Where are the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lenses?

There is plenty of excitement for the new Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens, but … where is it? The press release stated that it was “… scheduled to begin shipping in December 2018 …” That date is long past, but this lens remains unavailable.
As questions in this regard continued to roll in, it was not hard to understand that I was not the only one wondering what was going on. My first research contact was with a technical rep at Canon USA who assured me that the lens was indeed actively shipping. That a friend received theirs confirms this. Canon USA did indicate that the initial quantities were limited and, based on the number of 600 IIIs shipped to date by a large retailer, I would add “very” to the front of “limited”.
Those of us who have been around the camera and lens industry remember when one had to preorder newly-released camera gear immediately after the announcement to get the item anytime soon after it hit the streets. Some were ordering the gear immediately and selling it on eBay for a sometimes-significant markup until the demand resolved. Initial supply has been meeting initial demand far more frequently in recent years but obviously the 600 III is taking us back in time.
One more data point is that Lensrentals has the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens available rental on 3/21.
While this information may not be terribly enlightening, Canon USA (unsurprisingly) recommends placing your preorder now to get in line and your lens will indeed arrive as the preorder queues are resolved. If you want this amazing lens <subliminal message> you do </subliminal message>, that advice is indeed logical.
The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens is available for preorder at B&H (“Coming Soon”) | Amazon (“Currently unavailable”) | Adorama (“On Backorder”)

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