Lensrentals.com: Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM Teardown

melgross

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I shoot regularly near and far with telephoto lenses ranging from very sharp expensive primes to lower priced zooms and can always get sharp shots. For about $2000, you can get some spectacular zoom lenses. The Canon 100-400mm II is really sharp. The Sony 200-600mm is used by some of the best bird photographers. If you think the f/11s are going to be sharper, just look at the Digital Picture comparison of the 600mm/f11 with the Canon 100-400mm zoom at 400mm or 560mm f/8 with a 1.4xTC and the Sony zoom at 600mm/f6.3




Also my copy of the Sigma 150-600mm C at 600mm is sharper than my 100-400mm II at 560mm. So, I am puzzled why you find the zooms pretty bad.
I’ve found a number of inexpensive zooms to be bad. I’ve found them to be really bad with converters. I’ve found expensive Canon zooms with Canon converters to be pretty good, but not as good as the zoom itself.

but the mistake you guys continue to make here is that these are very light as well as being inexpensive. But neither of the combos will get you to 800mm. I’m not interested in looking at charts and crap. I’ve looked at the full sized RAW images from a number of people on YouTube, and they look great. It’s interesting that everyone I’ve read who have actually used these lenses give them a thumbs up, but those who haven’t can’t seem to stop criticizing them.
 

AlanF

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I’ve found a number of inexpensive zooms to be bad. I’ve found them to be really bad with converters. I’ve found expensive Canon zooms with Canon converters to be pretty good, but not as good as the zoom itself.

but the mistake you guys continue to make here is that these are very light as well as being inexpensive. But neither of the combos will get you to 800mm. I’m not interested in looking at charts and crap. I’ve looked at the full sized RAW images from a number of people on YouTube, and they look great. It’s interesting that everyone I’ve read who have actually used these lenses give them a thumbs up, but those who haven’t can’t seem to stop criticizing them.
I have started two threads about the f/11 lenses and have written several other posts to analyse their pros and cons. I have consistently written that there will be many happy users of these lenses - they do have their places. As for your statement that neither of the Canon zoom combinations will get you to 800: 2x400mm = 800mm, 2x500mm = 1000mm. Both the Canon zooms will get you there! Or does your disdain for charts apply to arithmetic as well?

If you want the real stuff and not charts, here is a cracking shot posted on Fredmiranda of a dragonfly in flight captured on an R5 with the el cheapo Sigma 100-400 https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1656877/30#15327941 - and that's a real close up. These cheap zooms are optically excellent.
 
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SecureGSM

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I have started two threads about the f/11 lenses and have written several other posts to analyse their pros and cons. I have consistently written that there will be many happy users of these lenses - they do have their places. As for your statement that neither of the Canon zoom combinations will get you to 800: 2x400mm = 800mm, 2x500mm = 1000mm. Both the Canon zooms will get you there! Or does your disdain for charts apply to arithmetic as well?

If you want the real stuff and not charts, here is a cracking shot posted on Fredmiranda of a dragonfly in flight captured on an R5 with the el cheapo Sigma 100-400 https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1656877/30#15327941 - and that's a real close up. These cheap zooms are optically excellent.
Thanks Alan,

I found Sigma 100-400 to be quite slow focusing for me... Canon 100-400 II L beats the little Sigma hands down in AF speed, bokeh and colour reproduction department.
here is what the person that took that “cracking shot” has to say:

”... This shot I was lucky that this particular dragonfly decided to stay in the air long enough for my pretty slow focusing Sigma 100-400 C to find focus. 1/1600 and wide open at F6.3. I did replace the sky since the original sky was quite boring...”

So probably not a great use case in support of Sigma 100-400 optical excellence. its a budget lens.
 

AlanF

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Thanks Alan,

I found Sigma 100-400 to be quite slow focusing for me... Canon 100-400 II L beats the little Sigma hands down in AF speed, bokeh and colour reproduction department.
here is what the person that took that “cracking shot” has to say:

”... This shot I was lucky that this particular dragonfly decided to stay in the air long enough for my pretty slow focusing Sigma 100-400 C to find focus. 1/1600 and wide open at F6.3. I did replace the sky since the original sky was quite boring...”

