Canon will soon announce the RF 600mm f/4L IS USM, RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
314
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Really would like an RF 400 mm DO f/4 as the EF version is the only long fast telephoto light enough to handhold at 2.1 kg (and it works well with 1.4x and 2x extenders) and if the RF version had built in 1.4x and 2x extenders would be ideal for birds in flight and sports
Also hope Canon can make the RF DO with a much shorter minimum focusing distance
Can't understand why Canon doesn't use fresnel lenses in all their super telephotos
Bokeh issues have never been solved. Nikon almost had me lured with their 300mm PF (Nikon's DO) - but background quality was a disappointment.
 

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
314
229
I thought it was going to be an f/2 macro? Oh well no 300 f/2.8 or 500 f/4 which should be priorities as the EF lenses were never updated to mk III. Why rush out a 400 and 600 when the EF versions work perfectly on RF anyway. No pro will suddenly just drop another $12-15K on these if they already have the mk III version.
Canon makes new models because people buy them. If you went from the 600mm IS L I or II to the 600mm IS L III then you should know why people would upgrade their EF version to the RF model. I got the 300mm IS L II for the minor upgrade it was - and never regretted it. Neither did I regret going from the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L I to II to the RF 70-200mm IS L.
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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Bokeh issues have never been solved. Nikon almost had me lured with their 300mm PF (Nikon's DO) - but background quality was a disappointment.
Bokeh issues are not often a problem with nature photography, especially birds in flight etc. The Nikon 500mm PF is still often back ordered such is its popularity with bird photographers, and a few CR people have bought into Nikon to have a copy. The current 400mm DO II is very popular with birders, and used copies rarely come up for sale.
 

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
314
229
Bokeh issues are not often a problem with nature photography, especially birds in flight etc. The Nikon 500mm PF is still often back ordered such is its popularity with bird photographers, and a few CR people have bought into Nikon to have a copy. The current 400mm DO II is very popular with birders, and used copies rarely come up for sale.
Bokeh is certainly not relevant for BIF as there is none. Apart from that I find it imperative to have the best bokeh quality possible esspecially for nature shots, as they often involve difficult light situations and foliage highlights, which are notoriously tough on bokeh. The reason you do not see many used Canon 400mm DO lenses are that Canon never sold very many of these in the first place. I'd certainly never get one to bring on a safari where the 400mm IS L II would be the far superior choice.
 
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Chig

Birds in Flight Nutter
Jul 26, 2020
428
519
Orewa , New Zealand
If it has built-in 1.4x and 2xTCs, they will a 1/2 kg or so to the weight. I find the current 400mm DO II with the 2xTC weighing in at 2.6kg in use on the heavy side and I would like to use the bare lens without the extra weight of the TCs.
That's a good point but not so sure it would add this much extra weight as the housing of separate TCs make up a large percentage of their weight (the glass elements inside are pretty small ) so incorporating them into the lens might only add 200-300gm and the RF version would probably be a bit lighter overall so an RF 400 DO with built in TCs might only be about 2 to 2.25kg or maybe even less
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
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The current price for the 100L just went from $899 and regularly on sale for $749 to a new regular price of $1299. Still wondering what happened there.

If it’s twice the price of the current 100L f2.8 then I’ll go on record right now saying it’s not worth the money because the 100L is fantastic on the R5.
Fully agree if the price is that high

Here in Germany it is a flat curve at 899,- € (incl. VAT) since more than half a year:

1617609932564.png
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Bokeh is certainly not relevant for BIF as there is none. Apart from that I find it imperative to have the best bokeh quality possible esspecially for nature shots, as they often involve difficult light situations and foliage highlights, which are notoriously tough on bokeh. The reason you do not see many used Canon 400mm DO lenses are that Canon never sold very many of these in the first place. I'd certainly never get one to bring on a safari where the 400mm IS L II would be the far superior choice.
It is not true that there is no bokeh for BIF - the most interesting BIF shots are often against a background. Indeed, there are some expert BIF people, like Arbitrage, who think the absence of background is boring and he, like many of us desperate for a 600mm DO. Hand holding is key to BIF photography and a short lightweight lens gives a key edge. I reported years ago https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...f-an-400mm-2-8-iii-in-2018.35055/#post-720717 "On a puffin in flight shoot, my 400mm DO II gave me dozens of keepers but my neighbours with 400mm f/2.8 got none because they couldn't swing their lenses fast enough."

