With their first EF zoom lens to incorporate STM (EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, $599); their slimmest and lightest EF-S lens ever made (EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM pancake, $149); their updated and exotic 400mm prime telephoto (EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM, $6,899); and their “Glass First” effort, Canon covers its bases and highlights its emphasis on lenses.
There’s a very interesting undercurrent at Canon plainly visible this year at Photokina. While their new DSLR announcement – the 7D MkII – is pretty much a snoozer, they’ve introduced for the first time STM technology for their full frame cameras, and created a web site [www.glassfirst.com] dedicated to the proposition that “It all begins with glass:
“It’s an understanding shared by image makers around the world: That in the art of capturing light, the first decision starts with the glass you use. This makes that selection of a lens both personal and technical. It’s an approach we call Glass First, one that has inspired our entire line of optics for over 75 years. So if you’re a photographer or cinematographer, whether you’re shooting for millions or just for yourself, when you choose Canon Glass First, you’re looking through the lens of a company as passionate about image making as you are.”
I wonder if it also means Canon is more confident in the ongoing appeal and competitive advantage of its lenses than it is of its mid-range DSLR camera bodies. And in choosing the 24-105 to update with STM on the one hand – a favorite of the CinemaEOS crowd – and offering what is a near-standard focal length prime for its crop sensor cameras at a dirt cheap price on the other, I wonder if Canon is ceding the middle ground to its competitors.
But I’ve been wrong before.
What do you make of this?
Canon EF & EF-S Lens Preorders:
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Pancake $149:
Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM $599:
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM $6899
Canon USA Celebrates 75 Years of Optics Heritage with the Addition of Three New Lenses
From Canon Press Release:
New Lenses Enable Photographers of All Levels to Create Stunning Images
MELVILLE, N.Y., September 15, 2014 – Following on the heels of its milestone of 100 million EF lenses produced worldwide*, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce three new lenses adding to it’s rich history of developing and delivering outstanding optics to all types of photographers, cinematographers, online content creators and image makers from budding amateurs to the most seasoned professionals. The three new lenses include two EF series lenses ─ the EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM super telephoto lens and the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom lens, as well as one EF-S series lens ─ the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM wide-angle pancake lens. These new lenses will also be the latest addition to Canon’s GlassFirst.com online resource, helping image makers explore the Company’s vast EF lens portfolio.
“Canon’s heritage is rich with over 75 years of optical innovation. Our engineers are dedicated to delivering high-quality optics for everyone from the amateur photographer to directors of photography on Hollywood movie sets,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, President and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “And having reached a milestone of 100 million lenses produced earlier this year, Canon launched in celebration its ‘Glass First’ campaign to assist image makers in realizing the artistic potential offered by our various lenses. These new lenses will fit in well with the ever growing family of Canon optics.”
EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM – The Portable Super Telephoto Lens
Super telephoto lenses are essential whether on a safari or the sidelines to bring the image in tight on a subject, but they often are not the lightest lenses to carry around. Canon’s new compact and lightweight EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM super telephoto lens will help lighten the load of professional and advanced amateur photographers. At only 4.6 lbs., it is roughly half the weight of the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. The new EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens features newly developed gapless dual-layered diffractive optical (DO) elements that help improve optical performance while maintaining virtually the same size and weight as its predecessor. The DO element in the new lens is optimally positioned deeper within the optical formula than in the original EF 400mm DO lens to help reduce flare around backlit subjects. Other optical improvements include the use of a large-diameter ground and polished aspherical element and a UD glass element that work together with the DO elements for thorough correction of spherical, chromatic and other optical aberrations. Canon’s original SWC (Sub Wavelength Structure) lens coating is also used internally to help improve resistance to flare. Fluorine coating is applied to the front and rear lens elements to repel dust and make lens cleaning easy. A nine blade curved diaphragm is also incorporated to help produce smooth, natural-looking bokeh in areas outside the depth of field surrounding the main subject.
