R5 detailed lens testing of RF 100-500 f4.5-7.1 vs. RF 800 f11, with & without RF 1.4x TC, for super-telephoto use.

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
1,195
2,031
Kentucky, USA
*** Part 5b ***

Here is a 1:1 crop of the center area with the bill and resolution charts of the same 4:
A03_1254_1_center95%.jpg A03_1266_1_center95%.jpg A03_1280_1_center95%.jpg A03_1275_1_center95%.jpg


I also re-sized (from Raw) the above crops to the 2048 x 2048 size that happened to be what the 1120mm photo was at:
A03_1254_1_center2k95%.jpg A03_1266_1_center2k95%.jpg A03_1280_1_center2k95%.jpg A03_1275_1_center2k95%.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlanF

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
1,195
2,031
Kentucky, USA
*** Part 5c ***

Here is a 1:1 crop of the view of the Queen of the same 4:
A03_1254_2_queen95%.jpg A03_1266_2_queen95%.jpg A03_1280_2_queen95%.jpg A03_1275_2_queen95%.jpg

The above are re-sized up (from raw) to 2K x 2K for a fairer comparison:
A03_1254_2_queen2k95%.jpg A03_1266_2_queen2k95%.jpg A03_1280_2_queen2k95%.jpg A03_1275_2_queen2k95%.jpg


As far as the #lines barely resolved, the "N" value I chose was the average for horizontal & vertical lines for the 3 charts in each:
(note this is a rough #, based on visual inspection)
500mm: N = ~34
700mm: N = ~40
800mm: N = ~47
1120mm: N = ~49

The length of the arrow line "A" is:
500mm: A = 269
700mm: A = 372
800mm: A = 432
1120mm: A = 598

From the formula, #barely resolved lines = N * 7 * S / A
(where S = #pixels in sensor height, or 5464 for the R5)
(note a black & white line pair count as "2 lines")
500mm: #barely resolved = ~4834
700mm: #barely resolved = ~4113
800mm: #barely resolved = ~4161
1120mm: #barely resolved = ~3134

The number of sensor pixels needed to barely resolve a black & white line pair is:
500mm: ~2.3 pixels
700mm: ~2.7 pixels
800mm: ~2.6 pixels
1120mm: ~3.5 pixels

Note: I haven't compared these results with what I got in my previous post with an earlier chart. I hope they're close (you never know) ;)

You can be the judge of the results that I found at this focal distance.
I will try to find time to do another similar test at a longer focal distance, which will have to be outside of my house.

I hope you liked this. Feel free to make comments or suggestions. I'm just a retired programmer with photography, pickleball, & travel as my main hobbies.

I hope you're all able to stay safe and can get your Covid vaccines. I got my 2nd one yesterday, so I'm very grateful for my luck with that.

Cheers!
usern4cr (well, also known as "John")
 
Last edited:
John and Alan,

amazing work, meticulous focus on comparing the lenses in a fair way.

Thanks for the hard work, intellectual work and sharing it in an easily digestible format.

For me, this is the sort of comparative reviews which are really informative about making purchases. I wish review sites would do more like this but I guess there is a lot more effort doing what you’ve done.

Many thanks again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlanF and usern4cr

zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
2,129
317
Indeed great stuff, that's a lot of commitment, work and time.
I don't have RF kit but still picked up a couple of interesting processing points that I'll be having a little play with!

Thank you
 
  • Like
Reactions: usern4cr

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
1,195
2,031
Kentucky, USA
John and Alan,

amazing work, meticulous focus on comparing the lenses in a fair way.

Thanks for the hard work, intellectual work and sharing it in an easily digestible format.

For me, this is the sort of comparative reviews which are really informative about making purchases. I wish review sites would do more like this but I guess there is a lot more effort doing what you’ve done.

