Smirkypants, when you cite 77% more than your Nikon 200-400 f4, of course a number of factors come into play: a) you have a refurbished item that is always cheaper, b) the Nikon lens is an older design / model (so while it's a good lens from all accounts, it's street price is understandably lower than a new lens), c) the Nikon doesn't have the dedicated and built in 1.4x teleconverter!a. Older design: May 2010 is an old design?
b. Refurbished: It's $7000 new (street) and the list is $8400. Still a huge chunk of change difference.
c. Dedicated teleconverter: A nice feature that's not worth $2600 (list) and $5000 (street).
A birder can still get a Nikon 200-400 brand new + a brand spanking new d800 that has a "built in" 1.2 (25MP files) and 1.5 (16MP files) teleconverter for less than just the 200-400/1.4x will cost when it comes out (if it comes out). New lenses don't get discounted for a long time, unless they are dogs that don't sell. The 400/2.8 II is still $11,500 at your favorite dealers. A sports photographer is 80% of the way to a D4 with the price difference.
I did the math. I bought the Nikon. I also bought a 5D3 because I have a fantastic array of Canon lenses. Oh, my difference in price is also a 5D3 + 24-105 kit + 600EX-RT.
a. I said 'older design' not 'old'. Nikon's 200-400 f/4 is older
than Canon's yet to be released one. Fact
b. Your post was comparing a list price with a refurbished price and citing 77% difference. I was pointing out you can't compare apples to oranges. Fact
c. I never made any indication of the value for money of the Canon vs Nikon, but again pointing out that the Nikon doesn't have a teleconverter built in. One can't compare apples with pears either. Fact
I never made any reference to the Nikon D800's 'megapixel cropping ability', as that wasn't in the post I was commenting on. There are so many variables, the post I made commented on the need to accurately compare apples with apples. Fact.
It's not true that new lenses 'don't get discounted for a long time unless they are dogs that don't sell
'. Even recently (ie in the last few years), I've bought a number of recently released lenses (Canon 70-300mm L, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 15-85mm, Sigma 10-20mm EX, etc) that were released under a year earlier
, for substantial discounts
compared to the initial street prices.
One needs to know where to look and how to buy to obtain such savings. All my lenses I bought new (not used, not refurbished, not display models), and are exceptional copies - ie sharp, boxed, etc. I have had friends who have done the same, also with other brands. I'm not saying all lenses get cheap after a few weeks or months. Therefore my statement remains: Fact
If I was in your shoes I might have also got the Nikon 200-400mm, and maybe a Nikon 800D. I have a number of friends who have the Nikon 200-400mm f4 lens and take great photos with it, just as I have friends with other tele lenses (Canon, Sigma, etc) - and who take great photos with those lenses.
As I've said for many years, it's the photographer that truly counts at the end of the day. Of course having appropriate quality equipment is very important too, particularly in challenging photographic situations... and I've had my share of these too.
All the best with your photography. After all that is what it's all about. And I will continue to enjoy my photography.