Also, regarding the 35mm non-L refresh, a number of points come to mind:
- If this is similar to the 24 and 28 IS lenses, the touted price of $800 is absolutely worth it, and I'm strictly a still shooter. This will be an L lens without a red ring. The 28 I own is sharper than an equivalently stopped down 35L (i.e. it is not just useable, it is great wide open, and stellar at F/4). The USM focusing is very fast, it's internally focusing, is very well built (on par with the 100L macro), and it's very small and unassuming. Plus, F/2.8 (with the 24 & 28) or F/2 (with the new 35) with four stops IS are some of (if not the) most handholdable lenses you'll find.
- This is good news for what I am really looking for, which is a newer, sharper, better 50 prime. We're due, and though I'm bummed it's not happening now, this announcement marks the refresh of a third non-L prime. This bodes well for future upgraded versions of the 50 prime and 85 prime -- both stellar values vs. their L counterparts, but both are also quite old. Here's hoping.
- Which begs the question, if I am looking for something better than my current Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 prime, do I look at the 1.2L or wait for this new non-L? As mentioned before, prior non-L refreshes were sharper than their L counterparts, and they pack a houseload of modern features (ring USM, IS, etc.) over their pro counterparts. Given all that, it begs the question why the non-Ls are getting the refresh/sharpness/feature updates before the Ls?
- The 24/28 IS lenses take 58mm filters, but the rumored new 35 will jump from the current 52 filters to 67 filters. That would likely mean a new 50 (with similar upgrades) might also go to 67mm. As odd as that diameter is, since I already own the 100L macro, I'm all set.
- The only bummer I see with all these great non-Ls coming out is that I lose the weather sealing I have been accustomed to on my other L lenses.
I have the 35L and it actually lacks weather sealing. So the only advantage it would have now over the new 35 is the extra stop of 1.4. I would be curious to see an IQ comparison...
then again, sharpness is not the whole equation. How well it controls fringing, the color reproduction, distortion, etc. are factors as well. I get the feeling the 35L will still be better in these areas.