Dueling 35/2 lenses

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by henryp, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Canon announced a new EF 35mm f/2.0 IS USM Standard Prime Lens today. The "street price: will be around $850.00. The already have a non-IS 35/2 EF lens retailing for $309.00
    So, do we NEED IS on a 35/2 lens? Just asking...
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  2. Given that they discontinued the 24mm f/2.8 after they released the IS version, I doubt there will be dueling 35's for very long.
    Personally, I'd love to have a 35mm f/2 with IS. But $850? No thank you. If the improvements, optically, are on par with the "improvements" to the 28mm and 24mm with IS, then I'll get better photos by spending that money on a plane ticket and using my existing 35mm f/2.
     
  3. I wouldn't buy a telephoto without IS these days, and I appreciate the IS on the various 17/24-85/105 zoom telephotos for APS and 35mm sensors.
    On the other hand, I somehow feel absolutely no tug of desire to replace my EF 35mm f/2 lens either.
    I presume that the USM means full-time manual focus, and that would be handy. In fact, the older one is the only Canon lens on which I have ever had to have the AF repaired, or anything else for that matter.
     
  4. Most likely only a minority of people need/want IS on a 24mm or 35mm prime (I am part of that minority, but it hardly matters). Given what we've seen with the recent 24mm and 28mm this new lens doesn't come as a surprise. Most likely it's going to be another excellent glass with an outrageous price... Nothing new.
     
  5. No.
    I'm happy to use a tripod. But what do I know, I bought my first slr, an AT-1 from B&H in 1980. Big marketing coup, the IS, right up there with organic everything. I do have IS on my 300 f4 but rarely use it since I use it for action.
     
  6. I think this is an excellent addition for those who a) shoot handheld video, or b) want a good fast normal lens for their crop cameras... or c) shoot handheld video on their crop camera and want a good fast normal lens.
    I have to assume (at this point) that it will perform quite well optically, and if it does, it will appeal strongly to those who need/want to continue to use crop cameras, but want a usable 'normal' lens at half the price of a 35/1.4L. Ironically, I find that it makes more sense than the 24 & 28 /2.8 IS lenses, especially w/ the faster aperture of f2. Because many of us use FF, or FF + crop kits, we may not see a personal need (I certainly don't!), but that doesn't mean a sig. demand doesn't exist.
     
  7. Couldn't care less about the IS, but assume that the new version will be a better lens optically. If you want a better 35/2 and don't want/need the mammoth 35L or the f1.4, then this promises to be as good, if not better. I love the 35L, but don't like its size and could sacrifice a stop if I was buying a 35 now.
     
  8. No, I don't need IS on a 35mm (or 24 or 28mm) lens. Additionally, Canon deserves all the losses they will incur from pricing this, and their other lenses, so obscenely high. Perhaps they will offer a rebate once they fleece the early adopters. Then I still won't buy it because my old EF 35/2 works just fine. I could care less if I never buy another new Canon lens again. I'm sure they feel the same about me. SCREW YOU, CANON!
     
  9. You should see Zeiss or Leica prices....
     
  10. It would be nice to have a choice but to quote from Canon's press release "The successor to Canon's EF 35mm f/2, the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens...", which suggests that we probably won't.
    Hard to say if Canon are pricing themselves out of the market, but their 3Q profits are down 42% on last year, which certainly isn't good news for them. DSLR sales or up on 2011, but lower than they projected. Whether an $800+ 35/2 prime will sell or not I don't know, but it won't sell to me, even if it is very good (which I assume it will be).
    With their new MAP policy, we probably won't be seeing the new lens (or the old one) at a discount either.
    Looks like a good opportunity for Sigma and Tamron to step up and introduce a reasonably priced 35/2 (or 1.8) prime, though I suspect that even a fairly inexpensive 35/2 wouldn't be a huge seller for anyone. I image most of the sales are in zooms these days. The market for short focal length primes is probably quite limited.
     