Grant Atkinson, who is a professional safari guide and photographer, who occasionally contributes to CR, wrote a rave review about the 400mm DO II https://www.grantatkinson.com/blog/canon-ef-400-f4-do-is-ii-usm-field-review You take what you think best on safari, and I'll take what I know is best for me.
 

swkitt

EOS M50
Dec 8, 2015
37
26
It is not true that there is no bokeh for BIF - the most interesting BIF shots are often against a background. Indeed, there are some expert BIF people, like Arbitrage, who think the absence of background is boring and he, like many of us desperate for a 600mm DO. Hand holding is key to BIF photography and a short lightweight lens gives a key edge. I reported years ago https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...f-an-400mm-2-8-iii-in-2018.35055/#post-720717 "On a puffin in flight shoot, my 400mm DO II gave me dozens of keepers but my neighbours with 400mm f/2.8 got none because they couldn't swing their lenses fast enough."
On most birds in flight, you're not gonna shoot wide open at f/4 anyway if you want to be sure that the head is in focus and not only the tip of the wing. With AF on animal's eye it's better but still not perfect with fast subjects like puffins. It happens that the AF loose the eye and go back to the whole bird. So you'll shoot at f/5,6 to f/8 anyway... In this case why not using the 100-400 or 100-500 ? They have perfect IQ and are very easy to handle for this type of subject. Plus you can zoom out if the bird comes closer.
Btw I'm a photography guide in Iceland and shoot puffins in flight quite a lot, and the 100-400 is the best lens I used for that, better than big whites (I haven't tried the 100-500 yet). You can check my puffins on instagram @explographe
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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On most birds in flight, you're not gonna shoot wide open at f/4 anyway if you want to be sure that the head is in focus and not only the tip of the wing. With AF on animal's eye it's better but still not perfect with fast subjects like puffins. It happens that the AF loose the eye and go back to the whole bird. So you'll shoot at f/5,6 to f/8 anyway... In this case why not using the 100-400 or 100-500 ? They have perfect IQ and are very easy to handle for this type of subject. Plus you can zoom out if the bird comes closer.
Btw I'm a photography guide in Iceland and shoot puffins in flight quite a lot, and the 100-400 is the best lens I used for that, better than big whites (I haven't tried the 100-500 yet). You can check my puffins on instagram @explographe
Great to have input from an Icelandic photography guide! The 100-400mm II is really good for BIF, and I have used it a lot, and am now using the 100-500mm. I gave up the 400mm DO II for my last 3 bird safaris accross continents and took the 100-400mm II instead. But, for my last Puffin trips in the UK I did take the 400mm DO II and managed to get sharp shots at f/4. I'd love to travel to Iceland for bird photography - my second vaccine is on Wednesday - so here's hoping for this year.

2B4A9510-DxO_puffin+fish_flying-lsss.jpg
2B4A9257-DxO_puffin+sandeels-lsss.jpg
2B4A9310-DxO_puffin+sandeels_flying_face_on_ss.jpg
Puffin+Sandeels_2B4A4924-DxO_vvb-ss.jpg
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
1,319
1,444
Lighter, perhaps, and faster auto-focus? Better IS? The fact is, though, it doesn’t really have to excel the EF 100 mm macro in any significant way, the EF being such a superb, razor-sharp lens.
As long as you haven't used the Leica R Apo Macro Elmarit 2,8/100...a 1987 design!
PS: I agree the EF 100L is an excellent macro lens, I use it too, thanks to its OIS, but there are better lenses around (also the Sony 100 macro, the Zeiss Macro 100mm etc...)
There's always room for improvement.
 

tiggy@mac.com

R5
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Jan 20, 2014
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As long as you haven't used the Leica R Apo Macro Elmarit 2,8/100...a 1987 design!
PS: I agree the EF 100L is an excellent macro lens, I use it too, thanks to its OIS, but there are better lenses around (also the Sony 100 macro, the Zeiss Macro 100mm etc...)
There's always room for improvement.
I started shooting macro with the 100mm L on Canon, and went on to shoot Panasonic and Sony before coming back to Canon after some years. I can say that there's nothing out there as good as Canon's 100 when it comes to the combination of image quality when combined with autofocus capacity and that combined with image stabilization. After 12 years, no one has combined those three as well, which is both remarkable and disappointing.

