Canon is developing more super-telephoto lenses [CR2]

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,481
2,346
They could or are perhaps saving the fat 600mm f/4.0 DO which likely sacrifices a wee bit of IQ for a much shorter lens.

I replied to this as a proxy for the multiple comments about money.

The biggest expense one has direct control over is the car...and that is GREATLY lessened by buying used. (On the other hand, maintenance/repair can almost make up the difference.) And of course, you bought used (unless someone is still selling Volkswagen Beetles at the early 1970s prices).

If you're able to rent a house for 3-500 quid you've got very cheap real estate in Scotland, or at least your piece of it. Rent would easily be three times as much where I live, and for a flat it could well be twice as much. And that certainly makes the difference, right there, between being able to buy a Big White once a year or so...and not.

And not having kids living with you no doubt makes a big difference too.

Personally, I could buy one, if I wanted nothing else, but I don't do that kind of photography often enough to justify it. My gear is already vastly better than I am!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ph0t0

Danglin52

Wildlife Shooter
Aug 8, 2018
316
335
I think it's a hide lens. When you aren't able to move and the animals are coming in at various ranges and you need to sit put. Shove it on a tripod with a gimbal and have a nice sit down with a flask of tea while happily photographing a bear as easily as a fox from the same distance.
The 200-400 w/1.4x TC was also a fantastic safari lens. That said, I have done 5-6 mile hikes with this lens and I am an old guy. One was down a stream in Alaska photographing Kodiak bears.
 

Danglin52

Wildlife Shooter
Aug 8, 2018
316
335
If the RF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM is going to be something like the 600/800 f11 but with f/4 and aproximately in that price range around 800-1100 $/€ it could be interesting. Since it doesn´t have the L in the name it could be affordable.

Could anybody tell me what the DO stands for?
I think this implying a high quality RF 400mm f4 DO like the EF 400 f4 IS since it was referenced with the Big Whites. This lens would probably price in the $6k - $7k range if it is a replacement for the EF version.
 

chasingrealness

RF = Requires Funding
Feb 24, 2020
112
140
Queens, NY
www.chasingrealness.com
I can only speak for Scottish photographers. £10,000-£15,000 is a lot of money in anyones book but definitely not a once in a lifetime buy here.
I think it all depends on who you’re producing work for and how much you’re getting paid for it.

I don’t do any sports photography, but I’d venture to guess you could easily justify amortizing $10k across about 5-10 jobs in that field. Does that sound reasonable?

Ps- this is not a rhetorical question, genuinely curious here :)
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
10,523
5,780
I think it all depends on who you’re producing work for and how much you’re getting paid for it.

I don’t do any sports photography, but I’d venture to guess you could easily justify amortizing $10k across about 5-10 jobs in that field. Does that sound reasonable?

Ps- this is not a rhetorical question, genuinely curious here :)
The vast majority if people I see shooting sports, and even more so wildlife, with big whites are not getting an income of any size or regularity to buy those big whites, they are virtually all sport or wildlife and photography enthusiasts.
 

Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
995
1,045
Scotland
I think it all depends on who you’re producing work for and how much you’re getting paid for it.

I don’t do any sports photography, but I’d venture to guess you could easily justify amortizing $10k across about 5-10 jobs in that field. Does that sound reasonable?

Ps- this is not a rhetorical question, genuinely curious here :)

Someone is sure to correct me if I am wrong, I am under the assumption that sports shooters are taken to a gear room and assigned a body and lens from whoever they work for. Wildlife folks have to pay ourselves, and most earn their bread and butter on non wildlife shooting. I earn from my photography enough to fund it as a hobby, but my main income is as a programmer and if I went photography full time it would be a major pay drop. Regardless, a working pro will need to invest in these lenses if it fits their subject the same as a taxi driver needs to pay a extortionate licence in some countries.
 

Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
995
1,045
Scotland
The 200-400 w/1.4x TC was also a fantastic safari lens. That said, I have done 5-6 mile hikes with this lens and I am an old guy. One was down a stream in Alaska photographing Kodiak bears.

