Another Ridiculous Canon Lens Is on the Way

Another Ridiculous Canon Lens Is on the Way

Canon has produced some incredible lenses in the last few years, with options like the RF 28-70mm f/2L USM and the RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM pushing the boundaries of lens design and offering photographers some tremendously exciting optics. It looks like they have no intention of slowing down, with yet another major release coming fairly soon.

Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon intends to release an RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM lens late this year or early next year. Surprisingly, this lens will not come with a built-in teleconverter like had been previously suspected, but word is the company wants to ensure the lens is as portable as it can be. Nonetheless, this lens is likely intended as the replacement for the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, a highly respected and popular lens, particularly among wildlife photographers. Nikon has the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR and Sony has the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, but an f/4 zoom of this focal length range would be a significant step up and would certainly be a popular option among professionals. Hopefully, we will hear more soon! 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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It will be interesting to see how expensive this thing will be. I'd estimate close to $20k. It will be one of the best wildlife lenses ever made. Almost certainly the best wildlife zoom.

This is brilliant. Up to now only 500mm f4 anywhere are fixed. Now you get a 500mm f4 with everything from 200-500mm thrown in. Also Canon says it will have a new TC for it, for the whiners.
So now a 100-300mm f2.8 to replace the limited 300mmf2.8 and a 200-500mm f4 to replace the 500mm f4.
What's there to complain about?
It will sell very well, regardless of the price and complaints.
Congratulations Canon for a brilliant move for creating a truly innovative pro lenses that cannot be obtained anywhere else for any price.

After Canon put a built-in 1.4x converter in the 200-400, and had such success with it and such high acclaim among wildlife professionals, I wonder why they refuse to put built-in converters in any other lenses.

How diferent is this compare to the 100-300/2.8 with 2x teleconverter? Is 100mm extra worth it?

I'd say probably not tbh. Assuming both lenses will be roughly equal in optical quality and performance. Imo the 100-300 + TC option is better if you plan to make much use of the lens without the TC on because the versatility will offset the loss in performance.

If the TC will forever live on the lens then the longer lens w/o the TC will perform better.

That said, price is also a consideration. We don't have pricing info on this lens yet but I expect the 100-300+TC will be thousands of dollars cheaper than this 200-500

Canon's obsession with high-priced, unique lenses leaves many of us enthusiasts in the dust. The quality/price gap between the STM lens and these lenses seems to get wider and wider. How large can the market be for these niche lenses?

Consider the alternate angle that they know not a ton of certain elite lenses will sell and really don't intend to sell many so will only produce a relatively small number. (This is why you often see these sorts of lenses out of stock or special order)

However, they know that the release of an impressive new lens like this will be headlining across the photo industry while at the same time, many of the biggest names in the relevant genre will be shooting with these things all the time and heaping praise upon it through their individual channels such as Instagram and YouTube.

As a result, Canon will reap massive marketing benefits from the lens.

(That said, in the case of this lens I could actually see it selling a lot of copies because it will be the sports photographer's wet dream. I could easily see there being 2-3 of these in the stadium at every single pro team sporting event in the world)

Go to any known wildlife photography venue such as Yellowstone, Glacier, any wildlife refuge, many state parks, Conowingo Dam, Barnegat Jetty, Magee Marsh, Sax-Zim, etc., etc., etc., and you would be surprised at how many people in these places are shooting with over $15,000 worth of gear.

$15k? That's an understatement especially if one is shooting a Sony A1, 600 f/4 + TC, or a R5/R3, 600 f/4, + TC. Nikon is offering some amazing product at comparatively affordable prices. I would love an Z8/800 f/6.3 (total price $10k) if only Nikon could manufacture them in sufficient quantities.

I said OVER $15k. I don't understand how that is an understatement when I used the word "over", and when many of the people I am referring to have barely over $15k worth of gear?

The Nikon 200-500 is surprisingly good for about $1000

But that isn't at all comparable to this lens. One can't reasonably compare an f5.6 lens to an f4 lens. An extra stop is enormous when it comes to price and weight and performance. And there is so much more to it than just letting one shoot at a little faster shutter speed.

Yes, it is certainly an exciting lens which will undoubtedly be priced around $12k leaving significant numbers of photographers in the dust. This looks like a fabulous lens for sports and some WL. While I applaud Canon for its recent releases, I can't help but be troubled by the lack of high performing mid-range lenses in longer FL's. Sony's incredibly priced, high performing 200-600 f/5.6-6.3 and Nikon's small and relatively light 800 f/6.3 come to mind. Apart from the 100-400 and 100-500 Canon is absent in this space (please don't offer the 600/800 f/11's as counters).

Let's see...Sony has been filling out their lens lineup for how many years? The R system showed up in 2018, 5 years ago. Yours is another example of the 'instant gratification' society in which we live. Did Canon fill out its EF line in its first 5 years? 10 years?

Canon is intentionally absent in that space because they are terrified of making any lenses that cannibalize their $10k+ supertelephotos.