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by natureshooter606 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:48 pm
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Hi there,

I'm giving thought to my future photography kit over the longer term now that I have made the big switch from canon DSLR to canon mirrorless and would welcome your advice on how I should be thinking about big glass. I have an older, original version 600mm f4 that is still in fantastic condition and that works perfectly fine with my new R5. Sure a newer 600 would be great as I'd welcome the savings in weight and I'm sure the AF would probably be a bit snappier, but the cost really doesn't justify an upgrade for me.

The question I'm running into is... I'm not sure how to think about the old EF lenses in the context of RF going forward. Historically the higher end professional EF lenses have always held their value very well over multi-decade periods. So I've never been afraid to keep holding my older professional EF glass because the value of these lenses has remained relatively high. What do you all think... is this trend going to continue? Or does it feel like EF lenses will become less and less valuable as RF gets more and more established? Obviously it's easy enough to use the EF/RF converter so part of me feels like the old EF lenses will probably continue to hold their value just fine. But I'm starting to get worried that if I continue to hold my old EF gear I'll suddenly find myself either stuck with it or having to take a major bath on it if suddenly RF becomes the "thing of the future" and nobody wants older EF gear any more. So I'm starting to wonder if now is the time to start trying to move some of my older EF professional glass.

While of course none of us can predict the future, I'd certainly appreciate hearing how some of you are thinking about this topic.  Cheers!
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:43 pm
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Prognostication on my part - they will hold their value right up until Canon announces RF versions of those lenses, then they will crater for a while since the new lenses will be better, track better and won't need an adapter. Over time, some of the value will return though as the used market saturation post shipment of the new lenses starts to absorb them. Watching what happens to the Nikon market for these could also be a good indicator since Nikon has already announced 400/2.8 and 600 f/4 mirrorless lens development. I can't imagine that Canon would be far behind in that department although Canon lenses adapted work and track focus MUCH better than Nikon's do so the urgency is less.
 

by natureshooter606 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:10 pm
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Thanks, E.J. - that's very insightful/helpful.
 

by DChan on Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:28 pm
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If you're scare, sell you lenses now. And if many are thinking what you're thinking now, why would they be buying your lenses? I for sure am not buying.
 

by natureshooter606 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:33 pm
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DChan wrote:
If you're scare, sell you lenses now. And if many are thinking what you're thinking now, why would they be buying your lenses? I for sure am not buying.



I'm not sure what many are thinking... hence my question  :D
 

by WJaekel on Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:55 pm
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There are reports that Canon has just discontinued several well respected EF lenses and that even the 300mm II, 500mm II and 400mm II DO are listed to be discontinued  later this year. So the company's total move to RF glass is accelerating quicker than expected. Service of the lenses above is said to be continued until 2027, at least, though. It's hard to predict the impact on the value of the existing EF lenses. Many posters in the forums evidentally welcome the discontinuation because they're expecting the prices to drop and are hoping that they can a make a good deal to buy used glass. It will depend on how many photogs are ready (and in the financial position) to dump their EF glass as soon as the RF version will be introduced. Personally, I'm not in that position (and also not willing) to follow that rush. I will keep my expensive supertele lenses since they work perfectly on my R5 and I'm also not ready to drop all my DSLR bodies in the next future, either. Maybe the RF version of the teles will be a bit better in some aspects. But I doubt that the differences for IQ compared to the latest high end  EF superteles will justify the costs and loss of money to sell them for a bargain. I agree with E.J. as for the trend of the value, though. In the end it's a personal decision which route to go.

Wolfgang
 

by Ed Cordes on Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:22 pm
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All of the above comments and advice are totally valid and true. However, if you are getting good results from your current lenses and are OK with not having the lighter weight, the value of your current glass is measured in images not $$. If you need to go to the lighter RF glass then sell now while the value is still OK.
Remember, a little mild insanity keeps us healthy
 

by natureshooter606 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:42 pm
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Ed Cordes wrote:
All of the above comments and advice are totally valid and true.  However, if you are getting good results from your current lenses and are OK with not having the lighter weight, the value of your current glass is measured in images not $$.  If you need to go to the lighter RF glass then sell now while the value is still OK.