I am glad to hear it. A 180/200-400/500 always seemed like the ideal lens since my 70-200 stays on 200 and my 500 sometimes is too long. I haven't ever took a shot I liked under 200mm, nothing gets that close.
 

Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
995
1,045
Scotland
If you're able to rent a house for 3-500 quid you've got very cheap real estate in Scotland, or at least your piece of it. Rent would easily be three times as much where I live, and for a flat it could well be twice as much. And that certainly makes the difference, right there, between being able to buy a Big White once a year or so...and not.

£300-£500 is normal. Pushing sub £400 more often if the house is brick instead of stone. You can buy a stone house for anywhere over £200,000 or a brick built for anywhere from £40,000 to £150,000 depending on how bad the area is.
 

chasingrealness

RF = Requires Funding
Feb 24, 2020
112
140
Queens, NY
www.chasingrealness.com
Someone is sure to correct me if I am wrong, I am under the assumption that sports shooters are taken to a gear room and assigned a body and lens from whoever they work for. Wildlife folks have to pay ourselves, and most earn their bread and butter on non wildlife shooting. I earn from my photography enough to fund it as a hobby, but my main income is as a programmer and if I went photography full time it would be a major pay drop. Regardless, a working pro will need to invest in these lenses if it fits their subject the same as a taxi driver needs to pay a extortionate licence in some countries.
We’re in similar boats
The vast majority if people I see shooting sports, and even more so wildlife, with big whites are not getting an income of any size or regularity to buy those big whites, they are virtually all sport or wildlife and photography enthusiasts.
That is really interesting, isn’t it? I mean the pricing on these big whites only makes sense to me when weighed against how much money can be made from them at a certain point. Especially when considering that those of us who are not making money from this focal range of our glass collection can often get by just fine with the cheaper alternatives.
 

lexptr

Photograph the nature while it exists...
Aug 8, 2014
85
55
200-500 f4 can be a terrific lens, if IQ will be the same as current 200-400 offer. Hopefully with converter too. That can be a big white I will finally buy one day. The weight gonna be high, though. I'm a tough guy, but still. The 200-400 loses only to 800mm in a weight game. Any ways, the versatility will be very tempting.
 

H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
746
1,463
Someone is sure to correct me if I am wrong, I am under the assumption that sports shooters are taken to a gear room and assigned a body and lens from whoever they work for. Wildlife folks have to pay ourselves, and most earn their bread and butter on non wildlife shooting. I earn from my photography enough to fund it as a hobby, but my main income is as a programmer and if I went photography full time it would be a major pay drop. Regardless, a working pro will need to invest in these lenses if it fits their subject the same as a taxi driver needs to pay a extortionate licence in some countries.

Unfortunately in this day and age, a large percentage of sports photographers are now freelancers, instead of staffers. Even Sports Illustrated laid off every staffer. That means a significant investment in gear for a very low return in most situations. The vast majority of those I know doing it professionally as freelancers outside of big cities are using 70-200 F/2.8s and 100-400s as their longest glass, not unlike myself. The majority of my assignments can be completed with focal lengths under 200mm, so I haven't seen the need when I have other more pressing needs as a photographer. A few of the bigger-time freelancers I know have their own 300mm F/2.8s as their longest glass, most often the old version I which they've never had the spare cash/need to upgrade, one freelancer I know has their own 400mm F/2.8L IS version 1, and then maybe two of the people I know that do professional NFL/MLB freelancing actually invested in a slightly newer 400mm F/2.8L IS II.

Even when I was on staff at a large newspaper in 2018, we had an 11 year old Nikon 400mm F/2.8 VR I, and our 600mm was actually a manual focus film-era Nikon 600mm. Almost no one actually working in this industry or companies within the industry have the spare cash to upgrade these lenses more than once a decade, maybe two decades. At my current full-time job, our only long glass beyond the 70-200 is a 300mm F/2.8L IS version I purchased in the 2000s.

