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Canon announces 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and 35mm f/2 IS USM EF lenses

By dpreview staff on Nov 6, 2012 at 04:00 GMT

Canon has announced two lenses for its EOS system. The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is designed as a relatively compact image-stabilized standard zoom for full frame SLRs, and will be offered as a kit with the EOS 6D. It  includes a Macro setting offering an impressive 0.7x magnification, backed up by Canon's Hybrid IS that promises increased effectiveness at close distances. It's also weather-sealed, and will be available from mid-December at an RRP of $1499 / £1499.99 / €1459. Meanwhile the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM features an all-new optical design, and includes image stabilization and an ultrasonic focus motor. It will be in on sale early December for $849.99  / £799.99 / €849. Both lenses will work on full frame and APS-C cameras.

Canon has also introduced a new design of lens cap that includes a center-pinch mechanism for easier handling with lens hoods in place. Other brands have been offering this type of cap for years, but at least Canon has finally caught up. The new caps will eventually be supplied with all new Canon lenses, starting from January 2013. 

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Press Release:

Canon launches the new EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

 Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

London, UK, 6 November 2012 – Canon today adds to its world-famous EF lens series with the launch of two models designed for enthusiasts and professionals – the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and EF 35mm f/2 IS USM. Offering first-class optical technologies alongside highly compact designs, the new lenses are perfect for a range of creative purposes, including reportage, landscape, portrait, and travel photography.

Ideal for use alongside DSLRs like the new EOS 6D, both new lenses utilise the latest Canon technologies to consistently deliver superb results. Both include aspherical lenses and Super Spectra Coatings optimised for each individual element, Canon’s industry-leading Image Stabilizer (IS) technology and Ultrasonic Motors for superfast
Auto Focus (AF) – providing outstanding optical performance. The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is also the latest lens to feature Hybrid IS, delivering shakefree shots at any distance, including at macro focal lengths.

EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM – high performance, high flexibility, Hybrid IS

The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is the latest addition to Canon’s elite L-series, and expands the range of standard zoom EF lenses available for both professional and amateur photographers. Ideal for reportage and wedding photography, it combines an essential everyday focal range with a premium quality L-series construction, delivering consistently sharp, professional-quality stills in a range of different situations. A new macro function also optimises the placement of lens groups during macro photography, allowing shooting at a maximum magnification of 0.7x – reducing the need for photographers to carry a dedicated macro lens.

Its first-class optical system includes two aspherical elements alongside two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lenses, each with optimised Super Spectra Coatings to minimise chromatic aberration, colour blurring and flare. A constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range provides photographers with exceptional creative control, allowing blurring of the background of a scene at all focal lengths. A nine-blade circular iris also assists photographers in making their subjects stand out, delivering beautiful out of focus highlights (bokeh) in the background blur to add atmosphere to a shot.

The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM also features a newly designed IS system, delivering blur-free images throughout the zoom range. Canon’s advanced optical IS offers a 4-stop light advantage, while Hybrid IS effectively compensates for angular and shift shake during macro shooting for stable close ups.

Superfast AF performance is provided by a small, ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM). Working in combination with a high-performance CPU and advanced AF algorithms, USM technology enables accurate, silent and ultra-responsive autofocusing. Full-time manual focusing also ensures adjustments can be made even when AF is engaged.

The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM features a high grade, usability-focused design – both inside and out. The exterior features a high quality leather-texture coating, a revised shape ensures ease-of-use, and the focusing and zoom rings have been designed for optimal operation. Additionally, a dust and drip-proof construction is resistant to dust and moisture, a lock function protects lenses from knocks when travelling, while fluorine coating minimises the amount of dust, dirt and fingerprints that adhere to the front and rear lenses – helping to maintain superior image quality and reduce the need for cleaning.

