Canon recently announced four L lenses and two extenders. It’s clear they are focusing on the professional market with this update. It came as quite a surprise as we saw neither the fisheye nor the 70-300L coming. The rumored EF-S 35mm 1.8 is now a mystery, but we’re hoping it will be released in time for Photokina. The long rumored 24-70 2.8L II IS has yet to see the light of day as well. Others hoping for a 50mm 1.4 II can probably put their hopes down. Anyways, here’s more on the new L lenses, with a bit of our brief commentary on each one:
EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
This lens should appeal to owners of both full frame and APS-C cameras. It can produce a 180 degree field of view on full frame and APS-C cameras which is quite amazing. It also has markings for the widest settings on full frame, 1.3x, and 1.6x sensor cameras to prevent vignetting. The 15mm fisheye of old is starting to look rather dated with this new arrival, although it’s still a good performer. We’ve no doubts as to the performance of this new one – it’ll be stellar.
The EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye is to planned to ship in January 2011 at an expected street price of US$1400 in the U.S.
“For filmmakers and photographers who want the look and feel only possible with extreme wide angle and fisheye photography, the new Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM is a world-class choice. With its unique focal length range, the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM is the world’s widest fisheye zoom lens. It delivers 180° diagonal angle of view images for all EOS SLR cameras with imaging formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C, and provides 180° circular fisheye images for full-frame EOS models. It features UD glass for suppression of chromatic aberration, a Subwavelength coating for reduced ghosting, a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, has full-time manual focus for instant switching from AF to Manual operation, and is built to the standards of the amazing Canon L-series of lenses. This means the finest optics, the best construction and the best performance available, all in a lens designed to stimulate creativity and deliver stunning images every time.”
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
This new lens is interesting but at the same time seems a bit redundant. Afterall, Canon already has 3 lenses covering this same focal range. But this is the first one with an L designation. It might entice 70-200L users who are looking for a bit more reach with the same high image quality. The only thing we are concerned about is it’s frightening weight. The 70-300mm IS USM, which is no longer listed on the Canon page, is looking like a bargain right now at about 1/3rd of the price of this new L, and you may want to snatch one up in case they are not available in the near future. Otherwise, this new one will be a solid performer, despite the slow f/5.6 at the long end.
The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS is planned to ship at the end of October 2010 at an expected street price of US$1500 in the U.S.
“Designed to deliver ultra-high quality images along with lightning fast operation, the new Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom lens brings a favorite zoom range to the celebrated Canon L-series of lenses. It features two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration, incorporates a floating focusing mechanism for sharpness from close up to infinity, plus an IS system that increases usability by approximately four stops. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM features a function that prevents erroneous operation when the lens is mounted on a tripod or monopod. Gleaming white, with a removable tripod collar, dust and water resistant construction, and a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, its phenomenal performance and flexibility is assured. For portraiture or to bring what’s far away up close, this addition to the L-series is guaranteed to perform.”
I’ll leave the next two lenses to Canon…
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
A worthy successor to the popular Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS, the all-new Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM super telephoto lens is lightweight, weighing approximately 13% less than its predecessor, yet offers faster operation, improved image stabilization and superior optics. Incorporating Fluorite elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration plus a number of advanced coatings to minimize ghosting, flaring, and with a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, the EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM is ready to deliver spectacular images in an instant. With a third Image Stabilization mode (Mode 3) that activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed, and giving the equivalent effect of a shutter speed four stops faster, the EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM allows for easy panning and is ideally positioned for professional action photography. The EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM also features a new security slot for wire-type security locks.
EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM
The stellar combination of superlative optics, astonishing performance and brilliant construction, the EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM super telephoto is the professional’s choice for a long lens, and perfect for nature and wildlife photography. Over 28% lighter than its predecessor and now the lightest lens in its class, the EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM features Fluorite optics that deliver sharper images with less chromatic aberration, a completely redesigned Image Stabilization system that offers up to four extra stops of performance, a newly-developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, plus new construction in line with only the best that Canon has to offer. With a third Image Stabilization mode (Mode 3) that activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed, and giving the equivalent effect of a shutter speed four stops faster, the EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM allows for easy panning and is ideally positioned for professional action photography. With a new security slot for wire-type security locks, buttons and switches are redesigned for intuitive, deliberate operation, and dust and water sealing keeps the lens functioning flawlessly in even the most challenging environments.
For further thoughtful reading, read the following: Canon unveils 8-15mm fisheye, updated supertelephotos and more by Rob Galbraith.