Lens advice for Canon shooter considering D500

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Dave Throgmartin
Dave Throgmartin Contributing Member • Posts: 877
Lens advice for Canon shooter considering D500

I’m a hobbyist Canon shooter who is currently using a 6D (full frame) and 60D (APS-C) cameras, I’ve been using Canon DSLRs for 10 years. Both cameras are old and the crop camera in particular needs to be replaced, but I’m frustrated with Canon’s offerings.

None of the APS-C Canon offerings are that interesting to me. The 80D has a better sensor, but lacks buffer/frame rate/precision autofocus modes. The 7D Mark II has those, but has the old technology sensor. I suspect Canon may not be willing to make an APS-C camera that is D500 competitive anytime soon.

I’ve been interested in the D500 for the past few weeks reading a lot about it / watching videos and played with one at camera shop today. It is an awesome camera. I could see it replacing my crop camera altogether and potentially replace the 6D for some things. The D500 appears to check all of the boxes offering me an improved shooting experience over the 6D with snappy operation and by far improved autofocus out to rule of thirds locations.

I shoot a variety of things, but primarily enjoy travel, landscape, macro, and wild life photography. My keeper images are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dthrog00/

My Canon lenses are below:

16-35 f/4 L IS – do not replace, continue to use 6D for ultrawide
24-105 f/4 L IS – do not replace immediately, potentially buy camera with kit lens 16-80 f/2.8-4 VR for comparison
70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS – do not replace immediately, potentially later with 70-200 f/4 VR
100 f/2.8 L IS macro – potentially replace with 105 f2.8 VR
400 f/5.6 L – potentially replace with 200-500 f/5.6 VR

I’m seeking help regarding the lenses. From easiest to most difficult:

a) 200-500 f/5.6 VR per Lensrentals MTF charts has comparable sharpness as the 400 f/5.6 L. It has 100mm more range and VR while the autofocus is slower and it is much heavier. Images I’ve seen on the forums are very good. This one appears to be fairly straight forward as being an improvement particularly on a more capable camera body. https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/the-sort-of-great-400mm-shootout/
b) 16-80 f/2.8-4 VR and 24-105 f/4 L IS appear difficult to compare. I’m generally pleased with the 24-105. If the 16-80 were as good I’d be very happy. I use the 24-105 for probably 2/3 of my images. 16-80 reviews are a mixed bag. Thom Hogan likes it. Some users like it and some do not. Lenstip mostly definitely does not like it.
c) 105 f/2.8 VR per Lensrentals Imatest testing and MTF charts is a good lens at macro distance and a mediocre short telephoto lens at 18 ft to infinity distances. The 100L is very good at longer distances. This appears to be a downgrade.     https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/more-photogeekery-finite-conjugate-mtf-bench-tests-for-macro-lenses/

Any help is appreciated regarding the crop body upgrade or with any thoughts on the lenses.

If I were to stay exclusively with Canon I’d probably go with the 80D and wait for a 7D Mark III refresh to determine next steps.

I like the 6D, but from an eventual upgrade stand point the antiquated sensor in the 6D Mark II does not interest me and I can’t imagine myself ever buying any of the 5-series cameras with their $3,000+ price tag. I don’t know if I want to stay with Canon long term. I could easily see myself being a nearly exclusive APS-C shooter in the future, potentially exclusively D500.


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Canon 6D Mark II Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 80D Nikon D500
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