Initial impressions on RF 100-500 for birding

Started 3 weeks ago | User reviews thread
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EBCowboy New Member • Posts: 8
Initial impressions on RF 100-500 for birding

Just got this to replace my EF 100-400 ii + 1.4x Extender mainly for the weight savings, but also to get maximum use of new features - viewfinder distance scale, high speed display in mechanical, and tighter IS/AF integration on my R5.

By losing the adaptor/extender/tripod-ring/RRS-foot, I dropped almost 2 lbs from my rig when configured for handholding. The reduced weight and length make it easier to carry for long periods, and much easier to handle when tracking birds.

What I wasn't expecting was how fast and quiet it is. AF seems much snappier and both AF and IS seem really quiet compared to the EF lens. This is a bigger deal than it sounds when you are trying to get close to a bird - the last thing you need is a lot of whirring, clunking, or clicking coming from your camera!

In my opinion there's not a lot optically between the two lens, though I think I'm more limited by my technique than equipment. This is my main daily lens currently so it was worth upgrading to me. YMMV. If you have a EF 100-400 ii you will also be fine sticking with that. If it's your first buy of this class of lens from Canon, I recommend getting the RF, you'll only wish you had later otherwise.

Here's some example shots from three days I managed out to test it. First four pics were from sunny days, the last two from an overcast day. All SOOC JPEGS, last three are 50% linear crops.

Brown Pelican

Royal Tern

Great Egret

Double Crested Cormorant


White Faced Ibis

 EBCowboy's gear list:EBCowboy's gear list
Canon EOS M50 Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon Extender EF 1.4x III +5 more
Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM
Telephoto zoom lens • Canon RF
Announced: Jul 9, 2020
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Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon EOS R5 Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM
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