Many thanks again.
Thanks so much, Stu_bert. I've haven't done this kind of thing before, and would really like to thank AlanF for his ideas and previous work and for helping to make it a more readable & (hopefully) enjoyable form.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AlanF and Stu_bert

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
1,195
2,031
Kentucky, USA
Indeed great stuff, that's a lot of commitment, work and time.
I don't have RF kit but still picked up a couple of interesting processing points that I'll be having a little play with!

Thank you
Thanks, Zim. If you ever have the chance to get a R5 and the RF 100-500L pair, that's a really sweet combination all by itself.
 
Sep 18, 2021
3
1
Thanks, Zim. If you ever have the chance to get a R5 and the RF 100-500L pair, that's a really sweet combination all by itself.

Hello! I own a Canon R5 and 800mm f11. I am really close to my savings goal to pick up the 100-500 L. I WAS planning to sell off the 800mm to help afford the 1.4x teleconverter, as i was under the impression an L lens would be heads above this 'cheap' 800 f11 lens, even with a teleconverter.

Your test has now showed me otherwise. It appears per your test, The 100-500L is as sharp as the 800mm both without the TC, but when the TC is involved, the 800 with and without the TC appear sharper. DId I interpret these results correctly?

If i want more detail at a subject that is far away, would i be better using the bare 100-500mm or the 800mm (if i have it with me at the time) and forgetting the TC all together? Many suggest there is absolutely no quality loss and their 1.4x TC lives on their 100-500mm, but your test proves thats just not true.
 
  • Like
Reactions: usern4cr

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,607
11,390
Hello! I own a Canon R5 and 800mm f11. I am really close to my savings goal to pick up the 100-500 L. I WAS planning to sell off the 800mm to help afford the 1.4x teleconverter, as i was under the impression an L lens would be heads above this 'cheap' 800 f11 lens, even with a teleconverter.

Your test has now showed me otherwise. It appears per your test, The 100-500L is as sharp as the 800mm both without the TC, but when the TC is involved, the 800 with and without the TC appear sharper. DId I interpret these results correctly?

If i want more detail at a subject that is far away, would i be better using the bare 100-500mm or the 800mm (if i have it with me at the time) and forgetting the TC all together? Many suggest there is absolutely no quality loss and their 1.4x TC lives on their 100-500mm, but your test proves thats just not true.
You can see some more tests here: https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...-100-500mm-rf-800mm-and-ef-400mm-do-ii.40550/
The 800mm does perform very well, but so does the 100-500mm at 700mm and 1000mm. The 100-500mm + RF 2xTC outresolves the bare 800mm. There are other criteria that are more important. If you want to take close objects, then the 100-500mm is far more suitable. If you do birds in flight, then the 800mm has a more narrow field of view and slower AF than the bare 100-500mm or it with the RF 1.4x. I keep the 800mm f/11 for more specialist use and use the 100-500mm as my go to lens.
 

JohnC

EOS RP
CR Pro
Sep 22, 2019
206
218
Gainesville,GA
You can see some more tests here: https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...-100-500mm-rf-800mm-and-ef-400mm-do-ii.40550/
The 800mm does perform very well, but so does the 100-500mm at 700mm and 1000mm. The 100-500mm + RF 2xTC outresolves the bare 800mm. There are other criteria that are more important. If you want to take close objects, then the 100-500mm is far more suitable. If you do birds in flight, then the 800mm has a more narrow field of view and slower AF than the bare 100-500mm or it with the RF 1.4x. I keep the 800mm f/11 for more specialist use and use the 100-500mm as my go to lens.
Have you used the ef100-400 II on the R5 and if so how would you say it compares to the RF 100-500?
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,110
346
Have you used the ef100-400 II on the R5 and if so how would you say it compares to the RF 100-500?

@JohnC - FWIW, I had the 100-400ii, and a really good one that produced excellent results on the R5 with an adapter. But, I've since sold it and now use the RF 100-500 with no regrets. A little more reach with no need for the adapter and excellent IQ but each is a really great lens.

Many thanks to Alan and John for this fascinating evaluation.

