Next step in tele - difficult decision - especially now in between EF and RF.

PKinDenmark

EOS 90D
Apr 5, 2013
105
12
Need some experienced input to my decision-making regarding my plan to upgrade my tele-lens.
Currently I am on a Canon 6D Mk II and a Tamron 150-600mm 1.G.
Mostly used for wildlife - e.g. birds of prey in flight and Kingfishers.

I am looking for faster, sharper, better focusing - I often find my photos 'almost in focus' and 'almost sharp'.

Can not afford / can not carry the largest big whites. Find 400mm DO II attractive and within limits.

Have read a lot about it - mostly very positive.
Will it perform well on 6D II ? and with 1.4 TC III ?

Also within a year I expect to own a new R-camera (R5 or R6 - depending on how well they perform).
This should probably affect my tele-considerations.

I know that an EF-tele will perform fine on adapter.
Still: Will I regret investing in an EF big white, once I am on the RF-system, and when RF-system offers a variety of RF-tele-options - perhaps with added new benefits?
For example: When on R5 or R6 would the new RF 100-500mm be a better option?
I am aware of the new F/11 RF-teles - interesting, but probably not my first choice.

Thank you in advance for any insightful input.

IMG_4808.jpg
 

TominNJ

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 14, 2015
72
62
my opinion is that if you aren’t sure what to buy then you should wait and keep looking until you find what’s right for you.

the big whites will give you some OOF shots too especially with birds in flight. I’m not familiar with the 400mm DO but I have experience with the 600/4 with and without TCs and the 400/5.6. I get plenty of focus misses with them on the 5D IV. I hope the R5 does a better job. I’ll be seriously disappointed if it doesn’t.

TCs come with their own issues. Images aren’t as sharp.

for sharper faster better focusing I think the R5 and R6 will be everything you’re looking for.

my suggestion is to wait. the EF big whites might come down in price and Canon might come out with an RF tele that‘s a significant improvement
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
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This is a case where I'd go with a R5 rather than a new lens. It will breathe new life into your existing lens, and even autofocus it with a 2X TC. You can always get a better lens next year, but you will miss out on the improved camera for a year.
 
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
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Nov 7, 2013
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I would definitely wait until you can have an R5 in your own hands and maybe rent it for testing.
You say you do a lot of wildlife. You should look at (through) the new EVF of the R5, if this fits your needs. It seem to be a reasonable step further.
If this suits your needs and if you decide to buy an R5 then I second MT. Spokanes thought to get the camera first.
After that you should think about RF teles as the RF100-500 for example has the dual nano USM linear AF motors which seem to be a important factor for faster focusing.
 
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PKinDenmark

EOS 90D
Apr 5, 2013
105
12
Thank you all above for your advice.
You shift me towards an early adoptation of the R5/6.
All three of you seem to point to - which was my underlying concern - a solution based solely on R-system being preferable compared to mixing EF and R-system.
Especially when the timing is as it is. (I guess I shold have invested in the 400mm DO much earlier - but that is another story).

Speculation for me is, that future big whites will be RF-based and are likely to be even better on R-cameras than current EF lenses.
So whether to go with the already announced 100-500 mm or with some yet to come bigger whites can be open options for now.

Thanks again.

PS: Some of my Wild-life work can be seen at: https://symphoto.smugmug.com/Wild-Life
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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Thank you all above for your advice.
You shift me towards an early adoptation of the R5/6.
All three of you seem to point to - which was my underlying concern - a solution based solely on R-system being preferable compared to mixing EF and R-system.
Especially when the timing is as it is. (I guess I shold have invested in the 400mm DO much earlier - but that is another story).

Speculation for me is, that future big whites will be RF-based and are likely to be even better on R-cameras than current EF lenses.
So whether to go with the already announced 100-500 mm or with some yet to come bigger whites can be open options for now.

Thanks again.