The new EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens features Canon’s Optical Image Stabilization with up to four shutter speed steps of correction**. In addition there are three IS modes ─ standard, panning and during exposure only ─ that help to provide superb results in a variety of shooting situations. For greater convenience, the Image Stabilizer does not have to be disabled when shooting with a tripod. Four programmable buttons on the front of the lens allow photographers to customize lens and camera operation to fit their unique shooting style, or simply pause autofocus (AF) adjustment at any point to hold focus on a subject in a busy scene. Even in AF mode, full-time manual focus can be employed at any time. The lens also features a Power Focus mode for smooth focus “pulls” ideal for filmmaking. For those mobile shooters and documentarians truly “on-the-go”, the lens is also highly resistant to dust and water for durability and reliability when shooting in even the harshest conditions.
EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – Smooth Quiet Focus in a Versatile Lens
The new EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens is the first EF-series zoom lens for full-frame sensor cameras to include a lead screw-type stepping motor (STM) that provides virtually silent AF while shooting video. The 24-105mm is one of the most versatile focal range options in the EF lineup as it can be used as a wide-angle lens while out on the town as well as a portrait-length zoom when trying to get closer to your subjects.
The Optical Image Stabilizer provides up to four shutter speed steps of correction,** while two aspheric lenses plus a UD lens combine to provide high-quality results for both still images and video. New to the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens is a seven group zoom optical formula that enables a conveniently compact design while maintaining high-quality optical performance. The lens’ lightweight inner focusing system, high-speed CPU, and improved AF algorithm enables high-speed AF. In addition, the seven bladed circular aperture combined with the optimized lens placement and coatings delivers beautiful, soft bokeh, and exceptional color balance, while helping to minimize ghosting and flare. The newEF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens provides a lighter and more affordable option with STM focus capabilities to Canon’s popular EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens.
EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM – The Slim, Compact Lens That Stacks Up to the Competition
The affordable EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens is the slimmest and lightest Canon EF-S lens ever produced. This compact, lightweight wide-angle “pancake” style lens features STM technology and was developed for photographers and videographers who are aiming to capture bright, clear images with beautiful softly blurred backgrounds at a fixed focal length. The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens features an aspheric lens element and the optimized lens arrangement and coating helps to minimize ghosting and flare while delivering excellent image quality. The seven bladed aperture delivers beautiful, soft backgrounds, while the Electro-Magnetic Drive aperture mechanism uses a micro-stepping driver control for quieter operation, especially useful when shooting video.
It All Begins With the Glass
Canon’s heritage of producing outstanding optics dates back over 75 years, and the company’s current EF line of lenses is over 100 lenses strong and counting. To help educate consumers, Canon’s GlassFirst.com online resource was launched in June 2014 to inspire visitors to grow creatively and expand their photographic tools. The site aims to educate visitors on the power and differences between various lenses, including macro, zoom, telephoto, prime, wide-angle, STM, tilt-shift and fisheye, using informative videos and sample images showing the results that can be created by using each lens. To learn more about Canon’s rich optics heritage or for more information about Canon’s optics please visit either explore-lenses.usa.canon.com or glassfirst.usa.canon.com.
Pricing and Availability
The EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM and EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM are both scheduled to be available in November for estimated retail prices of $6,899.00 and $149.99 respectively. The EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is scheduled to be available in December for an estimated retail price of $599.99. For additional information please visit usa.canon.com/consumer
In addition to these new announcements, Canon U.S.A. is proud to announce newly reduced prices on a range of EF and EF-S lenses in honor of reaching the EF Lenses 100 Millionth Milestone. For additional information please visit: www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/lens_prices
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $36 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2013† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies in 2014. In 2013, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the tenth consecutive year, and for camcorders for the past three years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyoseiphilosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA.
All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
* As of April 22, 2014 – Refers to EF Lenses, EF-S Lenses and Cinema Lenses produced worldwide from 1987 to first half of 2014.
** According to CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards.
(cover photo credit: snap from B&H Photo Video)