Are the canon lens behind in technology due to age?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chariotofFIRE, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. chariotofFIRE macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Hello, I just purchased my first DSLR the 30D new.

    I'm looking for lens to purchase and i've come down to these lens to buy for now:

    50mm 1.4
    85mm 1.8
    17-40mm L

    I don't see anything else I would like on my canon. I also considered the 35mmL 1.4 maybe in the future. (that lens particularly is 14 years old)

    But i have realized some of these lens are 10-15 years old.

    Are canon lens behind due to age? Or is there just nothing in the market that can even compare to these ancient technology
  2. RedDragon870503 macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2006
    Short answer: No.

    Glass today is as good as glass manufactured ten years ago. No my knowledge there have not been any remarkable improvements in the way glass is made for quite some time. Definitely not in the last 20 years. That said, your IQ would be on par with "newer" lenses.

    The focus speed, silence and accuracy of a USM is as good as anything else. Save the 50mm with uses a micromotor. Which isn't true USM they are all excellent.

    In summary: If it ain't broke don't fix it!
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Canon upgrades about half a dozen lenses or so each year. In general, much of the upgrade consists of:
    • Aspherical, fluorite, UD elements, and/or Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating for improved performance, reduced flare, less distortion, less chroma aberrations.
    • Faster auto focus CPU and algorithm.
    • For image stabilized lenses, 4-stop image stabilizer (and sometimes hybrid image stabilization and/or with auto panning).
    • Improved weather resistant sealing for L-series lenses.
    • And typically, higher price tag.
    These lenses are often rumored to be replaced this year (I strongly doubt all would be updated this year, however):
    • EF 15mm f/2.8L II fisheye
    • EF 24-70 f/2.8L IS USM
    • EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
    • EF 50mm f/1.4 II USM
    • EF 300mm f/4L IS II USM
    • EF 300mm f/2.8L DO IS USM
    • EF 400mm f/4L DO IS USM
    • EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
    • EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    lenses do not go obsolete. if it has good coatings and/or high-tech glass, it will always have it.

    high-tech glass is only put into new versions of the more expensive lenses.

    the lens does not have anything to do with this. all it does is report data to the camera. if Canon makes a new AF motor, then they would introduce it in new or updated lenses, but this is just motor technology, nothing else.

    hybrid IS is intended for macro lenses. there is no such thing as "auto panning", just one-dimensional stabilization.

    any zooms or supertelephoto primes will likely get the latest version of IS, which seems to be 4-stop IS right now since that's what the latest lenses have...but who knows, maybe Canon has 5- or 6-stop IS now.

    none of them are improved, weathersealing is just added to the professional lenses that don't already have it.
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    toxic, your knowledge continues to impress. Just sayin'. :cool:
  6. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Right, which is why I said "typically higher price tag."

    Actually, lenses have some sort of auto focus logic as well, and newer models may have faster CPU with improved algorithm for faster and/or more accurate auto focus.

    Hybrid IS is designed for macro lenses, but given only EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM has it, I am certain it will be featured on other upgraded version of macro lenses.

    Auto panning refers to auto panning detection. Some of Canon's newer EF-S lenses have auto panning detection (instead of relying on photographers to engage the panning mode manually).
    Many older L-series lenses lack weather sealing (or only partial sealing) and having more complete weather sealing is an improvement, isn't it?
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    really? I'm pretty sure it was the AF sensor in the camera that's comparing images for optimal contrast...

    hm. I didn't know that.

    well, I guess going from nothing to something is an improvement :rolleyes:. I just don't think any lenses had partial sealing, and you made it sound like some did. or maybe the superteles did, but I know nothing about those.

    all the more disappointing that skill doesn't increase with knowledge
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    The camera bodies have AF sensor. But that does not mean the lenses do nothing intelligent toward the overall autofocus efforts. Here's the blurb from Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM page:
    Actually, many Canon's L-series lenses have either no sealing or just partial sealing. Most new L-series lenses, however, are highly weather resistant and often pointed out as such.

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