I'm taking all of this in with a skeptical eye. Consider:
- Bundling the 135 in with the 85 and 100 makes little sense. The 85 F/1.8 and 100 F/2 are 'paired' lenses and the 135 (disregarding the soft-focus version) is an L lens paired with the lesser discussed 200 F/2.8L. I say 'paired' in that they seem to share some aspects of the housing and general design, and they were released on or about the same time (the first pair was '91/'92 and the second pair both came out in '96). I would hazard a guess that Canon would design these lenses simultaneously to maximize subcomponent efficiencies, limit subcomponent inventory, all that. They still seem to be doing that with recent non-L IS refreshes: the 24 and 28 are highly similar in size/shape and I would guess the much-discussed 50 F/(unknown) non-L IS they are working on will have some size/footprint similarities as the 35 F/2 non-L IS.
- Only one prime L lens under 200mm has IS, and that's the 100L macro. Surely if an L lens 'IS refresh' program was to get underway, despite IS' greater value at longer FL, the money would be in the high-seller FL, which are the 24, 35, 50, etc. -- just like with the non-L IS refresh campaign has done.
- It seems curious that the (admittedly ancient) non-L primes have been getting the big upgrades (those new lenses are a lot more than just IS upgrades) treatment and the L lenses have not. The last time an L prime in a common focal length was updated was some six years ago. One might wonder if they have the upgrades planned, but will only release them after they ensure they are good enough to work on the high-MP full-frame rigs that we all expect are coming.
Personally, I see the 135mm length as a separate animal from the 85 and 100, and being such a sacred cow to so many users, Canon will probably take quite some time to offer a replacement for the 135L.
I do not think that it is a L lens refresh. I think that it is a mid range refresh. Canons mid range lens were dinosaurs before the IS refreshes started. Back in the old FD days there was three 135mm lens it is very likely that they are dropping the soft focus and replacing it with a normal 135mm. The certain versions of the FD 85mm, 100mm, 135mm shared much of the same design. They were a lens family. It is likely they are just returning to that.
I expect a L refresh sometime later. I just cannot see a 135mm f2.8 L IS being a big seller unless it was a macro. Most looking at the 135L are in it the the bokeh.
I expect the L refresh when it happens to be exactly like you said 85,100 as a family and 135,200 as a family.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 12:03:27 PM by tcmatthews »
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