M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)

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Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)
12

EOS M on the EF 100-400mmL II lens

.
EOS M6 + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens - With no Extenders.
(I've written this as a follow up post for folks contemplating this lens for use on the newer DPAF versions of the EOSM cameras).
.
Previous Bokeh Issue:

I ran tests with this lens two years ago in April 2017 where I encountered an unusual issue from using a poor quality filter that seriously affected bokeh in all shots taken (link is below).  This is an issue encountered by others and appears to be triggered by using cheap or poor quality filters.  The only reason I used one was because I was going to use it on a salt-whipped beach and expected to throw the filter away afterwards.  Later I conducted tests with Extenders using this same lens and ran a thread on the EF 1.4x III and EF 2x III Extenders respectively - to describe performance on the (at the time) newly released EOS M6 camera with this same EF 100-400mmL II lens.
.
On the original EOS M this lens was just fantastic with extenders for lunar photography using Manual Focus.  But when AF was used, even in daylight, the older EOS M was a terrible match. The newer EOS M models now have DPAF sensors and the difference is exceptional.    I've had this lens for almost three years now and it's captured some really solid images on a Full Frame DSLR for me many times.
.
This week I wanted to spend more time with the M6 + 100-400mmL II combo and spent two days shooting with the lens - without the benefit of extenders.  The EOS M6's original Canon LP-E17 batteries were fantastic as usual, still performing well after 2 years of regular use... the results of today were more than surprising:
.
* Day 0 = 6 pictures of the moon at various focal lengths.
* Day 1 = 2,537 pictures with a single fully charged battery (+ 4 videos).
* Day 2 = 3,769 pictures with a single fully-charged battery.
.
SETTINGS:
* Mostly taken in Tv-Mode or M-Mode.
* All shot in JPEG
* Monopod used as required.
* NR applied during PP - if needed.
* No sharpening.
* Servo AF used for some shots where subject movement was evident.
* Other than the moon, images were not cropped.
.

ACCESSORIES:
* Inexpensive Manfrotto Monopod (used for some shots)
* HOYA UV MC Filter (77mm) - On the lens at all times.
* HOYA Pro 1 Circular Polarizing Filter (77mm) - For daylight shots.
.
DAY 1 - Critters:
Many of the images were taken in Burst-mode but I also spent time reviewing the images from time to time while sitting down.  Two different batteries were used, one for each day.  I donate venomous spiders for venom milking at one of our nearby reptile parks my wife and I stopped by to see the American Alligators for a couple of hours on Day 1.  The following samples were taken between my house and the park.  Our favorite reptile handler had recently lost two fingers to a gator and had to have them reattached since we last caught up with him.  I took a shot of his favorite pet "Rosie" (see below).
.
My favorite shot for the day was the Water Strider... which was quite small.  Around an inch in size.  I saw it when I was leaning over a pond with turtles it it and saw the grey sky reflected on the water and an insect using its legs to rest on the surface via tension.   I haven't tried to photograph one before. Image could have been slightly sharper but I was leaning over water and didn't want to scratch the monopod. Most of the Burst shots were either single, double or triple shots.  I saw the battery icon turn red just as I was finishing up.  There was very little warning between the fully-charged battery icon and running empty.
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Wild Rainbow Lorikeet feeding on nectar

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Wild Eastern Water Dragon (male)

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - a Water Strider walking on water with grey sky reflected.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 'Rosie' the American Alligator (6 years old)

.
DAY 2 - Beachside

Today I'm nursing some basic sunburn from spending about 3 hours on the water.  Apparently I didn't learn from the last time I did this and received 2nd degree burns.  But it's mid-Autumn here in Sydney, Australia - and I wasn't expecting to have yet another week of warm weather.  It's Easter Sunday here so I drove to visit family and spent 1 hour before lunch taking pictures on a beach and another 2 and a half hours on the shore after lunch taking pictures and experimenting. Despite the 3,769 images taken with a single charge on the battery, I did not see any indication that the battery was approaching depletion.  It's still in the camera!
.
The use of Servo AF to track birds in flight was very useful - though not always a simple affair with the lens set to 400mm. I didn't have my red-dot targeting reticule mounted to the lens today. But  I could snap decently exposed images of all manner of moving subjects. It was actually hard to choose which images to post because there was quite a range of keepers from both days.
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Seagulls on a boat ramp

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Girl on the lagoon

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Seagull washing itself in a rockpool

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Reflected Skies

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Using Servo AF to track two awesome pelicans

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Where most of this shooting took place - (Daylight WB)

.
MOONSHOT:

When I took a walk around the neighborhood to keep my circulation well maintained, I saw a beautiful moon rising the day before I took the photographs above.  It motivated me to put on the EF 100-400mmL II lens in the first place.  I stood on the side of the road out in front of my house and took a few pictures.  I wasn't particularly motivated and even used P-Mode for the first two shots.  I don't usually bother to shoot the moon in this phase but I ended up with some interesting lunar crater details.  The sun was literally setting as I took the picture below...
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 100% crop of the Moon on Thursday - (*no enlargement).

