Optical Limits's Odd Review of Rf 100-500mm

YuengLinger

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Here's what strikes me as odd, as a bit of a let down from their former standards: "We had some trouble with the AF and IS combined with the EOS R but this has probably been fixed with a firmware update that came in after we finished the test already. "

But they seem to suggest they have also tested it with the R5 or R6? So why write as if they are in the dark at 500mm? And why would they publish the review without having tried the updated firmware which came out weeks ago? Are they just mad the firmware update came out after they'd put in the time and effort? In any event, their conclusion creates confusion! (Almost as if they didn't want to discourage Canon customers from clicking buy-links, but just weren't willing to try at 500mm again with new firmware.)

I see now, after doing a few tests of my own, how much work can go into them. But I don't run a website dedicated to tests and reviews! And this is a very expensive lens in high demand.

Judge for yourselves...

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 USM L IS - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict (opticallimits.com)
 
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AlanF

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My 100-500mm arrived yesterday afternoon and I got some critical tests done before it got dark yesterday and before it rained today. Will post soon. In short, it is very impressive.
In support of what you wrote, Digital Camera World did a good review of the 100-500 and wrote:

"But the RF 100-500mm felt very sluggish in comparison to EF 100-400mm when it came to focusing faster and bagging better birdie photos, meaning we missed more than we hit. However, this is perhaps more due to a DSLR’s superior optical viewfinders versus slower mirrorless EVFs and their lag/refresh times when it comes to focusing on action subjects.

It’s a whole different story when switching from the EOS R to the EOS R5 with its new and improved intelligent AF tracking for birds and animals, as well as people. We found that the AF system could instantly acquire and snap onto birds wherever they were in the frame, and track them with amazing speed and consistency. Our hit rate went up to practically 100 per cent, and AF proved every bit as good for kids, cats and dogs, running around the garden, even in very low lighting conditions."
 
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YuengLinger

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My 100-500mm arrived yesterday afternoon and I got some critical tests done before it got dark yesterday and before it rained today. Will post soon. In short, it is very impressive.
In support of what you wrote, Digital Camera World did a good review of the 100-500 and wrote:

"But the RF 100-500mm felt very sluggish in comparison to EF 100-400mm when it came to focusing faster and bagging better birdie photos, meaning we missed more than we hit. However, this is perhaps more due to a DSLR’s superior optical viewfinders versus slower mirrorless EVFs and their lag/refresh times when it comes to focusing on action subjects.

It’s a whole different story when switching from the EOS R to the EOS R5 with its new and improved intelligent AF tracking for birds and animals, as well as people. We found that the AF system could instantly acquire and snap onto birds wherever they were in the frame, and track them with amazing speed and consistency. Our hit rate went up to practically 100 per cent, and AF proved every bit as good for kids, cats and dogs, running around the garden, even in very low lighting conditions."
Thanks for this review link. It definitely slipped under my radar, as I thought it was Gordon Laing's. (No, I don't think all bald guys look alike.)

Yesterday I put the 100 to 500 on order again, and B&H was kind enough to apply the $100 discount which had been attached before. But after going out for a walk shooting with my old 180 mm macro Sigma, I keep thinking about the 150 to 600 mm. I really want something long!

I'm glad you are already please with your new lens.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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I saw nothing suggesting it was tested with a R5 or R6. It said that diffraction might be a issue with high MP cameras but would not be a issue with a R5 or R6. That's just based on sensor photosite density not a test. He implies that he does not have access to a R5 in the comments when someone asks him about testing it.

To rerun a completed test when the borrowed lens had been already returned is probably why the lens was not retested with new firmware. Thats the fallout from borrowing lenses to run tests, you might never be able to get that same lens back for retesting, even if the person or company was willing.

It would have been clearer if he had just said that, but you can clearly see the sticker on the lens in the photo showing it was borrowed.
 

AlanF

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I saw nothing suggesting it was tested with a R5 or R6. It said that diffraction might be a issue with high MP cameras but would not be a issue with a R5 or R6. That's just based on sensor photosite density not a test. He implies that he does not have access to a R5 in the comments when someone asks him about testing it.

To rerun a completed test when the borrowed lens had been already returned is probably why the lens was not retested with new firmware. Thats the fallout from borrowing lenses to run tests, you might never be able to get that same lens back for retesting, even if the person or company was willing.

