MTFs for Canon R 100-500mm, 600 f/11 and 800 f/11

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,345
7,146
IMPORTANT EDIT: Canon has out-of-date MTF charts listed on its USA site for some lenses. Thanks to alerts from subsequent posts, I have gone to the Japanese site https://cweb.canon.jp/eos/ and have revised the charts and conclusions. This opening post has been rewritten so as not to mislead and I have added data from the EF and RF extenders.

Canon has at last uploaded the calculated MTF values for the new R telephotos, and I have made a collage of them with the those from the 100-400mm II as reference. To summarise, the 100-500 is slightly better at 100mm and slightly weaker at 500mm than the 100-400mm II at 400mm. The differences are slightly magnified by the EF and and RF 1.4x and 2xTCs. The new RF 2xTC gives a significant hit on IQ and does not appear to be an improvement on the old 2xTCIII. The 600mm and 800mm f/11 lenses are somewhat disappointing in terms of resolution and are outperformed in IQ by the RF zoom with extenders where the focal lengths overlap and to a similar extent by the old 100-400mm II.

100-400_100_500_Ann_2_00x.jpg
600_800_f11-2_00x.jpg
 
Last edited:

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
1,139
315
Canon has at last uploaded the calculated MTF values for the new R telephotos, and I have made a collage of them with the those from the 100-400mm II as reference. Disappointing to say the least.
Considering the RF 24-240mm's IQ, and the lenses' slow apertures & low prices, I'm not the least surprised.
 

BeenThere

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 4, 2012
1,217
642
Eastern Shore
Canon has at last uploaded the calculated MTF values for the new R telephotos, and I have made a collage of them with the those from the 100-400mm II as reference. Disappointing to say the least. The tele end of the 500 is weaker than the 400mm II. The contrast (10 lp/mm) of the f/11s is only just over 0.9 and the resolution (30 l/mm) a mediocre ~0.75, which decreases away from the centre with astigmatism, more than I would expect from a telephoto prime. They haven't posted the results with TCs.

View attachment 191468
Thanks for putting this together. Hope is not a planning factor.
 

tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
4,733
975
I understand that for the DO lenses. The 100-500 zoom could be better though for that price!

Unless Canon intends to keep our interest waiting for RF 100-500 II :D
 

digigal

Traveling the world one step at a time.
CR Pro
Aug 26, 2014
218
408
Basically you are not getting a better lens in any way. The only advantage would be the length of the lens total when handholding for shooting as you would not need to stack the adapter plus the 2x(or 1.4x) plus the extended 100-400 II on the camera which may be more unweildy than the new 100-500 and 1.4x.
I'm going to go with the first option for now because I like that the extender works for the full length of the 100-400 lens (same with the EF 70-200/2.8--I can still put an extender on the EF but not the RF)
Catherine
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maximilian

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,345
7,146
Basically you are not getting a better lens in any way. The only advantage would be the length of the lens total when handholding for shooting as you would not need to stack the adapter plus the 2x(or 1.4x) plus the extended 100-400 II on the camera which may be more unweildy than the new 100-500 and 1.4x.
I'm going to go with the first option for now because I like that the extender works for the full length of the 100-400 lens (same with the EF 70-200/2.8--I can still put an extender on the EF but not the RF)
Catherine
It makes the R5 a more attractive item in that I won't have to splash out on expensive new lenses and TCs, and can use without any loss of IQ my trusty 100-400.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bert63

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,070
712
So if I am reading this right. The 100-400 II is really good and the 100-500 just isn't quite as good ?
They have probably changed the scales, I would bet on it that it is going to outperform the 100-400 II (for almost double the price of course).
 

tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
4,733
975
They have probably changed the scales, I would bet on it that it is going to outperform the 100-400 II (for almost double the price of course).
Has Canon said so? Maybe when TDP gets a copy and compares same megapixels EF and RF cameras we will get an idea.
 
