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Thread: Old L lenses that are still in production

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    Member dolina's Avatar
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    Old L lenses that are still in production

    These L lenses were introduced before 2006 and are still in production. They are likely to get a Series II or IS update.

    1993 EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
    1995 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
    1996 EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
    1996 EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
    1996 EF 135mm f/2L USM
    1997 EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
    1999 EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
    2004 EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    You can take EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM out of the list.
    It has already happened.

    There was an IS version in 2001 and vers II in 2010

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    You can take EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM out of the list.
    It has already happened.

    There was an IS version in 2001 and vers II in 2010
    Yes, but you can still buy that lens new today, and it is very good value. I have one. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Autofocus.html

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    Yes, but you can still buy that lens new today, and it is very good value. I have one. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Autofocus.html
    Granted.
    The post says they are all still in production.
    The purpose of the post is a bit vague though.

    "They are likely to get a Series II or IS update." suggested to me this supposedly had not happened yet.

    But as a statement of fact, Canon do make some enduring quality lenses and as you know if the fit is right you can save yourself a tidy sum buying them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    . . . The purpose of the post is a bit vague though. . .
    I concur, although I interpret the opening post differently to you: the second sentence stands alone and it is a definitive statement. Maybe the OP didn't mean the second sentence to be a definitive statement.


    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    These L lenses were introduced before 2006 and are still in production. They are likely to get a Series II or IS update.
    Why?

    I don't understand. Could you please clarify: is that your guess simply based on the fact that these lenses have been in production and sales for a period arbitrarily defined as before 2006?

    If not then, please explain your rationale or provide any information that you have which leads you to make the statement that a Series II or IS update, for those lenses, is likely?

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    1993 EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
    1995 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
    1996 EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
    1996 EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
    1996 EF 135mm f/2L USM
    1997 EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
    1999 EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
    2004 EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
    You could probably to your list:

    1998 EF 35mm F/1.4 L USM
    2003 EF 17-40 F/4 L USM
    2005 EF 24-105 F/4 L IS USM

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 11-03-2016 at 5:46pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post

    You could probably to your list:

    1998 EF 35mm F/1.4 L USM
    2003 EF 17-40 F/4 L USM
    2005 EF 24-105 F/4 L IS USM

    WW
    EF 24-105 F/4 L IS USM versII, yes please!

    I love that lens for it's range, but it just does not have that bit extra crispness of my other 2 lenses. (16-35Lf4 and 70-300L)

    Sigma did one, but its only a bit better wide and not quite as good long.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Interesting to see how all lens manufacturers are thinking these days and also into the future. The quality of the zoom must have eaten into fixed lens market. Add the improvements of the sensors with high ISO and one would ask if there is going to be a market still for the medium fast fixed FL lens (F4 >).

    The superb quality 70-200 would have hurt sales of the 85, 100 and 135 lens and would have surely given those considering a 200 F2 some serious doubts on whether the extra coin was worth the marginal improvement in bokeh.

    People must be looking at the value of the 24-70 and wondering do they really need a 35 and 50 prime also. With the price of the fast UWA most people would settle for a 16-35 or a 10-22 zoom.

    In recent times the market for the telephoto is being invaded with the 150 - 600 range, albeit there is still some strong contenders in this range with the FL but who knows what will happen in the future. For me personally the day I acquired my 200-400 F4 with built in extender was the day I put my 500 F4 on the market - the zoom is that good.

    Just some food for thought
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 5DsR, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 16-35 f4 IS, 11-24 f4L, 85 f1.2L II, 500 f4L IS, 300 f2.8 IS, ∑50 f1.4 A


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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian500au View Post
    .... For me personally the day I acquired my 200-400 F4 with built in extender was the day I put my 500 F4 on the market - the zoom is that good.

    Just some food for thought
    Even though I've just given up smoking so I can buy better gear it will take a couple of years to save the money for that lens.
    Food for thought, mmm, no, no, no. Them smokes have to be out of the question now also.

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    I will expound on my original post to better convey my ideas.

