First take on my new RF 100-500mm

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
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Just took it for a test ride for a couple of hundred shots with some proper photographic charts. Fast, precise AF. Sharp all the way. Best at the longer end FL, as others have noted, but overall delivers very well on the optics. Handling is not as good as the 100-400 IS L II even if its lighter. Almost macro capable. No regrets here after using the lens today as I continue to add RF-lenses to my collection. Hope to be able to test it "in the wild" the next couple of weeks.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
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8,894
Just took it for a test ride for a couple of hundred shots with some proper photographic charts. Fast, precise AF. Sharp all the way. Best at the longer end FL, as others have noted, but overall delivers very well on the optics. Handling is not as good as the 100-400 IS L II even if its lighter. Almost macro capable. No regrets here after using the lens today as I continue to add RF-lenses to my collection. Hope to be able to test it "in the wild" the next couple of weeks.
Best at the longer end as others have noted? Not according to Opticallimits who find it has prime-level sharpness at shortest focal lengths although very good at longest https://opticallimits.com/canon_eos_ff/1102-canonrf100500f4571 , which is what Canon's own MTF charts show https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...s-ef-100-400mm-ii-vs-400mm-do-ii-on-r5.39813/ I don't find my 100-500mm handles any worse than my 100-400mm II on my R5.
 
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Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
272
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Curious. Can you expand on this? Thanks!
Its a little "bigger and fatter" to operate. To me this outweighs the lighter build compared to the 100-400mm IS L II. The "throw" of the zoom is very long making it impossible to zoom the whole range with a single twist of the zoom ring. I also feel it's just a little tighter than the EF-zoom. You can feel the difference in resistance if pointing the lens up or down. It cannot withdraw the zoom barrel when using the 1.4x or 2x extender - which is annoying - and it cannot even use the extender through the entire FL which is limiting. The control ring sits very close to the body (of course the 100-400mm IS L II does not have one). Buttons are the same. But I liked the previous tightening ring better.

Not being negative here. I really like the lens and have zero regrets I sold my 100-400mm IS L II and its two extenders. But there are some things I wish were different. And I am a critical buyer when it comes to expensive gear. The biggest advantage is the longer FL and slightly larger maximum magnification.
 
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Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
272
189
Best at the longer end as others have noted? Not according to Opticallimits who find it has prime-level sharpness at shortest focal lengths although very good at longest https://opticallimits.com/canon_eos_ff/1102-canonrf100500f4571 , which is what Canon's own MTF charts show https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...s-ef-100-400mm-ii-vs-400mm-do-ii-on-r5.39813/ I don't find my 100-500mm handles any worse than my 100-400mm II on my R5.
Thanks. Well, some have noted otherwise. And I join their ranks. But it may be down to lens variations. Its optically very strong regardless of FL. Also, its not apples to apples because the aperature is different at the two ends. So not surprising if we see a little improvement at the longer end. Just happy mine has it "the right" way around for my use. YMMV.Have btw never said it was worse than the 100-400mm IS L II in any optical aspect.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Thanks. Well, some have noted otherwise. And I join their ranks. But it may be down to lens variations. Its optically very strong regardless of FL. Also, its not apples to apples because the aperature is different at the two ends. So not surprising if we see a little improvement at the longer end. Just happy mine has it "the right" way around for my use. YMMV.Have btw never said it was worse than the 100-400mm IS L II in any optical aspect.
The Digital Picture's copy is also sharper at 100mm than 500mm https://www.the-digital-picture.com...eraComp=1508&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0
as is Digital camera world's https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/uk/reviews/canon-rf-100-500mm-f45-71l-is-usm-review
 

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
272
189
So I see. Maybe these were taken before the firmware updates or something else is behind? But my results are clear - and I used 5 different setups (for differing light and distances). I'll make some more this weekend and come back if i see any change. But regardless its optically very strong across the FL, and the minor relative difference matches what we can see in the Digital Picture's results - just reversed.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,846
8,894
So I see. Maybe these were taken before the firmware updates or something else is behind? But my results are clear - and I used 5 different setups (for differing light and distances). I'll make some more this weekend and come back if i see any change. But regardless its optically very strong across the FL, and the minor relative difference matches what we can see in the Digital Picture's results - just reversed.
I don't see how a firmware update would alter the optical properties of a lens. Different distances, however, could make significant optical differences. I find that the 100-500mm and 100-400mm II are, for example, pretty similar optically at far distances from the target but the the 100-500mm is noticeably sharper close to the minimum focal distance.
 

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
272
189
I don't see how a firmware update would alter the optical properties of a lens. Different distances, however, could make significant optical differences. I find that the 100-500mm and 100-400mm II are, for example, pretty similar optically at far distances from the target but the the 100-500mm is noticeably sharper close to the minimum focal distance.
Not the optics, but how well the camera and lens work together. And this was addressed in Canon firmware.

Agree on the sharpness at minimum focal distance. Interestingly here I had one of my tests show better results at lower FL. However, I counted it as an outlier, because I was unsure if this was due to not backing enough when at 500mm. The lens' minimum focal distance is closer at low FL than long FL - while the magnification is largest at the longest FL - so a little tricky when trying to make a comparable test setup.
 
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Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
272
189
Took the lens for a bird-run today. I normally do not do birds - but what else to shoot during lock down?

Sharp pictures, fast very AF - but mirrorless AF is not perfect in all situations. It was heavy after 2½ hours of intensive use - but I carried a lot of gear on a longish hike - so maybe it was the total weight that was killing me. Stabilization works well and @500mm you really need it. 4K video was amazingly good - not a regular user so just playing with it. My R6 overheated! Forgot to use my color card (bummer), so cannot say if it has any color cast compared to the other R "L" lenses. But using my own custom R6 profile produces excellent results. So guessing its coatings are in line with the rest.

All together I feel very confident using this lens and it seems to be a keeper. It is also something different than the RF 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS L due to the extra 100mm FL. Wheras I had started to use the 100-400mm IS L II very often by itself - leaving the EF 70-200mm F72.8 at home preferring a prime if I needed a wide aperature.
 
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