Canon 400mm f/2.8 II or III

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by TonyUSA, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello,

    Looking to purchase 400mm 2.8 II for a while and I think it is a good time to purchase now because the price gone down to $8,000 (AD). But the new version III just came out for $10,600 (AD). My questions are

    - Is it worth $2,600 extra for new version?

    - How often that a new version of Canon lens is worst than older version?

    Thank you,


     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is a top end lens and the new version is most certainly better than the original. By how much difference is hard to really say in the real world as the MII was already a very very very good lens. Honestly you're into a bracket of the market where the average user here just isn't likely to have real world experience of both. I would say go and read the pro-reviews and comparison websites and then after that rent both for at least a week from somewhere like Lensrentals.

    The costs are huge and the rental of both (one at a time or side by side) is unlikely to be a big chunk of the money you'd need to buy them. That will give you a real world experience of both without committing to the purchase. You might find that the difference is marginal and that you can make a saving; or that you really do want the top tier one. You might also find that gosh darn it its heavy and possibly too heavy for you to enjoy and that a 500mm f4 might actually be more interesting to you. Or perhaps its never long enough and you consider one of the 600mm options.

    Ergo try them out - the short term rental investment will be invaluable, but do try and make it for at least a week or two each; and ideally time where you do get out shoting so that you do give a proper test run.
     
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  3. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, Overred.

    Forgot to mention my other concerned. Which would you think I will lose less money when I want to get rid of it in 2-3 years?
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's actually hard to say too.
    A few years back Canon released the 70-200mm f2.9 IS L MII and I sold me MK1 at second hand prices for the same price I'd bought it brand new a year or two before that. Basically because the original was still a top end lens and out of production it put the second hand price up. Once you're into exotics like the 400mm f2.8 another aspect is limited supply to the secondhand market. Fewer of them are bought and thus fewer end up on secondhand sale which, when coupled to being out of production, can well send the price higher.

    So as a proportion of what you spend now its hard to say which would give you a greater return in 3 or so years time. My gut feeling is that the MKII is less likely to go down in secondhand price simply because there's no more stock being made new. So you might well lose out less and get most of your investment back (assuming you get secondhand now). Meanwhile the MKIII is unlikely to get a replacement now and thus might well lose you more unless you buy secondhand of it now.


    But recessions can appear at any time and other factors can cause a huge head over heels change in prices totally outside of the camera market alone. Eg in my Canon example above a recession coupled to a big hike in lens prices greatly helped the price of the lens go up secondhand on its own because the new version had gone up by a lot.
     
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  5. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    The big difference from what I have researched is the mk III is lighter than the mk II. Is it $2,600 lighter, I don't know. Either will be a great option if you have the money for the next 2-3 years.

    Will they both hold their value? The answer is "it depends". Will Canon bring out a new mk IV in that time? Will they stop servicing the Mk II in that time? (If so, then the price will drop in a hurry.)

    You could also consider finding a used copy of the mk II from Adorama, B&H or some place light that and save a few extra dollars.

    Wished I could have either but I'm looking to get a used 300mm f/2.8 instead.
     
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  6. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, Overread and ronlane.
     
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  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    "consider finding a used copy of the mk II"

    I second Ron's advice.
     
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  8. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, Derrel.
     

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