  11. Looks like a good opportunity for Sigma and Tamron to step up and introduce a reasonably priced 35/2 (or 1.8) prime.​

    Sigma announced a 35mm f/1.4
     
  12. "Canon announced a new EF 35mm f/2.0 IS USM Standard Prime Lens today. The "street price: will be around $850.00. The already have a non-IS 35/2 EF lens retailing for $309.00
    So, do we NEED IS on a 35/2 lens? Just asking..."
    Henry, that was just about the first thing I wondered, too. The current 35mm f/2 is a fine performer. Lot's of folks dismiss it because it looks wimpy next to the latest Giant Super Lens, but when it comes to performance the darn thing is first rate. I use might for street photography and for occasional landscape work... when I remove a L zoom and replace it with the 35mm f/2 for slightly better resolution.
    From a marketing perspective, I suppose I can see it, especially if the new lens is really a great performer. The old-school 35mm f/2 is dated in design terms, and I suppose that counts for something. And the new one does have IS. The points about having a fine "normal" focal length lens for crop make some sense. (By the way, I'm in the camp that does think that IS is useful even on shorter focal length lenses.)
    For now, I think I'll hang on to my current 35!
    Dan
    BTW: Hope all of you at the mother ship are doing OK in the wake of the storm.
     
  13. No

    I find that the micro contrast of IS lenses appears to suffer from the additional lens elements. Indeed I also think that
    there is less flare resistance and that perhaps some of the unusual Bokeh artifacts of my iS lenses may be due to the
    additional lens elements (it does not matter if IS in on or off you have a lot more glass in the light path!). I am not that
    impressed by the current 35 F2 and would have happily paid for a better quality lens. I do not mind spending $850 on a
    35 F2 ( indeed as a Leica M user I have paid a lot more than that) but I would rather spend my money on better
    construction, better centering of the lens elements and more mechanical integrity than IS. I find the Zeiss ZM lenses a
    case in point - the mechanical and optical construction of the lenses is better than the Canons but you sacrifice the
    electronics. Some of the Canon (non L) primes are good performers (like the 85 F1.8) but the build quality is poor.
    Others like my 50 f1.4 and 35 F2 have por build quality and need stopping down to get good performance (my 50 F1.4 is
    really an F2 lens). I suspect that Canon feels that many people will pay for IS on a modest prime but personally I will pay
    for build and optical quality. I am not sure what the driver is for IS on these lenses - after all we took good photos without
    IS and using 25 ASA film with similar lenses. With the high ISO capability of modern DSLRs I have at least 5 stops of
    improvement in the ISO capability so why do I need IS. My Leica M8 is really only a 160 (really 200) and 320 (really 400)
    ISO camera but with at 35 Lux and 50 Cron I have never had any issues. I wonder if the IS requirement is being driven
    by video users where the camera is held in a unstable position?
     
  14. For $850 I might pluck for it if there is a significant increase in build quality and optics. The 35mm format is one of my favorites, but the only other "prime" alternative Canon offers is the 35mm f1.4 . Last time I looked that lens was selling for about $1400 !
     
  15. If the EF 35 2.0 IS USM performs really well wide open, $850 is a reasonable price and it will sell well once the price drifts down a benjamin or so. Perfect lens for shooting in dim bars, casinos and museums (no tripod or flash allowed). Heck, it's a bargain compared to certain German and high end Japanese made optics and half the price of the 35 1.4L USM. The EF 24 2.8 IS USM was priced nearly as much and is now a mere $670 at Amazon.
     
  16. I really like having IS in the 24-105/4. If I'm careful I can usually get sharp hand-held shots at 1/4 second at 24mm, which is handy, for example, when wanting a slight blur in flowing water. Shots that I previously had to do with a tripod I can now do without a tripod. So yes, I like IS even in wide angle lenses.
    I'll watch the price on the 35/2 IS closely. This is definitely a lens I would use. I'm not buying at $800 but I assume the price will drop. Possibly pick up a used/refurbished copy.
    Sigma announced a 35mm f/1.4​
    Somehow I missed the memo on that one... Interesting.
     
  17. Sigma announced a 35mm f/1.4​
    ... and it sounds like it is maybe their best prime yet. Luckily I'm not that fond of the 35mm focal length yet, as I get older I'm finding more love for the 50mm.
    As for the Canon; first Henry> ".... Street Price ...." have we forgot about MAP already or is this lens and some others not controlled by the new MAP policy?
    I think, as others have mentioned many times, the inclusion of IS in all these short focal length lenses is driven by the increase in the use of dSLRs hand-held for video. The second reason, which I beleive is no small matter, is Canon needs ways to try to charge more for their products given increased competition, and the state of the economy in Japan and the rest of the world. The lenses sure seem like a bargain to me when I look at the cost of some tripod accessories such as L-Brackets, clamps, and plates of the arca swiss design. We should compain more about the price of accessories than the lenses which do the heavy lifting.

