Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM: First Impressions

Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
348
736
Now I have had the lens for 3 weeks, I think every one should have one! I've worked my way through an EF 100-400mm, EF 100-400mm II, Tamron 100-400mm f/6.3 (and tried out the Sigma version), Tamron 150-600mm, Sigma 150-600mm C, RF 100-500mm and now the RF 100-400mm. The best is the 100-500mm. The most fun is the RF 100-400mm, and it beats into the ground the Tamron and Sigma 100-400mms for AF, and it's pretty close to the 100-400mm II in the centre for IQ. It's a steal.
Thanks Alan for all your comments and posts on this lens. I received mine yesterday and though haven't had much chance to use it yet, my initial impression is that this is indeed a great lens to have. Lenses like the EF 100-400 II and the RF 100-500 are a bit beyond my budget, so a while ago I bought the Sigma contemporary 100-400mm. I tried two copies of that lens actually and sold them both as they seemed quite soft at 400mm. This new Canon lens is sharper, considerably lighter and cheaper. Maybe I just had bad copies of the Sigma, but even if the IQ was equal, the weight difference makes the Canon the far better choice in my opinion.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Nice review today:
There's a glut of EF 100-400mm II on the used market here: MPB have 87 and WEX 22. The EF has a slight edge over the RF in IQ, which is imperceptible in real use, and takes extenders better. But, I think the RF 100-400mm will severely hurt the sales of the EF for RF users.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jul 21, 2010
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Nice review today:
There's a glut of EF 100-400mm II on the used market here: MPB have 87 and WEX 22. The EF has a slight edge over the RF in IQ, which is imperceptible in real use, and takes extenders better. But, I think the RF 100-400mm will severely hurt the sales of the EF for RF users.
I wonder how many people buy used EF lenses to mount on a mirrorless body, versus buying them to mount on an older DSLR that they already have or have bought used? I recently sold three EF lenses locally on Craigslist (70-200/2.8 II, 70-300L, and 40/2.8), all of them to DSLR shooters, one of whom had just purchased a used 7DII and another who had just purchased a used 6D.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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I wonder how many people buy used EF lenses to mount on a mirrorless body, versus buying them to mount on an older DSLR that they already have or have bought used? I recently sold three EF lenses locally on Craigslist (70-200/2.8 II, 70-300L, and 40/2.8), all of them to DSLR shooters, one of whom had just purchased a used 7DII and another who had just purchased a used 6D.
Until a couple of weeks ago, I suspect that because of the unavailability of the RF 100-500mm and the high price if you could get it, some RF5 owners were buying used 100-400nm IIs. Now, with the 100-500mm gardually coming on to the market at the top end and the RF 100-400 at the cheap end, the buyer base will drift to the DSLR users. Probably a good time to buy a used 7DII and EF lenses. Also WEX have suddenly on sale several EF 400mm f/2.8 IIs and a few 500mm f/4, and there has hardly been a big white on sale there for a while.
 

Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
348
736
I wonder how many people buy used EF lenses to mount on a mirrorless body, versus buying them to mount on an older DSLR that they already have or have bought used? I recently sold three EF lenses locally on Craigslist (70-200/2.8 II, 70-300L, and 40/2.8), all of them to DSLR shooters, one of whom had just purchased a used 7DII and another who had just purchased a used 6D.
After a brief flirtation with Nikon - I came back to Canon for the Canon colors - and bought the EF 16-35 f/4, the EF 24-70 f/4 and the EF 80-200 f/2.8 for my R6. Considering the price of used, I would think there are more folks like me who are buying EF for mirrorless. My only RF lens so far is the new RF 100-400.
 

dlee13

Canon EOS R6
May 13, 2014
248
141
Australia
WWW.photosbydlee.com
Now I have had the lens for 3 weeks, I think every one should have one! I've worked my way through an EF 100-400mm, EF 100-400mm II, Tamron 100-400mm f/6.3 (and tried out the Sigma version), Tamron 150-600mm, Sigma 150-600mm C, RF 100-500mm and now the RF 100-400mm. The best is the 100-500mm. The most fun is the RF 100-400mm, and it beats into the ground the Tamron and Sigma 100-400mms for AF, and it's pretty close to the 100-400mm II in the centre for IQ. It's a steal.
How did you find the IQ compared to the Tamron, especially at 400mm?
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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How did you find the IQ compared to the Tamron, especially at 400mm?
Dustin Abbott had written glowingly about it. But, I didn't find the copy of the Tamron 100-400mm I had sharp enough, and I sold it at a loss after a couple of months. The AF was hopeless and couldn't track a bird in flight using the 5DIV. The RF 100-400mm I find to be very sharp and excellent AF with the R5.
 
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dlee13

Canon EOS R6
May 13, 2014
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Australia
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Dustin Abbott had written glowingly about it. But, I didn't find the copy of the Tamron 100-400mm I had sharp enough, and I sold it at a loss after a couple of months. The AF was hopeless and couldn't track a bird in flight using the 5DIV. The RF 100-400mm I find to be very sharp and excellent AF with the R5.
Yeah I’ve seen some people using it on Flickr and I’d consider their copies to be way stronger than mine at 400mm. From what I’m seeing from on forums and Flickr the RF 100-400mm it blows my Tamron away at 400mm. Thanks for your insights!
 

AlanF

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R5 vs R6 at 20m with RF 100-400mm at f/8 vs f/11, unsharpened files

I posted this in another thread but for completeness here I'll post here. I tested the RF 100-400mm at f/8 vs f/11 and distance of 20mm,

Edge sharpness measured using Focal
R5 f/8 1970; f/11 1886
R6 f/8 2076; f/11 2043
Chart resolution (arbitrary units)
R5 f/8 2.2; f/11 2.0
R6 f/8 1.8; f/11 1.8

So, with the high resolution sensor of the R5 where f/11 moves further into diffraction limitation (DLA = f/7.1), f/11 is slightly worse for both acutance and resolution.
For the low resolution R6 (DLA =f/10.6); f/8 ~ f/11. So, for my copy of the lens, it is best wide open.
 

jeffa4444

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 28, 2013
1,538
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It takes the same lenshood as well, the ET-74B. It has an outrageous price of £76 in the UK. Fortunately, as the 70-300mm II has been around a few years, there are plenty of knock-off ones at £10-12. As a matter of principle, I am not spending £76 on a piece of black plastic that will likely need to be repalced after a few knocks.
I just bought the JJC LH-74B and it doesn't reverse fit on the RF 100-400mm f5.6-8 so its going back to Amazon and our buy the Canon one.
 
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ColorBlindBat

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Aug 30, 2018
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I have the JJC LH-74B and it fits reversed on the 100-400mm, but that maybe because I have a B+W XS-PRO UV-Haze MRC nano filter on the lens.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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I just bought the JJC LH-74B and it doesn't reverse fit on the RF 100-400mm f5.6-8 so its going back to Amazon and our buy the Canon one.
On mine it reverses when no filter is attached. ColorBlindBat just now reported that the hood fits over a B+W filter. I've stopped using filters on my telephotos when I have hoods. But, I've just checked and fits and reverses over a Marumi DHG. Do you have a filter over yours? Maybe you have a bad one.
 

dlee13

Canon EOS R6
May 13, 2014
248
141
Australia
WWW.photosbydlee.com
We’ve had rain almost non stop daily since I got the lens but earlier in the week I managed to give it a try and I love it.

Please keep in mind I almost never shoot birds but this was the best I could get at a local park haha

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255418BB-D2D5-415C-9A8C-F8597E0311D2.jpeg
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