We’re in similar boats

That is really interesting, isn’t it? I mean the pricing on these big whites only makes sense to me when weighed against how much money can be made from them at a certain point. Especially when considering that those of us who are not making money from this focal range of our glass collection can often get by just fine with the cheaper alternatives.
I would hazard a guess that, all things considered, hobbyists occupy more of the big white market than professionals at this point in time. Rich people like to buy expensive stuff, and there's probably more wealthy hobbyists buying 600mm F/4L IS IIIs that don't even know how to use manual exposure on a camera than you would ever imagine. The photo and news industry is not in a good place right now, and even if Getty Images buys 20 600mms in a year, there's hundreds more millionaires and retirees with their 401ks looking at a list of the "best wildlife lenses" on the internet than there are news agencies with the budget left to buy these.

If you want a laugh, go read the reviews on some of the supertelephoto lenses on Amazon and B&H photo. There's just always a ton of people who don't even understand photography posting like, "I randomly bought this for my son's elementary school soccer game and wow!"
 
  • Like
Reactions: chasingrealness

frankchn

EOS M6 Mark II
Jan 11, 2016
55
19
If the RF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM is going to be something like the 600/800 f11 but with f/4 and aproximately in that price range around 800-1100 $/€ it could be interesting. Since it doesn´t have the L in the name it could be affordable.

Could anybody tell me what the DO stands for?

The DO stands for "Diffractive Optics". Also not possible to hit $1100 re: price. The EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II is $6900, so I would think the RF version will be similar.

Canon considers the 400/4 DO part of the supertelephoto line-up and it has a price to match.
 

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
1,115
875
Do people here not know that we can rent lenses?
No one should buy any of these lenses unless they are going to use them often.
 

CanonGrunt

C70
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2012
218
140
Interesting, as I’m currently looking at the version 1 of the EF 400mm f/4 IS DO USM,
And I’m wondering if $2,000 is a good price or too much, or a great price. A few are listed around that. For use on an R6 (and my trusty old EOS 1V) Thoughts appreciated! Or should I look at one of the others? I’ve seen some of the original 300mm f2.8 IS USM L lenses for around that too, just slightly more, but I like the 400mm focal length and the DO is a bit lighter.

Unfortunately in this day and age, a large percentage of sports photographers are now freelancers, instead of staffers. Even Sports Illustrated laid off every staffer. That means a significant investment in gear for a very low return in most situations. The vast majority of those I know doing it professionally as freelancers outside of big cities are using 70-200 F/2.8s and 100-400s as their longest glass, not unlike myself. The majority of my assignments can be completed with focal lengths under 200mm, so I haven't seen the need when I have other more pressing needs as a photographer. A few of the bigger-time freelancers I know have their own 300mm F/2.8s as their longest glass, most often the old version I which they've never had the spare cash/need to upgrade, one freelancer I know has their own 400mm F/2.8L IS version 1, and then maybe two of the people I know that do professional NFL/MLB freelancing actually invested in a slightly newer 400mm F/2.8L IS II.

Even when I was on staff at a large newspaper in 2018, we had an 11 year old Nikon 400mm F/2.8 VR I, and our 600mm was actually a manual focus film-era Nikon 600mm. Almost no one actually working in this industry or companies within the industry have the spare cash to upgrade these lenses more than once a decade, maybe two decades. At my current full-time job, our only long glass beyond the 70-200 is a 300mm F/2.8L IS version I purchased in the 2000s.


I would hazard a guess that, all things considered, hobbyists occupy more of the big white market than professionals at this point in time. Rich people like to buy expensive stuff, and there's probably more wealthy hobbyists buying 600mm F/4L IS IIIs that don't even know how to use manual exposure on a camera than you would ever imagine. The photo and news industry is not in a good place right now, and even if Getty Images buys 20 600mms in a year, there's hundreds more millionaires and retirees with their 401ks looking at a list of the "best wildlife lenses" on the internet than there are news agencies with the budget left to buy these.

