It’s the beginning of 2018, none of the big photography / imaging products events have happened yet… so now is the perfect time to speculate!
Let us speculate…
Ahem… So Nikon has just released its equivalent lens of Canon’s 200-400mm telephoto zoom with a built-in 1.4x extender… The NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E lens.
It’s very similar in both size and weight and unfortunately price. The point being that despite camera companies pretending that they do their own thing and don’t talk (care) about what lenses the other companies have… they do in fact try to give photographers equivalent lenses.
Now, Nikon currently offers a 200 – 500mm lens that simply isn’t matched by anything made by Canon or by Sony.
Tamron and Sigma both make 150 – 600mm telephoto zooms which are the rough equivalents of Nikon’s 200 – 500mm lens… That leaves Sony and Canon without equivalent offerings. They have prime telephotos and 100-400mm lenses as well as 70-300mm… but each of those has their own characteristics and simply aren’t like Nikon’s 200-500mm and Sigma / Tamron’s 150-600mm.
As previously mentioned, there seems to be some rumor mongering going on that both Canon and Sony are thinking / planning on introducing 150 – 600mm equivalent lenses (200-600mm) to compete with Sigma and Tamron who both dominate in that focal range… Which is important to note.
Sigma and Tamron both offer a ‘value’ 150-600mm and a premium 150-600mm.
Tamron has their cheap 150-600mm for ~ $800 and the new 150-600mm G2 for $1400.
Sigma has their 150-600mm for ~ $900 and the Sigma Sports 150-600mm for ~ $1800.
I don’t see any way that Canon and Sony would offer a 200-600mm lens that did not meet the quality, weight, and overall optical performance of Tamron and Sigma’s premium 150-600mm offerings.
Which means… that Canon and Sony’s lenses would retail at more than Sigma and Tamron’s premium lens offerings because they are native lenses…
So will Sony and Canon be able to control themselves and price a 200-600mm lens like Nikon’s 200-500mm lens ($1400)?
But wishful thinking you know…
I imagine Canon could make it happen and perhaps even make it an L series lens… I kind of doubt they’d like that though. It means increasing the overall weight and weather sealing. So maybe we see a 200-600mm lens for $1700 out of Canon. Their 100-400, one of their super-duper premium lenses, is priced at almost $2000 and their 70-300mm L lens is priced at ~ $1300. It’d make sense for a 200-600mm to cost more than the 70-300 because it has more reach but not as much as the 100-400mm because that’d probably cannibalize sales from the 100-400mm lens while also not being price competitive.
Sony is different because they simply don’t have the Sigma and Tamron competition that Canon does… Their 70-300mm G lens sells for $1200 with no 100-400mm lens in the same G branded line. I can’t help but think that their 200-600mm lens will be G branded and be the most expensive one in the line… Maybe $1999.
And I’m kind of suspicious that if we do see this lens from Sony and Canon, they will have some kind of trick up their sleeve to keep the lens under 4 pounds and overall shorter than Tamron’s and Sigma’s lenses. That would be a huge marketing score… 150-600mm performance but lighter and easier to use? Magical.
It’d really allow them to push a “look super telephoto reach THAT YOU CAN HANDHOLD!!!” marketing claim.
Considering how many sales Tamron’s and Sigma’s 150-600mm offerings have gotten over the years and the fact that Nikon already offers their own equivalent lens… it seems weird that Canon and Sony wouldn’t introduce their own equivalent lenses. This feels like a new telephoto lens that we could actually see produced.
They’ll be unfortunately expensive I’m betting… but there will be redeeming qualities.