Chris Frost's review of RF 100mm Macro.

kaihp

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The Most Ancient Kingdom of Denmark
I feel a bit stupid now for not realizing that, I used the 17-40L on a 20D, 7D and M. I only got into full frame 2 years ago, which coincides with my 'discovery' of bad corner resolution!
Making mistakes is mandatory. Learning from them is optional (but recommended) ;)

We've all been there. I made a mistake that cost the company 3-6 months on launch time, and at least a couple of M USD in direct costs (let's not talk about the cost of lost sales).
Owning up to your mistake is what sets people apart.
 

Del Paso

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Aug 9, 2018
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The response was to a blanket "Can't trust 'L' to mean optical quality any more." statement. You've been here long enough that such statements make the spidey sense of @neuroanatomist tingle :)

And yes, the EF17-40L is a cheap, mediocre L lens. It was cheap enough for me to buy when I was a student, along with the EF70-200 F/4L non-IS. I've taken great pictures with it, I only noticed how bad the corners were about 2 years ago when I wanted to take a photo of a flat thing with interesting bits at the edges and corners of the frame. Apparently I never put interesting things in the corners in the previous decade of using it :)
Cheap and outstanding must not exclude each other, as you certainly experienced with your EF70-200 F4, in my opinion the very best value among Canon lenses. I really loved mine, until the EF70-200 F4 IS II came, but at a different price...
PS: The EF 70-200 F4 IS II is still available on the European Canon "Black Friday" list. Highly recommended!
 

neuroanatomist

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The most common complaints I've heard online are that the RF 14-35 is quite expensive for an f/4 L-series lens, and that it's disappointing that an expensive L-series lens has such optical compromises.
Have the complainers looked at the price of the EF 11-24/4? At the wide end, the RF 14-35 sits at the halfway point between that and the EF 16-35/4 (at least, based on my DxO processed images giving an FoV of ~13.5mm), and it’s much closer to the latter in price.

The L-series RF lenses are more expensive than their EF counterparts, sometimes substantially so. But they generally offer meaningful improvements for that extra money. An extra 100mm on the long end of the 100-500, IS on the 24-70/2.8, an extra 2mm on the wide end of the 14-35/4 IS, a lighter and much more compact 70-200/2.8, etc. The 24-105/4 didn’t seem to offer any significant improvements, but it launched at the same price as it’s EF predecessor.

At the other end of the cost spectrum, the RF system offers some excellent budget lenses (as long as you’re willing to give up a stop or two of light, which if you’re upgrading from an older DSLR can be compensated by the significant ISO noise improvements in newer cameras). The 600/11 and 800/11 give unprecedented reach in an OEM lens at that cost, the new RF 100-400 is small, light, and delivers great optical performance at low cost, then there’s the 16/2.8 as an inexpensive ultrawide option. I think it’s truly impressive that you can get a three-lens RF kit spanning 16-400mm (16/2.8, 24-105 non-L, 100-400) for $1300.
 

gruhl28

Canon 70D
Jul 26, 2013
175
63
It used to be that I could shrug and say the extreme software correction was limited to the 'cheap' lenses but I got bit by that not realizing that the 14-35 was an L.

Can't trust 'L' to mean optical quality any more.
The thing that matters to me is the final result. If using distortion correction in software allows a lens to be built smaller, lighter, less expensive, faster, with a larger focal length range, or some combination of those things, while keeping the final image quality good, I'll gladly take that. I have no desire to spend more, or carry a larger, heavier lens, or give up a few mm on the wide end just so I can say that I didn't need to use distortion correction. I was hoping the 14-35 f/4 would be less expensive than it is, but I guess going all the way to 14mm raised the price as Neuro pointed out.
 
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SteveC

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The thing that matters to me is the final result. If using distortion correction in software allows a lens to be built smaller, lighter, less expensive, faster, with a larger focal length range, or some combination of those things, while keeping the final image quality good, I'll gladly take that. I have no desire to spend more, or carry a larger, heavier lens, or give up a few mm on the wide end just so I can say that I didn't need to use distortion correction. I was hoping the 14-35 f/4 would be less expensive than it is, but I guess going all the way to 14mm raised the price as Neuro pointed out.
As I've been thinking about what I said yesterday, I think a large part of my gut-reaction to what's happening here is that to me it seems "sneaky." The lens has severe optical distortion and it's being papered over with software (which is FINE if you know about it up front and decide it's a good tradeoff for other things), but I have gotten the impression Canon tries to hide this from its users, e.g., by making it impossible to shut off even if someone might want a bit of "fisheye" effect for some reason. "As long as they don't do that with an L lens..." was my thought bubble, but then this lens came out.