So probably not a great use case in support of Sigma 100-400 optical excellence. its a budget lens.
The image in fredmiranda is fine for optical quality, it is only the speed of AF the guy complains about. I tried out 2 copies of the Sigma 100-400mm from my local dealer and posted the results in CR. Optically it was good but the IS was worse than I had hoped for and the tracking was not so good. Reliable review sites, like lenstip and opticallimits rate it well for IQ and TDP has it pretty close to the 100-400mm II. I do have two copies of the Canon 100-400mm II, so you can guess my preference. However, Sigma has just upgraded the 100-400mm for the Sony FE mount and I would not be surprised if they bring out a competitive RF version.
https://www.lenstip.com/index.html?test=obiektywu&test_ob=502

Afterthought
For amusement, I just looked at the TDP comparison of the Sigma 1.4xTC at 560mm and f/9 with the 600mm f/11.

There is a FM thread on the new Sigma 100-400 with the FE mount, and the images look pretty good - not that I am ever going in the Sony direction.
 
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SecureGSM

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The image in fredmiranda is fine for optical quality, it is only the speed of AF the guy complains about. I tried out 2 copies of the Sigma 100-400mm from my local dealer and posted the results in CR. Optically it was good but the IS was worse than I had hoped for and the tracking was not so good. Reliable review sites, like lenstip and opticallimits rate it well for IQ and TDP has it pretty close to the 100-400mm II. I do have two copies of the Canon 100-400mm II, so you can guess my preference. However, Sigma has just upgraded the 100-400mm for the Sony FE mount and I would not be surprised if they bring out a competitive RF version.
https://www.lenstip.com/index.html?test=obiektywu&test_ob=502

Afterthought
For amusement, I just looked at the TDP comparison of the Sigma 1.4xTC at 560mm and f/9 with the 600mm f/11.

There is a FM thread on the new Sigma 100-400 with the FE mount, and the images look pretty good - not that I am ever going in the Sony direction.
Thanks again, Alan.
I agree that the lens is reasonably Sharp. To my taste though it does produce somewhat warmish imagery and bokeh is rather unpleasant to my eye. AF speed and consistency on my 5D4’s was unacceptable for shooting fast moving subjects. I sold the Sigma and bought Canon 100-400 II and never looked back since.
I am in love with the Canon lens image rendition qualities and colour reproduction.

some examples of what I am referring to can be found on the page 10 of the FM discussion you provided a link to:


 
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AlanF

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All lenses are compromises. For me, as an opportunistic and mobile nature photographer, I need a lens that is light enough to carry around and capture far flying birds, large and small creatures at mid distances, and focus close enough for insects. My favourites are the Canon 100-400mm II because of its versatility, sharpness and AF, and the Nikon 500mm PF, which is less versatile but does focus down to 3m and makes up for its lower versatility for being so sharp both at 3m and infinity. I do have some remorse at no longer having the 400mm DO II which is of similar quality to the Nikon but its weight is at the limits I can hike with now I am older. Arbitrage, who is my bird gear guru, has just posted an incredible shot of a Black Oystercatcher in flight captured by a 100-400mm II + 2xTCIII on an R5 so I think the 100-400 will see me for a while https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1656877/32
The 800mm f/11 should do as well as the zoom at f/11, and will be fine for those type of shots.
 
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melgross

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I have started two threads about the f/11 lenses and have written several other posts to analyse their pros and cons. I have consistently written that there will be many happy users of these lenses - they do have their places. As for your statement that neither of the Canon zoom combinations will get you to 800: 2x400mm = 800mm, 2x500mm = 1000mm. Both the Canon zooms will get you there! Or does your disdain for charts apply to arithmetic as well?

If you want the real stuff and not charts, here is a cracking shot posted on Fredmiranda of a dragonfly in flight captured on an R5 with the el cheapo Sigma 100-400 https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1656877/30#15327941 - and that's a real close up. These cheap zooms are optically excellent.
I believe you just mentioned the 1.4. I was commenting on the combos you talked about there. If I misread that, I was in error.
 
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