.
OBSERVATIONS:
The lens is exceptional on a Full Frame DSLR so it's always nice to experiment on APS_C mirrorless models to take advantage of the crop-factor via the smaller sensor.  The lens was actually fast enough to capture everything I needed UNLESS I lost sight of the subject while shooting.  If the AF reticule missed the subject, there was a delay as the lens breathed in and out and reacquired the subject. Tracking any moving subject was relatively easy - presumably due to the DPAF sensor on the M6.  Image quality is excellent with this lens on just about any camera.  I spent quite a few months researching this lens and comparing it with longer focal-length options from other brands before settling on it.
.
* ON THE EOS M (original) - terrible. Don't even be tempted. Slow as molasses.
* ON THE EOS M6 (with DPAF) - excellent results (see above samples).
NOTED: - Sharp images with excellent contrast, color and detail. There was an extremely high success rate with all shots. AF is snappy IF the subject is almost in focus.  If you miss it, the AF is sometimes slow to relocate the subject if the lens wants to try focusing on the distant background.
.
VIDEO:
Thought I haven't posted samples, the video from this lens was detailed and smooth.  Really nice results.  Might upload something to YouTube soon.
.
ABOUT THIS LENS:
* One of Canon's more reasonably affordable White L-lenses.
* Exceptionally popular 'newer' lens with a solid reputation.

* Fluorite lens element and UD element greatly improves contrast & resolution.
* High Speed CPU inside the lens is optimized for AF speed + accuracy.
* ASC (Air Sphere Coating) reduces ghosting and backlit flare.
* 4 Stop Image Stabilizer VERY effective in low light.
* New slotted ET-83D lens hood allows easy rotation of CPL filters.
* Impressive (and improved)  Closeup ability.

* 3-setting IS switch for various shooting needs.
* New White-grey resin paint on lens matches the Mk III Extenders.
.
Image stabilization is superb on this lens.  It's one of Canon's finest, allowing shutter speeds as slow as 1/10sec for some users (though that's not something I experimented with on this occasion). I personally feel that it performs smoother with my DSLRs compared to the EOS M6 but it's clearly doing a great job.
.
Using the  Distance Limiter Switch reduced unnecessary delays in AF lens travel.
.
A small, light Monopod is recommended with this lens to prevent or reduce fatigue from the considerable weight of this 1570g (3.46lb) lens, not including the Lens Adapter.
.
The best thing about the last two days is that I was able to experiment with bokeh and yet I didn't end up dealing with that awful problems with distortion and artifacts (see thread here if you're wondering what I'm referring to.)
--
Regards,
Marco Nero.

 Marco Nero's gear list:Marco Nero's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS M +17 more
Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon EOS M6
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Craig Smith Regular Member • Posts: 180
Re: M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)
1

A great example of why Canon L glass is so good. Even on an M series camera the images are stunning. Thanks for the follow up!

 Craig Smith's gear list:Craig Smith's gear list
Canon EOS M50 Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Canon 70-300 F4-5.6 IS II Canon EF-M 32mm F1.4
DoglandNC Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)

Nice work on these!  Super impressed that the moon shot was taken with just a monopod.  My experiences with the battery showing full and then abruptly being drained are the same as yours on both the M5 and the M6.

 DoglandNC's gear list:DoglandNC's gear list
Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon EOS-1D Mark III Canon EOS M Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS Rebel SL1 +14 more
Sharif
Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,522
Re: M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)
2

Marco Nero wrote:

MOONSHOT:

When I took a walk around the neighborhood to keep my circulation well maintained, I saw a beautiful moon rising the day before I took the photographs above. It motivated me to put on the EF 100-400mmL II lens in the first place. I stood on the side of the road out in front of my house and took a few pictures. I wasn't particularly motivated and even used P-Mode for the first two shots. I don't usually bother to shoot the moon in this phase but I ended up with some interesting lunar crater details. The sun was literally setting as I took the picture below...
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 100% crop of the Moon on Thursday - (*no enlargement).

.
Regards,
Marco Nero.

Hi Marco,

Great review as always from you! I just discovered that I took a very similar image of the moon at almost exactly the same phase just a month earlier with my M5 on a small telescope (posted before on the looking up thread). Details resolved by the 100-400 lens are pretty impresive given that your image was taken still under daylight conditions.

br

 Sharif's gear list:Sharif's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 10D Canon EOS M5 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM +6 more
ByronP Contributing Member • Posts: 850
Re: M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)
1

Sharif wrote:

Marco Nero wrote:

MOONSHOT:

When I took a walk around the neighborhood to keep my circulation well maintained, I saw a beautiful moon rising the day before I took the photographs above. It motivated me to put on the EF 100-400mmL II lens in the first place. I stood on the side of the road out in front of my house and took a few pictures. I wasn't particularly motivated and even used P-Mode for the first two shots. I don't usually bother to shoot the moon in this phase but I ended up with some interesting lunar crater details. The sun was literally setting as I took the picture below...
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 100% crop of the Moon on Thursday - (*no enlargement).