So here's my next thought, based on something someone else wrote upthread: This could be a case analogous to the 100-500. There was a hue and cry about it being "only" 7.1 at 500mm but the point was made that it was essentially just a 100-400 with the ability to extend another 100mm albeit without increasing the absolute mm diameter of the entrance pupil. Obviously, looked at that way it's a freebie, and it's a more capable lens than the EF 100-400 (assuming optical quality is as good, and from what I hear, it absolutely is). Similarly, I saw an implication this was a 16-35 with 2mm added to the low end--distorted and software corrected--but within the 16-35 range, basically as good as the old lens. If so, well all to the good. (FWIW I own one of the RF 15-35 2.8s. Was trying to decide between a used EF 16-35 2.8 and a new 4.0, either to be used with adapter, and the salesman upsold me into the RF. No regrets!)

But I'd like to see some more openness as to what's going on.
 

neuroanatomist

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Similarly, I saw an implication this was a 16-35 with 2mm added to the low end--distorted and software corrected--but within the 16-35 range, basically as good as the old lens. If so, well all to the good.
That's basically how I viewed it, and was pleasantly surprised that I actually get an extra 2.5mm at the wide end. I swapped my EF 16-35/4L IS for the RF 14-35, mainly as a smaller/lighter option when I'm not packing the EF 11-24/4L. Admittedly, I was a bit miffed upon first learning of the forced distortion correction but I got over it, helped in part by knowing that I don't shoot JPG and I don't use DPP for RAW conversions (except when forced to by a camera too new for DxO support), so the correction won't be forced for me.
 

tron

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Nov 8, 2011
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well,

comparing the cost of RF100-500 vs EF100-400 II and the cost of RF14-35 vs EF16-35 4L IS

shows that these "freebies" cost a lot! :ROFLMAO:
 
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SteveC

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That's basically how I viewed it, and was pleasantly surprised that I actually get an extra 2.5mm at the wide end. I swapped my EF 16-35/4L IS for the RF 14-35, mainly as a smaller/lighter option when I'm not packing the EF 11-24/4L. Admittedly, I was a bit miffed upon first learning of the forced distortion correction but I got over it, helped in part by knowing that I don't shoot JPG and I don't use DPP for RAW conversions (except when forced to by a camera too new for DxO support), so the correction won't be forced for me.
I'm one of those oddballs who shoots L+RAW. 99% of the time the jpeg is satisfactory. The RAW is there in case I feel the need to tweak.
 

SteveC

R5
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Sep 3, 2019
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well,

comparing the cost of RF100-500 vs EF100-400 II and the cost of RF14-35 vs EF16-35 4L IS

shows that these "freebies" cost a lot! :ROFLMAO:
Fair enough! My choice of words was quite poor.

They're added capabilities that don't take away other capabilities, though, so griping about them as if they "ruin" the lens (like many did with the 100-500) is off base.
 

tron

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Fair enough! My choice of words was quite poor.

They're added capabilities that don't take away other capabilities, though, so griping about them as if they "ruin" the lens (like many did with the 100-500) is off base.
I have myself RF 100-500 so I hope you have no hard feelings about my comment :) (I could not resist!)
 
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tron

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It’s not what it costs, it’s what it’s worth.
Maybe but I could not resist commenting about the freebies :) as explained above. And you have to admit that Canon added about 50% to the cost of the EF lens...

EDIT: Also I do have the RF100-500 so I do not disagree about the usefulness of these lenses.
 
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SteveC

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I have myself RF 100-500 so I hope you have no hard feelings about my comment :) (I could not resist!)
I think we're on the same page here.

Yeah, they're taking the opportunity to jump their prices during this transition!

I actually bought a 100-400 II right before they announced the RF 100-500. And am still happy about it. Because it has one feature the RF 100-500 will never have: The ability to use it on my M series cameras. Which I have done.

People have said that there's likely no compelling reason to switch if you have the EF lens; in this case I have a compelling reason not to switch and it's nothing to do with any of the considerations discussed here.
 
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LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
173
106
Have the complainers looked at the price of the EF 11-24/4? At the wide end, the RF 14-35 sits at the halfway point between that and the EF 16-35/4 (at least, based on my DxO processed images giving an FoV of ~13.5mm), and it’s much closer to the latter in price.

The L-series RF lenses are more expensive than their EF counterparts, sometimes substantially so. But they generally offer meaningful improvements for that extra money. An extra 100mm on the long end of the 100-500, IS on the 24-70/2.8, an extra 2mm on the wide end of the 14-35/4 IS, a lighter and much more compact 70-200/2.8, etc. The 24-105/4 didn’t seem to offer any significant improvements, but it launched at the same price as it’s EF predecessor.

