An RF super telephoto zoom on the way, likely in late 2020 [CR1]

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
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3,112
G Dan, I tend to agree that for me the short end can be handled by another lens in less critical circumstances, whereas when I need the long end I'm more often scrambling, dealing with a fleeting subject. Maybe this is just my perception. The problem I have with the longer lenses is simply weight that I can't handle when hiking and hand holding shots. While I certainly can appreciate the value of a zoom, my use scenario for the long end - 400 X1.4 but more often 400 X2 generally has me wishing for more FL not less. A second camera for shorter shooting is also and option for me since my wife is accommodating.;)

In other words I don't imagine I'd be wishing I could zoom out as much as zoom in.

Jack
Having to use long, heavier lenses is the downside of a 1DXII for bird photography. A high resolution body with shorter, lighter lenses is my solution for reach and portability but YMMV.
 
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flip314

EOS RP
Sep 26, 2018
241
347
The Sony forums are debating their 100-400mm vs 200-600mm, and the bigger lens is gaining traction. My personal view is that the 100-400mm is more versatile and certainly much better suited for carrying around, but in a safari jeep or more sedentary photography I'd like a 200-600mm as well. The Sony 200-600mm is really nice but it is heavy, too much so in the front, and too large. A lighter Canon equivalent would be welcome if it outperforms a Sigma 150-600mm C.
On safari you get close enough to most things that 200mm is probably too long (but even 100mm might be as well). Though, there are definitely some animals that you can't get close to where the 600mm is an advantage over 400mm. I took my 80D with a 70-300 IS II, and the 480mm equivalent wasn't always as much as I would have liked. The ~112mm at the close end was often too much for close up things (especially if you want to catch them in context), so I did a fair number of lens swaps

Next time I'll bring a second body with a normal zoom and get my wife to help out with the photos.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,112
On safari you get close enough to most things that 200mm is probably too long (but even 100mm might be as well). Though, there are definitely some animals that you can't get close to where the 600mm is an advantage over 400mm. I took my 80D with a 70-300 IS II, and the 480mm equivalent wasn't always as much as I would have liked. The ~112mm at the close end was often too much for close up things (especially if you want to catch them in context), so I did a fair number of lens swaps

Next time I'll bring a second body with a normal zoom and get my wife to help out with the photos.
On our safari, my wife had the 100-400 zoom, I had the 400mm DO II + extenders on our FFs, and I had a 24-600mm equivalent bridge (Sony RX10IV) to cope with the close ups. If you are close or want scenes, the bridge camera is invaluable with no need to change lenses.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
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I'm sure that SOME photographers would prefer the shorter and lighter 400mm length over a 500mm maximum focal length, but I'm not so sure that MOST feel that way.

I use and like the 100-400mm v.2 lens. It is a mainstay in my photography. But for a good portion of my use of the lens— particularly my migratory bird photography — I would find the longer range to be quite useful, even at the expense of the 100mm focal length.

YMMV.
You say that you would prefer a 200-400 over the 100-400, but when it comes out priced at about $6-8K or more and weighs twice as much, will you still feel that way?

If it is priced anywhere near the same as the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II then the image quality on the long end will be similar to the 150-600mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron. You can crop an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II image to 600mm equivalent and still have higher resolution than using any of the 150-600mm lenses at 600mm on the same camera body. They all start getting soft past about 350-400mm. That can be overcome, such as with the $11K EF 200-400mm f/4L IS, but it comes with a steep price tag.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,149
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Alberta, Canada
You say that you would prefer a 200-400 over the 100-400, but when it comes out priced at about $6-8K or more and weighs twice as much, will you still feel that way?

If it is priced anywhere near the same as the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II then the image quality on the long end will be similar to the 150-600mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron. You can crop an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II image to 600mm equivalent and still have higher resolution than using any of the 150-600mm lenses at 600mm on the same camera body. They all start getting soft past about 350-400mm. That can be overcome, such as with the $11K EF 200-400mm f/4L IS, but it comes with a steep price tag.
The nonlinearity is a killer with many low-L or non-L to high-L transitions - you might pay maybe 100% more for a 10% improvement in IQ. I learned that with my transition to the 300 2.8 II. ;) The price of trying to match the highest level photographers.

Jack
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,112
You say that you would prefer a 200-400 over the 100-400, but when it comes out priced at about $6-8K or more and weighs twice as much, will you still feel that way?

If it is priced anywhere near the same as the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II then the image quality on the long end will be similar to the 150-600mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron. You can crop an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II image to 600mm equivalent and still have higher resolution than using any of the 150-600mm lenses at 600mm on the same camera body. They all start getting soft past about 350-400mm. That can be overcome, such as with the $11K EF 200-400mm f/4L IS, but it comes with a steep price tag.
I have been following with much interest on FM the Sony 200-600mm, which costs about the same as the Canon 100-400mm II. It looks spectacular at 600mm and even very sharp at 1200mm. It’s been tested elsewhere vs the Sony 100-400mm and seems better where they overlap. As yet, I haven’t found any reports of independent MTF measurements. TDP has tested it and his charts are very sharp. So, it is possible to produce an affordable very high quality 200-600mm https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1438&Camera=1175&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=0&CameraComp=0&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
I don't like tests of just one copy of a lens but it is difficult even for TDP to make a lens sharper than it is, and there are now loads of actual images from independent bird photographers showing how good their copies are: eg https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1612951

By the way, my copy of the Sigma 150-600mm C is very sharp and holds up well with my 100-400mm II at the centre. It has similar IQ at 400mm and at 600mm is at least as good as the 100-400mm II at 560mm with my best TC. There is copy variation and so some copies might be not so good. But, lensrentals tested 10 copies and the results are pretty good https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/the-sort-of-great-400mm-shootout/ I am known here to be a great fan of the 100-400mm II because it combines great IQ with great AF. It is the AF and much lighter weight that makes it my choice over the others, not so much the optics.
 
