August 28, 2014, 09:44:52 AM

Author Topic: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms  (Read 8647 times)

willrobb

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When USM was introduced to canon lenses a while back it made it's way into most lenses as a standard feature, so what do you think we will see becoming standard features from now on? With all the rumours about different lenses being released, what do you think we will be seeing a lot more of.

I'm not very technical, I just know lenses through using them, not so much about the components that make them good. From my limited knowledge I would expect to see these features in some recent (and not so recent) lenses becoming more standard:



1. A reduction in the use of the usual "L series" metal and more use of aluminum and engineering plastic.
They did this with the 100mm f2.8L HIS macro and, it resulted in a great sturdy yet light weight lens. It's nice to travel as light as possible right.

2. Textured rather than shiny lens hoods. Again, a feature in the 100mm f2.8L HIS macro, after a year of use my lens hood still looks new, there are no scratches on it. With some of my older lenses like my 24-70mm, even though the body looks good, the lens hood looks like it's been in several fights with cats. No big deal, it doesn't effect performance, but it looks good cosmetically and will no doubt help when selling gear on.

3. Weather sealing. It's in a lot of the lenses now, for me it's a big selling point as I often shoot in the rain and I feel much more comfortable if I have it. I have it on my 24-70mm f2.8L, my 17-40mm F4L, 50mm f1.2L but not on my old 70-200mm f2.8L. The lack of weather sealing on the 85mm F1.2LII has often put me off buying it.

4. Ultra-low dispersion (UD) glass to help control chromatic aberrations (CA). A feature in the 24mm f1.4LII that helps it outperform the 24mm f1.4L.

5. Sub-wavelength coating (SWC) to reduce ghosting and flare. Available in the two new TS-E lenses (24mm f3.5LII and 17mm TS-E F4L) as well as the 24mm f1.4LII. A technical explanation with a good example over here at canon Europe http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/subwavelength_coating.do

Any more thoughts?

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 08:46:19 PM »
I expect we'll see more engineering plastic - several other black L lenses are already plastic, not metal.

Yes, I think the textured hood will be standard on future releases. The 70-200mm f2.8L IS II has that as well.

Weather sealing for some lenses, yes - a 35L II will have it. The 85L is a front focusing design, may not ever get sealing (the 50L front focuses too, but with the smaller front element the movement is behind the plane of the filter (which is required for the sealing).

UD elements will be used more, and the SWC coating will be used on all L lenses, almost certainly.

I think we will also see the fluorine coating on front and rear elements of L lenses from here out.
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pharp

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 09:30:42 PM »
.. and the prices will continue to climb!  :)

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 11:14:54 PM »
All these things are used in high end lenses, but a few of them may appear in the low end lenses.

Sealing is one of the things that is difficult.  If a lens extends while focusing or zooming, it will not be completely sealed,   USM is not goiing to happen for many consumer grade lenses, it requires a total redesign and increases the price. 

UD glass / Fluorite crystals will continue to be used where it is needed.  It has not been needed in 50mm lenses in the past, but if a more expensive version of the consumer lens comes out, it may be in it along with a doubling of the price for very little gain.

I don't expect to see anything different from what we've seen in the past, $1,000 lenses have better and more expensive construction than $200 lenses.

Rocky

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 11:31:44 PM »
There are two types of "USM". The "ring type USM" is the original USM that is used in the L lenses and some older lenses, like the 35-135mm. However, Canon has be using the term USM on micromotor type of focusing mechanism, like the 50mm f 1.4 and some of the lower priced non-L lense. Unfortunately, It is hard to find out what type of USM is being used on the non-L lenses.

dr croubie

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 12:46:09 AM »
I just did some digging in the Canon Camera Museum for the hell of it, and came up with the following:
Excluding EF-S, TS-E, and MP-E, (the latter two types may as well all be L anyway), Canon seem to have given up on non-L lenses:
The last non-L prime was the 100 f/2.8 USM Macro in March 2000.
The last non-L (non-macro) was the 28 f/1.8 USM in September 1995.
The last non-L zoom was the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM in October 2005.

Obviously, nowadays the "consumer-zoom" is EF-S only, we APS-C users don't want primes, if we do we're content with 20-year old designs or we don't mind paying L-prices. Anyone willing to pay for a FF camera can also afford L-glass.
Obviously that's all bollocks, if I read something more than anything else on these forums it's "we want an EF-S 30/1.4" (I write it myself enough too). And there's only one non-L FF zoom in normal lengths available (but a few in the 70-300 range).

What I'm wondering, is what happens if this "entry level FF" camera comes to pass. Will they re-release/update some affordable non-L EF-mount glass? Designs like the 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM or the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, maybe a slight step up the quality on the glass, but same non-L build quality in an affordable and light package, variable aperture, IS or not.