At the other end of the cost spectrum, the RF system offers some excellent budget lenses (as long as you’re willing to give up a stop or two of light, which if you’re upgrading from an older DSLR can be compensated by the significant ISO noise improvements in newer cameras). The 600/11 and 800/11 give unprecedented reach in an OEM lens at that cost, the new RF 100-400 is small, light, and delivers great optical performance at low cost, then there’s the 16/2.8 as an inexpensive ultrawide option. I think it’s truly impressive that you can get a three-lens RF kit spanning 16-400mm (16/2.8, 24-105 non-L, 100-400) for $1300.
The EF 11-24mm f/4 lens is in the 'dream lens' category, an awesome lens with a price to match! Would love one of those! :)

Looking at what you've written about the new RF lens range, and thinking about Dustin Abbot's comment about Canon being 'more adventurous', I think we're seeing a pattern here. It looks like Canon is trying to innovate more, to differentiate its new lens range from the previous EF range and possibly from the offerings of other brands. The pattern of 'adding that bit extra' in functionality and performance seems to almost be a theme, but that's also leaked into the pricing department too! :(
 

neuroanatomist

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It looks like Canon is trying to innovate more, to differentiate its new lens range from the previous EF range…
Of course. Canon has led the ILC market for nearly 20 years, with 45-50% market share each year for over a decade. By far the largest ‘installed base’ in the ILC market today comprises Canon DSLR owners. Canon wants to entice those folks to buy MILCs, and differentiated lenses for the new system are part of that strategy.

The RF 28-70/2, launched with the R system, is a good example. A ‘world’s first’ lens, essentially replacing a bag of primes, to appeal to event/wedding photographers. The more prosaic 24-70/2.8 came later, and added IS. The newer, relatively inexpensive RF lenses or a different sort of differentiation. I do believe Canon is teeing up a low cost, entry level FF MILC.
 

gruhl28

Canon 70D
Jul 26, 2013
175
63
As I've been thinking about what I said yesterday, I think a large part of my gut-reaction to what's happening here is that to me it seems "sneaky." The lens has severe optical distortion and it's being papered over with software (which is FINE if you know about it up front and decide it's a good tradeoff for other things), but I have gotten the impression Canon tries to hide this from its users, e.g., by making it impossible to shut off even if someone might want a bit of "fisheye" effect for some reason. "As long as they don't do that with an L lens..." was my thought bubble, but then this lens came out.

So here's my next thought, based on something someone else wrote upthread: This could be a case analogous to the 100-500. There was a hue and cry about it being "only" 7.1 at 500mm but the point was made that it was essentially just a 100-400 with the ability to extend another 100mm albeit without increasing the absolute mm diameter of the entrance pupil. Obviously, looked at that way it's a freebie, and it's a more capable lens than the EF 100-400 (assuming optical quality is as good, and from what I hear, it absolutely is). Similarly, I saw an implication this was a 16-35 with 2mm added to the low end--distorted and software corrected--but within the 16-35 range, basically as good as the old lens. If so, well all to the good. (FWIW I own one of the RF 15-35 2.8s. Was trying to decide between a used EF 16-35 2.8 and a new 4.0, either to be used with adapter, and the salesman upsold me into the RF. No regrets!)

But I'd like to see some more openness as to what's going on.
I think that's a pretty good way of looking at it, a 16-35 with 2 mm more corrected through software. I'm not sure if Canon were trying to be sneaky, or if they just didn't want to have people who don't really know what they are doing turn off the distortion correction and then wonder why their images were distorted. I do agree, though, that it would be nice to be able to turn it off. Apparently Fuji and others have been doing a similar thing for a few years; I'm not sure whether or not they provide any way to turn off the distortion correction or not.

The RF 15-35 f/2.8 sounds like an awesome lens in every way.
 

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
173
106
Of course. Canon has led the ILC market for nearly 20 years, with 45-50% market share each year for over a decade. By far the largest ‘installed base’ in the ILC market today comprises Canon DSLR owners. Canon wants to entice those folks to buy MILCs, and differentiated lenses for the new system are part of that strategy.

The RF 28-70/2, launched with the R system, is a good example. A ‘world’s first’ lens, essentially replacing a bag of primes, to appeal to event/wedding photographers. The more prosaic 24-70/2.8 came later, and added IS. The newer, relatively inexpensive RF lenses or a different sort of differentiation. I do believe Canon is teeing up a low cost, entry level FF MILC.
It most certainly looks like Canon is planning a low cost, entry level FF MILC, judging by the focus on lenses in this tier. If that comes, that would place even more doubt on the release of an APSC RF camera.