Dec 7, 2015
5
10
You're using the OLD MTF for the 100-400 II. Canon updated their MTF charts sometime in the last couple of years and this is the MTF for the 100-400 II using the current process...
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: panosopc1

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,345
7,146
They have probably changed the scales, I would bet on it that it is going to outperform the 100-400 II (for almost double the price of course).
Of course they haven’t changed the scales. The MTFs are on an absolute scale of 0 to 1. And, Canon doesn’t take into account diffraction, which will lower the f/7.1 500mm more than the f/5.6 400mm. The f/11 will be significantly lower still after diffraction is taken into account.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tron

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,345
7,146
You're using the OLD MTF for the 100-400 II. Canon updated their MTF charts sometime in the last couple of years and this is the MTF for the 100-400 II using the current process...
I used the latest MTFs on the Canon USA site downloaded this evening.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tron

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,345
7,146
Has Canon said so? Maybe when TDP gets a copy and compares same megapixels EF and RF cameras we will get an idea.
With luck, lensrentals will do a proper job on several copies. I don’t trust TDP. For example, they have the 100-400mm II sharper than the 400mm DO II whereas lensrentals have it the right way around as you and I know first hand.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tron
Jul 21, 2020
1
6
In 2018, Canon redid all of their MTF charts to new standards. They then did not update Canon USA for whatever reason.

Here is the updated MTF chart on Canon's Japanese website for the 100-400.


And here is the actual image



Here is the 100-500 from the same site




Here is the RF 600 f/11




Here is the RF 800 f/11




I would place the blame for this misinterpretation of MTF charts on Canon's shoulders for not updating their USA website.
 

tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
4,733
975
With luck, lensrentals will do a proper job on several copies. I don’t trust TDP. For example, they have the 100-400mm II sharper than the 400mm DO II whereas lensrentals have it the right way around as you and I know first hand.
YEs I was thinking about Lensrentals tests using many copies (I remember this with 24-70 lenses) while TDP uses one. Of course Lensrentals would be more reliable.
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,345
7,146
In 2018, Canon redid all of their MTF charts to new standards. They then did not update Canon USA for whatever reason.

Here is the updated MTF chart on Canon's Japanese website for the 100-400.


And here is the actual image



Here is the 100-500 from the same site




Here is the RF 600 f/11




Here is the RF 800 f/11




I would place the blame for this misinterpretation of MTF charts on Canon's shoulders for not updating their USA website.
Thanks for that information. Canon is very naughty. The f/11 are low by any standard. But, they are relatively cheap. The Canon values are still higher than the actual measured ones by lensrentals using an optical bench https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/the-sort-of-great-400mm-shootout/ it really will be interesting to see what the 500 one really is.
 
Last edited:

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,070
712
100-400 II currently has MSRP of $2,200; 100-500 is $2,700. I wouldn't call that "almost double" the price. In a year or so, the 100-500 will be about $2,200 as well.
In the EU, the 100-400 II is available for a lot less than the MSRP (if people switch than there will be even more on the market, dropping the value a bit further)

And no, I have not seen a substantial price drop on the RF 70-200 either, which is also almost double than the discounted EF 70-200 III, so I expect the relation to be similar.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
5,732
2,729
67
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
In the EU, the 100-400 II is available for a lot less than the MSRP (if people switch than there will be even more on the market, dropping the value a bit further)

And no, I have not seen a substantial price drop on the RF 70-200 either, which is also almost double than the discounted EF 70-200 III, so I expect the relation to be similar.
The RF 70-200 remains at about $2,400 here. I don't get it. For me, the telescoping feature just isn't worth the premium. I bought a refurbished III and sold my old II, which was candidly pretty rough cosmetically, but still perfect optically, and was able to recover 2/3 of what I paid for the refurb.

Waiting for Canon to start releasing Big Whites in RF mount. I might actually be able to afford an EF version then.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dantana and Bert63