Thanks Ed - I think this is spot on and I appreciate your thoughts here. You're right... I think it comes down to the weight and whether or not it's worth the incremental $$ to me to have a lighter rig. I'll give this some thought. Honestly, seems like a lot of $$$ to shed a few pounds (though I know the VIII and certainly the RF versions will probably be a LOT lighter than the original IS).  At the end of the day, the images are what matter the most.
 

by OntPhoto on Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:12 pm
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Timely topic after I read about Canon's plan to discontinue the 500 f4 II.  At the time of purchase, thought I had future-proofed the investment.  Back in 2013-14 mirrorless Canon pro cameras were not even on anyone's mind.  

I have not gone mirrorless yet as the 7D MK2 is still fulfilling my needs.  Besides, I got off the upgrade bandwagon many years ago.  I expect Canon will continue repairs for it for a number of years.  There will always be 3rd party repair places (I know people using the original 500 f4 I and getting their lenses repaired at 3rd party shops).

Even if the market value for this 500 f4 II lens drops a lot, I'm still ahead as I bought when the Canadian dollar was strong if not at par with the USD.  Paid only around $8,600 CAD for the 500 f4 II.  It's now selling for about $12,000 CAD.  $3,500 more now.  If it ever drops to say, $5,000 or $6,000 CAD, I got my money's worth out of it if I sell.  There will always be people who are not willing to pay $$$ for the RF 500. 

Funny thing is I seldom use the 500 f4 II.  All subject and location dependent.  Only when I need to.  There are a number of shooting situations where I will need it.  Mostly, I go light with 100-400 or 70-200 2.8 + 1.4x. More mobile and discreet for moving around.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:20 pm
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In1993,I bought one of the only available Nikon 200-400 f4 manual focus lenses. They were unavailable for the most part. I found a used one in Denver and drove up and bought it for $6500.  This is the model. I used it a fair amount, but then the auto focus 200-400 AF lens came out. Mine became a dinosaur sooner than expected. I believe that the first 200-400 f4 AF lens was not a VR lens yet, but it became very popular and AF took over. The value of mine went down to the point that it wasn’t worth selling, so I continued to use it. I firmly believe that technology is moving forward so rapidly that the older lenses will become much like my old 200-400 manual focus. I highly recommend selling your old lens and buying the latest lenses if you want the best performance. VR/IS performance, faster AF, quieter focusing, lighter weight and all the other things make it much more efficient. If you are a professional and want to be competitive, get the best equipment you can justify buying. No, equipment doesn’t make the image by itself, but believe me that it sure helps to get the shots if the person shooting with it is competent in other areas. Just think of all the action shots you see nowadays that would probably not be captured without high frame rates and high ISO capabilities . In the old days we called that shotgunning to see what usable shots could be captured in a series. It was mostly a disdained practice and considered “amateurish” and expensive when done with film. Now, you can see the value of capturing the exact peak of action with high frame rates. Older cameras couldn’t do that, but now a lot of photographers do that and the results are amazing. Modern equipment makes possible things that were not doable before. Digital also made film cameras obsolete and impractical for action. Modern glass formulations and lens designs also make for better images and lighter weight. I recommend selling your old lens and getting the new model before the value tanks. YMMV, but that’s my opinion.

Joe
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by natureshooter606 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:43 pm
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Thanks for the opinion, Joe. You've given me a lot to think about. Very interesting to hear your personal experience/recommendation here based on that old 200-400.
 

by DChan on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:03 pm
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natureshooter606 wrote:
DChan wrote:
If you're scare, sell you lenses now. And if many are thinking what you're thinking now, why would they be buying your lenses? I for sure am not buying.



I'm not sure what many are thinking... hence my question  :D


Just like you and many here, they're thinking mirrorless is the future. Unless they're currently dslr users, once they've done some research on cameras and lenses, or go visit sites like this and read your posts or something similar from other folks, they'll know it may not be a good idea to buy some dslar bodies and lenses today. Hey, if many dslr users/experts like yourself and others here are considering selling their gears and move on to mirrorless, saying all the time that mirrorless is the future, they probably would think: "hmmm....I'd better buy the mirrorless myself".

