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Author Topic: Is Canon to make new primes ?  (Read 6785 times)
exrty2
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« on: December 05, 2005, 01:24:32 PM »
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Hello,

Do you think Canon can provide soon new primes lenses as 24, 28, 35 and 50 L  ?
It seems L zooms are quite as good as 24 & 28 2.8 35/2 and 50/1.4-1.8 ?

Isn't it the time for Canon to release fast USM standard primes lenses ?

Regards

exrty
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ARD
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2005, 03:17:01 PM »
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Hello,

Do you think Canon can provide soon new primes lenses as 24, 28, 35 and 50 L  ?
It seems L zooms are quite as good as 24 & 28 2.8 35/2 and 50/1.4-1.8 ?

Isn't it the time for Canon to release fast USM standard primes lenses ?

Regards

exrty
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52854\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The 50 f4 for example is as sharp as L glass, so I do not think it would be worth the additional purchase cost if they brough out an L version
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BJL
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2005, 04:23:25 PM »
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It seems L zooms are quite as good as 24 & 28 2.8 35/2 and 50/1.4-1.8 ?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52854\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I expect few or no new fast primes, or even fast (f/2.Cool zooms; mostly zooms and maybe a few macro primes, long telephoto primes, and ultra-wide angle primes, wider than 24mm.

The fact that the best Canon zooms are often about as good as primes (except at wide angle extremes?), combined with the diminished need for lens speed due to the far higher usable exposure index (ISO speed) of DSLRs and IS, means that there is less reason than ever before for Canon (or any DSLR maker) to release new, fast primes, especially at those moderately wide to normal focal lengths.

However, if they do want to push pixel counts well beyond current limits, some primes might be the only way to keep up with sensor resolution, in particular at ultra-wide angle beyond 24mm where the 16-35 and 17-40 are maybe not keeping up with sensors.


Canon seems to be going in the opposite direction with their L lens series: adding numerous new lenses at f/4 and slower almost al zooms (17-45 f/4L, 24-105 F/4L IS, 28-300 f/3.5-5.6L IS, 70-300 f/4.5-5.6L DO IS, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS, 400 f4L DO IS) while discontinuing two fast primes (50/1.0L, 200/1.8L). The only recently added L prime I can think of is that 400/4: a slower, far lighter, somewhat less expensive alternative to the earlier 400/2.8 IS.


Does anyone know when was the last time that Canon, Nikon or any other major SLR maker introduced a new prime for 35mm format at 50mm or less? Or indeed any non-macro prime under 300mm? (I exclude the Nikon 200/2 as being primarily intended for use with their DSLR's, so for DX format not 35mm format.)
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jani
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2005, 04:55:24 PM »
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Does anyone know when was the last time that Canon, Nikon or any other major SLR maker introduced a new prime for 35mm format at 50mm or less? Or indeed any non-macro prime under 300mm? (I exclude the Nikon 200/2 as being primarily intended for use with their DSLR's, so for DX format not 35mm format.)
Shame on you for excluding that lens! It's wonderful! And it's not a "DX" lens.

http://simpho.free.fr/alpirush/rushe.html

If I could get autofocus and the VR to work with this lens on my Canon gear, I'd be saving money for it right away, since Canon took away the 200 f/1.8L last year (morons!).

As for your question, Canon's data should be readily available on their Canon Camera Museum (lens department). The rest haven't been any more active, AFAIK.

Konica Minolta's AF 35mm f/1.4G D lens is probably worth mentioning, even though it's made for "digital".
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Jan
BJL
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2005, 06:56:46 PM »
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Thanks for mentioning the Canon museum; I have it bookmarked now. The answers to my questions are that
1) All seven of Canon's new primes since 1999 have been macros and image stabilized telephotos at 300mm and longer: two macros, five IS teles, no other primes.
2) After the initial EOS/EF lens roll-out from 1897 to 1991, the only new wide to normal primes were the 35mm f/1.4L in December 1998 and the 24mm f/1.4L in December 1997.
3) After that initial EOS/EF lens roll-out, all new L primes have been 300mm+ telephotos, macros, those two fast wides, the 135/2L (portrait lens?) and an upgrade of the 200/2.8.

