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Is Canon Going to Redefine the Holy Trinity of Zoom Lenses?

Is Canon Going to Redefine the Holy Trinity of Zoom Lenses?

For a long time, the holy trinity of zoom lenses has been considered the 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 70-200mm f/2.8, with slight variations in the focal lengths from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, Canon may be looking to up the ante in a major way by creating a holy trinity of f/2 zoom lenses.

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM lens has been received with rave reviews, as its awesome image quality and insanely wide aperture (for a zoom lens) really blur the line between prime and zoom. It seems Canon might not be content to stop there, though. Canon Rumors is reporting that the company may be working on a second f/2 zoom lens that will eventually join a third to become a holy trinity of f/2 zooms. No doubt, such a trio of lenses would be both heavy and expensive, but they could actually end up saving weight and cost for a lot of photographers. With the high-ISO capabilities of modern cameras, excellent sharpness, and a maximum aperture only one stop away from most fast primes, people like wedding photographers might choose to forgo primes completely and just carry three such lenses. Of course, we've yet to see if the lenses will actually come to market, but it'll be quite interesting to see what happens if Canon continues to push the boundaries of lens design.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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As most wedding photographers seem to be crying the blues these days I would expect these lenses to be found in the bags of safari jacket clad doctors and lawyers.

I'm the only one left with cold chills every time someone calls a group of lenses, the Holy Trinity?

I just call it "The Trinity". Not sure where the "Holy" needs to come in.

Honestly, I'm not sure where the Trinity needs to come in either.
Bit like 'Nifty Fifty' Brrrr


I guess it's because the three lenses form the standard set that covers just about all of the common focal lengths associated with general use. You could call it the "Trio" or the "Triad" or something along those lines, I suppose. I suspect that the "Trinity" or "Holy Trinity" started to be used because the set is traditionally an expensive aspiration for many photographers to complete. Of course all of this ignores the super-telephotos, which you could add to turn it into a "Quartet".

Haha, for an asian company "triad" seems like a good alternative...

Actually it's probably a very apt description. "Holy" comes from "wholeness", and the range of focal lengths covers the complete "normal" range that most people use. And there are 3 lenses so "trinity" is a suitable word, too.

Really the race to the biggest!...
What is the point of making compact lightweight devices to stick monsters like this!?!...

Money :P

Because "compact" and "lightweight" are not the only virtues of mirrorless cameras and in the end, physics will rule the day when it comes to optics.

Mirrorless as being small is a silly myth.
Look at the Sony lenses and most are larger and heavier than the Canon equivalents.

I guess it depends on what you shoot. My Holy Trinity are the Canon 400/2.8, 600/4 and 1200/5.6

Interesting. The new Canon Glas is super appealing. On the other had the prices are here nearly cut in half for photography jobs… When I watch the price trend for photography in germany and compare it to the trend for equipment the both went in opposite directions.

Companies always have to come out with new gear to sell to suckers who have to have the latest stuff so they can brag to their buddies.

Nope, if they follow the route of the 28-70 f/2 they are too heavy and too expansive for "real world use".

These f2 L zoom lenses are a fantastic technical achievement and produce beautiful images and bokeh however, I'm more interested in the potential that Canon will also produce a much smaller robust line of f2.8 IS L lenses (16-35, 24-70 (not 28) & 70-200) much like the original option of f2.8 vs f4 lenses. If we're all going down the road of mirrorless and the weight and size benefits that brings, it would shortsighted to overlook the majority of customers who I'm sure would appreciate greater portability and less bulk. I would always want to use the f2 versions when close to home or in a studio environment but would prefer a smaller camera bag when travelling for photo clients.

just a thing to ad. 28-70 is unpraktical. 28 looks horrible when people are in the frame. 24 is nice to have for a wide shoot - to get a whole room. but 70mm as max is also not enough. for people stuff a 35-105 f2,8 would be the most practical - or maybe just 35-90 to get light and smaller glas.