    I'm interested in seeing the quality of this lens; if the lensrental assessment of the AF improvements in the recent lenses when coupled with the newer bodies is accurate, or mostly accurate, it makes sense that canon is revamping their entire line and discontinuing the older models as well so they can raise the AF accuracy of the EOS system across the board. This has to be quite costly, and at least until the economy improves and the US$ vs. Yen situation improves I'm guessing there is not going to be much love for the prices of these new lenses.
     
  18. Yes, IS is useful even at wide focal lengths, so I would potentially bite at the 35/2 IS. However, the price is rather steep, so I might not. IS has enabled me to take many a good shot at wide focal lengths with dreadfully slow shutter speed. I find it's far easier (OK, not necessarily better) to carry an IS lens than a tripod. In fact I've found that very conscientious hand-holding technique, combined with IS, delivers (for me) results similar to my Leitz Tiltall (also used with conscientious technique). And conscientious technique is weightless -- very easy to take on hikes, even with bad knees.
    Oh, and I agree with Bob Atkins. Who can afford these lenses?! Fortunately I've already acquired my staple lenses. I won't be participating in the Mk II upgrade frenzy. I feel that will be the game of doctors, lawyers, and other people with large disposable incomes. So for me, Canon has priced itself out of the market. Future lens acquisitions will most likely be on the used market. Bodies for me will still be new and refurb.
     
  19. Yes. I would rather have IS if it were an available option. How can it hurt?
     
  20. "I find that the micro contrast of IS lenses appears to suffer from the additional lens elements."
    Shooting from a tripod, quite possibly - but if you are taking handheld photographs at say 1/25 s shutter speed, surely the loss of microcontrast from wobbling the camera is much more significant than the difference between two lenses.
     
  21. IS is always needed one way or the other. Still, one kind of wonders if Canon understand that they are alienating us (me). Some three or four years ago the 35/2 was $220. Just days after I decided to get one, it went up to close to current levels. As of yesterday, it might be discontinued and replaced by a $850 lens (which will be pricey even as the price drops). This is all a bit disturbing for dedicated 35mm FF shooters but even more so since the 28-35mm focal length range is where the equivalent to a standard 50 is for APS-C shooters. Here, Nikon offer an excellent 35/1.8 for less than $200! The same story will be repeated once Canon announce their 50/1.8 USM IS or whatever.
     
  22. I think it unlikely actually that Canon and Nikon will do away with cheap 50mm lenses, unless that is Canon has already decided that their 40/2.8 will be the only "cheap single focal length lens". If this is the case then a 50/1.4 or 1.8 IS might appear at $800. It's a bit radical, but not impossible. There is a general cost trend upwards for lenses from the big two.
     
  23. "I find that the micro contrast of IS lenses appears to suffer from the additional lens elements."​
    This generalization most certainly does not stand up to scrutiny. One look at the extraordinary image quality from lenses such as the IS versions of the 70-200mm lenses is sufficient to disprove it.
    "Canon needs ways to try to charge more for their products given increased competition..."​
    In economic terms, I think you have that precisely backwards. Companies faced with serious competition do not prosper (with only extremely rare examples to the contrary) by raising their prices - they must either increase the perceived value of a product at its current cost level or provide an equivalent or better product at a lower cost.


    Dan
     
  24. Dan, I think it's Canon that has it all backwards. They're coming out with all of these exotic lenses precisely at the time nobody can afford them. Where's the market?
    Honestly, if I were starting out again and using the exact same criteria for selecting between Canon and Nikon, I would buy in to Nikon. In fact I sometimes toy with the idea of jumping ship. I haven't changed much in my wants/needs, but Canon is busy changing its entire ecosystem and essentially abandoning me. Now Canon is positioning itself as the "fancy glass" company -- a role formerly filled by Nikon (well, and also Leica et al., of course). I think what photographers need from their chosen manufacturers is some consistency in vision and direction. That's where Canon is starting to lose me. Picking a manufacturer is somewhat like getting married. You don't want to find yourself married to a company going through a serious bout of mid-life crisis.
     
