Cameralabs review of Canon RF 100-500 L

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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My general impression from this video is that it is fantastic but also meh if you already have a 100-400II or a similar focal length lens.
Ken Rockwell has a very good comparison of the 100-400mm II and the 100-500mm at the end of his review of the RF.
https://kenrockwell.com/canon/eos-r/lenses/100-500mm.htm and is quite emphatic that it's not worth "upgrading" if you have the EF lens already. I had already made the decision to stick with the 100-400mm II as it works so well with the R5. The 100-400mm II works so well with extenders on the R5.
Ken Rockwell appears quite erudite compared with the YouTubers than when he was one of the rare "popular" reviewers.
 

Codebunny

EOS R1
Sep 5, 2018
631
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Ken Rockwell has a very good comparison of the 100-400mm II and the 100-500mm at the end of his review of the RF.
https://kenrockwell.com/canon/eos-r/lenses/100-500mm.htm and is quite emphatic that it's not worth "upgrading" if you have the EF lens already. I had already made the decision to stick with the 100-400mm II as it works so well with the R5. The 100-400mm II works so well with extenders on the R5.
Ken Rockwell appears quite erudite compared with the YouTubers than when he was one of the rare "popular" reviewers.
Aye and as you know I dinny have the EF ether. £7377 is a lot of money to get a R5 and 100-500 that isn't as sharp nor as bright as the nifty 500. I think a 400 f/4 DO or 500 f/4 - f/5.6 DO would get me to drop serious money, but there is alway time. I'll buy the 500 PF and wait it out with that for a few years, focusing on my technique, and then see who has the big boy lens I want. I can spend the £4000 I save on a nice Canon printer and some bits and bobs.

Edit: Just to add, I don't think this is a bad lens. I just don't personally think it is the one to get me into the RF system.
 

SteveC

R5
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Sep 3, 2019
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Ken Rockwell has a very good comparison of the 100-400mm II and the 100-500mm at the end of his review of the RF.
https://kenrockwell.com/canon/eos-r/lenses/100-500mm.htm and is quite emphatic that it's not worth "upgrading" if you have the EF lens already. I had already made the decision to stick with the 100-400mm II as it works so well with the R5. The 100-400mm II works so well with extenders on the R5.
Ken Rockwell appears quite erudite compared with the YouTubers than when he was one of the rare "popular" reviewers.
That's just about where I am at. In fact a good reason NOT to buy the 100-500mm is if you ever anticipate wanting something like this to be used on an non RF camera, such as my M6 mark II.

As such, even though I bought my 100-400 about a year ago, I am NOT in the camp of people saying, "dang, if I had only waited, I could have got the R 100-500, now with the money sunk into the 100-400 it's not worth the upgrade." I'd actually rather have the EF 100-400 than the RF 100-500.

However: Everyone's circumstances are different!

Was on a trip this weekend and saw at least two 100-400s on other peoples' cameras (I was using the 24-105). As far as I know I had the only R5 but I did see a 5D or two and a couple of 40s. (And those are only people I struck up a convo with; I can't recognize them on sight!)

I saw many Canons, about half as many Nikons, and no S*nys. (Very unlike where I live where Nikon seems to rule the roost.)
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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That's just about where I am at. In fact a good reason NOT to buy the 100-500mm is if you ever anticipate wanting something like this to be used on an non RF camera, such as my M6 mark II.

As such, even though I bought my 100-400 about a year ago, I am NOT in the camp of people saying, "dang, if I had only waited, I could have got the R 100-500, now with the money sunk into the 100-400 it's not worth the upgrade." I'd actually rather have the EF 100-400 than the RF 100-500.

However: Everyone's circumstances are different!

Was on a trip this weekend and saw at least two 100-400s on other peoples' cameras (I was using the 24-105). As far as I know I had the only R5 but I did see a 5D or two and a couple of 40s. (And those are only people I struck up a convo with; I can't recognize them on sight!)

I saw many Canons, about half as many Nikons, and no S*nys. (Very unlike where I live where Nikon seems to rule the roost.)
There are some real advantages of the 100-400mm when working with extenders (the RF 1.4x and 2x are very expensive, and I have the EF ones anyway). First, the 100-400mm, gives you 140-560mm and 200-800mm, but the design (flaw?) of the 100-500mm gives 420-700mm and 600-1000mm, losing a lot of the short end and requiring removal for carrying the lens fully retracted. Secondly, I feel with 2xTC attached the 100-400mm at 800mm and f/11 is going to b e more useful than 1000mm f/14 with the 100-500mm. That's not to knock the 100-500mm, it's a great lens and has advantages of size, weight and reach when used bare. In short, it's win-win for Canon users - nice choice to make,
 

docsmith

EOS R
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Sep 17, 2010
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Only advantage of RF being better AF and slightly longer range compared to EF.
Owning the 100-400 II, the "better AF" is the only aspect that really interests me. The 100-400 II with 1.4TC is great on my 5DIV (still waiting on an R5). I am content to wait to see if the faster AF is significant enough that it warrants the swapping of lenses. So far, doesn't seem like it.

That said, I am also tempted to keep most of my EF lineup as it is very good, and I really like the idea behind the drop in filter adapter.
 
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SteveC

R5
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Sep 3, 2019
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There are some real advantages of the 100-400mm when working with extenders (the RF 1.4x and 2x are very expensive, and I have the EF ones anyway). First, the 100-400mm, gives you 140-560mm and 200-800mm, but the design (flaw?) of the 100-500mm gives 420-700mm and 600-1000mm, losing a lot of the short end and requiring removal for carrying the lens fully retracted. Secondly, I feel with 2xTC attached the 100-400mm at 800mm and f/11 is going to b e more useful than 1000mm f/14 with the 100-500mm. That's not to knock the 100-500mm, it's a great lens and has advantages of size, weight and reach when used bare. In short, it's win-win for Canon users - nice choice to make,
Wow, I had totally forgotten about the RF extenders imposing a lower limit higher than would be expected! Yeah, I made the right decision for me for sure.

I just picked up an EF 1.4 extender and haven't had the chance to try it out. It's supposedly MUCH better on the 100-400 than the 2.0 is, at least anecdotally (and not just because of gaining a stop of speed).
 
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AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
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Aug 16, 2012
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Wow, I had totally forgotten about the RF extenders imposing a lower limit higher than would be expected! Yeah, I made the right decision for me for sure.

I just picked up an EF 1.4 extender and haven't had the chance to try it out. It's supposedly MUCH better on the 100-400 than the 2.0 is, at least anecdotally (and not just because of gaining a stop of speed).
The 1.4 is very good on the 100-400. Much to my surprise, the 2.0xTC is quite good and focusses well. My very good Sigma 150-600mm is going to be sold as it is now redundant - it focusses very slowly with the 1.4xTC on the R5 and isn't fast without the TC.
 

Bdbtoys

EOS 90D
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Jul 16, 2020
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The only thing I'm not thrilled with the 100-500 is the TC usage. 100-300 is 3" of extension on the lens... 300-500 is 1/2" more. So when using a TC, you are almost always at full lens extension. Outside of that... I am really happy with the IQ.
 

Bert63

What’s in da box?
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Dec 3, 2017
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Cancelled my order until I get the R5 in hand and see how she handles the current set up. The 560mm will work just as well in crop mode as the 100-500.