Canon Unveils the Pricey but Stabilized 24-70mm f/4L IS and 35mm f/2 IS

The rumors were off but the leak was spot on: today Canon officially announced the not-so-secret 24-70mm f/4 IS and the 35mm f/2 IS, bringing image stabilization to two new focal length ranges.

The new Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is a cheaper and lighter alternative to the highly-regarded 24-70mm f/2.8 II. It loses a stop in terms of aperture in exchange for four stops of image stabilization. It’s just 3.7 inches long, quite compact compared to the 4.4 inches of the 24-70mm f/2.8 II and the 4.2 inches of the 24-105mm f/4 IS.

The lens features macro photography capabilities at the 70mm end with the help of its 7.9-inch minimum focusing distance. Macro mode is enabled by toggling a switch on the lens barrel.

The manual focus is engaged at all times, allowing you to adjust the focus even while shooting in autofocus.

Canon calls the lens, “The ideal companion to Canon’s full-frame Digital SLR cameras such as the EOS 6D.” (You can almost hear the Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS shouting, “Hey, I thought that was my title!”). Canon will reportedly be including this lens as the kit lens of the 6D, which is interesting, since photographers have been quite happy with the 24-105mm f/4 IS as the kit lens for full-frame Canon DSLRs. Having a smaller and lighter kit lens is nice, but it’ll be coming at the expense of 35mm of range on the telephoto end.

The 24-70mm f/4 IS will be available starting in December 2012 for the price of $1,499. Rumors over the weekend had suggested $849 as a possible price. That was way off.

The new 24-70 f/4 IS is definitely more affordable than the $2,300 24-70mm f/2.8 II, but is less affordable than the $1,100 24-105mm f/4 IS.

The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM is the latest Canon wide angle prime to be endowed with image stabilization, following the 24mm f/2.8 IS and the 28mm f/2.8 IS.

Canon claims that the new 35mm will be better in image quality, more durable in design, and faster and quieter in autofocus than its predecessor.

The lens will be available in December 2012 with a price tag of $850.

  • Dez

    Meh….so dull, so lame and without imagination. The world is spinning around f0.95 fixed focal length lenses, f2.8 zooms, everybody is waiting for a cheaper f1.4/35 and then Canon comes out with these…

  • Dez

    Meh….so dull, so lame and without imagination. The world is spinning around f0.95 fixed focal length lenses, f2.8 zooms, everybody is waiting for a cheaper f1.4/35 and then Canon comes out with these…

  • Keith D

    I really do not see the point of the new 24-70 as the new kit lens for the 6D, or the point of it existing in the first place. Sure it is a bit smaller and lighter, but you lose the extra reach of the 24-105. Both lenses are F/4 and have IS. Unless the image quality is MILES above the 24-105, it is pointless. It would be smarter to buy the 6D body only and pick up a good used copy of the 24-105. This was a disappointing “announcement” to say the least.

  • photog666

    Canon has made the decision for me to take on the Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 VC lens…

  • Johnson Leung

    Canon has made the decision for me to take on the Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 VC lens…

  • morph8788

    tamron here i come!!!
    and when i want a 35mm i buy the new sigma 35mm f1.4

    canon has completely lost it…. i hope they suffer next fiscal year.

  • Mike Ermilio

    An $1,100 24-105mm or a $1,500 24-70mm? Why is this even a choice? And then a 35mm IS lens nobody asked for? Hopefully a few more quarters of negative revenue for Canon will kick their ass into gear. Or else I’ll be selling all my Canon stuff and switching to Nikon.