When shooting Sony a year ago, the various options, like those of Sigma, Laowa and Sony itself were typically fantastic in image quality, but stabilization and AF were not at the point where I considered either useful. I may have owned a dozen macro lenses of various types over those years, usually selling them within a year. The adapted Canon was always my favorite, with the small exception of the Laowa 15mm f/4, which is really a lens for a different purpose and doesn't require AF due to its focal length.

My hope is that the stabilization and AF are better than the original with this new release. I know many don't use either for macro, but for the run-and-gun woods macro, this has always been the only lens worth having. Tracking identification would be nice, as we have for birds, for instance, but it will be very difficult without significant deep learning research investments. yesterday I was photographing a millipede for a regional nature magazine. Every body segment had a fake eye on it. Not overly-optimistic on that last one.
 
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Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
314
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It is not true that there is no bokeh for BIF - the most interesting BIF shots are often against a background.

Grant Atkinson, who is a professional safari guide and photographer, who occasionally contributes to CR, wrote a rave review about the 400mm DO II https://www.grantatkinson.com/blog/canon-ef-400-f4-do-is-ii-usm-field-review You take what you think best on safari, and I'll take what I know is best for me.
Why resort to splitting hairs? You knew exactly what I meant as I replied to your claim that "Bokeh issues are not often a problem with nature photography." I even gave examples to when its relevant.

It is a challenge - no reason to deny reality. There are very long internet discussions and tests available for/against Nikon's DO-variants. And it would not take a split second to find hundreds of examples of wildlife pictures with disturbing bokeh issues because bokeh is esspecially difficult when it comes to nature shots.

I do not worry or care for what others shot, how they shot or what they shot with. Great if Canon DO works for you and some others. I would never invest in such a lens myself until the bokeh issues are resolved.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Why resort to splitting hairs? You knew exactly what I meant as I replied to your claim that "Bokeh issues are not often a problem with nature photography." I even gave examples to when its relevant.

It is a challenge - no reason to deny reality. There are very long internet discussions and tests available for/against Nikon's DO-variants. And it would not take a split second to find hundreds of examples of wildlife pictures with disturbing bokeh issues because bokeh is esspecially difficult when it comes to nature shots.

I do not worry or care for what others shot, how they shot or what they shot with. Great if Canon DO works for you and some others. I would never invest in such a lens myself until the bokeh issues are resolved.
The proof of the pudding is the eating: there are 212 pages of (mainly) nature images taken with 500mm PF in the FM Forum: https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1549025/0 I am not suggesting that it or a Canon equivalent should be your choice of lens, but while some enjoy arguing on internet forums the pros and cons of the technology, others get on with the real business of using the equipment and getting images they enjoy.
 
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john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
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525
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sdf
Bokeh issues have never been solved. Nikon almost had me lured with their 300mm PF (Nikon's DO) - but background quality was a disappointment.
Completely agree. A few years back when I used Nikon gear I purchased the 300 mm PF lens. Absolutely loved the lightweight and compact size, but the background quality was poor. The background on Canon's DO is better, but still not as good as a non-DO lens in my opinion. Of course, this could all change as technology progresses....
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Completely agree. A few years back when I used Nikon gear I purchased the 300 mm PF lens. Absolutely loved the lightweight and compact size, but the background quality was poor. The background on Canon's DO is better, but still not as good as a non-DO lens in my opinion. Of course, this could all change as technology progresses....
Have you actually used the 500mm f/5.6 PF, which is second generation? Here are appraisals of the bokeh from reviewers who have.

