Non specialist, and affordable, wide angle primes are cinderella's when it comes to being updated so this has to be a good thing.
I'm sure the optical design will have been improved but what really makes these new lenses stand out is that they are image stabilised.
Yes, that is right they have IS.
Wide angle lenses with IS.
I really did have to do a double take when I saw the announcement.
On the face of it a curious move as they are the easiest lenses to hold at low shutter speeds, but I really do see the logic in the move.
When image stabilisation was first introduced I considered it to be neat if gimmicky party trick.
In its first releases it could also be a little unreliable too, I know quite a few photographers who had the 'L' series 70 -200 F2.8 with IS fail in the harsh conditions of the Gulf and as a result would actively seek out non IS versions of the lens.
Needless to say, the lens was updated and the problem was banished and it became a firm favourite..
I owned a Canon 100mm F2.8 for some years, and I really liked its performance,.
When the 'L' series 100mm F2.8 was introduced I could see no reason to replace it.
I then borrowed one for the 'On the fly ' work with the 'Loose Birds and Game' project.
Here is a low light quails egg at F2.8...for a dreamy look
It was sharper than the non 'L' but my word, the hybrid IS sent my hit rate at low shutter speeds through the roof.
All of a sudden it was a lens I HAD to buy.
I hear you say' Yes, but you are talking about telephoto lenses, why on a wide lens?'
IS will be useful on wide lenses for some fast moving situations, but it still seems like over kill.
Until you take into account video.
Yes, I believe that is what Canon had in mind.
Even if they do not state this on the spec sheet (difficult to think of why they omitted this key benefit)
IS lenses are good for stills but when used for video IS is a revelation.
Smooth shots are childs play...if you have not done so already, have a go, it makes a big difference.
Baffling why they did not put it on the new 24-70mm.
In fact I would like to see it on many more EF lenses too.