.
Regards,
Marco Nero.

Hi Marco,

Great review as always from you! I just discovered that I took a very similar image of the moon at almost exactly the same phase just a month earlier with my M5 on a small telescope (posted before on the looking up thread). Details resolved by the 100-400 lens are pretty impresive given that your image was taken still under daylight conditions.

br

Those who complain that the M or whatever size of the camera and lens combination is don't understand the classic method of holding the camera/lens: left hand under the lens; right hand on the camera grip all tucked in so the all is part of ones bod.  Not like the picture of the Tokina announces new 100 2.8 to the right using a Sony camera as the left hand should be supporting the lens.

 ByronP's gear list:ByronP's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS M5
Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
Sharif: Moon shots with this lens (PICS)
2

Sharif wrote:

Marco Nero wrote:

MOONSHOT:

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 100% crop of the Moon on Thursday - (*no enlargement).

Hi Marco,

Great review as always from you! I just discovered that I took a very similar image of the moon at almost exactly the same phase just a month earlier with my M5 on a small telescope (posted before on the looking up thread). Details resolved by the 100-400 lens are pretty impresive given that your image was taken still under daylight conditions.

br

Hi Sharif, It's great to see others using this lens for the same.. although you said you used a small telescope!  You caught the moon in a very similar phase in that shot.  I took another shot of last week's moon around two days prior during the night... and the night time shot (similar to yours in terms of exposure) contained quite a bit less detail that I was used to getting.  There was something smeary about the lunar surface that I was unable to fix during PP. I think a night shot is always a bit harder to correctly expose for. Even though it's perhaps brighter and more highly contrasted against a black sky.
.

UNCROPPED - early testing with my EOS M to see what sized moon could be captured without cropping the images.
.
I took my first daylight shots on the moon through a Celestron Maksutov-Cassegrain (C90?) spotting scope back in 2003-2004 because nobody else seemed to have bothered to try shooting the moon during daylight hours back then.  I couldn't even find any examples online (I'm sure they existed but digital photography was still in it's infancy) so I gave it a whirl.  I found the results quite interesting.  I had to clamp the tiny Canon PowerShot s400 to the eyepiece of the lens and then zoomed in until the subcompact's lens optics were almost touching the glass insider the rubber-shrouded eyepiece.  The result can be seen below.
.

Canon IXUS s400 clamped to a Celestron spotting scope eyepiece. My first daylight shot of the moon taken way back around 2003-2004.
.
My favorite moon shot with this lens is still the one taken with the original EOS M camera plus the EF 2x III Extender (directly below).  It was perhaps taken at a phase where more lunar surface detail was visible (see directly below).  The sun had set but there was still color and light in the sky... and I can see elevation transition in some of the lava plains.  Curiously, the original image produced an odd banding on DPreview after uploading - so I ended up having to modify the hue of the sky very slightly before it became stable here.
.

EOS M + 100-400mmL II + EF 2x III extender. (handheld at 1/80sec)
.
Last week I saw the moon rise above some afternoon clouds as I was taking a stroll around the neighborhood and all I had with me was my iPhone.  I'm not about to carry a heavy lens with me for exercise.  I took the shot below and then when I returned home I grabbed the EOS M6 with the EF 100-400mmL II lens and took a couple of shots (aimed between a gap in the overhead powerlines on my street).  I used the monopod this time because I didn't feel like having to hold the lens up for long periods unsupported just to catch the moon.
.

iPhone6S - rising moon that caught my eye when I was halfway across the neighborhood. The clouds later softened by the time I got home and had become whispy.

M6 @ 100mm (161mm equiv)- wide view - note the change in cloud formation.

M6 @ 400mm (644mm equiv) - cropped (but not as tightly)

.
I've enjoyed using the M cameras for lunar and planetary shots with this lens. Seeing banding on the surface of Jupiter or even the presence of Saturn's rings is quite motivating. It's sometimes more practical than bringing out a telescope and the optics on this Canon lens are quite sharp for this sort of thing.
.

The EF 1.4x III extender is still my first choice but the EF 2x III certainly has its uses.

.
I think I was pushing my luck last year trying to use the M6 with this lens + stacked extenders for handheld shots of the moon at 1800mm+.  Part of me wanted to see if it could even be done.  I was impressed that it was possible and at 1/120sec it was certainly capable. I was disappointed to see that I could capture the Orion Nebula (in color) with this lens but a 4 second exposure with the long focal length always resulted in movement from the Earth turning.  Even with a tripod (though I did get a handheld shot).  I need a tripod with an EQ mount for tracking.
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II + EF 1.4x III + EF12 (spacer) + EF 2x III Extender (100% crop)
Not ideal - but a great example of the resolving ability of this lens.
Note: Two exposures were needed to capture the moons of Jupiter separately.