If I buy a FF camera today, I have the choice of standard-length zooms:
28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM - €429
17-40 f/4L - €700
24-105 f/4L - €950 and so on.
Now, I know the value of L lenses, but try telling that to Joe Consumer. I think if Canon can release a FF body, whether they reuse the 5D mk1 sensor, reuse the 5D mk2 sensor, or even a new one 14-15MP or so, cut the crap out of every feature (video?) to get it to €1000 (just under 7D price, half 5D2 price), and give it a decent quality non-L lens in a kit for €1300-1500, they could get a *lot* of business from amateurs (who of course then get L-fever and end up spending more and more on better glass, I'm sure most of us started that way) and could make a lot more money than the 1DX ever could.
The 5D2 picked up a lot of market share because of its IQ, ISO, FF-sensor, and much-lower-price than anything else at the time. If they can do something like that again, "FF for the masses", they stand to gain a lot of market share.

As for the OP, it's pretty much guaranteed that every L-lens in future will be weather-sealed, USM, and IS (at least in the longer lengths). They could easily trickle these features down into non-L glass (it has happened, like UD in the 70-300nonL and EF-S 10-22), almost all but the cheapest lenses have USM these days, but they've never trickled-down weather sealing, that's the only guaranteed differentiator between L and non-L these days.

I'd certainly like to see more Hybrid-IS and alloy/engineering-plastic bodies in lenses, but since the 100L Macro they haven't since (maybe Hybrid IS doesn't work so well in zooms?). This could also be the difference between L and non-L in future, especially if they release a few more cheaper FF lenses to go with a future entry-level FF body.
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J. McCabe

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 02:31:15 AM »
With Canon's production problems, e.g. those 500mm & 600mm delayed to 2012, and the new cine lenses market, I find such speculations a bit premature.

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 02:31:15 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 07:27:33 AM »
Entry level FF?  No need for lens updates. They're still selling kits with the kit lens from the last entry-level FF body (i.e. film) - the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is the most popular 7D kit on Amazon - and that's the body price range you're talking about.  Unlike on a 7D, the 28-135mm on FF actually makes sense. An entry level FF dSLR will still be relatively expensive, compared to a Rebel G film body, for example. Canon can assume those who can afford one can afford L lenses, and they'll keep producing old designs for those who can't.
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elflord

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 08:12:30 AM »
Now, I know the value of L lenses, but try telling that to Joe Consumer.

If this "Joe Consumer" fellow doesn't understand the advantages of better glass, he probably doesn't understand the advantages of full frame either -- he's better off with APS-C.

Quote
I think if Canon can release a FF body, whether they reuse the 5D mk1 sensor, reuse the 5D mk2 sensor, or even a new one 14-15MP or so, cut the crap out of every feature (video?) to get it to €1000 (just under 7D price, half 5D2 price),

Maybe one day, but they're not there yet. The single most expensive part of a full frame camera is "full frame" (that is, the sensor itself). It's the sensor size that makes it expensive to produce, not the megapixel count. The other features they could cut don't make it expensive to produce, they main reason for cutting them on lower end models is to protect higher end models.


epsiloneri

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 02:50:25 PM »
We often hear that glass is more important than the body, but cheap glass on FF can outperform expensive on APS-C, so once FF sensors come down in price to $500-1000, I'm sure there will be a plethora of new non-L EF lenses as well.

briansquibb

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 07:27:04 AM »
We often hear that glass is more important than the body, but cheap glass on FF can outperform expensive on APS-C

Not in my experience. Cheap glass always gives a poor image. The 400 f/2.8 on my 7D gives images that are nothing less than first class.


elflord

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 09:01:09 AM »
We often hear that glass is more important than the body, but cheap glass on FF can outperform expensive on APS-C

Not in my experience. Cheap glass always gives a poor image. The 400 f/2.8 on my 7D gives images that are nothing less than first class.

That makes sense with a long tele. But for the normal length primes, I'd take the 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.4 on a full frame over their much more expensive L counterparts on a crop.

dr croubie

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 04:45:30 PM »
Entry level FF?  No need for lens updates. They're still selling kits with the kit lens from the last entry-level FF body (i.e. film) - the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is the most popular 7D kit on Amazon - and that's the body price range you're talking about.  Unlike on a 7D, the 28-135mm on FF actually makes sense. An entry level FF dSLR will still be relatively expensive, compared to a Rebel G film body, for example. Canon can assume those who can afford one can afford L lenses, and they'll keep producing old designs for those who can't.

