Canon has announced (or pre-announced) their new L series lens - check out the LL front page.
Although I find new Canon lenses a novelty, and anxiously await new releases, this one leaves me a bit perplexed. Who is it for? Is it worth it? Will it satisfy my need for new lenses?
How much will it cost? (I'll take a stab at it and say between 800 and 1000USD at B&H).
Personally I think this lens is a step in the wrong direction. For full-frame maniacs, the f4 will prove limiting, especially if this is to be used as a portrait lens. At the wide setting, the 45cm minimum focus is not quite close enough in my opinion, though a 24mm wide lens should be standard, not the 28mm that the industry widely supports in the consumer lenses... Let's call it a half hearted attempt at placating the pro's who were hoping for an IS version of the 24-70 f2.8.. Very half hearted in my opinion!
For the 1.6x crop factor people this lens becomes a 38mm-170mm +/-. Nice for portraits, but again the f4 limits it's use by not separating the subject from the background enough (that's why you pay top dollar for luminous lenses!).
On the wide side.. wait, WHAT wide side???.. a 38mm is nowhere near wide.! Ok...let's call it a general walkaround lens, but a very sacrificed one indeed.
So who is it for? Well, I think this is aimed at people who WANT an L lens, but don't want to pay the price of true L specialised optics, and will probably buy this lens and maybe the 17-40. This is a "2nd tier" product, and perhaps a testing ground for IS in wide angle L zooms, which means that a 24-85 f2.8 IS is probably waiting in the wings...
Heresy? Madness. Well, tell me what you all think about it, and whether you would buy it and why (what type of photography).
While I'm at it I'll make a list of lenses that Canon SHOULD be manufacturing, but aren't as yet:
85 f1.4 L lens at under $1000
50 f1.2 L lens at under $1000
200-400 f4 IS DO lens at under $4000 (this one was sort of announced more than a year ago... and then retracted!)
24-135 f2.8 L IS (or at least a 24-85 f2.8 L IS!)