EF 35mm f/2 IS USM – take a wider look at the world

 Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

The new EF 35mm f/2 IS USM is designed to offer outstanding flexibility – allowing photographers to capture an even broader range of scenes and subjects in wide-angle. The lens is Canon’s first-ever 35mm prime to feature optical Image Stabilizer technology, which combines with high quality optics to offer outstanding performance
from a lightweight, compact body. The 35mm focal length also provides the ability to capture everything from close-up portraits to wide-angle landscapes, making it an ideal companion for travel or general reportage photography.

Its advanced specification offers photographers great flexibility to shoot a wider-range of scenes and subjects. A bright, fixed f/2 aperture also allows photographers to employ a shallow depth of field, and optical IS offers users a 4-stop light advantage, allowing the capture of blur-free images in low light conditions when shooting handheld. Intelligent detection of panning motion is also supported, with Panning IS mode automatically engaged to enable photographers to capture movement with greater accuracy.

Designed to deliver exceptional image quality, the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM features an aspherical glass-moulded (GMo) element positioned at the rear of the optical path to correct aberration for the entire optical system. Additionally, each individual element features optimised Super Spectra coatings to reduce ghosting and flare – ensuring excellent colour balance with minimal need for post processing. A combination of a ring-type USM and high performance CPU also provides rapid AF performance, with full-time manual focus also available for users who want to retain maximum control.

New lens caps – designed for greater ease and convenience

 Canon's 'Mark II' centre-pinch lens caps. From left to right: 82mm, 77mm, 72mm, 67mm, and 58mm. 

Both new lenses also come with newly-designed Mark II lens caps, which incorporate a hook mechanism in the centre of the cover, as opposed to the sides. Simply pinching the hook allows users to quickly remove and replace caps mid-shoot, especially when using lens hoods. The re-designed lens caps will start to be rolled out across Canon’s entire EF lens range from the beginning of January 2013, and will also be available to buy separately.

EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM key features:

  • High image quality 24-70mm lens with f/4 aperture
  • Light weight design
  • Built in IS
  • Macro function
  • Dust / moisture resistant

EF 35mm f/2 IS USM key features:

  • Fixed prime 35mm wide angle lens
  • 4 stop Image Stabilizer
  • Fast f/2 minimum aperture
  • Compact size and design
  • Circular aperture

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 35mm f.2 IS USM specifications

 Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USMCanon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM
Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lensPrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length24–70 mm35 mm
Image stabilisationYesYes (4 stops)
Lens mountCanon EF
Maximum apertureF4.0F2.0
Minimum apertureF22.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades98
Minimum focus0.38 m (14.96)0.24 m (9.45)
Maximum magnification0.7×0.24×
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleYes
Weight600 g (1.32 lb)335 g (0.74 lb)
Diameter83 mm (3.27)78 mm (3.07)
Length93 mm (3.66)63 mm (2.48)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockYes
Filter thread77 mm67 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codeEW-83LEW-67II
Tripod collarNo
Optional accessoriesSoft Case LP1219Lens Pouch: LP1116

Additional images

 Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM  Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM
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Total comments: 165
By Mssimo (Nov 6, 2012)

I wish canon made these in F mount.

1 upvote
By wlad (Nov 6, 2012)

why on earth ?
Those 1500 eur get us 24-70mm f2.8 Nikon !
And the 28mm f1.8 Nikon lens (with Nano coat) goes for 650 eur.

By keeponkeepingon (Nov 6, 2012)

US price on the 35mm is $849

(adorama has a preorder up).

The main question is: Is the 35mm a new lens or the official replacement for the 35mm F/2 non-IS?

If it is, does that mean Canon will never make an affordable "normal view" prime lens for their APS-C system?

Something like this lens:

By Retzius (Nov 6, 2012)

I think Canon sees a future in FX and mirrorless lines. The fact that they seem content with a 18mpg sensor of yesteryear in their APS cameras should be telling.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Nov 6, 2012)

@Retzius: Good call. I see that as the future of photography gear too.

The only problem is Canon handicapped their 6D too much (single cross hair AF sensor?) and produced an under-performing EOS-M (hopeless AF speed). They then proceed to these duds at high prices.