    1995 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
    1999 EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
    - film lens with film optics
    - newer 70-200 without IS have come out from other brands after the 90s.

    1997 EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
    - film lens with film optics
    - In 2015 Nikon came out with an equivalent that is PF (Nikon's DO equivalent) that is lighter and smaller

    2004 EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
    - In 2010 Nikon came out with an equivalent that is half the weight and price.

    1996 EF 135mm f/2L USM
    - film lens with film optics
    - Earlier than 2009 Sony came out with an equivalent that is 1/3rd stop faster
    - newer lenses from other brands have come out after 1996

    1996 EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
    - film lens with film optics
    - newer long Macros have come out from other brands that are either faster or have IS after 1996

    1996 EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
    - film lens with film optics
    - Could be replaced by a Series III or with IS

    1993 EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
    - film lens with film optics
    - Could be replaced by a Series III or with IS

    Now, granted some of these lens are not volume sellers or would not provide a cheap option at the very low end but it does not mean that they will not eventually get an update.

    This thread purpose is to give prospective buyers a head's up on which product will be likely to be phased out because they're old and the competition came out with something more suitable to today's technical requirement.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post

    You could probably to your list:

    1998 EF 35mm F/1.4 L USM
    2003 EF 17-40 F/4 L USM
    2005 EF 24-105 F/4 L IS USM

    WW
    2015 Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM
    2014 Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
    2013 Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

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    Thanks for the exxplanation of the purpose of the list.

    Yes, the 35/1.4 MkII was an omission, thanks for picking that up.

    But the 16-35/4 IS and 24-70/4 IS are not Series II or IS upgrades, but rather different lenses to the still in production 17-40/4 and 24-105/4 IS lenses.

    But it is understood why the 17-40/4 and 24-105/4 IS lenses were not on the list, now that reason for the list is clearer.

    ***

    What is meant by "film optics" and is there a source reference to the phrase?

    WW

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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Thanks for the exxplanation of the purpose of the list.

    Yes, the 35/1.4 MkII was an omission, thanks for picking that up.

    But the 16-35/4 IS and 24-70/4 IS are not Series II or IS upgrades, but rather different lenses to the still in production 17-40/4 and 24-105/4 IS lenses.

    But it is understood why the 17-40/4 and 24-105/4 IS lenses were not on the list, now that reason for the list is clearer.

    ***

    What is meant by "film optics" and is there a source reference to the phrase?

    WW
    The zooms you listed cover the wide and standard ranges at f/4. They also have IS. They may not replace the lens without IS but people buying a lens would tend to go with one with IS if money permits.

    Are you aware that there are 4 in production 70-200mm tele zooms? It comes to the surprise of a lot of photogs.

    The wide and tele zooms have 3 variations each. The missing 4th zoom is a wide and standard zoom that are f/2.8 with IS. Nikon and Tamron have them in their product catalog.

    "Film optics" are lenses designed for film that may show their design flaws when paired with a digital camera with very high photosite (pixel) density. Cameras like the Canon 5Ds R fit this description. This problem only concerns those who put image quality at a very high priority.

    Some older lenses have a certain look that is identified to a certain time period like say the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s that may not be to the liking of today's photographers.

    Canon CPS Europe published a list of lenses recommended by that body. It has since been removed as it was creating an Osborne Effect

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    2004 EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
    - In 2010 Nikon came out with an equivalent that is half the weight and price.
    I never understood why Canon made an L build super zoom in the first place.
    It must still sell in sufficient numbers to make it production viable, will not surprise me when it drops out of the range though.

    Why have you listed the 1995 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM a second time if you consider Williams suggestions having been updated ?

    I consider the 2006 EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM to be an update to the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
    It would be no loss to the range to drop the non IS version, except for the budget conscious it is such a good lens for the money.

    I'm sure each of these older lenses has its own case to answer why it remains in the line up unchanged.

    None of the primes mentioned are particularly fast compared to their premium zoom equivalent.
    That makes it more difficult for them to compete with these zooms, where as primes that are faster can and people will pay the extra for them.

