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Why Canon Pro Lenses Are White
THIS IS WHY CANON PRO LENSES ARE WHITE
At virtually every major sporting event across the planet, we see groups of photographers huddled together on the sidelines, their allegiance often only visible by the color of the lenses attached to their cameras, but why are Canon’s telephoto lenses white?
Canon’s official position is that large lenses contain large elements and that are more susceptible to heat expansion than the lens elements found in smaller lenses.
It seems to make some sense. A white surface (ok, so it’s really a very light grey) reflects sunlight, which in turn helps to keep the lens and its glass elements cooler and prevent them from distorting.
One theory that reinforces Canon’s statement is that this trend started when Canon lenses started using fluorite elements, which is more sensitive to heat than modern optical glass. Here is the official quote from Canon Europe:
"Lenses contain glass elements. These expand with heat. This is not usually a problem with compact lenses the amount of expansion is small. But large lenses contain large elements and here expansion can bring a lens close to the limits of its design tolerances. A white surface reflects sunlight, helping to keep the lens cooler."