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Author Topic: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II  (Read 4484 times)

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First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« on: June 12, 2012, 12:51:18 PM »
What do we think?
I have posted our initial impressions of the new Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II. My professional outdoor photographer friend Ethan Meleg took the lens for a day to see how it performed.

Visit Ethan on Twitter | Facebook | Blog

As with all reviews at Canon Rumors, there’s absolutely no technical stuff. We just try to tell you what we think about it in real world situations. There will be lots of pixel peeping coming in the near future I’m sure from the sites that do it great.

We’ll update the review in the coming months, we just haven’t had enough time to put it through all the various situations we might use a 600mm lens for.

Read our initial impression

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First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« on: June 12, 2012, 12:51:18 PM »

bkorcel

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 01:21:41 PM »
I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

bbasiaga

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 01:34:18 PM »
Sounds like a real advancement.  Lighter, sharper, better IS.  Obviously priced out of reach of hobbyists like myself, but sounds like a worthwhile upgrade for pro's on the move.

-Brian

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 02:40:03 PM »
I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

It'll be pretty tough to beat the IQ on the 300 2.8L.
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bkorcel

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 03:18:40 PM »
Dont get me wrong!!! The images below are fantastic.  I'm just comparing with the 300 2.8 w/ the 2xIII extender = 600mm f5.6.  If I had to make a purchase decision based on this ifo alone, I would choose the 300 with the extender based on cost and flexibility.

Now the 600 with an extender....that's a different thing entirely....waiting for those shots to come out....

I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

It'll be pretty tough to beat the IQ on the 300 2.8L.

bdeutsch

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 03:22:30 PM »
Looks fantastic.  Now I need to come up with some ideas and time for projects to justify renting it for some play time.


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canon816

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 03:50:32 PM »
I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

Actually, you are right on.  These images are a little soft.  I have an old 600mm NON-IS lens that is 15 years old and the images are tack sharp.  Not quite as sharp as my 300 f2.8 but very very sharp.  The images presented in this "first impressions write-up" are a little soft.  The first one is quite sharp but the following two are not.  (even the heavily cropped indigo bunting should be much sharper even without any post processing) 

I suspect that this lens was not MA calibrated on the camera body.  Even being off by a few MA points will degrade the image dramatically especially when you are shooting with such a long focal length at subjects as close as this.  The depth of field is so small that there is not any forgiveness if your focus misses just a tiny bit. 

I'd be interested to know if Ethan adjusted the MA on this and if so what his method of determining the correct setting.  This lens should be performing better then presented. 

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 03:50:32 PM »

Ethan Meleg

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 04:19:19 PM »
Hi guys,
I didn't have a chance to MA calibrate the lens on my 1D4 body - there wasn't time (I only had the lens for a very short  time). Any softness could also just be the result of my own technique. Lack of sleep plus swarms of black flies made for a challenging shoot! 
cheers,
Ethan

bkorcel

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 04:49:19 PM »
Well one shoot is never a deciding factor on any product and I'm sure you wanted to get this lens back ASAP before something happened to it!  ;)

Hi guys,
I didn't have a chance to MA calibrate the lens on my 1D4 body - there wasn't time (I only had the lens for a very short  time). Any softness could also just be the result of my own technique. Lack of sleep plus swarms of black flies made for a challenging shoot! 
cheers,
Ethan

canon816

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 06:46:19 PM »
Hi guys,
I didn't have a chance to MA calibrate the lens on my 1D4 body - there wasn't time (I only had the lens for a very short  time). Any softness could also just be the result of my own technique. Lack of sleep plus swarms of black flies made for a challenging shoot! 
cheers,
Ethan

Ethan,

Thanks for the clarification.  Hopefully you get another chance to play with this lens.... if the owner is willing to part with it again. ;)  I'm sure this much lighter version was quite nice to hike around with. 

Take care,

Chris

canon816

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 06:49:15 PM »
I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

It'll be pretty tough to beat the IQ on the 300 2.8L.

The IQ of the 300 f2.8 is very tough to beat.  Add a 2xIII converter and most prime tele lenses will knock its socks off...  Which is how the comparison to the 600 was made by bkorcel  ;)

Razor2012

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 07:45:37 PM »
I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

It'll be pretty tough to beat the IQ on the 300 2.8L.

The IQ of the 300 f2.8 is very tough to beat.  Add a 2xIII converter and most prime tele lenses will knock its socks off...  Which is how the comparison to the 600 was made by bkorcel  ;)

Yep seen that, was just commenting on how sharp the 300 was.  ;)
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DB

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 08:16:41 PM »
Would be nice to see some sports photography (action) shots with it, but as you say you're going to get more use out of it in the coming months.

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 08:16:41 PM »

FarQinell

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 05:02:53 AM »
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The images look pretty sharp!

However please supply proper 100% crops so we can take judge!

Should be easy to do.

Could we have a moon shot or two as well with/without 1.4xTC when weather conditions are right.

I suspect these latest very expensive long lenses from Canon are "birder" lenses designed for max sharpness at close range - say 50Xfocal length ie not exceptionally sharp at infinity - say 300 metres and beyond.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 05:17:57 AM by FarQinell »

canon816

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 07:38:29 AM »
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The images look pretty sharp!

However please supply proper 100% crops so we can take judge!

Should be easy to do.

Could we have a moon shot or two as well with/without 1.4xTC when weather conditions are right.

I suspect these latest very expensive long lenses from Canon are "birder" lenses designed for max sharpness at close range - say 50Xfocal length ie not exceptionally sharp at infinity - say 300 metres and beyond.

Just click on the image and click on it after it has loaded and you will get pretty much 100%.  These files are very large JPGs so determining IQ from them is a fair assessment.

In my experience lenses that are very sharp up close are very sharp far away.   As long as you are shooting with a calibrated AFMA you can expect the same IQ across the distance range.  The limiting factors are not the glass, but rather less pixel density across your subject and more atmospheric factors to contend with.

I agree, it would sure be nice to see more test images, and of subjects shot at a variety of distances and not only birds but mammals, people, brick buildings.... etc...

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Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 07:38:29 AM »