    As Brian has said, no longer are the best zooms that far behind primes for IQ. The more limited run numbers of the primes listed here if they had a complete redesign and/or IS added would have to compete with their premium zoom equivalent
    and at the same time still be a worth while amount sharper and a worth while amount cheaper to offset the zooms convenience.

    It is an interesting state of play that these primes continue to be made unchanged.
    Updating them is probably commercially unviable with zooms as their competition, but it would leave a hole for many to remove them since they are still very good lenses if not the best they could be.

    I don't see them being phased out in a hurry, or Canon seeing any great threat to their bottom line with newer alternatives from the competition.
    Last edited by Dug; 13-03-2016 at 2:25pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    The zooms you listed cover the wide and standard ranges at f/4. They also have IS. They may not replace the lens without IS but people buying a lens would tend to go with one with IS if money permits.
    The zooms mentioned were the 16-35/4 IS and 24-70/4 IS and, as also mentioned it occurs that those are not Series II or IS upgrades but rather different lenses to the still in production 17-40/4 and 24-105/4 IS lenses.

    Taking each separately and excluding budget, there would be other considerations in the buying choice than just the consideration of IS: in fact for certain genres of photography, IS might not be a buying criterion at all. For some examples –

    16 to 35/4 L IS vs. 17 to 40 /4 L - The extra 5mm of the 17 to 40 is a consideration; lighter weight of the 17 to 40 is a consideration.

    24 to 70 F/4 L IS vs. 24 to 105 F/4 L IS - The extra 35mm of the 24 to 105 is a consideration; the even number of blades of the 24 to 105 is a consideration (odd number of blades on the 24 to 70 F/4 L IS.

    *


    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    Are you aware that there are 4 in production 70-200mm tele zooms? It comes to the surprise of a lot of photogs.
    Yes. No surprise. Also, by the way, I have used all 5 (five) of the Canon 70 to 200 L Lenses and have many field tests with various of the Extenders EF Ver II and III with those lenses, which, incidentally have been cited as examples in previous conversations in this forum:, mentioned only an example of the first hand familiarity I have with that particular set of L Lenses.


    *

    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    "Film optics" are lenses designed for film that may show their design flaws when paired with a digital camera with very high photosite (pixel) density. Cameras like the Canon 5Ds R fit this description. This problem only concerns those who put image quality at a very high priority. Some older lenses have a certain look that is identified to a certain time period like say the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s that may not be to the liking of today's photographers. Canon CPS Europe published a list of lenses recommended by that body. It has since been removed as it was creating an Osborne Effect
    Thanks for explaining your meaning of “film optics”.

    Although Canon removed their website posting “Canon’s recommended lenses for EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R” there seems to be no record that the reason for that removal was because of the Osborne Effect; but it may be so - that's an interesting opinion.

    It is also noted however the removal of that posting from Canon's CPN European Website was after a more detailed document was delivered to the CPN Fraternity. The readers of this thread might be interested in this (rather long) extract of that document which I have in my CPN correspondence.

    BTW, and as some very small points: it is noted note that the phrase “film optics” is not used in the Canon CPN document nor on their web page posting and having never noted the phrase used before was the reason why clarification of its meaning was asked.

    It’s interesting to also note that it is not only L series lenses which are Canon’s recommendations for the 5Ds.

    I think that there is a typo in the original document in so far as the lens “EF200mm f/2L II USM” probably should read “EF200mm f/2L IS USM”. Here is the extract which is copyright Canon CPN Network and reproduced here in part, under Australian Copyright Law for purposes of Education:


    Mike Burnhill, Professional Imaging Technical Support program manager, Canon Europe, said: “The EF system goes back 27 years now and some of these lenses available today were designed back in the days of film. The technical demands of digital cameras on lenses has meant there has been a need to update lenses over a period of time to match newer cameras’ capabilities.”

