There has been a lot of debate and interest surrounding the emergence of the Canon 40D vs. the Nikon D300, but what perhaps might be an even more important discussion would be the pros and cons of each of the corresponding lens choices/prices that the consumer is faced with, after he makes up his mind which camera body he likes.
In fact, while it seems like the latest camera bodies change with the seasons, it's the actual camera lenses that last the longest and so (ultimately) matter most. In keeping with this, I have configured both brands with their high-end lenses and have tried to read as many "testimonials" as my eyes will allow me to read ... but it doesn't seem like many people have actually used and compared Canon lenses and Nikon lenses side-by-side.
Here are the 4 lenses I have compared which I feel will give me a good, broad gamut in "serious amateur" diversity:
* Canon EF Zoom 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ($1,310)
* Nikkor AF-S Zoom 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF ($1,500)
* Canon EF Zoom 24-70mm f/2.8L USM ($1,059)
* Nikkor AF-S Zoom 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF ($1,400)
* Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM AF ($1,569)
* Nikkor AF VR Zoom 70-200mm f/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF ($1,580)
* Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM ($1,239)
* Micro-Nikkor AF 200mm f/4D ED-IF ($1,340)
These 8 lenses are paired into 4 groups, based on nearly-identical specs. The specs are comparable, the prices are comparable, (although the Nikon glass is always higher), but how about the quality?
My question is, aside from the $643 difference in price ($1,294 difference when factoring the difference in price when adding the 40D and D300 bodies to the respective lists), in favor of Canon, is there any difference in function, durability, or end product? Are the Nikon lenses any better in these seemingly-comparable Canon models, to justify the extra money in favor of Nikon, or are both sets of lenses about equal in quality, function, and delivery?
Have any of you professionals done a side-by-side with any (or all) pairs of these lenses?
I have tried to compare for myself in local stores, but no one seems to have all of these options in the podunk town I live in
Thanks for any input,