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Canon announces three new EF lenses

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Canon has announced three new additions to the EF (full-frame) lens range - EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM , EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM. Interestingly, the 24 and 28mm feature image stabilization, a first for the shorter focal lengths, while the announcement of the first stabilised 24-70mm f/2.8 went to Tamron only yesterday. The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L contrary to rumours (and patents submitted) before the official announcement is not stablised but sees an improvement to the optical construction, as well as mechanical structure, Canon says. At the time of writing, Canon has not confirmed the price or availability.

UPDATE: B&H Photo are accepting pre-orders of the new 24-70mm f/2.8L II at here $2,999.00, with expected delivery April 17, 2012

Editorial comment: The announcement of the 24-70mm f/2.8L with its significantly improved optical performance is an unusual step by Canon, and suggests that the company maybe readying a new high resolution camera, perhaps the EOS 5D Mk III. Although not confirmed at this time, I also suspect the lens could be parfocal, or at least have a mechanism to maintain focus during a change of focal length, like that found on the 24-105mm f/4 IS. That lens is bundled with the current EOS 5D Mk II as the parfocal design is favored for HD filming, but its current optical performance while very good will certainly be behind this new lens. On a slightly negative note, I'm a somewhat discouraged by the increase to a 82mm filter diameter and the fact the lens hood fits the inner barrel, rather than the outer barrel like that of its predecessor. That design protected the delicate inner barrel and while Canon say the 'mechanical structure' has been improved, read made more durable, only time will tell if that's really the case.

Press release:

Class-leading performance, unrivaled flexibility – Canon launches three new lenses

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 7th February 2012 – Canon today adds to its world-famous EF lens series with the launch of three new lenses for photography professionals and enthusiasts. The new  EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM professional zoom lens is an update to the popular EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, while the new EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM are the world’s first (according to Canon research as of February 2012) wide-angle prime lenses to feature optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology. All three provide the highest levels of performance for modern digital photographers, combining premium image quality with durable, user-friendly designs.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: the ultra-high performance standard zoom
The new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM features completely redesigned optics to provide outstanding clarity, image quality and durability. A compact design makes it ideal for carrying on every shoot, and a range of optical enhancements provide improved performance – capturing greater detail across the frame while reducing distortion throughout the entire zoom range, particularly at the maximum 70mm focal length.

With a redesigned optical system that includes two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and one Super UD aspheric elements to minimise chromatic aberration and colour blurring, the lens delivers consistently sharp, high-contrast images. Each lens element also features Canon’s optimised Super Spectra coatings to reduce ghosting and flare and ensure excellent colour balance. Additionally, a fluorine coating minimises the amount of dust, dirt and fingerprints that adhere to the front and rear of the lens, helping to maintain superior image quality.

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM also enables photographers to capture their subjects up close, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.38m at all focal lengths throughout the zoom range. A ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) works in combination with a high-performance CPU and advanced AF algorithms to ensure accurate, silent and ultra-responsive autofocus. For those who prefer to maintain full control in every shot, full-time manual focusing allows photographers to precisely tweak or alter the focus of their shot at any time, even when AF is engaged.

Distinguished L-series design
The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the latest lens from the elite L-series to offer Canon’s high-grade and user-focused design enhancements. The mechanical structure of the lens has been improved to offer enhanced zoom durability and greater shake and shock resistance within the lens barrel. The size of the lens has also been reduced by 10mm compared to the previous model, providing enhanced portability and greater convenience in everyday use. A new Zoom Lock lever also enables photographers to lock the zoom position at the extreme wide end to prevent damage to the lens in transit, while a water and dustproof construction (Waterproof construction around the lens mount, switch panel, zoom ring, focusing ring and zoom lock. Weatherproof when used with weatherproof EOS bodies) enables users to continue shooting in harsh conditions.

 

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Introducing the world’s first wide-angle primes with IS
Canon today also launches the new EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM – the world’s first 24mm and 28mm fixed wide-angle lenses to feature optical IS technology. Ideal for landscape and reportage, both lenses offer outstanding flexibility allowing photographers to shoot an even broader range of scenes and subjects – combining fast apertures with IS to enable sharp results when shooting handheld, even in low light conditions.

Offering an advantage of up to 4-stops over lenses without IS, both lenses are ideal for capturing more of the scene thanks to their wider focal lengths. Both feature a wide f/2.8 aperture, allowing photographers to explore shallow depth of field, or to shoot in lower-light conditions. Wide apertures and IS technology also make each lens ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects, while Canon’s advanced IS technology is able to detect intentional panning movement and automatically switch from Normal IS mode to Panning IS mode – helping users to capture movement with greater accuracy.

Silent, high-speed AF performance is provided by the inclusion of a ring-type USM and additional features including optimized AF control. Full-time manual focusing also ensures adjustments can be made even when AF is engaged, while a minimum focusing distance of 0.20m (EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM) and 0.23m (EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM) allows photographers to get even closer to smaller or more detailed subjects.

 

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Designed to perform
Both the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM feature redesigned optics to improve image quality and reduce the need for post-production. An aspherical glass moulded (GMo) lens element is incorporated to correct aberration throughout the optical system, while Canon’s optimised Super Spectra Coatings reduce ghosting and flare for stand-out image quality. Externally, both models also boast a number of design similarities with Canon’s professional L-series lenses, with a similar coating on the barrel and a similar design on the focus ring. A distance scale is also included to assist with landscape photography, while the compact design makes these lenses an unobtrusive addition to any kit bag.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – key features
All-new optical design delivers exceptional sharpness
Ultra-low dispersion (UD) and super UD elements
Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
Sealed against dust and moisture
Fast, silent ultrasonic autofocus
Manual focus override
Nine-bladed circular aperture

EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM – key features
24mm wide angle lens (38mm equivalent on APS-C sized sensors)
Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
Up to four-stop Image Stabilizer
Ultrasonic autofocus mechanism
Circular aperture for soft background blur
Super Spectra coatings reduce flare

EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM – key features
28mm wide-angle lens (45mm equivalent on APS-C sized sensors)
Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
Up to four-stop Image Stabilizer
Ultrasonic autofocus mechanism
Circular aperture for soft background blur
Super Spectra coatings reduce flare

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