How the R5 Lightens the load for Wildlife Trips (Africa)

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Steve Balcombe Forum Pro • Posts: 14,122
Re: slower lenses are lighter

PicPocket wrote:

Steve Balcombe wrote:

It depends on how you define an apple.

I don't think it matters how we define the apple. It isn't like for like, unless we are going to just relax it to say an apple is just a fruit. Yes, then it's same as an orange

In pure numeric terms, the RF 100-500 is about a stop slower than the EF 200-400/4 at 400 mm. No argument there. But another way to look at this is how close does the new combination come to being able to take the same shots? Maximum reach is 500 mm at f/7.1, vs 560 mm f/5.6, but the R5 adds a lot with its highly croppable 45 MP and superb AF. I think there would be very few situations where the EF 200-400 would have any significant advantage in terms of getting the shot, and the handling of the 100-500 could actually swing it the other way in many situations.

All the above boils down to taking a hit on every aspect and then somehow calling them same shots

At 400mm, they are 1+1/3 stops apart. At max reach the 200-400 provides longer FL at wider aperture. Cropping is no better than using older lenses on an apsc camera, if reach is the real goal. If we are somehow going to agree on the new combo getting the "same image", there was perhaps never a case for 400 f/4 vs 400 f/5.6. The slower lenses were cheaper, lighter, more versatile, so I wonder what appeal a 400 f/4 ever had to command such a price and bulk. A 400 f/5.6 on an apsc would be all that anyone would need for a safari

And yet, we are some saying these are similar:

400 f4 vs 400 f6.3 (1+1/3 stops, not same dof)

500 f7. 1 vs 560 f5.6 (longer and faster)

700 f10 vs 800 f8 (longer and faster, the one OP seems to be using)

I understand the compromise, and personally, I would probably do the same as OP. But I would also clearly see they are not the same. I will not get all the images like a faster lens at that FL can provide.. Maybe be a lot, but not all

I don't disagree with any of that, but all you have done is to quote a few more numbers. Actually for long lenses you could do worse than simply compare the input pupil size, which is 100 mm for the 200-400/4 and about 70 mm for the 100-500, so as I said - no argument there. All the other comparisons are just restating the same fact.

I come from the perspective of someone who owns and uses both the EF 600/4 on a 5D4 and now the RF 100-500 on an R5. When I want flat out maximum reach I put the 600 on the R5, obviously (and wow what a combination it is!), but that's not the question raised by the OP, it's about replacing the 'old style' combination with the 'new' - except that his big white is only a 400 so it's a much closer call. And I'm saying that while it's not a 100% replacement, it's surprisingly close in practice.

I would liken it to replacing an old gas-guzzling, big-engined car with a modern, smaller, more efficient one. If you compare numbers then the old car still has more of everything. But if you compare journeys it's much closer.

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