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2004-01 - Continued
Thursday, January 29, 2004 | by Rob Galbraith

Accompanying the unveiling of the EOS-1D Mark II is the announcement of two new Canon zoom lenses, the EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM and EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM.

canon_1dmkII_28300.jpg
Canon EOS-1D Mark II and the EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

The EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM, which replaces the EF35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM, combines an 11x zoom range with L series optics and Image Stabilization. It's to ship in March 2004 at an estimated street price of US$2499 in the US.

The EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM is the second lens from Canon to use the lens-shrinking Diffractive Optics technology. In a brief session with this lens we were impressed with how compact it was (it should serve as a great travel lens), and how eerily effective the Image Stabilization calms movement, even at the 300mm focal length. It's also slated to ship in March 2004, at an estimated street price of US$1299 in the US.

canon_70-300.jpg
Canon EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

A Canon USA press release has additional details about the new lenses.

Press Release

CANON ADDS TWO NEW, TOP-TIER ZOOM LENSES TO ITS ARSENAL OF OPTICAL EXCELLENCE FOR PHOTO PROS AND ADVANCED AMATEURS

Wide-Angle-to-Telephoto EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens & Compact EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Zoom Add Faster AF and Enhanced Image Stabilization to the Imaging Mix

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Jan. 29, 2004 Ė The two newest members of Canonís EF lens line continue the companyís tradition of providing professional photographers and amateur enthusiasts with the most innovative, peak performance lenses available. Canonís new 11x zoom seamlessly ranges from a true wide angle 28mm to an ultra-telephoto 300mm with extraordinary ease while the companyís newest compact Diffractive Optics (DO) lens packs a premier 70-300mm zoom into a lightweight and compact package. Both lenses provide phenomenal flexibility, remarkable results and are invaluable additions to the camera bags of travel, nature and other "on the go" photographers.

"Canonís ever-expanding popularity with professional photographers is due in no small part to the extraordinary optics and technological advances found in our extensive line of EF lenses," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). "These new telephoto zoom lenses are powerful and significant additions to our already substantial selection of general use and highly specialized autofocus lenses and, thanks to their innovative designs, are actual space-savers in the camera bag."

Canon from Far and Wide
The new EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM is an entirely new L-series design lens (and a significantly enhanced successor to Canonís EF35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM zoom introduced 11 years ago). Though it offers 11x zoom capabilities (compared with the 10x capability of its predecessor), this newly designed, 22-element L-series lens combines Canonís newest optical glass advances, faster autofocus and a groundbreaking Image Stabilization system that makes capturing incredible images a snap, even when the zoom is at max, the shutter speed is slow and the camera is handheld.

The EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM lens that features three ultra low dispersion (UD) glass elements that reduce chromatic aberration, and three Aspherical elements that reduce linear distortion and correct spherical aberration during zooming (keeping image resolution and contrast high), together with superior lens coatings that minimize reflection, especially when used with digital SLRs. The shorter minimum focal length of the new lens versus the previous 35-350mm model also makes the EF28-300mm L zoom more suitable for digital SLRs with image sensors smaller than 35mm format.

Among this lensís most significant enhancements is its highly refined Image Stabilization (IS) system with new shake-detecting gyro sensors. IS is now effective for correction of up to three shutter speed steps for handheld photography, 50% better than the original EF75-300mm IS lens. Additionally, IS remains effective with the new EF28-300mm L lens even when it used on a tripod, improving image quality by helping to eliminate the effects of reflex mirror vibration at slow shutter speeds that are typically required in low light. The lens features an IS mode switch that allows the user to select Mode 1 for general stabilization or Mode 2 for deliberate panning. IS is activated within 0.5 seconds of depressing the shutter halfway.

Additionally, the EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM lens features a new, faster autofocus drive thanks to a new AF CPU and revised in-lens software (that accelerates the transmission of data between lens and camera), a powerful, quick and silent ring-type Ultrasonic Motor and an inner focus system that moves only the lensí lighter elements during AF while keeping the front elements stationary.

Because of its extended zoom range, the new EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM lens features push-pull zooming operation (unlike most other EF lenses that utilize a ring-type zoom) though it does have a zoom adjustment ring that allows a user to loosen, tighten or lock the zoom control. The lens also permits closer minimum focus than previously available -- from 2.3 feet at all focal lengths -- and is capable of filling the frame with a subject as small as 3.2 x 4.8 inches at the 300mm zoom setting.

The lens is compatible with optional EF12/EF12II Extension Tubes at all focal lengths and EF25/EF25II at mid-range and telephoto zoom settings. The EF25 provides a maximum magnification of 0.5x, effectively filling the frame with a subject approximately 2 x 3 inches at the 300mm zoom setting. It is also compatible with the 77mm 500D and 500 Close-up lenses for a maximum magnification of 0.58x.

The EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM lens kit includes a newly designed bayonet mount lens hood, a detachable tripod collar and a soft lens case.

Great things from small packages
Compact, without compromising an iota of image quality, the EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens is the second Canon EF lens to employ Diffractive Optics (DO) technology. Indeed, this lensí new three-layer diffractive element is far better suited to zoom lenses and actually improves on the two-layer DO element used in the EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens that inaugurated the technology.

Significantly smaller and lighter than conventional 70-300mm lenses, this new Canon zoom is approximately the length and diameter of the Canon 28-135mm IS lens. It also provides substantially superior image quality and chromatic aberration correction compared to previous conventional 75-300mm designs.

Like its larger and wider-ranging sibling, (the aforementioned EF28-300mm lens), the EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens provides up to three stops of effective shake reduction capability, equivalent to shooting handheld at 1/30 with the stability found on conventional lenses at 1/250. The lens is also equipped with a switch that offers a choice of general stabilization (Mode 1) and deliberate panning (Mode 2). The IS system remains functional when the lens is used on a solid tripod, although handheld usage is the norm thanks to its compact size. The lensí new image stabilizer unit, new compact, shake detection gyro sensors for smoother control of IS optics, and new compact zoom locking mechanism (that locks the lens at its smallest 70mm setting and prevents lens "creeping" while camera is carried on a neck strap) also contributes to the lensí smaller, more comfortable size.

Additionally, Canon has improved the Autofocus speed compared with the previous (conventional) 75-300mm IS design lens by providing a larger, ring type Ultrasonic Motor that provides more power and torque than the smaller Micro USM and by designing a new rear-group AF system that moves much lighter and smaller lens elements at the rear of the lens for focus, keeping the larger, front elements from rotating during AF or zoom operation. Here again, enhanced AF CPU and electronics speed the AF data communication with the camera body.

The lensí minimum focus is 4.6 feet at all zoom settings and it is capable of filling the frame with a subject as small as 4.8 x 7.2 inches at the 300mm zoom setting. The lens is also compatible with the optional EF12/EF12II and EF25/EF25II Extension Tubes, providing a maximum magnification of .46x (nearly half life-size) at the 70mm setting with the EF25 and filling the frame with a subject approximately 2 x 3 inches in size. The EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens is also compatible with two optional close-up lenses: the 58mm Canon 250D for magnification to 1.18x and the 58mm 500D for maximum magnification of 0.65x.

The EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens kit includes a dedicated Canon lens hood and a soft lens case.

Available through authorized Canon dealers in March, the EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM and the EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens carry estimated selling prices* of $2,499 and $1,299, respectively.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and is ranked #39 on the Business Week list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent-holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2003. Canon Inc. achieved global revenues of $29.9 billion in 2003; $9.8 billion of which came from Canon Americas. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

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All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
* Estimated Selling Price: Actual prices set by dealer are subject to change.

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