  • spamonme

    I’ve watched and waited for new Canon gear with anticipation for a couple years. When prices were released for the 5D3, 24-IS and 28-IS I was shocked, esp for standard EF prime lenses. Then the 24-70 f/2.8 II arrived. Well, compared to the overpriced 70-200 f/2.8 II not surprised but still disappointed with Canon. Now the new 24-70 f/4 arrives, huge shock. After the previous insane EF 24-IS and 28-IS (non L!) lens prices, the EF 35-IS price was no surprise either but all of these prices are a big disappointment and just stupid expensive. Most every photo product that Canon has released this year including the G1X, etc shows a consistent Canon pricing trend to heavily gouge the market. They are trying to re-establish the general base price line upward and train everyone to pay more across the board. Perhaps they are following Apple’s practice of demanding 40% margins. The real suckers that Canon is aiming for are the enthusiasts that are willing to spend more than pros on whatever the coolest current thing is, over and over. Pros don’t upgrade the tools of their trade at the drop of a hat, they have a business to run. They take pictures for profit and mostly buy what they need. It takes time/effort to upgrade to a new body and if the expense doesn’t result in a better business, it can wait. Enthusiasts buy because they need another endorphin high that results from another cool toy to add to their collection. They equate better pictures with better hardware. Canon loves these folks and is taking marketing to them to a whole new level. Most experienced photographers, those folks that have taken thousands of pictures over the years, don’t buy equipment as often because they already have gear that works for them.

    Canon has lost me for quite a while until they WTFU and get past this insanity. I am running away from these prices. In fact, I’m considering selling a few things now, not buying more. Unfortunately, there are thousands of fans out there that simply MUST buy all this new gear right away at whatever price is asked which will delay the return to reasonable prices for at least a year or two instead of just a few months. If the market (enthusiasts) ran away at these prices, they would quickly drop. But Canon expects enough enthusiasts to accept and swallow this price point to demand it and rake in cash which is a real shame. In this case, Canon equates “Enthusiasts” to = “Suckers”. Our society has become so impatient and demanding of instant gratification at any cost that most consumers have truly become sheep. Upgrade cycles for expensive luxury items have become months, not years. Sorry if this offends you but if it does, then think a minute about why it offends you. Then go shoot some pictures in a 3rd World Country or even just a poor part of town.

  • anonymous

    Canon better than Nikon

  • Jesse

    98% of petapixel comments make me so angry at people.

    the 24-70f4 makes sense as a 6d kit lens. Believe it or not some people are buying the 6d specifically because of its size, but whats the point it buying a smaller camera if you still have a massive lens on it. Furthermore the macro abilities of this lens would be a reason to choose it over 24-105.

    If you don’t want it don’t buy it. You don’t have to wish the company as a whole would suffer.

    also the 35IS seems fantastic if you shoot video, which I do.

  • wickerprints

    The problem I have with the pricing on some of Canon’s newest EF lenses (24/2.8 IS, 28/2.8 IS, and now 35/2 IS) is that it’s quite high for a lens that is NOT weather-sealed and built to withstand rugged conditions. These are non-L, supposed to be “consumer-grade” lenses. Then why are they going for $800? A professional who can afford them is going to want something more durable; a budget-minded shooter can’t afford them to begin with.

    For example: if faced with the decision to buy an EF 35/1.4L used for $1250 versus a new EF 35/2 IS, many enthusiasts would probably go for the former. The IS might be perfect for video, but many photographers prefer having raw light-gathering ability. At short focal lengths, the 1/f rule for handholding means that taking full advantage of 4-stop IS would result in shutter speeds around 1/15 – 1/2 s, far too slow to stop subject motion. For stills shooting, there simply is no substitute for fast apertures.

    I think that Canon’s pricing strategy comes down to “gouge the early adopters.” There’s about a 10% price premium on newly-released products; after about 6-12 months, prices tend to go down. But with these newer lenses, Canon has been pricing them out of all proportion to what is being offered: if they can put IS in $200 kit lenses with many more elements, what exactly is being done in these latest designs that warrants such a huge difference in price? I guarantee you that if you opened up one of these lenses, you would NOT see substantially tighter tolerances or build quality that corresponds to the asking price. Even some L lenses (e.g., the old 24-70/2.8L) are not built that well.

  • wickerprints

    I would sooner buy a redesigned EF 50/1.0L II to the tune of $4000 than I would a non-L lens for $850. Canon’s product strategy does not match its pricing strategy. They are clearly focused on offering slow-aperture designs that appeal to the mass consumer, but at prices that are out of the reach of those who would buy them. Used L glass would be a better investment for these folks, who are NOT pixel peepers.