It would have been clearer if he had just said that, but you can clearly see the sticker on the lens in the photo showing it was borrowed.
It was tested just on the R - it's listed under the 30 Mpx tests.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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It was tested just on the R - it's listed under the 30 Mpx tests.
Yes, I was trying to clarify based on YuengLinger's comment. I think he interpreted the comment different than intended.

I expect that Optical limits has decided to standardize mirrorless tests using the EOS R but will start using a high MP R version if / when it appears. Its important in testing to compare lenses when used on the same camera. That helps the users compare apples with apples.

I noticed the difference in apparent sharpness with all of my lenses when going from my 5D MK IV / EOS R to the R5. I did not expect that, I bought the R5 for features I wanted and the larger size that fits my hand better.
 
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usern4cr

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I got the RF 100-500L a week ago. It is now my favorite lens on the R5, and takes very beautiful photos with fast & sharp animal eye AF and creamy smooth background blur.

If Optical Limits can't own an R5 to test RF lenses with the latest person/animal eye AF and sensor IQ, then I'm starting to wonder why they continue to test RF lenses at all?
 
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YuengLinger

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I saw nothing suggesting it was tested with a R5 or R6. It said that diffraction might be a issue with high MP cameras but would not be a issue with a R5 or R6. That's just based on sensor photosite density not a test. He implies that he does not have access to a R5 in the comments when someone asks him about testing it.

To rerun a completed test when the borrowed lens had been already returned is probably why the lens was not retested with new firmware. Thats the fallout from borrowing lenses to run tests, you might never be able to get that same lens back for retesting, even if the person or company was willing.

It would have been clearer if he had just said that, but you can clearly see the sticker on the lens in the photo showing it was borrowed.

Your closer reading seems correct regarding actual testing and image samples, but below are the quotes that led me to believe Optical Limits had at least tried (if not tested) the lens on an R5 and R6. They speak with a familiarity I interpreted as experience, which is why I thought it odd that they expressed doubts about the lens's performance at 500mm. How could they say, "Highly Recommended," with such a cloud hanging over a USD $2700 lens? If they had a reliable source assuring them it is fine at 500mm, they should have cited it, in my opinion.

"A max aperture of f/7.1 is beyond the optimum aperture on full format cameras. The quality is easily very good on a 30-megapixel sensor (used for testing). On an EOS R5, it'll be a bit more obvious in lab conditions - less so in real life." (p 2)

"Diffraction will somewhat limit the potential on high megapixel cameras but this won't be overly noticeable - yet. It's certainly not an issue on an EOS R or R6." (p 3)

"If you own a camera with a built-in image stabilizer you can also enjoy an extra gain here (+1 f-stop on the R5/R6). " (p 3)

For over ten years I've admired and factored in the lens reviews from photozone.de, and I hope that under its new name of Optical Limits we will see the same standards of thoroughness and independence.
 

rightslot

Canon R5 ++
Aug 22, 2018
46
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OMG!

OK, after YEARS of fearful deliberations because of the ^^^ $$$, I finally have a real telephoto lens. Man-O-Man!

I was not prepared for the image quality of this lens. The RF100-500mm arrived yesterday--late--so I was only able to fire a couple of shots within the house. "Hmmm. Pretty good." But today with the brilliant Colorado sunshine I am blown away. Wow! I was not prepared for the CONTRAST this lens provides. {At all focal lengths.} I'm stunned. Really.

I was hoping for more than just a magnification--and I got it. The photos from 300 yards are much more like I would get from 50ft. Wow, and wow again.

I was very worried about the f number STARTING at 4.5. Worry no more. As I'm sure most of you know the excellent iso performance of the R5 just about evaporates any concerns. NOT A PROBLEM.
 
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usern4cr

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OMG!

OK, after YEARS of fearful deliberations because of the ^^^ $$$, I finally have a real telephoto lens. Man-O-Man!

I was not prepared for the image quality of this lens. The RF100-500mm arrived yesterday--late--so I was only able to fire a couple of shots within the house. "Hmmm. Pretty good." But today with the brilliant Colorado sunshine I am blown away. Wow! I was not prepared for the CONTRAST this lens provides. {At all focal lengths.} I'm stunned. Really.

I was hoping for more than just a magnification--and I got it. The photos from 300 yards are much more like I would get from 50ft. Wow, and wow again.

I was very worried about the f number STARTING at 4.5. Worry no more. As I'm sure most of you know the excellent iso performance of the R5 just about evaporates any concerns. NOT A PROBLEM.
It's nice to hear such reviews of the RF 100-500. It's been my favorite lens to use for quite a while now! :)
 

rightslot

Canon R5 ++
Aug 22, 2018
46
27
OK! Happy, Happy!