.
I think I've gotten past the desire to experiment with this lens just to see what it can do.  I'm yet to try to capture a sharper shot of the International Space Station using this combo after getting some interesting detail from my EOS 6D camera using this lens.  The higher magnification (equiv) and high shutter speed necessary ought to make it possible to capture some of the ISS details with better clarity.
.
Not everyone is going to want to use this lens and not everyone is going to want to buy any of the extenders to use with it either. Though it's nice to know we can use it to capture some wonderful detail on the lunar surface if ever we want or need to.  I feel that the use of stacked extenders (which is not recommended by Canon but still appears to work) tends to flatten the image a little.  There's usually some noise that peppers the shots at higher (highest) possible magnifications and your ISO and exposure times become more critical.
.

Heat shimmer is often a problem for me here during warmer daylight hours...

.
Using Extenders limits the use and speed of the lens (you end up with f/11 in most cases) so i was only interested in using the unaided lens in my tests this week. I wasn't sure if I'd have more trouble with that peculiar optical aberration encountered when I used that cheap filter.  And I was curious to see how the lens would perform on the M6 under different conditions. I really need to get myself a proper telescope.  I've settled on two and just need to get around to doing something about it.

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Marco Nero.

 Marco Nero's gear list:Marco Nero's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS M +17 more
VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,931
Re: M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)
3

Using the EF 100-400mm L on my M5 has been my favorite combination over the last two years and your post shows how versatile it can be, either on the M5 or M6. Even though I now have the 60-600mm on my M5, I still plan to use the EF 100-400mm L, especially when I need to carry around a LIGHTER kit. 

By the way, here's an image I thought you'd enjoy of water striders I caught doing a line dance. I was on my knees bent over the pond to look straight down, trying not to fall head first into the water.

Water Striders doing a line dance

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Sharif
Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,522
Re: Sharif: Moon shots with this lens (PICS)
2

Marco,

I am very impressed by your results stacking extenders. I only have experience with the 2x mk.ii version on my 200 f/2.8L lens and the extender significantly reduced detail so that I decided to sell it in the end. Here is one shot of the moon very low anove the horizon already I made with that setup

I tried to expose for the earthlight on the moon (light reflected from earth, lighting up the shadow area on moon visible on the very young moon). There is little surface detail since its so low over the horizon and the extender did no good, too.

Your experience with smeared detail on one day can have to do with bad "seeing". High altitude winds can cause the atmosphere to be so turbulent that details get smeared. If you take a large number of consecutive images and a very few number turns out to be useable then seeing is the problem. There are websites for astronomers with forecasts for astronomical seeing.

Very cool imge you got with the camera afocal through the ocular. Much higher magnifications are possible this way. I find it very hard to hold the camera steady enough without adapters, though and therefore concentrated on focal photography when using the telescope.

here are a few more shots when I tried to capture the earthlight on the moon. Venus (2 o'clock from the moon) and Aldebaran (right below the moon) and very faintly the plejades in the right part of the first image are also visible.

Last one is a full moon I took many years ago with an interesting cloudscape, exposed for the clouds

BR

 Sharif's gear list:Sharif's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 10D Canon EOS M5 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM +6 more
beagle1 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,757
Re: M6 + 100-400mmL II - no Extenders (PICS)

Marco Nero wrote:

EOS M on the EF 100-400mmL II lens

.
EOS M6 + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens - With no Extenders.
(I've written this as a follow up post for folks contemplating this lens for use on the newer DPAF versions of the EOSM cameras).
.
Previous Bokeh Issue:
I ran tests with this lens two years ago in April 2017 where I encountered an unusual issue from using a poor quality filter that seriously affected bokeh in all shots taken (link is below). This is an issue encountered by others and appears to be triggered by using cheap or poor quality filters. The only reason I used one was because I was going to use it on a salt-whipped beach and expected to throw the filter away afterwards. Later I conducted tests with Extenders using this same lens and ran a thread on the EF 1.4x III and EF 2x III Extenders respectively - to describe performance on the (at the time) newly released EOS M6 camera with this same EF 100-400mmL II lens.
.
On the original EOS M this lens was just fantastic with extenders for lunar photography using Manual Focus. But when AF was used, even in daylight, the older EOS M was a terrible match. The newer EOS M models now have DPAF sensors and the difference is exceptional. I've had this lens for almost three years now and it's captured some really solid images on a Full Frame DSLR for me many times.
.
This week I wanted to spend more time with the M6 + 100-400mmL II combo and spent two days shooting with the lens - without the benefit of extenders. The EOS M6's original Canon LP-E17 batteries were fantastic as usual, still performing well after 2 years of regular use... the results of today were more than surprising:
.
* Day 0 = 6 pictures of the moon at various focal lengths.
* Day 1 = 2,537 pictures with a single fully charged battery (+ 4 videos).
* Day 2 = 3,769 pictures with a single fully-charged battery.
.
SETTINGS:
* Mostly taken in Tv-Mode or M-Mode.
* All shot in JPEG
* Monopod used as required.
* NR applied during PP - if needed.
* No sharpening.
* Servo AF used for some shots where subject movement was evident.
* Other than the moon, images were not cropped.
.
ACCESSORIES:
* Inexpensive Manfrotto Monopod (used for some shots)
* HOYA UV MC Filter (77mm) - On the lens at all times.
* HOYA Pro 1 Circular Polarizing Filter (77mm) - For daylight shots.
.
DAY 1 - Critters:
Many of the images were taken in Burst-mode but I also spent time reviewing the images from time to time while sitting down. Two different batteries were used, one for each day. I donate venomous spiders for venom milking at one of our nearby reptile parks my wife and I stopped by to see the American Alligators for a couple of hours on Day 1. The following samples were taken between my house and the park. Our favorite reptile handler had recently lost two fingers to a gator and had to have them reattached since we last caught up with him. I took a shot of his favorite pet "Rosie" (see below).
.
My favorite shot for the day was the Water Strider... which was quite small. Around an inch in size. I saw it when I was leaning over a pond with turtles it it and saw the grey sky reflected on the water and an insect using its legs to rest on the surface via tension. I haven't tried to photograph one before. Image could have been slightly sharper but I was leaning over water and didn't want to scratch the monopod. Most of the Burst shots were either single, double or triple shots. I saw the battery icon turn red just as I was finishing up. There was very little warning between the fully-charged battery icon and running empty.
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Wild Rainbow Lorikeet feeding on nectar