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/3889977670/shooting-with-nikon-s-new-500mm-f5p6-pf-in-kamchatka
I didn’t expect this baby lens to be capable of the same image quality as the F4E, but it is! The D850’s 46 megapixels place a huge demand on any lens, and the 500mm F5.6E PF really delivers. Bokeh looks great, I couldn’t persuade it to flare while shooting against backlighting and I didn't notice any issues with chromatic aberrations.

http://www.theluminarydiary.com/500mm-pf-img-quality/
Bokeh is great – super smooth and none of the artefacts usually associated with Phase Fresnel/Diffractive Optics are present, at least in my experience.

https://photographylife.com/nikon-500mm-f-5-6e-pf-vr-initial-impressions
Overall, I found bokeh and out of focus rendering to be quite pleasing and a tad smoother than what the 200-500mm produces. I found bokeh to be much better than what the 300 f/4 with the TC 1.4x combo can produce from the same distance, which is expected.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/nikon/500mm-f5.6e-pf-ed-af-s-vr-nikkor/review/
Ultimately, I like the bokeh on the 500mm f/5.6 lens, and if you can get close to your subject while keeping the background far away, you can get soft backgrounds with good subject separation and depth. If the price for having a lightweight and easy to use 500mm lens is that sometimes the background is not creamy soft, I'm okay with that.

https://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/nikon_afs_nikkor_500mm_f5_6_e_pf_ed_vr_review
Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, Nikon employed a diaphragm with 9 rounded blades, which resulted in a nice bokeh in our view.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/500mm-f56.htm#bokeh
Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is very good. As with most ultrateles, backgrounds completely disappear:

https://www.anthonybaines.co.uk/blog/2019/9/20/some-thoughts-on-the-nikon-500mm-f56-pf-lens
I've seen some comments on some online forums that they don't like the quality of the out of focus areas (the bokeh) and the way the focus transitions between sharp and unsharp areas. I find these complaints hard to interpret. There's very smooth bokeh when the background is fully defocused. At the Shuttleworth Collection, I photographed several aircraft against various backgrounds that were not fully defocused, with small details from leaves, trees, and buildings. Under these conditions, my aperture is limited by the shutter speed I want: on a bright day, even at ISO Lo1, getting, say 1/80 may mean that the aperture is well stopped down, so the background is still partially focussed. Perhaps it could be smoother, but overall, it is a non-issue for my taste.

https://www.lenstip.com/540.7-Lens_....6E_PF_ED_VR_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html
The appearance of out-of-focus images would be perfect if not for a lighter area in the centre of the circle. Apart from that you can spot a slight influence of mechanical vignetting.
 
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Bonich

EOS M6 Mark II
Apr 29, 2019
60
56
Guess the R1 is around the corner.

As for focal lengths, I'm a little surprised Canon started with longer focal lengths. With high res sensors, its easy to crop 300mm to get 400mm framing. If the R1 will have 20MP, the photographer will have 11MP after crop, that's enough for A3. Going the other way isn't that easy.
no 20MP for the R1
 

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,261
921
Guess the R1 is around the corner.

As for focal lengths, I'm a little surprised Canon started with longer focal lengths. With high res sensors, its easy to crop 300mm to get 400mm framing. If the R1 will have 20MP, the photographer will have 11MP after crop, that's enough for A3. Going the other way isn't that easy.
If the RF 135mm f/1.4L USM can set a new standard not just with pricing, but also sharpness while remaining compatible with the 2x RF extender, that could work well enough as a 270mm f/2.8
 

swkitt

EOS M50
Dec 8, 2015
37
26
Great to have input from an Icelandic photography guide! The 100-400mm II is really good for BIF, and I have used it a lot, and am now using the 100-500mm. I gave up the 400mm DO II for my last 3 bird safaris accross continents and took the 100-400mm II instead. But, for my last Puffin trips in the UK I did take the 400mm DO II and managed to get sharp shots at f/4. I'd love to travel to Iceland for bird photography - my second vaccine is on Wednesday - so here's hoping for this year.
Yes you'll be fine with the vaccine for custom purposes after the 1st of may :)
And yes I don't doubt that 400 f/4 gets you sharp shots on puffins, but maybe hardly on bigger wingspan birds. Anyway as the background (sky or sea) is far away, it won't make any improvement on the picture to make it at f/4 IMO.
See you on the cliffs somewhere :D
 
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