Canon RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM delayed to the second half of 2024

The 200-500 will be so expensive and heavy it gives me pause, obvi. But when I think of having a “photography” lens and a “birding “ lens , seems that having the 200-500 and 100-500 would be awesome. I suppose the 600f4 could be my birding lens but for some reason the 200-500 f4 seems better to me. I have no evidence to support this. i guess i still like the ability to zoom and hold out hopes it’s less bulky than the 600
 
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john1970

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The 300 mm f2.8 with 2x TC is fine for large mammals, but a bit too short for birds IMO. Honestly, I find the 300 mm f2.8 with a 2x TC very good with resolution. I used it in Alaska and was very happy with the results. Of course, once the 200-500 mm f4 becomes available that lens with a 1.4x TC will become my go to wildlife lens for domestic air travel.
 
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john1970

EOS R3
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
987
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Northeastern US
The 200-500 will be so expensive and heavy it gives me pause, obvi. But when I think of having a “photography” lens and a “birding “ lens , seems that having the 200-500 and 100-500 would be awesome. I suppose the 600f4 could be my birding lens but for some reason the 200-500 f4 seems better to me. I have no evidence to support this. i guess i still like the ability to zoom and hold out hopes it’s less bulky than the 600
I am guessing that it will be similar in weight and length to the 600 mm f4 (maybe a bit heavier), but the diameter will be. a bit less, which is all fine by me.
 
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Jul 21, 2010
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The 200-500 will be so expensive and heavy it gives me pause, obvi. But when I think of having a “photography” lens and a “birding “ lens , seems that having the 200-500 and 100-500 would be awesome. I suppose the 600f4 could be my birding lens but for some reason the 200-500 f4 seems better to me.
IMO, it really depends on what birds and how far away they are. Personally, my main birding lens is 840mm f/5.6 (600/4 II + 1.4x), usually with some cropping needed. The 200-500/4 would be too short, even with the 1.4x (and I think the performance hit with the 2x would be too much for routine use).

I have no evidence to support this. i guess i still like the ability to zoom and hold out hopes it’s less bulky than the 600
I like the flexibility of the 100-300/2.8, with that lens I am at varying subject distances. For birds, I only recall a very few instances where zooming out would have been useful, when a hawk or other bird took off and flew overhead. The longer focal length is pretty much always useful, for me.

Based on the patents, the 200-500 will be about the same length as the 600/4. But it will have a shorter hood, if that’s any consolation.
 
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IMO, it really depends on what birds and how far away they are. Personally, my main birding lens is 840mm f/5.6 (600/4 II + 1.4x), usually with some cropping needed. The 200-500/4 would be too short, even with the 1.4x (and I think the performance hit with the 2x would be too much for routine use).


I like the flexibility of the 100-300/2.8, with that lens I am at varying subject distances. For birds, I only recall a very few instances where zooming out would have been useful, when a hawk or other bird took off and flew overhead. The longer focal length is pretty much always useful, for me.

Based on the patents, the 200-500 will be about the same length as the 600/4. But it will have a shorter hood, if that’s any consolation.
I wonder if the 200-500 will be sharper then the 600
 
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I wonder if the 200-500 will be sharper then the 600
Possibly, but if so, I would be a bit surprised. The 100-300/2.8 is as sharp as the 300/2.8 II, so hopefully Canon can repeat that and the 200-500/4 will be as sharp as the 500/4 II. The 600/4 II and III are slightly sharper than the 500/4 II (and of those three, the 600/4 II is the sharpest).

But really, all of that is splitting hairs. All of these lenses are incredibly sharp.
 
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I had a 500v2 with my R5 some years and just couldn't wait any longer, seeing that the RF 400 and 600 were lighter. I ended up picking up the 600 this past spring, love the transfer of weight to the back, thinking once I do that a new 500 would be released. Well from the sounds of it glad I didn't wait.

Canon really needs to refresh the 500, it's loooooong over due, came out in 2012. I settled on a slightly longer focal length instead.
 
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Canon really needs to refresh the 500, it's loooooong over due, came out in 2012. I settled on a slightly longer focal length instead.
“Canon needs to…”
“They didn’t, so I bought a $13,000 lens instead.“

I guess you really showed them! That will really teach them a lesson!! :p

Seriously, I doubt Canon will refresh the 300/2.8 or 500/4 as RF lenses anytime soon. The new zooms are/should be just a sharp, and are the actual RF replacements for the primes.
 
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The EF 200-400 became my go to lens at airshows but I can't imagine spending those kinds of dollars given the fact that they dropped the built in 1.4
??

400mm x 1.4 = 560mm, and that's at f/5.6. This lens will go to 500mm at f/4. IMO, not a lot of difference from a 12% longer lens, and often a bigger difference with a stop of light. YMMV.
 
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I suspect the bare 200-500/4 at 500mm will have very slightly better IQ than the 400/2.8 + 1.4x. There's always a hit with a TC, even if it's not much as is usually the case with a supertele lens.
Thank you. Perhaps I will get that setup. 400 2.8 with extender should be lighter than rf 600 or 200-500mm f4. Cheaper than both too. And perhaps then I can handhold and still bird with it
 
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