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Canon already has quite the lineup of lenses, so the focus this year on upgrades and refreshes only ensures that its lenses stay top notch as digital technology rapidly progresses. Canon didn’t just focus on DSLR options this year—the company also released a couple of EF-M options for its ever-expanding mirrorless system. Here’s a closer look at what happened in 2016.
A completely new creation from Canon, in more ways than one, is the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM for the EOS M-series of mirrorless cameras. The headline-grabbing feature of this lens is the built-in Macro Lite LEDs, which can illuminate the small subjects you are capturing with the Super Macro setting. This retractable lens is also quite small, keeping with the mirrorless theme, and offers a notable maximum magnification of 1.2x. Also, it has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 44.8mm and features an STM stepping motor AF system for stills and video, as well as Hybrid IS stabilization.
Many shooters just want one lens that can do it all, and ideally without breaking your back. Canon definitely feels the need for quality wide-angle to telephoto zooms with the release of an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM for APS-C DSLRs and an EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM for mirrorless.
The EF-S 18-135mm is notable for its use of a NANO USM autofocus system, which blends the best of USM and STM technologies for a speedy, accurate, smooth, and quiet focus motor that works well for stills and video. The 28.8-216mm equivalent lens also offers a new trick—compatibility with the PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter, providing smooth control over zooming of the camera, something that will appeal to videographers. It is a very nice lens, optically, using UD and aspherical elements to manage aberrations, as well as incorporating an Image Stabilizer and Dynamic IS for minimizing camera shake.
Mirrorless shooters clamoring for an all-in-one option should be pleased with the 28.8-240mm equivalent zoom range of the EF-M 18-150mm. This compact lens has all the features you have come to expect, including an STM AF motor and an Optical Image Stabilizer. If you happen to pick up the EOS M5 with this lens, you get an added trick with advanced panning stabilization and Combination IS which blends camera-based and lens-based IS for added stability.
A pair of L-series lens updates accompanied the release of the 5D Mark IV, which are destined to become new favorites in Canons lineup.
First, we have an upgrade of perhaps the most popular Canon zoom for the EOS system, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM. This zoom is loved for its versatile range, constant f/4 aperture, and excellent optical quality. This version does not disappoint, utilizing a brand new optical design with four GMo aspherical elements and an Air Sphere Coating that all help to improve overall quality and reduce vignetting. It also incorporates a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and optical image stabilization to ensure tack-sharp imagery, and has a rounded 10-blade diaphragm.
Second, is a third version of the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM lens. Each iteration of this focal length has improved dramatically upon the last, with this model promising increased sharpness in the outer edges and corners, as well as reduced vignetting, two notable advancements for a workhorse wide-angle zoom. The lens uses two large-diameter GMo dual-surface aspherical elements, one ground aspherical element, and two UD elements to combat distortion and aberrations. Also, it has Subwavelength, Air Sphere, and Fluorine coatings to further optimize performance. As befitting an L-series lens, it has a ring-type USM motor and dust- and weather-resistant construction.
Another NANO USM-equipped zoom released this year was the full-frame compatible EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM. The advanced AF system improves performance at longer telephoto ranges, making it easier to capture distant wildlife or action. The interesting part of this lens has to be its digital Lens Information Display, which clearly shows focus distance, focal length, and Image Stabilizer amount. It is a versatile and relatively compact option for those looking to get into the telephoto game, thanks to its enhanced image quality and built-in Image Stabilizer system.