Canon celebrates its 50th Anniversary for First Interchangeable Lens for SLR Cameras. They say that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the release in 1971 of the FD55mm f/1.2AL, it was the company’s first lens for interchangeable-lens SLR cameras. It employs an aspherical lens element and was not only used in the company’s interchangeable-lens SLR cameras but also broadcast lenses, semiconductor lithography systems, telescope mirrors and a wide variety of optical products.
Aspherical lenses possess a curvature that is ideal for gathering light at a single point. From the f/2.8L IS USM zoom lens series for professional and enthusiast users—the RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM (released in September 2019), RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM (released in September 2019) and RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (released in November 2019)—to the RF28-70mm f/2L USM (released in December 2018) which realizes a fast f/2 aperture across the entire zoom range, Canon’s aspherical lenses help reduce various types of aberration and achieve high image quality.
To mass-produce aspherical lenses, Canon needed processing technology that was precise to within less than 0.1 micrometres, as well as high-precision measuring devices that could measure to within 0.01 micrometres. Through repeated cycles of design and processing methods, the company finally succeeded in creating the technology needed to mass-produce aspherical lenses. In March 1971, Canon’s first interchangeable-lens SLR camera employing an aspherical lens was released—the FD55mm f/1.2AL.
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