Four new lenses for Canon EOS cameras have been announced and at least three of them are surprising!
UPDATE - 04/05/12. Tamron have announced a release date of April 26th 2012 and a price of $1299 for their SP 24-70/2.8 Di VC USD lens. For more details see the Tamron SP 24-70/2.8 Di VC USD Preview article.
Why no IS in the Canon 24-70/2.8L II USM? Only Canon knows. Maybe it would have slightly degraded the optical performance? Maybe it would have added a few oz. to the weight? Maybe it would have a greater increase in cost than Canon thought that the market would bear? Who knows. However none of those factors seem to have influenced Canon when it came to the 28/2.8 IS USM and 24/2.8 IS USM prime lenses. The 24/2.8 has gone from the current ~$360 to $850, while the 28/2.8 has gone from ~$260 to $800. Not insignificant changes. The 24-70/2.8L has gone from a current street price of around $1350 to a new price of $2300 (available in April). Not insignificant either! Tamron have not yet announced a price for their 24-70/2.8 VC lens, or have they announced an availability date, but I'll bet the price is lower than $2300. Probably quite a lot lower. Their current Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD retails for around $440 (and there's currently a $25 rebate on it)
If you're a Canon user and you're looking for a 24/2.8 or 28/2.8 prime, you might consider whether it's worth buying the original lenses right now for $360 and $260 respectively while (if?) they are still available, or whether you want to wait until the new lenses appear and pay $850 or $800 for the new versions. The 24/2.8 is still around and in stock at the usual major stores, but the 28/2.8 seems to be out of stock by most vendors so if you want one and see one, I'd grab it. The same goes for the current 24-70/2.8L USM. It's still in stock at the moment but I suspect once the new lens appears (with a $1000 price hike), supplies of the older lens will dry up fast.
If you want the new lenses, Adorama is taking pre-orders on them and they will be shipped as soon as they are released. Credit cards aren't charged until the lens actually ships:
The 28/2.8 and 24/2.8 were certainly in need of updating since they both date from the late 1980s, and in addition to IS both now have ultrasonic ring motors. However they do seem slightly odd choices to update when, for example, the EF50/1.4 still doesn't have IS and still doesn't have a ring USM motor. The 50/1.4 would benefit more from IS being a longer lens, it's more popular and it's often a more useful lens in low light. The EF 400/5.6L is still urgently in need of IS too. I really haven't heard too many calls from current users of the 24/2.8 and 28/2.8 that their lenses urgently needed IS and USM. Still, we shouldn't complain I guess. Maybe the other lenses are next on Canon's list?
Here's a copy of Canon's Press Release on their lenses, Followed by the Tamron press release on their 24-70/2.8 VC lens.
Here's Tamron's rather brief announcement: