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Canon unveils EF 24-105 f/4L IS, Speedlite 430EX  
Monday, August 22, 2005 | by Rob Galbraith

A new L-series lens and Speedlite join Canon's product line today.

Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM

Major features of the EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM include:

  • 18 elements in 3 groups (including one Super UD element)
  • Internal-focus design (fthe front of the lens doesn't rotate during focus or zoom)
  • 8-blade aperture for smooth, circular out-of-focus highlights
  • Canon's Image Stabilizer technology with promised ability to shoot at a shutter speed up to 3 stops slower than would otherwise be possible
  • Environmental sealing
  • Close focus distance of 1.5 feet (45cm)
  • Minimum aperture of f/22

All this comes in a 23.6 ounce (670g), 3.3 inch (83.5mm) diameter x 4.2 inch (107mm) minimum length lens with a 77mm filter size. Though it's roughly the same diameter as the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, the EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM is a little over 6/10th's of an inch (16.5mm) shorter at its minimum length and a full 9.9 ounces (280g) lighter. This will almost certainly make it a more manageable carry-about lens, even with its slower maximum aperture of f/4.

Chuck Westfall, Canon USA's Director of Media and Customer Relationship, says that based on a brief look at the EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM by Canon USA staff, he's expecting that it will be optically as good, if not better, than the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM.

The EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM is slated to ship later this month in the U.S. at a minimum advertised price (MAP) of US$1249. In Canada, the lens is to come available in September 2005 at an anticipated street price of CDN$1599. The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM is not replaced in Canon's lineup by the new lens.

Canon tody also announced a new consumer lens, the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM.

Canon Speedlite 430EX

Replacing the Speedlite 420EX, the Speedlite 430EX offers these features:

  • About the same size and weight as the 420EX
  • ISO 100 maximum guide number of 43 (metres)/141 (feet)  at 105mm position
  • Tilt/swivel head (similar to the 580EX) as well as auto/manual zoom from 24mm-105mm
  • Built-in, pop down-style wide panel for coverage to 14mm
  • A revised control layout including an illuminated LCD data panel that serves as the access point for most settings
  • Compatibility with E-TTL and E-TTL II systems, including Canon wireless (Slave mode only)
  • 40% faster recycling than the 420EX - Canon claims a 2 second full power recycle time with NiMH AA's
  • High Speed Sync, 2nd Curtain Sync and flash exposure compensation are all settable on the flash
  • Manual power settings from full to 1/64 in 1 stop increments
  • 6 Custom Functions
  • Flash head zooms to properly match the angle of view of certain Canon digital SLRs with sensors smaller than full frame
  • Flash communicates burst duration and charge level to certain Canon digital SLRs for use in AWB calculation
  • Save Energy (SE) function

As with the 420EX, it lacks an external high-voltage power receptable and PC sync socket.

The Speedlite 430EX is to ship mid-September 2005 in the U.S. at a MAP of US$299.99. In Canada, availability is also expected to be September 2005 at a street price of about CDN$349.

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Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM (Photo courtesy Canon)
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Canon Speedlite 430EX - front view (Photo courtesy Canon)
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Canon Speedlite 430EX - rear view (Photo courtesy Canon)

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