PS: Some of my Wild-life work can be seen at: https://symphoto.smugmug.com/Wild-Life
You actually get a better image from a existing lens when your new camera has a sensor with better definition, so the R5 should give you better images from your existing lens.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,670
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Alberta, Canada
I came from the 6D and when I still had it I bought the 400 DO II knowing that another camera body was coming. It was imperative that I have AF at F8 for 2X and the 6D wouldn't do it, but otherwise it worked well with the 400. I love that lens but it is a little heavy but at 70 I'm not deterred from hiking hours with it and now the R5 will reduce weight somewhat. It's like the R5 was designed just for me ... 20 MPs is not ideal for wildlife. If interested click my Guru Shots link and check the photos - many/most with 400 X2 and almost always with significant cropping and the EXIF is in there.

I agree that lenses are better value in general but I feel like the R5 is a dream come true for wildlife shooters if it's anywhere close to as good as it appears so far. I was conflicted between the 5D4 and the 1DX2 since I wanted more MPs but also wanted 4K60 but now there is an R5 :giggle: :)

Jack
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,670
2,062
Alberta, Canada
Thank you all above for your advice.
You shift me towards an early adoptation of the R5/6.
All three of you seem to point to - which was my underlying concern - a solution based solely on R-system being preferable compared to mixing EF and R-system.
Especially when the timing is as it is. (I guess I shold have invested in the 400mm DO much earlier - but that is another story).

Speculation for me is, that future big whites will be RF-based and are likely to be even better on R-cameras than current EF lenses.
So whether to go with the already announced 100-500 mm or with some yet to come bigger whites can be open options for now.

Thanks again.

PS: Some of my Wild-life work can be seen at: https://symphoto.smugmug.com/Wild-Life
Judging from your work, you deserve to move up with your gear. Very nice!

I think we have to be patient for a few more weeks when the serious reviews start showing up.;)

Jack
 

FrenchFry

Wildlife enthusiast!
Jun 14, 2020
114
98
For anyone wondering about the R5 and 400 DO II, the combination works really well. I don't have any teleconverters yet, so for now I can just speak to the pairing of body with adapter and lens.
Autofocus is fast and accurate, and images look quite nice. If only I could take them somewhere more interesting, I could truly see what the combination is capable of.
I look forward to Canon's eventual release of RF big (but hopefully smaller than before) whites. Until then the EF 400mm DO II (and RF 100-500) will hold me over just fine.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
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For anyone wondering about the R5 and 400 DO II, the combination works really well. I don't have any teleconverters yet, so for now I can just speak to the pairing of body with adapter and lens.
Autofocus is fast and accurate, and images look quite nice. If only I could take them somewhere more interesting, I could truly see what the combination is capable of.
I look forward to Canon's eventual release of RF big (but hopefully smaller than before) whites. Until then the EF 400mm DO II (and RF 100-500) will hold me over just fine.
Thanks for posting this. I'm interested in more commentary/pics as you continue to explore and am most interested if you were to acquire an EF 2X to augment the 400. My 400 is almost always paired with 2X for reach, the exception mainly being sometimes BIF at 400 or 560. Comparisons between the 400 and the 100-500 would also be helpful, especially does one cause the other to be less used or maybe more correctly worded, does having the zoom make you tend to leave the 400 at home?

Jack
 

unfocused

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Jul 20, 2010
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www.mgordoncommunications.com
I guess I'm just a contrarian, but I have to wonder about the wisdom of buying a new camera body for full retail price, knowing that within a year it will drop in price, vs. buying an excellent lens that is unlikely to see significant price reductions anytime soon. I guess I am just against paying the early adopter's tax for camera bodies.

On the other hand, I imagine your Tamron will perform very well on the R5, so I guess you may decide that you don't need the 400 II. Ultimately, I think it depends on what your end game is. Do you expect that eventually you will be buying both an R5 and the 400 DO? Do you think you might be happy with the R5 and the 100-500 zoom (which together is about the same price as the 400 DO II.) Depends on how much value you put on the f4 aperture and how tolerant you are of higher ISOs. Will you be upset in a year when the R5 has dropped in price, or will you look at it from the standpoint of the enjoyment you got during that year? Questions only you can answer.
 
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PKinDenmark

EOS 90D
Apr 5, 2013
105
12
Thank you FF for your experience with R5 and 400 DO II. Good to hear.
And thank you JD for elaborating - yes, would be great to know comparison between EF 400 DO II and RF 100-500 mm - both with or without TCs.
Two different tools certainly, but still would be great to hear which one FrenchFry and others would pick for a day in the wild (primarily birding).

