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Canon’s New Lenses

While the rest of the photo world prattles on about the new Nikon D800 – and yes, it does look pretty damn impressive – I’m going to share a few words on Canon’s new lens announcements. This past week saw the release of the EF 28mm f2.8 IS, EF 24mm f/2.8 IS, and of course the long-awaited EF 24-70L.

So which word is best? “Puzzlement” comes readily to mind. As does “curious.” And finally, “anticlimactic.”

“Puzzlement” and “curious” both apply to the 28mm & 24mm lenses, which are a strange update of the wide, prosumer series. Actually, I think an update to this series is both welcome and long overdue, it’s just curious that Canon would choose this particular update. Both are wide-angle lenses, although neither is particularly wide on an APS-C body. Both are f/2.8, which isn’t particularly fast, either. And now both with IS, which has predominately appeared on telephoto lenses in the past, and almost never on wide-angles.

{Photos Credited: Canon USA}

And both wide angles, within 2mm of each other? I can’t fathom Canon’s investment in even producing two nearly-identical lenses. A 24mm and a 35mm, sure, but 24mm & 28mm? Why?

Personally, I’d like to be interested in at least one of these, but have a hard time mustering must enthusiasm. A 24mm f/1.8 IS would have caught my attention, but not a f/2.8. And given the price-points – $800 and $850- I can’t see myself adding either to my bag.

My final word, “anticlimactic” applies to the 24-70L. I suppose I’ve been vocal about my disinterest in the original version of this lens, which I never found to be especially impressive. And that carries over to this new version, which checks in at just under $2200 and still doesn’t include IS, which seems like it would have been far more useful here than in the wide-angle primes. However good it is, at nearly twice the price of the original version, and without IS, it’s grossly overpriced.

{Photo from DPReview.com}

So who knows what Canon is thinking. I’m sure they have a plan and are following it, it must make sense to them. But from this end, it’s a little baffling.

The one highlight I did see was a comment that this year might be Canon’s biggest yet for lens releases. Call it a rumor, or speculation, or wishful thinking, but I still find that exciting. I’d love to see some good, older glass revamped and updated. And I’d like to see some new glass released into the wild. Like that 200-400L f/4 IS we were teased with a while back. I still don’t expect that I’ll be able to afford one, but at least I’d be able to wish for it.

Looking at the comments on Canon’s press release at DPReview, it seems I’m not the only one who is unimpressed with the new lenses. Actually, some folks over there are outright hostile…

Brent Pennington

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1 Comment to Canon’s New Lenses

  1. February 14, 2012 at 14:29

    These new lenses don’t do anything for me either. A 20mm and 35mm then yeah I may be a little excited. What I’d like to see is some EF-S primes a 20mm 1.4 with USM focusing motor would really make my day.


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