    I get the impression that Canon is willfully ignoring what made their EF series of lenses historically appealing to photographers, which is the availability of a very broad selection of designs, several of which literally have no parallel in the photographic world. It is the niche lenses, the specialized tools, that make photographers stay with Canon (because we sure as hell know it’s not their sensors). Lenses like the EF 50/1.0L, 200/1.8L, MP-E 65/2.8 1-5x, TS-E 17/4L, and EF 85/1.2L II, literally have no equal. And what does Canon decide to do? They push out a slow-aperture zoom for $1500 that is a strict subset of focal length range of an existing lens that you can buy on the used market for under $1000.

  • Lee Harris

    What a joke, another way to gouge the 99.999% people who think they need Fool Frame when they don’t. The DSLR with be a museum piece within 3 years i reckon

  • Cochese

    Can somebody please clarify what the “Macro” switch on the lens does exactly? I don’t really know.

  • 32323

    macro macro.. get a clue what your talking about.

    you have to get as close as 3cm to your subject with that lens…..

  • Kevin Tang

    Like others in the comments section, I too am confused by why they would make a 24-70 f/4 unless the image quality is just miles ahead of the 24-105 f/4. I personally also don’t think weight is a big deciding factor, but that’s just me.

  • Jesse

    I guess your right… its not a macro if you have to be close to the subject…

    I have a clue what I’m talking about. I know it doesn’t have true macro capabilities but it focuses pretty damn close. And for some people that will be really handy. Maybe some people would prefer this over the extra 35mm of reach.

  • Bo Reidler

    Canon will go down as the company that had every chance but f*&ked it up big time. They had an incumbent audience that they kept screwing for some inane reason. Silly executive decisions made on some elitist foundation with no substance other than losing all goodwill from customers who had invested lots of of hard earned cash in their products. The announcement that a Firmware upgrade for the 5D mk3 will be out in April is a great example of this. By April most customers, old and new will have bought new FF Sony’s or Nikons. As well, Canon pay far too much attention to a minority of self aggrandized video people.

  • ThePope2012

    you are a funny clown….

  • Gene_nyc

    Dumbest move by canon ever. So pointless. Lose 35mm to gain macro, and more expensive!!

  • Jefferson

    I’m a professional photographer and have to say the 35 IS is super interesting. Sure an update to the 35 L is way over due but having an F2 and IS for under a grand isn’t bad. Also i’d prefer at this point to update my gear with a newer lens as opposed to one that’s been around since the 90’s. Digital planes and film planes are definitely different

  • Jefferson

    it seems fantastic if you shoot anything. is plus f2 can’t be a bad thing

  • Pete

    Once upon a time not too long ago f2.8 zooms cost in the $1200-$1500 range. Those days are gone.

  • Sundowner

    The switch limits focusing range, to reduce hunting and speed up focusing time.
    I think this lens is a super concept – forget the 70-105 range which causes vignetting on the 24-105 (I love using a circular polariser, so that lens was a complete no for me). The 24-70 zoom ratio will ensure better IQ.
    Now just a question of whether or not to keep the 24-70 f/2.8 make one.

  • Victor

    Yes the price is too high, should be 1100 to 1200 for this lens and I’m sure the price will drop. But that alone doesn’t justify buying this lens. How about sharper through out the entire range and more so edge to edge. Being lighter, having best in class IS, better contrast, great for travel size and weight. And of course the Macro capability could be very useful. I already orderd mine since I don’t have this range for my 5Dmk3 only pancake, 100L and 70-300L.

  • Ron

    High 5 man!

  • Ron

    If the price of this new lens is around the same as for the 24-105L, than what do you base your augment on?, better IS, a 0.7x macro, lighter lens? I don’t think these really do justice except the macro but I would rather pay a few hundreds more to get the longer focal length of the 24-105 than this lens. Even a fixed aperture of f/3.5 would have won the argument.

  • Jesse

    Yes, it is based on better IS, macro, lighter/smaller, sharper. You may not think its worth it but I can guarantee you that some people will. I’m actually going to get a 24-105 soon so its not like I’m just being a fanboy. All I’m saying is that there are some benefits to the new lens, I’m not trying to justify the price of it by any means.

  • Fed Up with weirdos like you

    I’ll pay a little more..get the 35 1.4…..this IS stuff is getting crazy..and Canon is getting “goofy”