This does fit with my vision of future prime lenses being dominated by telephotos longer than f/2.8 zooms reach, macros, and maybe portrait lenses.


Also, I was not disparaging the Nikon 200/2, nor claiming that it is only usable on DX bodies. I was only saying that Nikon designed and introduced it primarily for use on their DX format DSLR bodies; they never would have bothered to create such a lens at that time for the sake of the 35mm format market (film bodies plus Kodak DSLR's). After all, they have a manual focus 200/2, but never bothered to produce an AF version through the entire era of auto-focus film SLRs. If the 200/2 also makes happy a far smaller number of people who want a really fast 200mm for their 35mm film SLRs, that is a bonus.
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jd1566
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2005, 01:06:01 AM »
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Hi BJL,

Nice analysis on the prime lens release date situation.  However I must mention that the situation is actually a lot worse than it looks.  Most of the lenses released in the EF mount are nothing more than rehashed lens designs from their earlier bayonet mount, with the addition of a lens motor.  So those lenses and their respective deisgns are actually older than they seem!  Exception of course for the newer IS telephotos which by their very (IS) nature require a whole new lens design (and more elements).   It is sad to say that primes (and fast ones at that) will be relegated to second position as far as Canon's marketing effort is concerned.

HOWEVER... don't loose hope!  

Though the zoom frenzy has taken hold at Canon I still think that a few lenses will make it out of their factories, if only to update the L series lenses with weather proofing, rubber seal on the mount and a 77mm thread mount where possible.  Candidates for this treatment could be the venerable 135f2 and 85 f1.2 for starters, seeing as they seem to be quite popular lenses.  The vastly more expensive 50f1 and 200 f1.8 being discontinued is a sad tale of expensive lenses and few buyers.. Maybe though these have been discontinued while improved versions are on the workbench right now being updated for the future.  Though Canon seems to be concentrating on mainly slower f4 IS lenses of late, the advantage of a fast prime in defocus areas as well as quality of bokeh (bouquet?.. sounds and smells much nicer) must surely make them a viable option for pro photographers as well as those who prefer to achieve their shots optically and not digitally after the fact.  Fast lenses (f2.8 and faster) also focus faster and are a necessity for sports shooters.  BTW the 400f4DO lens replaced the 400 f4 lens, not the newer 400f2.8 IS.
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2005, 09:17:17 AM »
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There's a discussion on DPReview about a new Canon 50mm/F1.2 L prime coming out. It's apparently an "unleaded" revision of the former "leaded" lens.

Don't know if it's true or not though....

Bob
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macgyver
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2005, 09:29:16 AM »
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I hope it's true.  Am I the only one here who considers an f/4 lens to be far too slow?  And yes, even with the magical "low noise, high ISOs".

...not that I'm bitter...
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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2005, 11:56:55 AM »
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There's a discussion on DPReview about a new Canon 50mm/F1.2 L prime coming out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53315\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not impossible, but I am extremely skeptical of all such internet rumors that are
- undocumented hearsay from anonymous internet forum participants
- go in the opposite direction to all recent trends and actual product announcements
- fit with the retro dreams of many forum participants.
And the lead poisoning story makes me even more skeptical.

Firstly, the idea that Canon would first discontinue the "poisonous" 50/1 and 200/1.8, planning to replace them but then go several years without announcing such replacement does not fit with Canon's usual fast, efficient product development and release.

Secondly, the discontinuation of these two lenses is very adequately explained by their low sales volume even with film, and the further reduction of demand for such lenses caused by the transition to digital. So stories offering a completely different explanation ("lead") sound like the imaginations of people who refuse to accept the now low demand for products that they crave.

Thirdly, I believe that going from f/1.4 to f/1/2 is almost useless with current CMOS sensors, due to the angle of acceptance limits of their microlenses. All extra light beyond what f/1.4 gathers comes at the outside edge of a very wide light cone, striking the sensor at very off perpendicular angles from 21 to 25, even at center of field.


But while we are swapping rumors about new fast Canon primes, here is one I have heard: replacement of the 85/1.2 by an 85/1.4, offering distinctly faster AF in exchange for the small loss in brightness. A very small loss if the above-mentioned micro-lens limitations are real.