If you want a laugh, go read the reviews on some of the supertelephoto lenses on Amazon and B&H photo. There's just always a ton of people who don't even understand photography posting like, "I randomly bought this for my son's elementary school soccer game and wow!"
 

BakaBokeh

EOS 90D
CR Pro
May 16, 2020
199
429
*Record scratching noise* RF 100-500 was in my future until this rumor.

200-500 f4?!?

And then the thought that it might be the size of a small warhead and have a 5-figure price tag brought me back to earth.

A 400 f/4 DO if really tiny, could be tempting though.
 

scyrene

EOS R6
Dec 4, 2013
2,898
1,046
UK
www.flickr.com
Car loan? The bus is cheeper and you can have a sleep on a bus. And you can buy a decent car for under £2000 (mine was exactly £2000) if you really need one and can't use the bus. And yes, a normal photographer should be able to afford one a big white. For some it'll be nothing, for me I can do one a year, for others it might take three years. But for a wildlife shooter you are likely to have more than one and it shouldn't be unthinkable on a forum full of photographers that that is an expectation. Especially not in a thread about these lenses.

Normal wage here starts at £18,000 to £26,000 per year with £500/month to rent for a 2-3 bed house, £160 council tax, and £200 to food, with £120 covering 4 weekly bus passes. A photographers wage should be way higher than that I should hope. The normal monthly expense for a person is £1000/month assuming they are living alone in a 2 bed house.
£300-£500 is normal. Pushing sub £400 more often if the house is brick instead of stone. You can buy a stone house for anywhere over £200,000 or a brick built for anywhere from £40,000 to £150,000 depending on how bad the area is.

Okay so this is wildly off topic but I have to point a few things out, as I live in Scotland but most forum members don't, and may be swayed by your statements. Your original suggestion that an average photographer could afford a ~£10k lens per year was silly, and you're massaging the figures even as you pull back from it (next it was 'not just once in a lifetime'!). You've ignored income tax, national insurance, and a whole host of other living expenses - phone? Internet? Clothing? A computer to process your photos? Even then, rents are considerably higher than you state - I've just checked and the average for a 2 bed property is only just under £500/mo in a handful of postcodes, most are much higher, and for a 3 bed, far higher still. Buses don't generally take you where a big lens is useful - trust me, I've spent years doing wildlife photography without a car and public transport doesn't tend to go where the birds are (or at the best times for them); it's not impossible, but seems an odd choice if you're also saying a car is affordable (but once again, you've missed off insurance, road tax, fuel, maintenance, etc). Living alone is more expensive than sharing, btw, as some costs are fixed.

Any £10k+ purchase is a big, rare thing for almost everyone, and when it is non-essential, as these lenses are for even the vast majority of photographers, making it sound casual and easy is ridiculous. Saving £100 a month (which is a lot on a modest income!) it would take over eight years (although in any case I suspect more people buy them on credit and pay it back over several years, rather than saving up). Let's be realistic. (This is why the budget super telephoto lenses are so important - far far more people can justify a £1000 lens even with numerous compromises).

I have 1 supertele and couldn't justify getting a second one. Most wildlife photography enthusiasts I've known have at most a couple - the 100-400 and a long prime, say. I would say only the very richest hobbyists have several (not counting people picking old models up secondhand, but even that is expensive).
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,890
12,206
Interesting, as I’m currently looking at the version 1 of the EF 400mm f/4 IS DO USM,
And I’m wondering if $2,000 is a good price or too much, or a great price. A few are listed around that. For use on an R6 (and my trusty old EOS 1V) Thoughts appreciated! Or should I look at one of the others? I’ve seen some of the original 300mm f2.8 IS USM L lenses for around that too, just slightly more, but I like the 400mm focal length and the DO is a bit lighter.
The original 400/4 DO is a disappointing lens. It has poor contrast and not particularly sharp. You will get better images from a 100-400mm II. The 400 DO II is much better. You can compare the MTFs in https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/the-sort-of-great-400mm-shootout/
 
  • Like
Reactions: CanonGrunt