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Wild Eastern Water Dragon (male)

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - a Water Strider walking on water with grey sky reflected.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 'Rosie' the American Alligator (6 years old)

.
DAY 2 - Beachside

Today I'm nursing some basic sunburn from spending about 3 hours on the water. Apparently I didn't learn from the last time I did this and received 2nd degree burns. But it's mid-Autumn here in Sydney, Australia - and I wasn't expecting to have yet another week of warm weather. It's Easter Sunday here so I drove to visit family and spent 1 hour before lunch taking pictures on a beach and another 2 and a half hours on the shore after lunch taking pictures and experimenting. Despite the 3,769 images taken with a single charge on the battery, I did not see any indication that the battery was approaching depletion. It's still in the camera!
.
The use of Servo AF to track birds in flight was very useful - though not always a simple affair with the lens set to 400mm. I didn't have my red-dot targeting reticule mounted to the lens today. But I could snap decently exposed images of all manner of moving subjects. It was actually hard to choose which images to post because there was quite a range of keepers from both days.
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Seagulls on a boat ramp

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Girl on the lagoon

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Seagull washing itself in a rockpool

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Reflected Skies

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Using Servo AF to track two awesome pelicans

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Where most of this shooting took place - (Daylight WB)

.
MOONSHOT:

When I took a walk around the neighborhood to keep my circulation well maintained, I saw a beautiful moon rising the day before I took the photographs above. It motivated me to put on the EF 100-400mmL II lens in the first place. I stood on the side of the road out in front of my house and took a few pictures. I wasn't particularly motivated and even used P-Mode for the first two shots. I don't usually bother to shoot the moon in this phase but I ended up with some interesting lunar crater details. The sun was literally setting as I took the picture below...
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 100% crop of the Moon on Thursday - (*no enlargement).

.
OBSERVATIONS:
The lens is exceptional on a Full Frame DSLR so it's always nice to experiment on APS_C mirrorless models to take advantage of the crop-factor via the smaller sensor. The lens was actually fast enough to capture everything I needed UNLESS I lost sight of the subject while shooting. If the AF reticule missed the subject, there was a delay as the lens breathed in and out and reacquired the subject. Tracking any moving subject was relatively easy - presumably due to the DPAF sensor on the M6. Image quality is excellent with this lens on just about any camera. I spent quite a few months researching this lens and comparing it with longer focal-length options from other brands before settling on it.
.
* ON THE EOS M (original) - terrible. Don't even be tempted. Slow as molasses.
* ON THE EOS M6 (with DPAF) - excellent results (see above samples).
NOTED: - Sharp images with excellent contrast, color and detail. There was an extremely high success rate with all shots. AF is snappy IF the subject is almost in focus. If you miss it, the AF is sometimes slow to relocate the subject if the lens wants to try focusing on the distant background.
.
VIDEO:
Thought I haven't posted samples, the video from this lens was detailed and smooth. Really nice results. Might upload something to YouTube soon.
.
ABOUT THIS LENS:
* One of Canon's more reasonably affordable White L-lenses.
* Exceptionally popular 'newer' lens with a solid reputation.
* Fluorite lens element and UD element greatly improves contrast & resolution.
* High Speed CPU inside the lens is optimized for AF speed + accuracy.
* ASC (Air Sphere Coating) reduces ghosting and backlit flare.
* 4 Stop Image Stabilizer VERY effective in low light.
* New slotted ET-83D lens hood allows easy rotation of CPL filters.
* Impressive (and improved) Closeup ability.
* 3-setting IS switch for various shooting needs.
* New White-grey resin paint on lens matches the Mk III Extenders.
.
Image stabilization is superb on this lens. It's one of Canon's finest, allowing shutter speeds as slow as 1/10sec for some users (though that's not something I experimented with on this occasion). I personally feel that it performs smoother with my DSLRs compared to the EOS M6 but it's clearly doing a great job.
.
Using the Distance Limiter Switch reduced unnecessary delays in AF lens travel.
.
A small, light Monopod is recommended with this lens to prevent or reduce fatigue from the considerable weight of this 1570g (3.46lb) lens, not including the Lens Adapter.
.
The best thing about the last two days is that I was able to experiment with bokeh and yet I didn't end up dealing with that awful problems with distortion and artifacts (see thread here if you're wondering what I'm referring to.)
--
Regards,
Marco Nero.

