By Alexandra Burlacu | Nov 06, 2012 11:01 AM EST
Canon announced on Monday, Nov. 5, that it is introducing two new higher-end (not top-end) lenses set to arrive in December.
The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM will come with a $1,500 price tag, while the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM will cost $850.
The higher-end and costlier 24-70mm f4 lens continues Canon's tradition of offering intermediate models for photography enthusiasts and professionals alike, giving them the chance to get decent lenses without the steep price tag of top-end models. The top-end alternative in this case is the Canon EF 24-70mm f2/2.8L II USM introduced back in February, which comes with a $2,300 price tag. The f2.8 aperture of the EF 24-60mm f/2.8L II USM, however, enables quality photography in low-light conditions and with blurrier background to focus on foreground subjects.
Meanwhile, the new f4 lens does have a valuable feature that the f2.8 models lack - image stabilization. More specifically, Canon's Hybrid IS compensates for lateral motion of the lens, and also for changes in the angle it is pointed. Also, a macro option can be used at 70mm to enable focusing on subjects as close as 7.9 inches away. Moreover, it also has to aspherical lens elements, two with ultra-low dispersion glass, and a nine-blade aperture diaphragm.
The new 35mm f/2 IS USM also adds image stabilization, coming as a notable improvement over its less expensive $310 predecessor. Canon's comparable top-end lens is the $1,300 EF 35mm f/1.4L USM which offers high optical quality, full-frame image sensor support, and weatherproofing.
The new lenses come as alternatives with intermediate prices, though Canon's view of intermediate is gradually changing. The second-generation 24-70mm f2.8 model comes in at roughly $800 more than its $1,500 predecessor with the same aperture. Consumers, however, seem to be willing to pay for the desired quality, and SLRs are the company's top performers.
"Demand for interchangeable-lens digital cameras continued to realize robust growth in all regions while the market for compact digital cameras shrunk due to the stagnation of the global economy," Canon explained back in October, when it reported its third-quarter financial results. The company's imaging systems division revenue declined 7.3 percent to $4.1 billion, while its operating profit slumped 30 percent to $674 million.
Meanwhile, its SLR archrival Nikon went for the intermediate lens strategy as well, and in October it unveiled a 70-200mm f4 telephoto zoom that is less expensive, lighter, and less bulky Canon's the top-end f2.8 model.