I admit my enthusiasm for this lens must be tempered with the understanding that this is my first real telephoto on a Canon body. But WOW.

I'm about 12ft from my Focal speaker(s). Until this photo--- @ about 180% --- I did not know there were 2 types of embossing. There is EMBOSSING and also DEBOSSING. Depending on the angle and the light the word Beryllium can look embossed. However, it is debossed (indented).

I'm blown away with the detail and once again contrast of this lens. Of course the ability to use 45mp is marvelous. I'm loving it.
634A6409.jpeg
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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OK! Happy, Happy!

I admit my enthusiasm for this lens must be tempered with the understanding that this is my first real telephoto on a Canon body. But WOW.

I'm about 12ft from my Focal speaker(s). Until this photo--- @ about 180% --- I did not know there were 2 types of embossing. There is EMBOSSING and also DEBOSSING. Depending on the angle and the light the word Beryllium can look embossed. However, it is debossed (indented).

I'm blown away with the detail and once again contrast of this lens. Of course the ability to use 45mp is marvelous. I'm loving it. View attachment 195307
Can't help but notice a couple of things. Is that dust on your sensor at the bottom left or light coloured dust on the speakers? Is the speaker case convex or were you at an angle to it? It does look like it is curved and you were also an angle and focussed above and to the left of the B as the bolt at the far right sits differently as well as not being in focus, and the m isn't as sharp as the B.
 

rightslot

Canon R5 ++
Aug 22, 2018
46
27
Can't help but notice a couple of things. Is that dust on your sensor at the bottom left or light coloured dust on the speakers? Is the speaker case convex or were you at an angle to it? It does look like it is curved and you were also an angle and focussed above and to the left of the B as the bolt at the far right sits differently as well as not being in focus, and the m isn't as sharp as the B.
Well, I know you can only do so much with a computer image. And I actually didn’t notice these items until I took the picture @about 300-400mm.
The apparent dust particles are “sparkles” that Focal put into the black enamel paint. That’s why they aren’t uniform.
Yea. The front of the speakers are curved. The degree of curvature is enough that the plane of focus falls off.even from the B to the 2nd half of the word. I believe I was at f/6.3 Yes, I had to put down the camera at least 3 times and get inches from the speaker to ensure. myself on the embossing vs the debossing. In fact, I had to delete my first description. . I am blow away.

Earlier I was able to catch a brown/sun gold squirrel in the park. While the photo itself in not fab, I was struck that I could capture such handheld at 400mm! If I can crop and reduce it I’ll upload. I see CR does not like large files.

Thanks for looking/reading
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Well, I know you can only do so much with a computer image. And I actually didn’t notice these items until I took the picture @about 300-400mm.
The apparent dust particles are “sparkles” that Focal put into the black enamel paint. That’s why they aren’t uniform.
Yea. The front of the speakers are curved. The degree of curvature is enough that the plane of focus falls off.even from the B to the 2nd half of the word. I believe I was at f/6.3 Yes, I had to put down the camera at least 3 times and get inches from the speaker to ensure. myself on the embossing vs the debossing. In fact, I had to delete my first description. . I am blow away.

Earlier I was able to catch a brown/sun gold squirrel in the park. While the photo itself in not fab, I was struck that I could capture such handheld at 400mm! If I can crop and reduce it I’ll upload. I see CR does not like large files.

Thanks for looking/reading
No problem whatsoever getting tack sharp photos hand held with this lens. I would recommend keeping the speed to 1/400s or faster at 500mm. I can get sharp shots at lower speeds, of course, but I prefer to be up at a 1/1000s to get the best out of the system.
 
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rightslot

Canon R5 ++
Aug 22, 2018
46
27
No problem whatsoever getting tack sharp photos hand held with this lens. I would recommend keeping the speed to 1/400s or faster at 500mm. I can get sharp shots at lower speeds, of course, but I prefer to be up at a 1/1000s to get the best out of the system.
Well, hopefully the weather will play nice this coming week and I can get out and learn to BALANCE my shots. It’s not necessarily front heavy but it’s still my first real tele. And THANKS for the tip on the faster SS. I have no excuse with the crazy bright sunshine.
 

rightslot

Canon R5 ++
Aug 22, 2018
46
27
634A6309 (2).jpeg

This is 400mm @ 1/500 and f/5.6. Yes, I know it could be better. Working on it. Probably should of went down to 6.3.
 
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