The Weird Canon R5 VR Lens Might Be Brilliant


Canon’s announcement of their newest RF lens has pricked up a lot of ears in curiosity. Is this new lens going to be brilliant, or is it too niche to succeed?

If there’s one thing I love in photography, it’s strange and unusual lenses and cameras. Sometimes, I’ll just buy one to own it, even if I have no real intention of using it. That of course has a rather low budget cap and Canon’s announcement far exceeds it, and yet I’m so curious to try it.

The Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye 3D VR lens is the latest RF-mount lens and it’s turning heads. As you can see, the lens is aimed at stereoscopic 3D 180-degree VR imagery. VR has been tipped to be the next big thing in photography and videography for well over a decade at this point, and while it has failed to secure such an illustrious title, it certainly hasn’t failed and fallen away either. I tried a VR headset when they were just emerging and was optimistic for its future, but wholly unmoved for its present. Then, last year, I tried a newer VR headset and realized we’re far closer to it being a common way to consume all types of visual media than I thought.

It is still undoubtedly a niche area, but it’s interesting that Canon is catering to it. The research and development of a lens like this can’t be cheap, and given it’s an L lens at $1,999, Canon presumably believes there is a future for the technology and they would like to have a staple piece of equipment for it.