What was it they told me in journalism class in college? Persistence is key? Something along those lines. A little bird just emailed me the following, take it for what it's worth:
"The 200-400 f4.0 should be out in the late 3rd quarter or early 4th quarter and it looks like it could be as low as $7k. Which means $6,999 and which also means it will be marked up to
at least $8,000."
This could mean a lot of things. If I were a betting man I wouldn't expect the lens until mid/late Q4, it just seems to make sense with Canon's history of releases. However, like any company, they very well could develop the lens quicker than we anticipate and release it early. In my eyes, the earlier the better, because this lens could be pure gold for most photographers. With the price, there's been some healthy debate in some forums I look at, everybody seems to have a theory about what the price will be. The simple fact that there is a built in 1.4x extender screams to me that I'll have to put a second mortgage on the house to be able to afford this lens. That being said, I feel that there are two ways the price of this lens could come under $6,999: 1.) The cost of components is down - which has about a 7% chance of happening. 2.) The fact that the Nikon counterpart hovers around $6,799 could be enough for canon to match that price or even undercut it to $6,499-6,599.
The bottom line is that only Canon knows what's going to happen with this lens and only they will be able to tell us when the 200-400 f4.0 is going to be out and how much it's going to cost us. There seems to be a lot of interest in this lens, as my post about it generated 300 google hits last week. I'd be more then happy to talk with an official from Canon and break the story about the price point and release date. Until then we have to keep speculating and I'll continue to share any information that I get. Cheers!