To macgyver: of course f/4 is to slow for some purposes: that is why f/2.8, f/2 and f/1.4 lenses stay in production, and Nikon and Olympus have even introduced a couple of new f/2's recently. However, it is a huge jump from the limits of f/4 to justifying development of a new f/1.2 lens.
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BJL
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2005, 12:04:53 PM »
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BTW the 400f4DO lens replaced the 400 f4 lens, not the newer 400f2.8 IS.
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Yes, like the recent f/4L zoom lenses, this looks like an added option, not a replacement. I do not expect the f/2.8's to go away, if only for the viewfinder brightness and focusing advantages in low light situations. New sensors can handle dimmer and dimmer light, but our eyes are not getting any better. In fact, mine are going in the opposite direction, so perhaps in my old age I will crave bright primes.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2005, 05:23:31 PM »
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Yes, like the recent f/4L zoom lenses, this looks like an added option, not a replacement. I do not expect the f/2.8's to go away, if only for the viewfinder brightness and focusing advantages in low light situations. New sensors can handle dimmer and dimmer light, but our eyes are not getting any better. In fact, mine are going in the opposite direction, so perhaps in my old age I will crave bright primes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53337\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I really appreciate the option of the f/4.  It is too slow for some applications but just right for others, e.g. for a hiking landscape photographer who mostly uses apertures smaller than f/4 to get adequate depth of field.  In those cases, the dimmer viewfinder is a drawback but is offset by the advantages of lighter weight and less bulk.

The f/2.8's and faster lenses also have their place and I agree they won't go away, for precisely the reasons you say.  Just as long as people continue to buy them.  

Regarding the original question in this thread:  I'm not sure which new prime lenses you're hoping to see from Canon.  They had a pretty good lineup already the last time I checked ...

Eric
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Peter Jon White
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2005, 07:26:50 PM »
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I'd like to see them re-release some gems from the past. Canon used to make a very nice 24mm f/2 lens for their FD cameras. If they made that with USM in the EF mount I would be first in line to buy it. It pains me every time I look at it on the shelf that I can't use it on my 5D.

Also, they made a 17mm f/4 that should work well on a full frame body.
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jd1566
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2005, 02:15:39 AM »
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Canon Primes lenses for release

Zoom zoom zoom...  Primes are dead!  Well, that's what someone said about film, but if the niche producers like Voightlander, Leica and some others are an indication... film will never die.. it will just be used by fewer, more dedicated people..
So primes will live on in various guises... As medium format digital starts catching up and regaining its market that was taken away by Canon's awesome 1D series cameras, then the only way for the 35mm frame digital to keep up will be to make better sensors.. and better lenses.  Zooms are a compromise of usability and image quality... the more usable a lens is, the larger the compromise in image quality, as both are competing features..

I think Canon understands that the digital age is changing lens requirements because of the flexibility and at the same time limitations of digital imaging chips.  Higher resolution and better quality images are sure to be the byproducts of advances in this arena, so lenses will have to keep up.  Technically you can obtain the best image quality from a fixed focal lens, as there are no compromises to make to accomodate different focal lengths' specific requirements.. Therefore Primes will live..
Now, from the theoretical to the practical.. Which ones?

Well, as I said before, the retirement of the 50f1 and 200 f1.8 leave some gaps in the L segment of lenses.  A 50f1.2 makes sense as it will be marketed at a more accessible price than the roughly $2500 necessary for the 50f1.  The 85f1.2 is excriciatingly slow to focus.. a f1.4 version (only half a stop slower) can be marketed at a lower price, will be faster, and will most assuredly become a favourite among portrait photographers.
Next up is the 135 f2 which just needs a few technology updates (77mm filter, rubber seal on mount, closer focusing) and better coating on rear element.  The 200 f1.8 is problematic.. probably a very expensive lens that few bought.. It would only make sense with IS, and maybe it's too difficult to make a f1.8 lens with IS? That is my speculation.
Other lenses due for a "cosmetic" update are the other venerable "L"'s, such as the 14mm 2.8, 24mm F1.4 and the 35mm f1.4, again with rubber lens mount and perhaps a more standard thread size for filters (77mm being the norm with Canon lenses).  Other than that don't expect major surprises on the shorter focal lengths.  Things like IS will be absent from this group of lenses (except maybe the 135f2) because of the increased number of lens elements necessary to make IS work, which in the confines of short lenses with large apertures might be difficult, if not impossible to achieve. My conjecture, so I may be wrong. I am no optical engineer either, so it's all gut feeling.