I use the old original Canon 100-400 with the M5

www.flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless

Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
Re: water striders
1

VisionLight wrote:

Using the EF 100-400mm L on my M5 has been my favorite combination over the last two years and your post shows how versatile it can be, either on the M5 or M6. Even though I now have the 60-600mm on my M5, I still plan to use the EF 100-400mm L, especially when I need to carry around a LIGHTERkit.

By the way, here's an image I thought you'd enjoy of water striders I caught doing a line dance. I was on my knees bent over the pond to look straight down, trying not to fall head first into the water.

Water Striders doing a line dance

That's a very intriguing and visually appealing image.  I've only seen them out in the Australian bush when I didn't have a suitable lens with me.  The colors in your shot really draw you in.  Look at them all!

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

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Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
Sharif: extenders & moon shots (PICS)
1

Sharif wrote:

Marco,

I am very impressed by your results stacking extenders. I only have experience with the 2x mk.ii version on my 200 f/2.8L lens and the extender significantly reduced detail so that I decided to sell it in the end. Here is one shot of the moon very low anove the horizon already I made with that setup

I had read many accounts about the earlier Mk II version extenders reducing image quality or softening an image.  In fact I rejected the Mk III Extenders for this reason when I bought the 100-400mmL II lens and Canon asked me several times to reconsider.  In the end I began to research the Mk III Extenders on Canon's recommendation and found they had been redesigned with new optics, paint, body shell and processor and all the users who had moved on to the Mk III from earlier versions were generally more than happy with the results.  The 1.4x III has virtually no effect in image quality at all but slows down some of my DSRLs.  The 2x III does offer additional detail but there's a smoothing of some of the subtle details (which can have several causes) yet for lunar work it's great. 
.

The Mk III extender test I conducted a couple of years ago...
I tentatively bought an extender (I think it was the 1.4x III) and was suitably impressed enough to try the 2x III.  If you saw these two samples (below) before, just disregard them but these show the test I conducted for myself to compare the differences - since owners of the Mk 1 lens and Mk II extenders complained they actually lost detail and ended up with blurred edges etc when using the older combinations.
.

Cropped image showing a 200% enlargement compared to 2x III Extender magnification. The clouds had moved between the taking of both comparison shots.  There's less anti-aliasing showing up too.

Just something to show how far away the subject was.  I was standing right here in this same spot today - which is where I parked to photograph some bats roosting nearby.
.
I then conducted a comparison where I enlarged an image by 200% and compared it to a shot using the 2x III extender.  There was much more detail captured with the Extender so that was what it took to convince me to stick with them.  Admittedly, stacking both extenders together is ruinous and a considerable slowdown for general photography.  Canon's design for the Mk III extenders differs from the Mk II in that you can no longer stack them together (unless you use a spacer like the EF12).
.
I suppose that in the end, I really ought to be using a telescope with a T-mount for this sort of thing.  I've settled on what I need, I just need to prioritize the purchase.  Last week one of my cats almost died and it turned out he has diabetes (cause was: age + breed combo). It cost me thousands to resurrect him and bring him back to normal so that takes priority at the moment.  The 32mm lens has been covering the vet visits and I'll try to post something shortly on a different thread for that lens.
.

These two shots above are beautiful  I actually like the one with the smaller moon immensely.   You caught the earthshine too.  The one below that one (directly above) is a good example of backlit cloud illumination with a bright moon.  It's almost a shame cameras' can't capture quite what we see with the human eye. Whenever I try to stack an image like that to reveal the lunar details it often looks a bit fake. I was able to blend two shots together (below) on one occasion that accurately represented what I could see with my eyes but it helped that the moon was in a darker spot above the cloud layer.
.

EOS M + EF 135mm f/2 STM lens - two-shot composite

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

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Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
SECOND set of Images - (PICS)
4

.
Another batch of images taken on the weekend with the M6 + EF 100-400mmL II lens combo. My parents have a house across the road from the ocean but I'm only there a few times a month when visiting.  The only image that required a serious amount of Noise Reduction was the first one of the Kookaburra (bird).  I ran a medium NR pass with Topaz Denoise on that shot (a Photoshop pluggin filter).  I had a Circular Polarizing filter on the lens and the bird was in heavy shadow.  A higher ISO setting (ISO 2000) combined with the APS-C sensor and lifting shadows resulted in a bit of noise that needed work.  This bird visits every morning and hunts for small snakes and lizards in our backyard.  Sometimes he brings his girlfriend. He doesn't leave any mess on the railings but he once left a dead (but deadly) baby Brown Snake behind.
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Some of these shots contain interesting color and detail though they might not be perfect examples.  I figured they demonstrate a little of what to expect from the lens combo with one of the EOSM cameras.  The hardest thing was picking through all the thousands of images (literally) to decide which ones to keep.  I think I've only edited the ones that stood out strongest to me.
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M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - A regular Kookaburra (Kingfisher) on my deck handrail at home.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - An American Alligator (part of a breeding program here)

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - The beach across the road (nice detail too)

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Cunningham's Skink.  I can never catch these by hand.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - A couple relaxing by the Pacific ocean

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - An Australian Dingo (native dog).