If there ever is an RF 400DO that will work with the TCs, I might be going that way. I am lucky enough to have an EF 300 f/2.8ii (what an amazing lens even with a 2x TC) but it is not seeing much use these days and I am thinking of selling it. Who knows?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: FrenchFry and JohnC

JohnC

EOS RP
CR Pro
Sep 22, 2019
206
218
Gainesville,GA
@JohnC - FWIW, I had the 100-400ii, and a really good one that produced excellent results on the R5 with an adapter. But, I've since sold it and now use the RF 100-500 with no regrets. A little more reach with no need for the adapter and excellent IQ but each is a raelly great lens.

Many thanks to Alan and John for this fascinating evaluation.

If there ever is an RF 400DO that will work with the TCs, I might be going that way. I am lucky enough to have an EF 300 f/2.8ii (what an amazing lens even with a 2x TC) but it is not seeing much use these days and I am thinking of selling it. Who knows?
Thank you that is helpful.
 
Sep 18, 2021
3
1
You can see some more tests here: https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...-100-500mm-rf-800mm-and-ef-400mm-do-ii.40550/
The 800mm does perform very well, but so does the 100-500mm at 700mm and 1000mm. The 100-500mm + RF 2xTC outresolves the bare 800mm. There are other criteria that are more important. If you want to take close objects, then the 100-500mm is far more suitable. If you do birds in flight, then the 800mm has a more narrow field of view and slower AF than the bare 100-500mm or it with the RF 1.4x. I keep the 800mm f/11 for more specialist use and use the 100-500mm as my go to lens.

So I have an addiction to the Conowingo Dam in MD for the Eagle population. I frequent there more than id like to admit lol. As you may know, the MFD of the 800mm doesnt come into play very often there, and I hardly find myself wanting less than the max focal length. The bigger focus area of the 100-500 w/ 1.4tc and focus speed would be the biggest advantage compared to the 800mm there i feel. Is the 100-500mm w/ 1.4tc close enough to the IQ of the bare 800mm to leave the 800mm at home? Or since it is so easy to bring an extra lens and swap it when i need more FL, i should forego the TC for that use case? Im going to comb over the images in the thread you linked me to see if i can determine for myself, but you seem to be very experienced in this system and i value your opinion!

TIA
 
Sep 18, 2021
3
1
I guess ill keep my 800mm for sharper shots at max focal length and save some more funds and eventually pick up the 1.4tc for the versatility when i want the zoom range and MFD of the 100-500 + 1.4tc and will sacrifice the IQ for it.
 

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
1,195
2,031
Kentucky, USA
Hello! I own a Canon R5 and 800mm f11. I am really close to my savings goal to pick up the 100-500 L. I WAS planning to sell off the 800mm to help afford the 1.4x teleconverter, as i was under the impression an L lens would be heads above this 'cheap' 800 f11 lens, even with a teleconverter.

Your test has now showed me otherwise. It appears per your test, The 100-500L is as sharp as the 800mm both without the TC, but when the TC is involved, the 800 with and without the TC appear sharper. DId I interpret these results correctly?

If i want more detail at a subject that is far away, would i be better using the bare 100-500mm or the 800mm (if i have it with me at the time) and forgetting the TC all together? Many suggest there is absolutely no quality loss and their 1.4x TC lives on their 100-500mm, but your test proves thats just not true.
Since I bought the 800 f11 and also bought the RF 1.4x TC, I have chosen to leave the 1.4x on the 800 as if it was a single lens. If I want a really long focal range and don't care about closer focusing, then the 800 & 1.4x is super lightweight and is a joy to use for that purpose and is sharp enough for my purposes.

