Oh yes Sony really patented this: First curved medium format sensor!

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Japanese patent “2017-102189” discloses a design of a new Sony 400mm f/2.8 medium format lens. Now that’s already an exciting news by itself. But there is more: The lens is designed for a curved medium format sensor. Some info from the patent:

  1. The lens is satisfying the effective image circle of 645 sizes, the single focus lens can be used as an interchangeable lens. (SAR note: 645 size is larger than sensors used on the Fuji GFX, Hasselblad X1D, Pentax 645Z, Leica S!!!)
  2. Thanks to the curved sensor design High MTF can be obtained.
  3. The patent clearly says that this camera applies for many different uses (industrial, astronomical and photography). That’s usual on a patent to describe as many areas of use as possible.
  4. The patent also shares the specs of some more medium format lenses:
    – 323mm f/2.8
    – 258mm f/2.8
    – 161mm f2.8
    – 84mm f/2.9
    Note: Patent almost always have unusual focal length specs that will be rounded up once the lens gets produced (a 84mm lens will become 85mm or 258 can become 250 or 260). Also be aware that those are focal lenghts on a 645 and not an FF camera. A 85mm lens is actually a 50mm lens (0.62 crop).

Now, before you get way too excited. Companies usually do patent all kind of stuff and only a small percentage of it becomes a real product.

That said this patent clearly proves Sony is at least thinking about the possibility of making a medium format mirrorless system camera with curved sensor. How much would this cost? Your kidney, your house or soul to Satan? :)

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