So, sell your dslr gears now if you believe their values are going nowhere but down.

If most of your photos are not action shots, fast AF is not really a big concern IMO.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:15 pm
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natureshooter606 wrote:
...........Very interesting to hear your personal experience/recommendation here based on that old 200-400.


That’s because it stung a lot to see that kind of investment 28 years ago basically lost to technology so quickly!!! I hope by sharing that others don’t fall into the same situation and have the same kind of regrets.

Joe
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by jwild on Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:59 am
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I'm worried too, thinking about my 200mm f2 and 500mm IS2 !
As we age, just cannot resist temptation of light weight & better equipment.
When we look at the history of camera technology, it has never looked back,

...from mechanical cameras to electronic,
...from electronic to AF,
...from AF to DSLR and now
...from DSLR to mirrorless.

Since I'm using Canon R 5 now, I'm aware of the benefits of new technology!
After reading all the comments here, I would probably go for the change.
 

by Robert Royse on Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:58 am
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Your version I 600 IS is a great lens and has been out of production for years. Canon has long ago stopped servicing it. Lighter versions have been available for a long time. I wouldn't think that the value of a used one will be dropping significantly at this point. Also selling it won't be more than a drop in the bucket to fund a new 600 f4 in the RF mount when one becomes a available.

I'm also in the same boat wondering what do about the big glass. I have the 800mm, which Canon at least still services. I had the original 600 IS like yours before that. I used them for bird photography which used to be a big passion of mine for many years, but I don't do it much anymore. I don't want to sell my 800 since it's still an excellent lens, but selling it wouldn't pay for even half of a replacement which I wouldn't get my money's worth from at this point. It would be nice to own a lighter lens, maybe something like Nikon's 500 f5.6 or maybe a 600 f6.3. Canon has never seemed interested in making a lens to bridge the gap between the huge heavy and expensive lenses and the inexpensive lightweight lenses (like the new 600 and 800 f11 lenses).

The current lens lineup from Canon for the RF mount is very limited at this point and there isn't really a single lens they offer that I really want or feel I need. I am using the R5 now with all EF mount lenses adapted onto it.  Then I look over to the Sony E mount. It seems like that's where all the action is these days, especially at the wide end. Not only is Sony coming out with a huge variety of lenses, but 3rd parties are making some great lenses in that mount that I would potentially like to own. Canon is shooting itself in the foot by going it alone and not entering into some sort of agreement with their mount with makers such as Sigma and Tamron. I'm wondering if it's even practical to stay with Canon. I like the R5 but I also don't want to dump huge sums of money into it.

It would be nice to know that if you buy an expensive lens it could at least be repaired and serviced for as long as you want it. I have several pairs of Zeiss binoculars including some I bought in the 80's made in West Germany. Zeiss still services them and replaces parts as necessary free of charge.
 

by natureshooter606 on Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:14 pm
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Thanks, Bob - that's a very interesting perspective... and I can relate to a lot of what you describe. And you're totally right... I've been looking around and prices are a bit lower than I had thought (I haven't looked in a little while)... while not an insignificant amount of money, still a drop in the bucket for whatever they'll be charging for an RF 600, no doubt.

I feel like the "right" decision is to sell my old 600 IS vI, but the truth is... if I do sell it, I'm afraid I'll never own another as I don't know that I'll be able to muster up the courage to drop whatever $ amount ends up equaling (RF 600 price) minus (600 IS v1 price). No doubt that will be a BIG number.

