Why would it be f/2.8? The 24 f/2.8 IS isn't large, but it's not a pancake either. A 24mm pancake that is f/4 would make more sense, but I'm not sure how useful it'd be a crop camera.
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Or... the 24-70 f/4 IS is designed to replace the 24-105 f/4 IS as the sole kit lens. The 24-105 f/4 IS could then be redesigned to have better performance but for a higher price tag that will not be discounted as heavily because it will no longer be a kit lens. Some will upgrade from the 24-70 f/4 IS to the 24-105 f/4 IS II because it will be better with a longer focal length.
I don't see Canon selling a kit lens that is 35mm shorter than Sigma's alternative, which will be cheaper than the 24-105mm mk2, and 50mm shorter than Nikon's kit lens.If Canon were to offer an updated 24-105 f/4 IS II in a kit configuration, then there will little point for having the 24-70 f/4 IS in the first place. And if Canon designed the 24-70 f/4 IS to be a kit lens from the start, so that it's production costs are reasonable, then it can discount it in a kit aggressively while maintaining a reason for people to look for a reason to replace their kit lens.
That will create the image of Canon downgrading it's kit to make buyers draw the short straw.
The 24-105mm is different from other lenses:
1. The 24-105mm is a kit lens for two FF cameras, so it's white box price is a high priority for Canon. Therefore, Canon will be more sensitive to it's production costs, and less willing to invest in making the big investment in replacing it.
[This plays part in both upgrades from crop and in competition to Nikon kits.]
2. Being a kit lens, it should be positioned so as to encourage photographers to upgrade to other lenses - better, wider, longer, faster, etc.
A new 24-105mm would be detrimental to both causes, so I expect Canon to delay upgrade as long as it can. Currently Canon has the advantage of being able to offer a more attractive price in a kit, so I don't see how an upgrade would be urgent from Canon's point of view.
I'm not crazy about f/6.3, either, but it is also 1/3rd of a stop of light. It is rare that the 1/3rd stop makes much of a difference, and the high ISO performance of the 6D that I use it with means that I can get away with cranking ISO and still get very nice images.
I suspect that the 28-300L probably has higher resolution than this lens...but I doubt the difference is significant. This lens is surprisingly competent (I wasn't nearly as impressed with the new 16-300 VC for crop).
This is where I don't get why Canon would make this lens f/2.8 leading to a huge size & cost. Action shooters are much more likely to use a fisheye instead of an 11mm lens, and I'm not seeing much bokeh this wide. Also, with today's high ISO bodies, and lenses this wide, who can't handhold at 1/10-1/30s? I thought that the f/4 aperture was the smartest decision Canon made with the 16-35 f/4 IS. I love fast lenses and would kill for this proposed lens, but I just don't see the need for f/2.8 on this lens.
Then again, it's CR1, so we're probably just making fools of ourselves by discussing this ridiculous rumor.
Not the official photographer?
Then just the 50, be everywhere while staying out of the way.
+1...let's the pro does his/her best.
Dave Dugdale did a q quick A/B of the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 to the new Canon 16-35 f/4L IS, and found they were similar in quality - except the tokina can do f/2.8 but does not accept filters due to bulbous front element:
In fact, his conclusion was that he was keeping the Tokina. So, I would say this is a worthy option to consider.
There is much more to Sigma's recent success in the quality of their products than in their go-to-market timing. Sigma is doing well because it is putting out some fine lenses for terrific prices. And on the data side of things, specifically in resolution, Sigma is handily beating Canon, not just keeping up. The 35 and 50 Art are the sharpest AF lenses in their respective focal lengths, and by a comfortable margin.
I haven't shot either of the Sigma Art primes, but many trusted reviewers hold both of those lenses in very high regard. But a lens is more than how sharp it is. So I could see 'real world' reviews possibly not seeing as large a gap between Canon and Sigma in these focal lengths.
Canon must be working on some next generation L-series standard primes (24/35/50/85) that are intended for very large MP sensors. I think we are all waiting for those.