Finally, some good news on the lens front! During the past two days both Canon and Sigma have released info on new lenses that are of great interest to anyone who shoots wildlife (or sports).
The most exciting of the two is Canon’s new 200-400L f/4 IS, which is apparently in the development stage. This is a direct and obvious shot at Nikon’s popular 200-400mm lens, and frankly, it’s about time. What’s most interesting is the mention of a built-in 1.4x TC, which can be activated or de-activated as necessary/desired, boosting the lens to a 280-560mm IS f/5.6, which is more than respectable.How exactly a built-in teleconverter will work is beyond me, although looking at the lens image that Canon provided, I’d guess that the bulge in the mount end probably houses it. Although even at this early point, I almost hope they drop the feature from the production model. Why? Because I shudder to think what a built-in TC will add to the price. Especially since I already have a 1.4x TC that I could easily mount or dismount, just as I do now with my 300L.
Speaking of which, the 300L will hit eBay the moment this new badass lens becomes available – the ability to hit 400mm at f/4 alone makes it worth it. Sadly, in addition to the 300L, I’ll probably have to also sell a kidney to be able to afford it.
The second announcement comes from Sigma, with the release of pricing info on their 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM. This lens, an upgrade of an already well-reviewed piece of glass, now features an OS system that claims to offer up to 4 stops of additional stability. Even if it only works half that well, it still represents hugely useful feature, especially at telephoto ranges.
Although it’s 100mm shorter than the Canon 200-400L, the extra stop will make it the more attractive choice for some, as will it’s zoom ability (vs. a 300mm prime lens). This is one of the lenses that I considered when I was looking to upgrade my wildlife lens – although given it’s price, “considered” is too strong a word. Drooled over, surely – but sadly it was well beyond my ability to actually buy.
All in all, not bad for a week in February – and upgrade to an already excellent lens and, finally, a new Canon lens that’s actually interesting. Now we just wait to find out how much it will set us back.