So the question would be: Do you
- buy a 1DX and a 16-35 + 24-70
- buy a 5DII and a 16-35IS + 24-70IS
I have already made that decision by moving to the 1D4 in the interim and will end up with a 1D4 and a 1DX - how about you?
Sorry about the absence, I've been a bit busy with "real life stuff".
Well in an ideal situation I'd say that 1Dx + 16-35IS + 24-70IS would be the way to go, but as it so happens, I don't have that much money.
I'm shooting with a 7D now and figuring out if I want a second hand 5D MkII or a used 1Ds MkII. This would be my second body since I'm not ready to give up my 7D. So yeah, I'm going in a different direction in a way and yes, IS would help me to overcome some of the current issues (referring to your point about future).
In any case I'd spend willingly a lot more in lenses than I would in bodies. It's great that you have the money to go with 1D MkIV or the new 1Dx, but if I don't find a substantially better paying job, I can't justify dropping that amount of money in a body. I always think that lenses outlive the bodies by a fair margin, so that's why they are a better "investment" so to say.
I also don't think better ISO performance to be a "magic bullet" or a "golden egg" like you mentioned about IS.
Regarding the IQ taking a hit when IS system is added, I'd ask how substantial the IQ loss is. The only way to know this of course if Canon decides to release the lens with and without IS when they can go head to head. If the new lens doesn't have IS and it's optically superb and if it has IS, it's probably still optically better than the current model, but we won't know how much better it would be without it.
The only thing we can do is test it out and see if it's a better lens than the current one. And even if we knew the "amount" of IQ loss and it's not substantial, I'd still go with the IS model.
I'm not going to speculate how much higher would IS push the price since I'm pretty sure the actual parts wouldn't cost much to Canon, but added complexity in the manufacturing, R&D etc. will have to be covered.
This is of course only a part of the final pricing, since I think it's safe to say that almost everything that has something to do with photography has a fairly large profit margin built in. Sure the material costs are high and R&D and manufacturing isn't cheap, but when the "suggested price" for the 70-200II is 2925â‚¬ here in Finland and it's constantly "on sale" at 2499â‚¬ and there's a margin for the retailer, margin for the importer (which is controlled by Canon), I'd say that there's a healthy margin still in it for Canon.
So yes, new coatings, adding IS etc. will bring the actual cost up a certain amount, but as neuroanatomist said, it's more what the market can be expected to pay for it than anything else. And in case of a new or re-designed lens there's a golden opportunity to push the margin to say fix the facilities and get a bigger slice for the stockholders. It would be interesting to see what the actual manufacturing costs are and also the price-point for the first distributor. That could be a real eye-opener for a lot of people...or not...