On telephoto lenses Canon has much to do to improve the DO technology to make it mainstream and applicable to longer focal lenghts such as 500mm and 600mm. There seems to be tremendous resistance by pros to readily embrace this technology and is described by some as a "doctor's" lens, I.E. as a rich enthusiast's lens.   It is currently more expensive and offers lower image quality (though only slightly) than similar speced lenses.  Obviously it is a highly versitile and practical lens on many fronts, so Canon has a lot to do to change the perception of their main market for expensive telephoto lenses.  Only if they can solve the contrast issues of DO lenses though.  Surely though weight and length reductions for these long lenses will appeal to many, making them hand-holdable (almost!) and able to be carried on-board aircraft more easily.  The Japanese have a pencheant for miniturisation.. so they will definately want to shave kg's and cm's off these large lenses.  If only they would do that to their 1D series cameras!

Unfortunately it'll be in the area of Zooms that we'll see the most innovation taking place.  That's the end of my take on the primes situation.  Anyone with a better crystal ball or more info please chip in with your contribution!
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macgyver
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2005, 12:30:39 PM »
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200 f1.8 is problematic.. probably a very expensive lens that few bought.. It would only make sense with IS, and maybe it's too difficult to make a f1.8 lens with IS? [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53591\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Its interesting how this lens has become so highly valued in the used market now.  Show that while a niche product the demand is huge.  And, Nikon just made a 200 f/2 VR, so I have to assume that a compareable Canon lens is by all means doable.
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BJL
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2005, 01:17:39 PM »
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Anyone with a better crystal ball or more info please chip in with your contribution!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53591\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
My crystal ball is considerably less sharp than a good prime, or even a good zoom, but overall I agree with the idea of some potential updates of shorter focal length primes rather than new designs, with far more room for completely new designs (DO and such) in the long telephoto range.

Two observations though.
1) I believe that adding IS requires substantial design changes, to allow the addition of new (wedge shaped?) lens elements that move to do the stabilization. So I doubt there will be a 135/2 IS, or new IS primes below 200mm.

2) Canon has already been vigorously pursuing for several years the market sector previously occupied by medium format film. So if they perceive a need for new high quality prime lenses, they would probably have already produced such lenses, or be well into development. So what we do not see now or fairly soon is probably not going to happen, which augurs poorly for new primes under 300mm.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2005, 01:18:52 PM by BJL » Logged
theophilus
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2005, 09:52:17 PM »
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There is some merit to the lead issues for 50/1 and 200/1.8.  All of Japan is lead-free in its manufacturing.  I'm in the semiconductor industry and Sony only buys product with lead-free pins.

But I agree that it is no justification that new versions are coming.  That was on DPreview after all
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lester_wareham
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2005, 07:19:47 AM »
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The fact that the best Canon zooms are often about as good as primes
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52863\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Or the primes are as bad as the zooms. I think this is more the case with the sub 35mm lenses.

I rather suspect this observation is what has prompted the question.

I guess that as long as Canon can make sales of expensive L zooms they are not going to bother updating their old prime designs.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2005, 11:38:15 AM »
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Voightlander, Leica and some others are an indication... film will never die..

OT but Leica got themselves in serious trouble recently...
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KiwiRob
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2005, 03:27:22 AM »
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I would like to see canon bring out a 100-300 F2.8 L like the sigma one or a 200-400 F4.0 like Nikon. I don't really care about wide angle primes although a 85 1.4 would appeal, I had Minolta 85 F1.4 it was an impressive lens, better and more usable than the canon 85 F1.2, faster focusing too. It would be almost worth getting a 7D to use this lens again.
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BJL
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2005, 11:19:48 AM »
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I would like to see canon bring out a 100-300 F2.8 L like the sigma one or a 200-400 F4.0 like Nikon.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54110\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Given Canon's new wave of f/4 L lenses including the 24-105 f/4L, it does make sense to think about new L zooms starting at 100mm, but I would guess something like 100-300 f/4 L IS, maybe to replace the non-IS 70-200 f/4.
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