Much to think about here. Really enjoying this dialogue with all of you and all of the perspectives shared so far.
 

by WJaekel on Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:58 pm
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To put things in prorportion, it's questionable to directly project the value loss of 20 or 30 years old lenses used in the film days on the future depreciation of today's EF glass. It's a different situation though some comments seem to suggest that even the most recent superteles like the EF 2.8/ 400mm II/III,  EF 500mm/f4 II, EF 600mm/f4 II/III etc suddenly are outdated, too, and will become worthless in the near future -  just because Canon discontinues the production and want everybody to believe that RF/ML is the one and only holy grail.now. Of course, ML cameras per se have some advantages. But as said, my big lenses work excellent on the R5 and additionally give me the option of using them on my 1DxIII, 5DsR, 7dII  etc. which won't stop working and all of a sudden become scrap metal either because of the ML trend. I will use the lenses on the DSLRs and MLs for years to come. Even if I stop shooting with the DSLRs I wouldn't sell those big lenses which pretty surely wouldn't pay for even half of the costs of the upcoming RF-versions but deliver first class IQ that rarely can be improved by a large margin. YMMV, of course, if money is not an issue at all and the ratio of costs to real improvements doesn't matter either.

The weight argument in favor of RF for the most part isn't really valid, either,- at least not based on the presently existing fast RF-lenses vs the EF counterparts and I'd be very surprised if the upcoming RF 4/600mm or 500mm glass weighs much less than the EF version - unless they release DO versions, of course. For example, the RF f2.8/24-70mm weighs 900g vs 805g of the EF f2.8/24-70mm II, the RF 100-500mm is 1525g vs 1640g of the 100-400mm II. That's not a big difference. The RF has 100mm more reach at the long end, though, but is slower. The physical size of the RF vs EF versions is about the same for most lenses, too. And even the compact RF 2.8/70-200mm weighs 1,07g vs 1,44g of the EF f2.8/70-200mm III. That's better here, of course, but overall, the weight differences are not a huge argument in favor of the RF lenses up to now.

Regarding specifically the 600mm v 1 of the OP, the situation may be a bit different because the 600mm I is a really heavy brick. Though the IQ is still very good (but slightly inferior to the vII/III), the weight of the v1 may become a disadvantage in the long run if you intend to sell it. I think the resale value probably will drop further in the future once the present v II and vIII teles hit the used market. If you're in doubt if the IQ of the 600mm v1 still makes up for the weight and you're willing to accept the probably considerable loss of money it may be better to sell it soon and save for a RF version that will probably be released next year but for sure will cost a fortune. As for other EF lenses in question, I personally wouldn't care about any value trend as long as you're happy with the IQ on your R5. You can always invest in some RF glass later instead of overhastily getting rid of the whole EF arsenal, even if the resale value of some EF lenses drops a bit. There are millions of  EF lenses in use that certainly will not be trashed due to the ML trend now. Just my two cents.

Wolfgang
 

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:00 pm
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Wolfgang, where did you see anyone say that they will become worthless?
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:27 pm
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I was thinking that Canon might be a great bargain for photographers in the next few years. With Canon releasing RF versions, the excellent adaptability to their mirrorless cameras, etc. I would think the timing would be good to pick up a 500f4 V2, or one of the other big lenses, and use it with mirrorless. The EF versions will be discounted and readily available on the used market. If I was a Canon shooter, I'd pick one up and use it on mirrorless.
 

by WJaekel on Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:43 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Wolfgang, where did you see anyone say that they will become worthless?

I'm sorry, "worthless" maybe is a too exaggerated wording and I didn't mention that anyone literally SAID this word. However, in the context of this thread on the future of the EF lenses, the description and comments of the dramatic value loss of lenses, such as the old Nikon 200-400 f4 manual focus, made me conclude that some SUGGEST it could happen in the same way with the present teles since technology moves on. See Joe's report posted above and the follow up :

Quote:
....natureshooter606 wrote:
...........Very interesting to hear your personal experience/recommendation here based on that old 200-400.

That’s because it stung a lot to see that kind of investment 28 years ago basically lost to technology so quickly!!! I hope by sharing that others don’t fall into the same situation and have the same kind of regrets.

Joe

BTW, the RF f2.8/400mm and  RF f4.0/600mm just were announced yesterday (together with the R3) and already can be preordered  According to the press release, the optical design is identical to the EF versions. The same is true for the price and weight.  So my assumption of the similar weight of the RF version has been correct. As I also had pointed out,  ML/RF isn't generally synonymous with lighter weight and thus an automatic bonus of that technology. Since the RF versions basically are identical to the EF versions, I think there won't be a huge depreciation of the EF versions in the next future

Wolfgang
 

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