    “The EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R have the capability to produce a stunning amount of detail and in order to resolve all that fine detail then obviously you need to make sure you are using the best lenses on the market. To get the best out of these cameras you need to put the very best piece of glass in front of the sensor.”

    “The optical advantages of these new generation of L series lenses are considerable.”

    “They include a higher resolution and the ability to resolve more detail, better edge to edge sharpness and higher contrast thanks to better coatings, and less loss of light caused by internal reflections.”

    “While the Digital Lens Optimiser function in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software will reduce any chromatic aberrations to some extent, we still recommend using the latest lenses for superior results.”

    “Everyone has a slightly different perspective on how they view the world but as an example the EF1635mm f/4L IS USM is an ideal general lens and much sharper than the old EF1740mm f/4L USM it replaced, for example. Likewise the EF2470mm f/2.8L II USM is a superb lens for photojournalists.”

    “As a general rule, any EF lens introduced after 2010 would be an ideal starting point to fully exploit the detail from the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R.”

    “We recommend anyone looking to upgrade their lenses to go to their nearest Canon Authorised Dealer where they should be able to see the quality for themselves. With the launch of the 5DS and 5DS R, rather than bundling the camera with a standard zoom we are running a promotion allowing
    the customers to select a lens from a selection of recommend lenses to be purchased together with the body at a discount.”

    “Canon recommends the following lenses for getting the best from the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R”
    [Begin Document]
    June 2015 - Canon’s recommended lenses for EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R

    Canon has released its official list of recommended lenses to use with the high resolution EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras, launched to critical acclaim earlier this year and now officially on sale throughout its authorised Professional Imaging Partners.

    The lenses, which are Canon’s latest generation optics, cover all genres of photography and offer photographers the very best image quality with stunning sharpness and contrast perfectly matched to get the best from the incredible 50.6 Megapixel sensor.

    Wide angle fixed focal lenses
    TSE17mm f/4L
    TSE24mm f/3.5L II
    EF24mm f/1.4L II USM
    EF24mm f/2.8 IS USM
    EF28mm f/2.8 IS USM
    EF35mm f/2 IS USM

    Telephoto fixed focal length lenses
    EF85mm f/1.2L II USM
    EF85mm f/1.8 USM
    TSE90mm f/2.8
    EF100mm f/2 USM
    EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
    EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
    EF135mm f/2.0L USM
    EF200mm f/2L II USM
    EF200mm f/2.8L II USM
    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
    EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
    EF400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
    EF500mm f/4L IS II USM
    EF600mm f/4L IS II USM
    EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM

    Standard fixed focal lenses
    EF40mm f/2.8 STM
    EF50mm f/1.2L USM
    EF50mm f/1.4 USM
    EF50mm f/1.8 II
    EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

    Zoom lenses
    EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
    EF11-24mm f/4L USM
    EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM
    EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
    EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM
    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
    EF70-200mm f/4L USM
    EF70-300mm f/45.6L IS USM
    EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
    EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x
    [End Document]

    WW

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    [re EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM] I never understood why Canon made an L build super zoom in the first place. It must still sell in sufficient numbers to make it production viable, will not surprise me when it drops out of the range though.
    It replaced the EF 35 to 350L which is a lens I have used. The purpose and main reason for choice of that lens (and Canon gear because Canon had that lens) was a legislative limitation on gear one could carry: one camera and lens was only allowed. I think that there are still some places in the world where this limitation is operative and may be enforced especially for journalists.

    I think that it is not so much the sales of the individual lens which makes it viable. Once the lens is designed and produced, the mere fact of having it available is a draw card and it doesn't really cost that much more to keep the lens in production. Spare parts and especially the various country's legislation to keep spare parts available is the main cost I expect, but Canon and most companies charges the earth for spare parts anyway.

    In any case it [EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM] will always be a “boutique lens” in so far as it has limited appeal and/or limited usages – and it is far less costly to keep manufacturing than the 1200L, (just as an extreme comparative example) and I guess that’s why the 1200L is no longer produced - because there is enough of them in the world and they have very limited use: as an example, I think the last use of a 1200L in AUS. was the Sydney 2000 Olympics, for the Rowing. And it is seriously a very "big" lens.

