With the release of Canon’s new $2,300 24-70 f/2.8 L II, many Canon users were crestfallen because it did not contain IS. (Image stabilization) Price at over two thousand dollars, most people just assumed that this was it. Even if Canon had considered developing a stabilized 24-70, what would it cost? $3,000 for a dang 24-70? Heck, the Tamron 24-70 2.8 is just $1300, and many reviews are saying that it is roughly as sharp as the Canon mk2!
Well, Canon may be out of their minds, but word on the street is that a stabilized 24-70 mkII is out there. My theory? They’re following the tried-and-true business model that has worked for Canon and Nikon when it comes to new gear: Come out with one product first, charge a premium for a little while because people will of course pay it, …and then after a year or so, slash that price and debut a similar / better option that people REALLY want.
This tactic goes both ways, historically speaking. When Nikon first developed a full-frame sensor, they didn’t make the D700 first, they made the D3 first because they knew they could sell as many as they wanted at $5,000. Then, a year later, they came out with the D700 for just $3000. This was the obvious business-minded decision for Nikon, because to be honest 90% of the people who bought a D3 really only *needed* a D700, but there was such a high demand for a full-frame Nikon DSLR that everybody was willing to pay that premium.
So, could we expect with a possible Canon 24-70 2.8 mkII IS? If Canon does produce one, I doubt it will cost any more than $2500. And before they debut such a lens at such a price, the current 24-70 2.8 mkII must first drop to well below $2,000. Will this anger all those who purchased their 24-70 2.8 mk2 hot-off-the-shelf? Sure it will, but you know what? Business is business.
Even if you can wrap your mind around the sales tactics behind all this, you may still wonder if there is even room in the market for both lenses. So, let’s consider the Canon 70-200′s: There has always been enough room in the market for both stabilized and non-stabilized 70-200′s, both f/2.8 and f/4… There is roughly a $1,000 price gap between the stabilized 70-200 2.8 mk2 and non-stabilized 70-200 2.8, (61%) …and roughly a $400 price gap between the stabilized 70-200 f/4 and the non-stabilized 70-200 f/4. (57%) To even come close to this price difference, Canon would have to slash the price of the current 24-70 2.8 mk2 all the way to $1500 and price the stabilized 24-70 2.8 mk2 IS at $2400. I don’t think Canon will drop the price of their current 24-70 mk2 that far, (it’s still barely a year old) …but I do expect it to hit at least $1800-$1900 within the next 6 months. Of course that is only if a stabilized version is in the works. Remember we’re just talking about a rumor here… ;-)
What do you think? Would you pay $2500+ for a stabilized Canon 24-70 f/2.8? Or what would you pay?