  25. Dan I disagree with you on microcontrast my 70-200 and 300 are both good lenses and certainly have high resolution but I find that the microcontrast is not as good as simpler and cheaper lenses like the 135 F2. I am not saying that by spending more you cannot offset some of the effects of adding extra lens elements - just that they have an impact. The physics is quite simple - you have additional lens elements which give you more air / glass boundaries. Each air / glass boundary will cause both refraction and reflection (it is impossible for this not to occur unless Canon makes glass with the same refractive index as air!). In addition these additional lens elements will have aberrations. This must have an impact on optical performance - obviously Canon can compensate with much more expensive glass but this does push up the price. To be fair it is difficult to compare like for like IS to non IS but for example the 70-200 F2.8 non IS was a lot better than the mkI IS lens in terms of micro contrast The mkII lens is as good as the non IS but at 3x the price. Don't get me wrong I find I useful on longer lenses. If Canon was going to keep an IS and non IS version of its wide and standard primes then there would be no issue as you could choose. Unfortunately the non IS version will go so you are left to buy the IS lens. If you think about it you can shoot at F2 and ISO 1600 and (with good technique) shoot 1/30 with a 35mm lens. This is EV 2 and I don't take many shots at this setting. If IS adds 4 stops then I can shoot the new 35mm F2 at EV -2 (-3 at 3200 ISO). how often is this needed? In the real world this lens seems designed for people who like all the features or who shoot video at arms length.
     
  26. Sarah Fox:
    In fact I sometimes toy with the idea of jumping ship. I haven't changed much in my wants/needs, but Canon is busy changing its entire ecosystem and essentially abandoning me.​
    On the other hand, Nikon's repair costs jumped at the time they stopped providing parts to independent dealers. So the grass may not be much greener, so to speak.

    To me, the most interesting company right now is probably Sony, mostly due to their in-body image stabilization (IBIS), especially in the A99. IBIS looks like a huge win, and I haven't seen any evidence that IBIS is worse than in-lens stabilization. At the very least, IBIS is available with all lenses.
    Canon and Nikon have huge install bases, however, so I don't think we'll see many changes at the margins. But if I were starting from scratch, I'd be tempted by Sony's A65.
     
  27. To me, the most interesting company right now is probably Sony,...​
    To me Fuji is the most interesting company right now, but Sony is the doing the most to shake up the industry.
    Still, I like/love Canon. There camera interface has just always worked for me, and I've been very happy with any Canon lens I've actually bought. Right now I've bought a few too many and need to find field time for the recent purchases. I bought too many at once and then took a break from photography, so I lean on my old standby lenses, but starting to investigate the new lenses.
    I remember when Canon was leading in sensor and in-camera processing technology, years ahead of their competition. I think they might be in that position again one day soon, as technology like everything else moves in cycles. Although not likely with the same large lead as they did in the past, I think there is a very high probability they will lead again in the technology. I think they still lead today in the overall system.
    I think the prices of the recent 24mm, 28mm, and now the 35mm IS lenses have been the first that really surprised me. I'm also surprised by the price of the 5D3, but it a way I'm happy I don't feel the need to upgrade at this point. The price of the new 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II, was a surprise at first, but I'm starting to think that this might be justified, but it appears to work best on a new body, and I've not bought a zoom in more than a decade. If I was to buy a Canon zoom, I would probably buy this one (Technically I just bought a Fuji zoom, but they have not released it yet).
     
  28. If you look at the old Canon wide primes, the 20mm, 24mm, 28mm & 35mm. The one that seemed to get the worst reviews was the 20mm. I would have thought the 20mm would have been the first one they would have replaced with a new IS model. Plus there seems to be less competition at the 20mm focal length. Who knows, it It might be coming in the future.
     
  29. I would have been happy with a USM version of the current 35 f2 withoutn IS for about $400. At No way am I buying into an IS version for $850.
    Canon users are really starting to pay the price for lens based IS (and Canon's insane pricing policies). In M4/3 you could get three sharp primes for this much and the in-body stabilisation in the Olympus bodies works just as well as any lens based IS system I've tried.
    It appears to me Canon is giving up on the enthusiast market, pitching their product either at entry level or well heeled pros. Where is the fun in one of these lenses for people like me, who see them as grown-up toys, when you have to sell a kidney to afford it?
     