1 upvote
Rob Bernhard
By Rob Bernhard (Nov 6, 2012)

[[The main question is: Is the 35mm a new lens or the official replacement for the 35mm F/2 non-IS?]]

The 24mm and 28mm f/2.8 non-IS lenses are discontinued. Most certainly the 35mm f/2 non-IS will follow. One of the 50mm lenses will get IS and a $800+ price (maybe both, with the f/1.8 coming in at $500?). The only choice for an inexpensive Canon lens (new) will be the 40mm f/2.8 pancake.

Canon doesn't want to be in the consumer market with EF lenses. They want to sell more expensive ones to fewer people.

By easysqueeze (Jan 1, 2013)

I purchased the 35mm f2 IS as an option for an everyday lens ( for both video and stills) on the 5D MK III... received it on the 24th of Dec 2012. see my review here

By Retzius (Nov 6, 2012)

I think Canon is being very wise in their strategy. It seems to me they have decided to overhaul their lens line and update all the oldies so that when they decide to increase the megapixel count of their cameras they will actually have lenses available that can provide the needed resolution increase. Nikon OTOH, keeps pushing megapixels with the same old lenses that quite frankly look tired on these new sensors. Very wise Canon.

By Tap0 (Nov 6, 2012)

Nikon too is overhauling their prime line up, most recently we have had the 28mm 1.8 G. If Canon decides to wait till they overhaul their lens line and then increase the megapixel count, I believe that they would be pretty late to the party.

By Retzius (Nov 6, 2012)

What party? There really isnt a clamoring for megapixels right now. I think the concern has changed to DR and resolution.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Nov 6, 2012)

Well said

By cgarrard (Nov 6, 2012)

@ Retzius- Well then it seems Canon really have a lot of make up to do in that dept. ;). Canon's glaring weakness are its sensors in comparison to what the semi-conductor division at Sony are putting out - even Aptina seem keen. It'll be interesting if Canon "catch up" in 2013 in this race.

1 upvote
By Peiasdf (Nov 6, 2012)

Wow, Canon must be paying Nikon $200 a cap for the use of Nikon lens caps. It would also explain the suborbital price for those lenses. (Leica have orbital prices)

Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Nov 6, 2012)

Canon has lost its mind pricing that 24-70 f/4 for 1500$, even though specs are great that price is ridiculous.

By Retzius (Nov 6, 2012)

I love how Canon is updating its primes and adding IS. Starting to make Nikon's older primes like the 35/2 look ancient in comparison.

1 upvote
Nathaniel George Weir
By Nathaniel George Weir (Nov 6, 2012)

But hey you've got to admit that the most exciting thing here is the new lens caps ;)

Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Nov 6, 2012)

very true, finally they decided to go with centre pinch design for lens caps after so many years.

By b534202 (Nov 6, 2012)

Ditto that. I can finally stop ordering Nikon caps when I buy new lenses.

By Dan_168 (Nov 6, 2012)

Me too, thanks Canon for saving me $20 every time I purchase a lens, I guess I can use those $20 saving for a new $1500 F4 zoom, LOL.

By RXVGS (Nov 6, 2012)

the new lens caps finally solve the 5D MkIII light leakage problem!

Nathaniel George Weir
By Nathaniel George Weir (Nov 6, 2012)

$1808? Can you spell rip off?

1 upvote
By KLO82 (Nov 6, 2012)

£1499.99 / €1459!!!? I dont even find 24-70mm range useful, as an f4 lens it could be at least 85mm on the long end IMO to be useful for portraits.

1 upvote
By photosen (Nov 6, 2012)

A renewed 35mm f2? Pinch caps?? Checking to see if it's April 1st...

By Horshack (Nov 6, 2012)

In related news, Kelloggs has just announced a new and improved box of Frosted Flakes that will sell for $25/box. Ouch these two are expensive.

By cgarrard (Nov 6, 2012)

Yeah, but "they'rreeeee Grrrrrreeeeaaaat!!!"


By EDWARD ARTISTE (Nov 6, 2012)

ROFL nice one dude! +1 internets for you

Total comments: 165