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Mick with 'Buddy' at a local reptile park.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - 'Buddy' the Tegu Lizard
(Shot from between the heads of a crowd of people standing behind a solid fence).

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Fishermen on the rocks.  They usually catch cuttlefish here.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - One of the smaller captive American Alligators.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - Last car to leave the park.

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

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Sharif
Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,522
Re: Sharif: extenders & moon shots (PICS)

Marco Nero wrote:

Sharif wrote:

Marco,

I am very impressed by your results stacking extenders. I only have experience with the 2x mk.ii version on my 200 f/2.8L lens and the extender significantly reduced detail so that I decided to sell it in the end. Here is one shot of the moon very low anove the horizon already I made with that setup

I had read many accounts about the earlier Mk II version extenders reducing image quality or softening an image. In fact I rejected the Mk III Extenders for this reason when I bought the 100-400mmL II lens and Canon asked me several times to reconsider. In the end I began to research the Mk III Extenders on Canon's recommendation and found they had been redesigned with new optics, paint, body shell and processor and all the users who had moved on to the Mk III from earlier versions were generally more than happy with the results. The 1.4x III has virtually no effect in image quality at all but slows down some of my DSRLs. The 2x III does offer additional detail but there's a smoothing of some of the subtle details (which can have several causes) yet for lunar work it's great.
.

The Mk III extender test I conducted a couple of years ago...
I tentatively bought an extender (I think it was the 1.4x III) and was suitably impressed enough to try the 2x III. If you saw these two samples (below) before, just disregard them but these show the test I conducted for myself to compare the differences - since owners of the Mk 1 lens and Mk II extenders complained they actually lost detail and ended up with blurred edges etc when using the older combinations.
.

Cropped image showing a 200% enlargement compared to 2x III Extender magnification. The clouds had moved between the taking of both comparison shots. There's less anti-aliasing showing up too.

Just something to show how far away the subject was. I was standing right here in this same spot today - which is where I parked to photograph some bats roosting nearby.

.
I then conducted a comparison where I enlarged an image by 200% and compared it to a shot using the 2x III extender. There was much more detail captured with the Extender so that was what it took to convince me to stick with them. Admittedly, stacking both extenders together is ruinous and a considerable slowdown for general photography. Canon's design for the Mk III extenders differs from the Mk II in that you can no longer stack them together (unless you use a spacer like the EF12).
.
I suppose that in the end, I really ought to be using a telescope with a T-mount for this sort of thing. I've settled on what I need, I just need to prioritize the purchase. Last week one of my cats almost died and it turned out he has diabetes (cause was: age + breed combo). It cost me thousands to resurrect him and bring him back to normal so that takes priority at the moment. The 32mm lens has been covering the vet visits and I'll try to post something shortly on a different thread for that lens.
.

indeed the test images with the Mk.iii extender look very good! much better than what I got with the Mk.ii on the 200L lens.

These two shots above are beautiful I actually like the one with the smaller moon immensely. You caught the earthshine too. The one below that one (directly above) is a good example of backlit cloud illumination with a bright moon. It's almost a shame cameras' can't capture quite what we see with the human eye. Whenever I try to stack an image like that to reveal the lunar details it often looks a bit fake. I was able to blend two shots together (below) on one occasion that accurately represented what I could see with my eyes but it helped that the moon was in a darker spot above the cloud layer.
.

EOS M + EF 135mm f/2 STM lens - two-shot composite

thanks for the nice word. in fact the problems we have to show exactly what we see when we look at the moon with clouds shows the amazing dynamic range our eyes and brains can apply to what we see. But you certainly did well to conserve surface detail on your moonshot

BR

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VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,931
Re: SECOND set of Images - (PICS)

Marco Nero wrote:

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - One of the smaller captive American Alligators.

Of all your recent images, this is my favorite.

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Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
To: VisionLight - Alligator PIC
1

VisionLight wrote:

Marco Nero wrote:

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II - One of the smaller captive American Alligators.

Of all your recent images, this is my favorite.

It might be the framing with the reflected branches because I liked the same preview image on the camera's LCD when I was reviewing the icons at the end of the day. Might have looked better without the green plants reflecting in the distance.   I think she was resting on a fallen tree branch that was under the surface.  I took quite a few pictures of this alligator with my battery icon flashing orange the whole time. It wasn't a particularly large reptile. I couldn't tell for sure but I assumed it was a female (the females don't grow much larger than this one).  The water was quite still and any small disturbance showed up on the surface.
.