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Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
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I have been following with much interest on FM the Sony 200-600mm, which costs about the same as the Canon 100-400mm II. It looks spectacular at 600mm and even very sharp at 1200mm. It’s been tested elsewhere vs the Sony 100-400mm and seems better where they overlap. As yet, I haven’t found any reports of independent MTF measurements. TDP has tested it and his charts are very sharp. So, it is possible to produce an affordable very high quality 200-600mm https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1438&Camera=1175&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=0&CameraComp=0&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
I don't like tests of just one copy of a lens but it is difficult even for TDP to make a lens sharper than it is, and there are now loads of actual images from independent bird photographers showing how good their copies are: eg https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1612951

By the way, my copy of the Sigma 150-600mm C is very sharp and holds up well with my 100-400mm II at the centre. It has similar IQ at 400mm and at 600mm is at least as good as the 100-400mm II at 560mm with my best TC. There is copy variation and so some copies might be not so good. But, lensrentals tested 10 copies and the results are pretty good https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/the-sort-of-great-400mm-shootout/ I am known here to be a great fan of the 100-400mm II because it combines great IQ with great AF. It is the AF and much lighter weight that makes it my choice over the others, not so much the optics.

The original conversation was about a 500/5.6, not a 500/6.3. While 1/3 stop doesn't seem like much, the difference in entrance pupils of 90mm compared to 80mm extended to three dimensions (because front elements of lenses are three dimensional objects) results in almost 40% more glass for the front element. That's a considerable amount of weight of a fairly expensive material on the front end of the lens.
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,112
The original conversation was about a 500/5.6, not a 500/6.3. While 1/3 stop doesn't seem like much, the difference in entrance pupils of 90mm compared to 80mm extended to three dimensions (because front elements of lenses are three dimensional objects) results in almost 40% more glass for the front element. That's a considerable amount of weight of a fairly expensive material on the front end of the lens.
The Sony is a 600/6.3, not a 500/6.3, the same as the Sigma and Tamron you dismissed as being soft, and it has a similar sized entrance pupil to a 500/5.6 with similar amounts of glass.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
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The Sony is a 600/6.3, not a 500/6.3, the same as the Sigma and Tamron you dismissed as being soft, and it has a similar sized entrance pupil to a 500/5.6 with similar amounts of glass.
The Sigma 150-600 C is f/6.3 at 388mm and above.
The Sigma 150-600 S is f/6.3 at 321mm and above.
The Tamron 150-600mm is f/6.3 at 428mm and above.
The older non-Global Vision Sigma 150-600mm is f/6.3 at 313mm and above.

The Sony 200-600mm is f/5.6 from 200-299mm and f/6.3 at 300mm and above.

All focal length/aperture ranges are as quoted by The-Digital-Picture.

A 500mm f/5.6 would require a larger front element than these lenses.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,112
The Sigma 150-600 C is f/6.3 at 388mm and above.
The Sigma 150-600 S is f/6.3 at 321mm and above.
The Tamron 150-600mm is f/6.3 at 428mm and above.
The older non-Global Vision Sigma 150-600mm is f/6.3 at 313mm and above.

The Sony 200-600mm is f/5.6 from 200-299mm and f/6.3 at 300mm and above.

All focal length/aperture ranges are as quoted by The-Digital-Picture.

A 500mm f/5.6 would require a larger front element than these lenses.
A 500mm f/5.6 requires a front element of 500/5.6 mm, that is 89.3mm, or greater.
A 600mm f/6.3 requires a front element of 600/6.3 mm, that is 95.3mm, or greater.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,611
2,075
The Sigma 150-600 C is f/6.3 at 388mm and above.
The Sigma 150-600 S is f/6.3 at 321mm and above.
The Tamron 150-600mm is f/6.3 at 428mm and above.
The older non-Global Vision Sigma 150-600mm is f/6.3 at 313mm and above.

The Sony 200-600mm is f/5.6 from 200-299mm and f/6.3 at 300mm and above.
Thanks for taking the time to look up all those numbers, but you needn't have bothered. All of those lenses go to 600mm. The focal length at which they become f/6.3 is irrelevant, they are f/6.3 at 600mm.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
1,062
514
Thanks for taking the time to look up all those numbers, but you needn't have bothered. All of those lenses go to 600mm. The focal length at which they become f/6.3 is irrelevant, they are f/6.3 at 600mm.
Yeah, and lens makers have never, ever, not once rounded the rated f-number at the maximum focal length down from what it actually is, have they? :rolleyes:

Or used the two separate data fields in the Canon EF system (apparently placed there way back in 1987 to allow for tilt/shift lenses with manual aperture rings to report both their maximum and current aperture separately) to tell the camera it is an f/5.6 lens set to f/6.3 when the actual maximum entrance pupil at maximum focal length is f/6.3-f/7. :eek: (cough - Tamron - cough, cough - Sigma - cough - Kenko - cough, cough...)