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Is Canon Trying to Shake up the Holy Trinity With Another Exceptional Zoom Lens?

Is Canon Trying to Shake up the Holy Trinity With Another Exceptional Zoom Lens?

Canon’s efforts to push the bounds of what’s normal when it comes to full frame lenses continues apace with the manufacturer reported to have just registered patents for two zoom f/2.8 lenses with exceptional focal ranges.

Picking up on patents spotted by this Japanese blog, Canon Watch is reporting that Canon is potentially developing a 24-85mm f/2.8 and a 24-100mm f/2.8. Canon has already started to tweak our understanding of what a holy trinity of zooms should be through its huge and expensive RF 28-70mm f/2L as an alternative to its slightly lighter, cheaper, and more traditional counterpart, the RF 24-70mm f/2.8L.

Having played with a wider aperture (albeit at the expense of 4mm of width), it seems that Canon is now looking at extending the reach while maintaining that fast aperture of f/2.8. Of course, this presents two questions: how big would this lens be, and how much would it cost? 24-100mm at f/2.8 strikes me as an event shooter and photojournalist’s dream lens, and it makes you wonder if Canon has plans to tweak its telephoto stalwart, the 70-200mm f/2.8, to begin at 100mm at its widest in order to create some sort of a mega-trinity.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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It is weird actually. The Canon EOS-R bodies aren't really pro cameras but the lenses are. The Nikon Z body is probably better but Nikon's lenses aren't.

They are releasing some pro versions very soon...

With the amount of noise going I'd say there are already prototypes running around

Good insight, which I hadn't connected the dots with myself before this. Thanks.

It seems like Canon is taking the opposite route of Sony, in that they are putting out amazing lenses first and following with better bodies later. There is historical presedent. They didn't lead with the EOS-1 body.
Sony is just recently getting their lens game to a pro level. There is a reason many Sony shooters adapted Canon lenses instead of using the native lenses.
Once a pro R lenses drops, Canon will be positioned to make a run at being king of the hill.

Part of that was because so many people who left Canon (me) still had a bagfull of lenses and the whole Sony ML thing was sort of a leap of faith. Yes at the time Sony was gearing up the pro lenses.

I find Canon’s moves to be rather strange with the EOS R so far. It’s been about sixteen months since it was introduced and they haven’t released a pro version utilizing two card slots or a lens lineup that motivates me to switch from my EF system. If the lens mount is larger, shouldn’t we anticipate faster lenses like a stop faster than the EF offerings? Secondly, I cannot believe the prices on the R lenses, is Canon trying to recoup their R&D investment in one fiscal year? Compare the current prices between the two lineups and you will be shocked. I bought two 5DIV’s about the time the R was announced and have no regrets but it seems to me that Canon doesn’t have the pro in mind with this new system. The consumer spends the majority of the segment but it’s the pro features that get their attention.

> If the lens mount is larger, shouldn’t we anticipate faster lenses like a stop faster than the EF offerings?

I don't think that is how it works.

But Canon EF and RF lens mount has the exact same diameter. It was Nikon which increased their lens mount diameter for Z (to approx. the same as Canon EF/RF).

I thought Sony was expensive but there is always more expensive.

24-100mm f/2.8 is a perfect all around lens.

No question that for travel photography, a two-lens system beats a three-lens system because it's much more practical to sling two camera rather than three. A 24-100 all-around plus a 100-300 would be a great combo for outdoors. As would an 11-24 plus 24-100 for indoors.

Sounds like a $3000+ lens. And HUGE/HEAVY.

But it's an adventurous attempt...and fun to see Canon innovating, with never before seen options, but at some point there's no point. (price/weight beyond reason).

Canon has a history of lens innovation dating back to the 1980's-90's with the USM motors, the 50mm f/1.0, etc. They still have the best lens line-up of any major manufacturer. Now, if they could only make a high end mirrorless (I know, it's coming, right?).

24-100 f2.8L would be an ideal short lens IF it includes IS. The EF 24-70 f2.8L II is a great lens, but I still need the old 24-105 f4L IS when I want to play with slow shutter motion blur.
But, do NOT mess with the focal range of the 70-200. When shooting events, it is helpful to have that 70-100 overlap. I shoot with two bodies. The 70-200 is always on one with the 24-70 or the 24-105 on the other. Another benefit of the 24-105 is that I don't need to switch bodies as frequently since I often hover in that 70-100 range.

IS should be in the camera like it is with Olympus and Sony mirrorless offerings. That way ALL lenses are stabilised. And stabilised to a greater extent too.
The lack of that on Canon's first go at mirrorless was baffling.

Historically, optical stabilization is more effective than sensor-based stabilization. Any idea if this is still true? It's nice to have the sensor-based stabilization, but if in-lens optical stabilization is still more effective, then I would prefer IS.

Sensor stabilisation is way better than optical these days. Plus becuase it works on ALL lenses, it's infinitely better most of the time. ;)

These lenses sound expensive and heavy to me. Sigma already makes a 120-300 2.8. Maybe canon will make something like a 100- 300 2.8 who knows. At this point it’s all hypothetical. The thought of a mega trinity sounds more like a gimmick to me than anything else. If you really need 300 mm pack an extra lens.

100-400 f4 coming, or what? ;-) ... that would be a fabulous trinity

Actually, a 24-100mm f/2.8 would mesh with the current 70-200 f/2.8. Ideally, there should be some focal length overlap. It would continue to be proper for there to be overlap of 15-20mm or so from the wide zoom to the medium zoom as well.

The 24-105 f/4 is already my money lens, as it does pretty much everything I need it to do for indoor portraits. If this would be an even higher quality lens in that same zoom range, I'd have no problem taking out a loan to purchase it.

Are you forgetting about the Nikon 120-300 f/2.8?

I’ll take Nikon over canon any day.

All of this will be moot if they can ever take the removal of lens abberation out of the theoretical and actual engineer it.

Not sure that would make it a "mega-trinity", I think that would make it a "quadrinity". :)

It could lead to a 100-300mm f2.8 for the 24-100. Or a 85-250mm f2.8 for the 24-85mm

And what do I do with my 24-105?