Well yeah, but that's only one lens, and it's the only non-L choice still made out of the whole 4 L and 35 non-L designs in that range they've had over the years. And there's no ultrawide choice like the 20-35 or 22-55 vari-apertures, the cheapest you can get is a €700/$1000 17-40L.

And think about the newest incarnations of the EF-S 18-55 IS. No, it's not the best lens ever. But it's adequate for the beginner, and you can't go past it for the €80/$110 it costs. The EF 28-135 is €430. Canon have proven they can mass-produce adequate lenses for dirt-cheap prices, even increasing costs for FF-compatible lenses and remove a bit of economies of scale, I'd bet they can make an FF-equivalent 24-85 IS for €200-300 or so.

If this "Joe Consumer" fellow doesn't understand the advantages of better glass, he probably doesn't understand the advantages of full frame either -- he's better off with APS-C.

A good salesman can talk their way into anything. Assume they recycle a 21MP 5D2 sensor into a cheap as all hell body and price it within $50 of a 7D (maybe they get better yields, one-pass etching, bigger wafers, whatever. Plastic-body, no flash, maybe even pentamirror instead of prism? Cut video out completely as a high-body-protector maybe? How they get the savings is irrelevant, as long as they make the savings.).
Talk up the more MP, talk up the better image quality, talk up the lower noise and higher ISO. Especially if they're "upgrading" from a 550D or something, I reckon a lot of the potential customers could be talked into the 'cheap FF'.
(aside: I've heard so many times from various people, talking of 7D vs 550D, "why should I spend 3x the amount if the images look the same?". I've refrained from helping the salesman out by extolling the advantages of the 7D over the 550D, but some customers you can't help, they look at the price, the megapixels, the ISO-range (doesn't matter how good it looks at each iso, they just look at the numbers) and that's it. FPS, pentaprism (you try to explain to a noob why a heavier hunk of glass that isn't in the image pathway is worth extra cash), AF points, don't mean much to those people. They're the target for this cheap-FF, and they're a big hunk of the market.)
And still, the cheap-body-cheap-lens is only the beginning. It's all about brand (and lens-mount) loyalty, they might not spend any more than the kit for the first few years, but if they like the hobby, then they can get more involved and get L-fever. (I have a friend who bought a 1000D kit, she liked it so much she saved for a year and bought a 17-55 f/2.8 to go with it. But if the 1000D kit hadn't been so damn cheap, she never would have even started...)

That makes sense with a long tele. But for the normal length primes, I'd take the 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.4 on a full frame over their much more expensive L counterparts on a crop.
35/2 + 5D2 vs 24/1.4L + 7D
50/1.4 + 5D2 vs 35/1.4L + 7D
85/1.8 + 5D2 vs 50/1.2L + 7D
Hmmm, I haven't used too many of these combinations directly, I think with the first i'd go the 24L+7D, but the others probably the 5D2 combos.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 05:20:31 PM by dr croubie »
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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 04:45:30 PM »

elflord

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 05:36:46 PM »
A good salesman can talk their way into anything. Assume they recycle a 21MP 5D2 sensor into a cheap as all hell body and price it within $50 of a 7D (maybe they get better yields, one-pass etching, bigger wafers, whatever. Plastic-body, no flash, maybe even pentamirror instead of prism? Cut video out completely as a high-body-protector maybe? How they get the savings is irrelevant, as long as they make the savings.).
Talk up the more MP, talk up the better image quality, talk up the lower noise and higher ISO. Especially if they're "upgrading" from a 550D or something, I reckon a lot of the potential customers could be talked into the 'cheap FF'.

I completely agree that a good salesperson could sell the advantages of full frame. I think that sales person could also sell L lenses. I don't see a really compelling case for developing a consumer zoom like the variable aperture EF-S 18-55mm sold with the rebel to pair with a full frame camera, at least not until the gap between cost of a full frame sensor and APS-C closes considerably.

Edwin Herdman

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 05:46:35 AM »
There are two types of "USM". The "ring type USM" is the original USM that is used in the L lenses and some older lenses, like the 35-135mm. However, Canon has be using the term USM on micromotor type of focusing mechanism, like the 50mm f 1.4 and some of the lower priced non-L lense. Unfortunately, It is hard to find out what type of USM is being used on the non-L lenses.
There's more than the term being used in micromotor type USM lenses; they still use ultrasonic frequencies to drive the rotor although I think you are right to downplay the difference between that and a regular old electronic motor AF unit, although noise is definitely helped by the new type.

Some interesting information and visuals here:
http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/usmlens_technology.do

And in typical Ken Rockwell fashion, from his 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro review:
"EF means there's a loud motor that does the focusing."
He must've been in a particularly partisan mood that day :)

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Re: Future standard changes to canon L series wide-medium primes and zooms
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 05:46:35 AM »