An evolving prime lineup.
Received a very cryptic email this AM about some upcoming lens upgrades. The following 3 lenses were mentioned.

50 f/1.2L II
Improved AF performance and new coatings. Optical elements to remain the same.

85 f/1.2L III
Improved AF speed and new coatings. Optical elements to remain the same.

135 f/2L IS
Image stabilization added, as well as the new coatings. Optical elements to remain the same.

I'm not sure, I've received snippets of info about the 85 and 135 getting upgraded.

If all they're doing with the 50 and 85 is adding new electronics and coatings to the lenses, it's quite possible they'll get an upgrade. Adding  IS to the 135L makes some sense.

I'm still surprised I haven't heard anything about a 35L upgrade.

CR1 this one with a smaller grain of salt than you'd think.


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  1. NOT speaking from personal experience, but I doubt the AF on the Nikon 85mm 1.4 is terribly impressive in terms of AF speed. Since it’s the old “screwdriver” type of focusing driven by a motor inside the camera body, I’d expect it to be relatively slow and noisy and more prone to “overshoot” the focus point and have to correct back. But the last Nikon I had my hands on was an N90, so my experience may be too out-of-date to be valid.

    However, I am so unimpressed with the handling and focus speed of Canon’s 85mm f/1.2 that I would actually bet the Nikon performs better on AF and manual focusing, even though the Nikon lacks full-time manual. I only owned the old MF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4, and it was quite good optically, as is the Canon f/1.2 and, I presume, the current AF Nikon lens.

  2. absurd

    for one it is utterly impossible to add IS and leave all the optical elements the same. heck even the IS itself adds optical elements so even if the rest was left the same, which it can not be, it still would not have the same optical formula.

    plus where do you even fit IS into the 135 optical formulation as is

    this is wrong on so many levels that is deserves CR -3 !

  3. Rodney Topor on

    This is a general question. Does Canon *ever* release an improved version of a lens (e.g., 50/1.4) for the *same* price? (Let alone a reduced price?)

    After all, they rregularly elease improved versions of bodies for the same (or lower) price. Doesn’t lens performance/price improve at all?

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