And thanks to you, Unfocused. Good points for sure. Could be a good path to give my old Tamron a workout with R5 before final decision on 'tele end game'

I have preordered R5 (I am ready to be an early adopter for this once) and RF 100-500 (this decision still brewing)
Happily and less patiently waiting.
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,330
7,102
Thanks for posting this. I'm interested in more commentary/pics as you continue to explore and am most interested if you were to acquire an EF 2X to augment the 400. My 400 is almost always paired with 2X for reach, the exception mainly being sometimes BIF at 400 or 560. Comparisons between the 400 and the 100-500 would also be helpful, especially does one cause the other to be less used or maybe more correctly worded, does having the zoom make you tend to leave the 400 at home?

Jack
I used my 400 DO II frequently with a 2xTC on the 5DIV. However, I was never happy with the 2xTC on the 5DSR, which is of similar resolution to the R5, and used the DO either bare or with the 1.4xTC.
 
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Frodo

EOS RP
Nov 3, 2012
393
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I used my 400 DO II frequently with a 2xTC on the 5DIV. However, I was never happy with the 2xTC on the 5DSR, which is of similar resolution to the R5, and used the DO either bare or with the 1.4xTC.
I had a similar experience with my 400/5.6, 1.4x and 5DsR. In tests I found that the teleconverter (mk1) didn't produce better files than simply cropping 1.4x. I regret selling the 1.4x as my R gets a lot more use than the 5DsR.
 
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DavidJoarnt@gmail.

I'm New Here
Aug 19, 2020
16
27
I have used both EF and RF lenses on my R5 and with the R5 there is an improvement in the EF lens performance. on a side note i also got the 100-500 RF lens and it is sharper and faster focusing then my 100-400 EF. and the 100-500 is almost as sharp as my 600mm III EF lens but does not perform as well in low light. The 100-500 is $10000 less and the improvement on the ISO performance would make it a very hard to chose. I would start with the 100-500 to see if it fits your needs. You take a hit in sharpness even with a 1.4 extender but i have noticed it less with the RF extender but it is still a hit in a stop of light.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
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Thanks, that's interesting commentary. Keep us informed as you gain more experience. I am optimistic I'll have the R5 next spring and might consider the 100-500 although I suspect from a financial point of view I'll have to stick with the 400 DO II.

Jack
 

DavidJoarnt@gmail.

I'm New Here
Aug 19, 2020
16
27
Thanks, that's interesting commentary. Keep us informed as you gain more experience. I am optimistic I'll have the R5 next spring and might consider the 100-500 although I suspect from a financial point of view I'll have to stick with the 400 DO II.

Jack
I had a 400 ser 1 EF and it was one of the sharpest lenses that i had even with a 1.4 extender it was sharper then my 600mm III but it was built like a tank and just as heavy. I really like the 600mm III for sharpness, reach and weight but with the new 100-500 RF and the 1.4 RF extender in my bag i will not take the 600 it for hikes into areas that I have not gone into before the 100-500 RF will be my travel lens unless i know that i will need the 600 for low light shooting. The 100-500 RF was a real surprise. I have even shot the R5 at 12800 with good results noise starts to creep in above 3200 ISO
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,738
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My experience may not be that helpful, but I'll share it briefly just in case. I don't shoot a lot of wildlife or BIF, just the cardinals at the feeders next door and an occasional humming bird or butterfly. I have the 6D II and the 100mm–400mm II lens. I have found the combination to work flawlessly. I can't recall ever having a focusing issue. I don't own an extender, so I can't say how that would work on my camera. I'm not ready to give up the OVF, so I an unlikely to buy another body unless they run a good sale on the 5D IV again and I have a weak moment. The optical view through that lens is enough for me to want to hang on to my current camera.
 

DavidJoarnt@gmail.

I'm New Here
Aug 19, 2020
16
27
Thanks, that's interesting commentary. Keep us informed as you gain more experience. I am optimistic I'll have the R5 next spring and might consider the 100-500 although I suspect from a financial point of view I'll have to stick with the 400 DO II.

Jack
Here is a shot with the R5 and the 100-500 RF ISO 1600 f 9.0 2000 sec at 500 focal lengthView attachment 193365
 
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