According to a majority of white lens owners here in Japan, you apparently cannot be recognized past amateur level unless you use a giant tripod, from "big white" to a 70-300 with IS, even if what you're shooting absolutely doesn't need any such support, but you're willing to lug around an F/2.8 zoom all day but shoot at F/16 only... err....
Seriously it's insane, was just at a nice place for autumn leaves viewing and I lost count past 50 of people with the 70-200 series of lenses, mostly 70-200LII too, and few of them are any sort of pro, just part of a photo group/club. It was interesting to see that a majority of users are Canon here, and more Olympus/Panasonic mFT users than even Nikon.
I run into Japanese tourists and retires here in Thailand all the time. They all tell me about Canon and how famous the 300 mm f2.8 lens and others are. And allot use tripods also.. strange.
Got to talking to one guy that was a real camera buff. He was shooting on a nice tripod using a Panasonic and an older 500mm f/4.5. Manual focus with focus peeking. And was getting some beautiful photos. I was amazed. Allot the Japanese guys here really get into it. Having special machined parts made for there lens and cameras.
I felt kinda out of place.
They also tell me Canon provides free services to it's customers there. Free yearly cleaning and adjustments. Is one thing he mentioned.