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Gear Rumors

More Sony F/2.8 Zoom Rumors, Canon L Super Zoom Refresh? {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on November 9th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

More Rumors Fly Regarding Sony FE F/2.8 Zoom Lenses

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If the Sony rumor mill was a grill, I don’t think any steak would be getting cooked faster than this Sony FE zoom lens rumor. More new rumors started floating around this morning about the lens, including this one from an unnamed European camera store.

The rumor post claims that an associate at this unnamed store directed a customer to wait on the F/4 version of the 16-35mm because an F/2.8 version of the lens was coming. This associate supposedly even showed the client the lens in the store’s system. Red flags and talk about grains of salt aside, this rumor is interesting because it points to a November announcement and a ‘before Christmas’ availability for the new Sony FE F/2.8 zoom.

Sony has some FE lens announcements coming, that much is clear; they have said as much themselves. The rumors are pretty certain that these lenses, or at least some of them, will be F/2.8 refreshes of the already existing F/4 zoom lenses. This is something that makes sense for Sony, as it gives pro photographers the lenses they desire to make a full switch to the Sony system.

Beyond these rumored FE zooms, I am really hoping for some nice prime lenses, preferably of the affordable variety.

Canon Super Zoom Development Surfaces Again

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The Canon rumor mill is also abuzz regarding some new lens rumors, though not of the super exciting variety. According to this report over on Canon Rumors, Canon is working on a new L super zoom lens that is meant to replace the current 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6L IS.

So far, the focal range and speed of the lens is unknown, but what is a little more concerning here is that a lens like this is in development at all. I could probably poll 100 photographers and not run into a single one who has shot, or would even be interested in shooting with an expensive and slow L superzoom.

Personally, I think those research dollars would be better spend on their struggling mirrorless line, or updating their prime lenses to match the Sigma Art glass. But that is just me.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    I think this is the lens for Golf Shops, mounted on a 1D X next to those Hasselblad-Sonys.

    But seriously… that is what this says to me. Ok, I’ll admit, when I was a kid, I might have drooled over such a lens, but you grow out of it. A 2:1 to 3:1 or so f/2.8 zoom that doesn’t make you curse yourself for not using a prime on that one shot is worth a dozen of these. But I have met a number of people with more cash than sense, who buy pro gear because — hey — look at those pro shots, but would never even consider taking a composition class or anything. This is their lens, I think.

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  2. Paul Nguyen

    I think day by day the Sony system is losing its appeal as a small and lightweight system. The A7RII is only 100g lighter than the Nikon D750. Lenses aren’t really any lighter, e.g. the Sony 70-200mm f/4 is actually HEAVIER than the Nikon 70-200mm f/4. which is a sharper lens too (according to DxOMark anyway). Whilst I see the appeal of mirrorless for smaller cameras such as the Fuji X-T1, A6000 of the M4/3 cameras, I don’t see the benefit of these big Sonys. They’re seriously expensive and not as good as the competition in terms of the system and lenses that are available.

    E.g. the A7RII is more expensive than the D810 and will probably be the same price as the D810 successor that will feature the same sensor. The A7II is more expensive than the D750 which has basically a very similar sensor, but beats it in everything else, most notably in AF performance. So what do you gain by going with Sony? Several hundred grams of weight?

    In regards to Canon developing the 28-300mm L lens, I don’t think it’s as bad of an idea as most people seem to suggest. Remember that most camera buyers aren’t pros, but innocent amateurs wanting the most zoom and convenience out of their cameras. This is why the Nikon 18-200mm (for DX) and 28-300mm (for FX) are extremely popular lenses. They offer image quality that is good enough for most people and plenty of convenience.

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  3. Colin Woods

    Are they smoking weed over there in Canonland? The 10x superzoom is firmly in the realm of the hobbyist. Almost no hobby shooter will pay L lens money and almost no L lens buyer will buy a 10x superzoom. I don’t use Canon myself so I don’t know what their range of lenses is like but this seems a peculiar direction for any maker to take, especially with competition as dangerous and motivated as Sigma and Tamron.

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    • adam sanford

      I argue this lens — like the 24-105L — would benefit from being ‘demoted’ to non-L status in a more plastic/lighter design. (That’s if you believe they should ever make another 10x zoom again, which I don’t)

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  4. Andrew Leinonen

    Is anyone actually looking for f2.8 zooms for the A7 series? With the ISO capabilities of modern sensors (particularly Sonys!) and the general proportions and pricing of the existing f4 lenses, I’m not sure how many people are looking forward to using a lens that weighs twice as much as the body.

    The main complaint with the system for many seems to be about the scale and affordability of the FE lenses, not getting an extra stop of speed…

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    • adam sanford

      Wow. Yes.

      Anthony nailed it. The #1 reason why more professionals don’t take the A7 as a serious SLR replacement is due to the lack of fast glass that doesn’t rely on an adaptor, *particularly* a 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. Those are huge missing pieces for the A7 platform.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      IT all depends on what camp you are in Andrew. If you are in the ‘small mirrorless is an advantage’ crowd, then yes fast F/2.8 zooms do not make sense. But if you are not in that group, and you choose mirrorless for other reasons, then fast F/2.8 zooms make a lot of sense.

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    • Andrew Leinonen

      Well, I’d say this is relevant:

      https://www.slrlounge.com/is-%C6%924-the-new-%C6%922-8/

      Obviously just one opinion. But I really, really doubt many are staying away from the A7 series specifically because they’re missing 1 stop on their zoom lenses.

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    • adam sanford

      The FF mirrorless market is split between those who want the system to be small vs. the group that wants the system to be comprehensive.

      Since physics is physics, FF lenses (specifically fast ones) are quite large. So to keep FF mirrorless systems small, you have to keep the FL modest (say 100mm or so) and you need to keep the glass fairly slow — f/4 zooms and f/2.8 primes.

      The ‘keep it small’ group is down with the size/speed tradeoff. Many folks, however, are not. Consider:

      1) Some people see mirrorless as an improvement over SLR for *performance* reasons — no mirror slap, amplified EVF in a dark room, focus peaking for mirrorless lenses, etc. They don’t give a damn about size.

      2) Many folks believe small DOF / large apertures are the single most important reason why you should use FF over crop. They will not give up their pickle jar f/1.4 primes in a move to mirrorless.

      Sony — effectively the only show in town on FF mirrorless under $4k — has gobbled up all the mirrorless devotees who want it small. So many pros remain with their SLRs for a jillion reasons, but fast glass is one of them. Fast zooms are 100% coming for Sony as a result.

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    • Paul Nguyen

      Adam, I half-heartedly agree with you because I think, at the moment, mirrorless offers very small benefits to DSLRs rather than small weight and size. Maybe one day, when mirrorless catches up in other regards, e.g. autofocus, then they’ll be a serious competitor, but at the moment, I find that mirrorless is still a set of compromises.

      The things you point out, i.e.

      1) People seeing mirrorless as a performance upgrade over DSLRs – I disagree. With mirror-slap, you can always use mirror up mode and mirrorless cameras are still known to have shutter shock, which is a bigger issue (i.e. A7R for example).

      Boosted EVF is nice in theory, but it’s only good for slightly dark rooms. Once the rooms are fully dark (e.g. a nightclub), you can’t see anything at all and the EVF becomes extremely laggy, at least with OVFs, you can still see some sort of outline of the people (which is enough) especially with fast lenses. I almost have to rely on intuition when using my E-M1 and X-T1 in extremely dark rooms.

      I do agree, however, on the issue of focus peaking (which is super useful for video) and mirrorless having more options for video shooters, e.g. 4K on the A7RII, A7SII and GH4, where nothing like that exists with DSLRs.

      2) That is somewhat true, shallow DOF is basically the main reason to shoot with FF. High ISO performance is also another reason, but I don’t think many people actually shoot at ISOs high enough to warrant needing more than ISO6400 (which is still acceptable for Facebook and sharing on my E-M1, definitely not large prints though). That said, if you’re shooting at such high ISOs, you’re better off adding light otherwise pictures have nasty colour casts (because night light isn’t the same colour).

      Ultimately, it is an issue of size and weight. I’ve been a much happier camper when I got my M4/3 system so I don’t have to take my full-frame Nikons everywhere. I also love that I can get 4K video with cameras such as the G7 and GH4.

      Do I wish that Sony cameras were better so that I can just have one system (e.g. big zooms for event coverage and something like the 35/2.8 or 28/2 for walking around)? Of course I do. I’m happy with f/4 lenses because I rarely shoot at f/2.8 anyway. I’m usually at f/4 or f/5.6 with flash in reception halls to get group shots in focus. I don’t mind the 70-200/4 for Sony, for example, but the truth is, it’s a more expensive lens than my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 on my Nikon, it focuses slower, is crappy to focus in low light and the Sony system does not have IR AF assist on its flashes, which allow me to shoot in complete darkness. Sure, f/2.8 lenses are nice, but I think until they address this issue of its inability to focus in the dark, I find it hard to replace my Nikons with Sony.

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  5. adam sanford

    Because nothing says ‘L lens quality’ like a 10x zoom multiplier in a 4+ pound package. [Hand to face.]

    How this lens is in the top 20 of wanted lenses is beyond me. We’re screaming for multiple new 50 primes and an f/2.8 UWA zoom that doesn’t look like cotton balls in the corners, and the mothership is working on *this* Spruce Goose instead?!

    Stop that. Bad Canon. Bad.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      It is a bit of a head scratcher isn’t it? Just kinda makes you go, huh?

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    • Stan Rogers

      Part of it is that to an extent that some people find hard to allow, the “L” stands for, and has always stood for, “Luxury”, as in “may contain features you don’t need”. Sometimes it’s a ridiculous focal length, sometimes it’s speed, sometimes movements, and in this case it’s a zoom range. Yes, most Canon shooters probably don’t need it, any more than they need a 600/4 or a T/S, but a few do, or are at least convinced that they do. Enough, at least, to pro Canon into making it (it’s an “18-200” for APS-C shooters looking to upgrade to FF). No, it’s not what you want. That happens. (I’m still waiting for an apodized full-frame 85-ish lens that’s actually sharp off-centre; I’d buy into a whole system for that. I’ve been waiting for 16 years now.)

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    • Sean Goebel

      I dunno, I find that the corners of Canon fast wide lenses look less like cotton balls and more like albatrosses…

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