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II

M6 + EF 100-400mmL II

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

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Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
Re: M6 @ 400mm - SHARPNESS
1

Craig Smith wrote:

A great example of why Canon L glass is so good. Even on an M series camera the images are stunning. Thanks for the follow up!

Hi Craig.  I spent a lot of time researching this lens before buying it - which is why I tend to only suffer Buyer's Remorse when I impulse-buy (which is rare for me). I don't normally like zoom lenses as I prefer the optical performance of Primes.  I also like the images taken by faster, larger White-L-series lenses with smaller apertures.  But the size and weight and price of those are very nicely compromised in their incorporation unto the EF 100-400mmL II lens.  I'm interested in the 800mm primes from Canon but that's a lot of money that I think would be better met with a telescope (and a lot less risk of dropping or breaking such a lens in transit)  I originally wanted just a little more focal length but in the end selected this one for its excellent optical properties. It's very sharp right across the frame and that's something I couldn't ensure with the alternatives I was comparing it with.  To be honest, I lost a bit of confidence in this lens on my M6 when I had that problem with streaky bokeh back in 2017... which was presumably the result of a cheaper filter (that may not have been perfectly clean).
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I have to admit that the images are slightly more visually appealing when this lens is mounted on a full-frame sensor.  They're smoother and have a little more "depth" to them in a way that APS-C doesn't quite seem to translate.  So the motivation for me to try using the lens on the EOS M6 was more of less to see how useful it is to squeeze out a little more zoom.  On an APS-C sensor, the focal length of this 100mm-400mm lens becomes 161mm-644mm (equiv) ... and that's quite a decent amount of zoom to have on hand.  The shallow DOF is throttled back a bit but it's still available as needed.  It's just a bit less pronounced.  I'd say the AF speed when the lens adjusts from near-to-far is much-much faster on a DSLR.  But on the M6 + DPAF sensor it was still snappy as long as the focus was close to being nailed.  If I was trying to photograph a bird in flight and missed, the lens would lose the focus and then of course I couldn't even see the critter on the LCD after the focus was lost.  I'll probably use this lens on my FF DSLRs or my wife's EOS R from now on.  The shots below of areal vehicles show subjects that needed to be tracked more carefully because if the AF reticule was missed, the entire image blurred and I lost track of the subject quickly.  The drone was obviously harder to track than the helicopter.
.

M6 @ 400mm - Easy to track with Servo AF.

M6 @ 400mm - Quite tricky to track this and keep the lens steady with a moving drone.
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What I was reminded of this weekend (especially when shooting indoors or in strong shadow) was that the smaller APS-C sensor means less light to play with and that this was enhanced further when the application of a Circular Polarizer... which cut down on my light even further.  It wasn't a problem in bright, sunlight shots.  But it was slightly problematic with faster apertures and darker scenes.  With Full Frame I don't need to be so concerned with these things and there's quite a bit more room with settings compared to APS-C. 
.

M6 - Servo AF Tracking performed VERY well with this combo

M6 - tracking over a complex scene - Target was the seagull just upper-left of center.
M6 - Same building from the shot above it with the car.  Nice, sharp JPEG quality

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The shots taken with SERVO AF were numerous and I found the camera+lens worked VERY well to track moving objects and subjects approaching or receding from me.  Birds flying overhead were always in focus if I kept the AF reticule overlapped with the subject.  Sharpness was very good.  Colors appeared accurate.
.

M6 @ 400mm - Shot from about 120 feet away (644mm equiv).

M6 - 100% CROP - (don't worry, there's no abusable or identifying details visible)

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One of the most curious shots I took showed a guy taking a picture with his smartphone on the beach at midday.  There's no identifying data that can be misused in the shot as the first digits of his credit card simply identity the type of card and not the owner or his details - but I was more than surprised to see the smart-chip contact-dividers on the credit card - which are incredibly fine.  This was taken at f/5.6 - and could have been sharper if I'd altered by camera's settings.  The bokeh was nice and the colors were accurate. The AF target was the top edge of the phone.   He must have been close to 120 feet away or more (if I measured the distance with Google Earth correctly).  Since this was a JPEG shot, there's a small amount of anti-aliasing that I haven't bothered to correct - but I think I'll show more caution when pulling out my credit cards in public from now on.  I didn't even need to apply sharpening. Makes you wonder what law enforcement are using these days.
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M6 + EF 100-400mmL II lens @ f/5 - I don't think I need anything sharper than this.

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Even when shooting with the aperture fairly wide open, whether the lens was zoomed or wide, the clarity of the images was more than I expected on the M6, even when factoring in the crop on the image circle.  At 100mm (161mm equiv) this lens is almost painfully sharp.  Shooting over hot sand and warm water on a 27C day meant longer shots with more zoom were likely to be softer with distant subjects - but it still surprised me.
.

I'm not likely to use this lens very often on the M6 but I feel confident in what to expect if ever I feel a need to use this combination again.
--
Regards,
Marco Nero.

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