. Basia Kowalska Avatar
    Basia Kowalska

    Why on earth do we have something like THIS before we have a leftie camera?!

    1. Pascal Popp Avatar
      Pascal Popp

      Basia Kowalska true! ?

  6. Duncan Knifton Avatar
  7. Glenn Adams Avatar
    Glenn Adams

    Had one for a Fuji x100 forever who

  8. Matthew Nehrling Avatar
    Matthew Nehrling

    Minolta did that 30 years ago. It sucked.

  9. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    It is useless, and I would not be able to use my filters and hood.

  10. Adam Frimer Avatar
    Adam Frimer

    Yay more points of failure!

  11. Galonii August Avatar
    Galonii August

    ya pass on that

  12. Szymon Konieczny Avatar
    Szymon Konieczny

    those barndoors will be easy to break

  13. Millie Avatar
    Millie

    Canon has once again “ designed “ something that already exists and wants to patent it instead of making up their minds on what kind of mirrorless camera mount they want. The M50 was the last in that series of cameras. Also, no native lenses have come out at all except for the original few. Interestingly enough, Sigma has just released a few lenses that will fit the M mount cameras! I’m confused about that so I wonder if they know something we don’t. Then the full frame R-RF lineup. All two of them. What direction will Canon go in?

  14. Collin McLaren Avatar
    Collin McLaren

    For consumer-grade point and shoots and bridge cameras, I could see this being a clever feature. But for interchangeable lens systems, I’d still rather put my trust into a slide-on hood.

  15. Darrell Larose Avatar
    Darrell Larose

    Leica Summitar Summicron “Barn Door” Collapsible Lens Hood SOOPD from 1940 also did this.

  16. Richard Snippe Avatar
    Richard Snippe

    Hoocab looks nice. Works the same

  17. Dude Seriously Avatar
    Dude Seriously

    How can Canon get a patent on something that has been used by camera companies for decades? Makes about as much sense as them using crowdfunding to develop a travel camera.