Well, I'm going to get smitten to hell for this, but...
I had been waiting patiently for THREE years to get my hands on the Canon 200-400/f4. Three years of taking photos with a much inferior 100-400 zoom or a 400/f2.8 behemoth that I absolutely hate using because I feel like I give up all of my mobility. I hate the 2.8 so much that I only use it when it's cloudy because otherwise it's just too annoying to use.
Patiently... three years not switching to Nikon, whose 200-400/f4 I just adore. Then a few days ago I come to find that this lens will cost $11,000. Holy crap!!! Eleven grand!! I do pretty damned well but there's no way I can justify that amount of cash. No. Way.
So today I see at B&H that they have a refurbished 200-400/f4 Nikon beauty for $6300. I bought it. Sorry guys, I bought it. With the difference in price between the two lenses I can almost get a D4 and I can definitely get a D800 and have a lot of cash left over.
I have to say, I feel really guilty about this. Sure the Canon may be a bit better with the built-in 1.4x, but not $4700 better. Sorry Canon, you lost me.
Am sure many have done the quick math on the 200-400 price comparisons between Nikon and Canon. Iornically for years it was the cheaper Canon lens prices that we benefitted from. The MkI Canon 300 F2.8 used to sell new for $4500 USD and nikon's was close to $6000, and so on. In recent years Canon's glass has exceeded Nikon's in terms of pricing quite often and now ith the 200-400F it alos exceeds in priving in a grand way. Roughly $4000 more.
Everything I say from this point is said with the assumption that optically and Af speed etc I am assuming the Canon to be as good or better than the nikon. I have shot Canon since 1980. Not because Nikon is worse but mostly becasue what Canon has sold has been better for what I do. Both companies make great gear.
The news that my "dream" lens may be as high as $11K is disheartening for me. I was happy to see Canon may finally put their best Af into the 5d series mkaing it effectively the fabled EOS3D we have talked about. if it is 6.9 fps I can live with that. SOunds like a GREAT body.
But the 200-400F4 price is just too much for me to stomach, assuming it is true. I can buy a D4 + 200-400 F4 + TC for $1300 less than the rumored price for a 5D + 200-400F4. Not jumping shiop or jumping off aledge but just commenting on what info we have. The built in TC is really nice. That said it isnt worth $4K to me. When I shoot with the TC attached to my 300 F2.8, the built in switch would be VERY nice since it is aprime. With a zoom, however, I can usually live with 200-400 or 280-560 as the overlap is very large. So attaching a TC only costs me a stop and assuming the high ISO on the 5D is going to be quite good I can live without the stop. especially for $4K.
I'll wait til it is released to really whine (privately mind you not on here ). Wil I consider a D4? yes I will as it may be abetter solution for the photography I do. Of course if the Canon lens sells for closer to $10K the odds of me staying with Canon increases. Still the D4 offers 11 fps, etc etc and if cheaper than the 5D + Canon glass I have to consider it. The 200-400F4 would be on my camera 95% of the time.
I know many will be glad Canon is charging $4K more than Nikon.. not sure why but they will defend it vehemently. I'm disappointed but it is what it is. Am sure many will still buy it and Canon will do well with it. But it is equally fair for people to consider the option of either D800 or D4 + Nikon 200-400 if that is what meets their needs and pocket books! I love the idea of a 200-400F4 lens.. just not at $11K! Put wheel son it and a steering wheel and maybe it works better!
PS I wasnt expecting the lens to sell for $2995 but had guessed it would be about $9K, a price on the higher end of what I felt I could justify. At $11K it is past point of consideration frr me. especialy when you compare Canon's other new lenses ( 24-70 F2.8 price, no 14-24 f2.8 lens, 70-200 f2.8 price and so on ).