Professional photographers, please ready your wallets. Canon has just announced a plethora of new optics: the world's widest fisheye zoom lens (EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM), a new telephoto zoom lens (EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM), two super telephoto lenses (EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM) and two new extenders (Extender EF 1.4x III and 2xIII).
While the fisheye and the telephoto zooms are very cool, the super tele lenses are really the focus of this announcement. They take Canon's considerable experience in optics and lens design several steps further. The refreshed design aside, these new super telephoto lenses are considerably lighter than their earlier versions. The 400mm f/2.8 sports and nature photographers' workhorse sheds a lot of weight, from 5.3 Kg to 3.5Kg for example.
On the Image Stabilization (IS) front, the new optics implement Canon's latest generation 4-stop Image Stailization introduced with the EF 200mm f/2L IS USM and the EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM telephotos a while back. In addition, the new lenses feature a third image stabilization mode (Mode 3) which only turns on the stabilization at the moment of exposure. This new Mode 3 is particularly effective when tracking a subject as the effect of the stabilization will not be seen in the viewfinder. Another new feature will be of great interest to film makers: Power Focus (PF). In essence, PF uses the focus preset ring to drive the focus mechanism. Until now, focusing could only be achieved electronically (via the camera) or with the rubber focusing ring on the lens barrel. Allowing photographers and film makers to use the focus preset ring (a knurled ring located towards the font of the lens), smoother and more precise rack focus can be achieved. Canon seems to have listened to users' input or at least they've taken note of the fact that many film makers had elected to use cine lenses such as the ones made by Zeiss, both for their superior optical quality but also for ease of focusing.
Canon's latest professional lense make use of a new anti-smear fluorine-based coating which is very efficient in repelling water and oil. Now, a simple wipe will take care of nasty smudges, finger prints, rain, soda. Wait… SODA!?!
But today's announcement doesn't stop here. Two more super telephotos will hit the shelves in the coming months: EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, both are wildlife and surf photographers' favorites.
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
Extender EF 1.4x III
Extender EF 2x III