  30. In economic terms, I think you have that precisely backwards. Companies faced with serious competition do not prosper (with only extremely rare examples to the contrary) by raising their prices - they must either increase the perceived value of a product at its current cost level or provide an equivalent or better product at a lower cost.​
    +1
    That's where Canon is starting to lose me. Picking a manufacturer is somewhat like getting married. You don't want to find yourself married to a company going through a serious bout of mid-life crisis.​
    +1 again except that Canon and I are already on a trial separation, with possible divorce pending.
     
  31. I'm sure that Canon view adding IS as increasing the perceived value of their product. Basically I think they are right to think this, but whether it is worth the extra cash is up to the individual.
     
  32. @G Dan and others: I wonder if Canon is seeing the low end of its market fall out from under it and into m43s and other mirrorless cameras, while what remains of that market is content to use the kit lens. If so, then Canon may simply be targeting the high end of its market, with some exceptions (like the 40mm f / 2.8 pancake).
    I'm not saying this is a good thing—quite the opposite, actually—but it may be happening.
    @Jake Cole: I certainly see your point. But it appears, after a cursory Google search, that the X Pro 1 and x100 don't have IBIS or an equivalent, which is really important to me. As always, YMMV. But Fuji is certainly doing interesting stuff, and Canon, at least to my eyes, isn't.
    But I'm reluctant to get a divorce, as Sarah Fox said, because I have close to ~$1500 in Canon gear and doubt I'd get more than half that back. Yet I'm also reluctant to put more in our joint checking account, in the form of a flash, though I'd like to.
     
  33. I don't think you can blame Canon for price increases, as someone intimated. In my experience the price of most everything has gone up. A loaf of bread used to be cheap. Haven't had a raise since 2006 in my white collar job...I hear inflation knocking.
    I can relate to what Sarah said though, when I started photography in 1980, I picked a Canon At-1 with a 50 1.4 lens, if I recall it was over $100 less than the Nikon FM, and I was a poor college student. After many years I never dumped any FD equipment, lost some in saltwater and tripod "blow-overs", now I'm using those fd lenses on u4/3. Until a couple of years ago I never considered any system but Canon eos and fd in 35mm format, so my loyalty is over for future purchases.
     
  34. About the price increases, two thoughts. First, the newer lens does provide features not on the earlier 35mm f/2: easier accommodation of AF/manual focusing and an effective IS feature. Second, if I'm correct, Canon often tends to introduce new lens models at higher prices but then to not raise the price all that much during the life of the product.
    Dan
     
  35. There's another aspect to this discusson. Some of us (probably) wouldn't be complaining as much about lens pricing if only Canon, hands down, could also provide the best image sensors. Right now, they don't. In comparison to my 18MP crop sensor camera, I'm amazed by how well the little Sony RX100 handles shadows (no ugly chroma noise or banding). I agree with all the criticism against DxO's views if things but they do show that Nikon outperforms Canon as far as dynamic range is concerned. I think overall Canon has some explaining and work to do and it's not a good sign that enthusiasts here and elsewhere are considering jumping ship.
     
  36. This is the cost of high resolution sensors ... the lenses have to be gradually updated so that pixel-peepers who look into the corners will be happy with what they see. Increased optical complexity is required, and as you necessarily increase cost, buyer base gets smaller and a further increase in price is required to make at least some profit. At the time the EF 35/2 was introduced, the fast zooms had not yet established themselves (AFAIK) as the standard photojournalist's tool (the 35 + 85/100 were that before). Thus they could design a lens for extremely high volume and due to its optical simplicity and high volume production the cost was low even when it was new. If you now inflation correct the price of the EF 35/2 from the time it was introduced, to today's dollars, you will see that the price increase is probably in line with expectations given the added features and presumably increased image quality.
    What so many people seem to forget is that the dollar isn't what it used to be. The realignment of prices happens for the most part when a lens is revised. Nikon has the same issue - the f/1.4 primes seem astronomically expensive when you compare to the prices of the old primes (which are not at all the same thing). Get used to it - it's the price to pay for higher performance. What you need to do is work harder to produce something of higher quality yourself so that you can charge more for what you do, and that way be able to afford the new equipment, if you want it. Being not able to afford something new is normal.
     
  37. This lens is terrific. I've had it for about three months now and it is 95% as good as my Leica 35/2.5 Summarit. Nice bokeh and very sharp.
     

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