    *

    None of the primes mentioned are particularly fast compared to their premium zoom equivalent. That makes it more difficult for them to compete with these zooms, where as primes that are faster can and people will pay the extra for them. . . It is an interesting state of play that these primes continue to be made unchanged. Updating them is probably commercially unviable with zooms as their competition, but it would leave a hole for many to remove them since they are still very good lenses if not the best they could be. I don't see them being phased out in a hurry, or Canon seeing any great threat to their bottom line with newer alternatives from the competition.
    I concur. Moreover, I think these points are integral to the discussion and are eloquently and precisely expressed.

    WW

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post

    It replaced the EF 35 to 350L which is a lens I have used. The purpose and main reason for choice of that lens (and Canon gear because Canon had that lens) was a legislative limitation on gear one could carry: one camera and lens was only allowed. I think that there are still some places in the world where this limitation is operative and may be enforced especially for journalists.

    I think that it is not so much the sales of the individual lens which makes it viable. Once the lens is designed and produced, the mere fact of having it available is a draw card and it doesn't really cost that much more to keep the lens in production. Spare parts and especially the various country's legislation to keep spare parts available is the main cost I expect, but Canon and most companies charges the earth for spare parts anyway.

    In any case it [EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM] will always be a “boutique lens” in so far as it has limited appeal and/or limited usages

    WW
    Thanks for the informative explanation.
    I was not aware of its back story re camera gear limitations. Interesting.

    It has occurred to me also concerning competitors making alternatives to these pro range lenses that it is not done so much in completion with the Canons lens in these limited market sectors, but more that the competitor may not have had that lens in its line up in the first place.
    So more as an answer to Canons range of lenses as a whole perhaps.

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    WW using your previous logic the 35-350 is a different lens to the 28-300.

    The list is provided to give assistance to buyers. If it is unhelpful then my apologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    It replaced the EF 35 to 350L which is a lens I have used. The purpose and main reason for choice of that lens (and Canon gear because Canon had that lens) was a legislative limitation on gear one could carry: one camera and lens was only allowed. I think that there are still some places in the world where this limitation is operative and may be enforced especially for journalists.

    WW

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    WW using your previous logic the 35-350 is a different lens to the 28-300.

    The list is provided to give assistance to buyers. If it is unhelpful then my apologies.
    You need to go back to near the bottom of William's post #13 to get the full context.
    He was giving me the back ground of the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM to explain to me why it was in the L range in the first place.
    It was not mentioned to be an addition to a list.

    We are just trying understand the context of the list for our own understanding and for others.

    So are you saying that these lenses:
    1993 EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
    1995 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
    1996 EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
    1996 EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
    1996 EF 135mm f/2L USM
    1997 EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
    1999 EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
    2004 EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

    of the dated lenses still in production are the ones you feel are most likely to drop from production because- they have been updated since or will be updated in the not to distant future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    . . . It has occurred to me also concerning competitors making alternatives to these pro range lenses that it is not done so much in [competition?] with the Canons lens in these limited market sectors, but more that the competitor may not have had that lens in its line up in the first place. So more as an answer to Canons range of lenses as a whole perhaps.
    I think so, too. I used the 35 to 350L mid 1990’s. There was no alternative at that time from any other manufacturer. I was not using Canon SLR’s myself and the lens and also the camera was sourced from pool.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    WW using your previous logic the 35-350 is a different lens to the 28-300.
    The 35 to 350 is a different lens to the 28 to 300.

    The 28 to 300L not a “Series II or IS update” of the 35 to 350L.

    Specifically, what was written was: “It replaced the EF 35 to 350L which is a lens I have used.”

    And in any case, as already explained, the mention of the 35 to 350 was in response to another comment and not a response to your list.

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by dolina View Post
    The list is provided to give assistance to buyers. If it is unhelpful then my apologies.

    No one has responded that your list is unhelpful.

    WW

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