The recently-rumored f/2.8 wide-angle zoom lens from Canon is rumored to be a Mark III version of the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, after a patent of this product has been discovered in Japan.
Canon is allegedly planning to offer a new and affordable alternative to the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens. The optic has been said to consist of an f/2.8 wide-angle zoom model that will serve as a successor to the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM.
Sources have said that the Japan-based company may choose to go wider with the focal length and that it is unlikely to launch a Mark III version of a lens. However, a patent has just showed up on the web and it shows that there will be a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens patent discovered in Japan
Canon does not usually launch Mark III version of its lenses, instead opting to replace a product with a different focal range. Nevertheless, anything is possible and it appears that the already-rumored f/2.8 wide-angle zoom lens replacing the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM will become a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens.
This idea is coming from a recent patent, which has been published in Japan. According to a source, the patent application was filed on April 15, 2013, while its approval was granted on October 30, 2014.
Unfortunately, there are not enough details revealed in the patent. Usually, the internal configuration is available in the patent, but it is not there this time. As a result, this could mean that the company may be trying harder to keep the information from being leaked as the product will definitely be launched in the not-so-distant future.
What the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens will be to the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens
After the launch of the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM, a lot of Canon photographers have said that if you have enough money, then this is the wide-angle zoom lens that you must have in your bag. The problem is that the highness of its image quality is matched by the highness of its price. This product is available for about $3,000 at Amazon, so a cheaper version is needed.
Moreover, a lighter lens is also important for some users, while something that feels easier to use is critical for other photographers. The alternative is the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L unit and the Mark III version will be that product. By the looks of it, there is a chance that it is coming out in late 2015 or early 2016.