Canon 500mm f4 is ii vs 600mm f4 is i

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andyroo2000 New Member • Posts: 1
Canon 500mm f4 is ii vs 600mm f4 is i

For birding, curious what people would recommend getting if my 2 used choices were the above lenses - 500m f4 is ii (most recent version - used) or the 600mm f4 is (first IS version).

From reading on the internet, it seems like the 500mm f4 is ii handles teleconverters  better than the older models and is lighter.

I'd probably want to leave the 1.4 teleconverter on it most of the time regardless of which lens I choose. My current lens is the RF 100-500 and I usually use it with the 1.4x, giving me 700mm. Then again, 600mm bare might be good enough most of the time.

But assuming that I'd usually want a focal length of 700mm or higher, do you think the image-quality hit would be too great on the MK1 version of the 600mm f4?

I know about the weight trade-offs, and I understand that going for the 600mm means I'm going to be carrying around a ridiculously heavy lens and using a tripod/gimbal combo most of the time and I'd be willing to deal with that if it means much improved image quality and not having to spend an extra ~$9k for the newer versions of the 600mm.

So, my main question is which lens would produce a better quality image of a small bird if shot from the same distance with an R5... the 500mm ii which has better results with the TC or the 600mm MK1, which softens more with the TC, but would fill more of the frame?

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Canon EOS R5
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