Testing lenses... again.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
RDM5546 Senior Member • Posts: 2,576
Re: Testing lenses... again.

Different buyers are looking for and value things. The EF100-400II with the 1.4XIII and 2XIII are excellent setup for IQ to cover this range. However, just have great IQ is not everything in a lens that a shooter might want. The EF100-400 rig has USM single motor focus speed limited by the EF interconnection pins and it weighs more than the other choices in question. Still the EF100-400II remains as my favorite long FL zoom.

The RF600 and RF800 are outstanding in being sharp, in having the extra RF lens interconnection pins for faster focus speed/viewfinder update and in being light in weight.

However, they do not zoom, they are not weather sealed, they have limited focus area of 60%, and they have STM focus motors. These two long fixed prime focal lengths are more challenging to track fast action up close since zooming is not an option and the 800mm does not focus under 20feet.

I have not tried yet the RF100-500mm. It has been popular and fairly hard to find in the marketplace. I thought would initially spend my evaluation time master my EOS R and R5 since I both of those cameras in the last two years and there is a lot to master in setting up those cameras for peak performance in my preferred shooting modes. I am much more familiar in use with my older 5DIV, 7D2 and 70D that I still use at times and enjoyed in specific uses. Sometimes I use two bodies with different lenses at the same time. Until R5 I did have mirrorless body that would compete with DSLRs for action shooting and for EVF high speed performance.

Focus speed and tracking action are important for many of my shoots. The EF100-400 has focus speed and can zoom 100-400, 140-540 or 200-800 but the focus speed is slightly worse at longer FL using the 1.4X III and 2.XIII. I have the Sigma 150-600 with Sigma 1.4X and 2X TC which offers a little more reach to 210-840 & 300-120. The R5 is the best of my camera bodies for using the 2X TCs on both the 100-400 and 150-600. The 2X TCs are worst on all the DSLRs vs the mirrorless R and R5 The 2X with lens pretty much work with manual focus only and are best when stopped down two stops from wide open.

Despite my having lenses for this FL already I am interested in the RF 100-500 for action shooting. Lighter weight, excellent IQ, fast EVF, and particularly the excellent quick dual nanomotor focus features are extremely attractive while the huge MSRP is the primary unattractive thing I see. Still I expect to use this lens in my money making activities which is much more than hobby in many years (not so perhaps for last year).

One thing that caused me concern was the zoom control ring of the 100-500 that requires more throw than I can do in one grip and probably it best done with two twists when zooming from 100-500. However to be fair it is a 5X zoom range and not a 4X zoom range like the others I am comparing it with. It is a variable aperture zoom so it comes up short in some video zooming shooting. I am mostly a stills shooter but for some important cases I may do video comprised of 1 or 2 minute clips. 4KHQ and 120 frame rate modes with lightning fast autofocus are fantastic on the R5 providing you use a good quality sharp lens.

I suspect the 100-500 autofocus performance with the R5 is better than the 100-400II. This hard to measure excepting my shooting action a lot and comparing the keeper rates. The focus speed is important to me and if it to works for me that would justify the cost of the 100-500. The lighter weight and extra 100mm is a pure bonus. Focus speed me is where my budget justification lies.

The only way I expect that I can will be tell this is by getting an RF 100-500 and trying it out with lots of shooting. I expect do this. I have one on order B&H which may not come for months. Canon has not caught their backlog and many of the new lenses and gear are on backorder. There is a COVID virus to blame. Japan is currently hard hit and worse health state than the US. The high volumes of vaccine are just arriving their now. Only Pfizer is approved but Moderna and Astra Zenica will be approved shortly along with the receipt of volume vaccine shipments. I wish them well in Japan.

I expect the difference from the 100-400 to be small, and somewhat subjective to the shooter which is why I have not been rushing out to be an early buyer. Not to mention the high costs involved.

I now have a great experience with my amazing R5 gain in the past six months and now I feel pretty comfortable knowing what it can do for me. Now is the time for me to get a 100-500 and do some shooting to see what it does in my hands.

I do not expect to love the limited zoom range of 300-500 when TCs but I do hope to love the reduced weight, faster focus, and superior stabilization when used with the R5. I have been shooting since the 1960s 35mm film days. I used a Nikon FTN for 20 years before I switched to Canon film camera due to the awesome snappy focus of the Canon USM motors and have Canon lens buyer since the early awesome focus EF lenses were delivered in 1990. I have more than 20 EF lenses and around 15 of them are "L". Most of the L lenses were awesome on introduction. I only have five RF lenses. I have ten EF to RF adapters which do a fantastic job and they are always on my favor ten L lenses.

I do not need another very expensive lens unless it will provide noticeable advantages that have value for me. Lens buying is subjective matter. There is no right or wrong. One size does fit all.  Needs, wants and budgets do vary with the shooter.

 RDM5546's gear list:RDM5546's gear list
Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM Canon G5 X II Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 7D Mark II +43 more
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