I have the RF 100-500L and it is absolutely my favorite lens. But I don't have a RF 2x TC (well, yet). And I'm not a fan of putting on a TC on the 100-500 since you end up with a minimum focal length of 300mm * 1.4x (or 2x). But if I wanted to take a single lens and a single TC for long distance flexibility, then I would take the 100-500 and RF 2x where I'd use (or not use) the 2x on it as the situation needs. I wouldn't bother with the 1.4X on the 100-500 as it's not worth losing the wider angles for only a 1.4X longer range (to me), so if I'm going to bother with doing that then I'd only want the 2X put on it, and AlanF has shown how great that combo is!

If you're car camping, then I'd take the 100-500 (with no TC!) and the <800 + 1.4X combo> so that I have an easy lens change between them for 100-500 or 1120 mm. Personally, I find changing the TC in and out to be a PITA, but that's just me and that's why this combination is appealing since it eliminates changing the TC's in & out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlanF and EricN

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,607
11,390
Have you used the ef100-400 II on the R5 and if so how would you say it compares to the RF 100-500?
A lot and the comments are spread over various threads. If you shoot in the range 100-400mm only, then the 100-400mm II is marginally better than than the 100-500 at 400mm and marginally worse at 100mm, and no real difference in AF etc. The EF at 560mm with the 1.4xTC, is about the same as the the RF at 500mm for resolution or marginally better and not much different in other ways. The 100-500mm leaps ahead with the RF 1.4x and 2x if you want to shoot at 700mm and 1000mm, and better than the EF at 800mm. Based on my experience with one copy of the 100-500mm and 3 of the EF.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnC

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,607
11,390
Since I bought the 800 f11 and also bought the RF 1.4x TC, I have chosen to leave the 1.4x on the 800 as if it was a single lens. If I want a really long focal range and don't care about closer focusing, then the 800 & 1.4x is super lightweight and is a joy to use for that purpose and is sharp enough for my purposes.

I have the RF 100-500L and it is absolutely my favorite lens. But I don't have a RF 2x TC (well, yet). And I'm not a fan of putting on a TC on the 100-500 since you end up with a minimum focal length of 300mm * 1.4x (or 2x). But if I wanted to take a single lens and a single TC for long distance flexibility, then I would take the 100-500 and RF 2x where I'd use (or not use) the 2x on it as the situation needs. I wouldn't bother with the 1.4X on the 100-500 as it's not worth losing the wider angles for only a 1.4X longer range (to me), so if I'm going to bother with doing that then I'd only want the 2X put on it, and AlanF has shown how great that combo is!

If you're car camping, then I'd take the 100-500 (with no TC!) and the <800 + 1.4X combo> so that I have an easy lens change between them for 100-500 or 1120 mm. Personally, I find changing the TC in and out to be a PITA, but that's just me and that's why this combination is appealing since it eliminates changing the TC's in & out.
We are very much in complete agreement here. I would say that I have a higher regard for the RF 1.4x on the 100-500mm. The default setting for lens sharpness in DxO PL softens the lens at 700mm and needs to be set to global +2. Conversely, it oversharpens the lens with the RF 2x at 1000mm and needs to be set at at -1 or so for well focussed images. You see the benefit of extenders at distances where the fine details are just out of the range of resolution of the bare lens and just within the range with the extender. I think we have both toyed with selling the 800 f/11. But, I have fun with the 800 + TCs. Two nights ago, I played with the 2x on the 800 vs 2x on the 100-500mm taking photos of the moon. The 1000mm actually gave me sharper details. But, I took shots of Jupiter and could just make out at the colours at 1600mm in an 80px80px image.
309A4368-DxO_1600mm_jupiter+2_cropCR.jpg
 
Last edited:

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,424
2,291
We are very much in complete agreement here. I would say that I have a higher regard for the RF 1.4x on the 100-500mm. The default setting for lens sharpness in DxO PL softens the lens at 700mm and needs to be set to global +2. Conversely, it oversharpens the lens with the RF 2x at 1000mm and needs to be set at at -1 or so for well focussed images. You see the benefit of extenders at distances where the fine details are just out of the range of resolution of the bare lens and just within the range with the extender. I think we have both toyed with selling the 800 f/11. But, I have fun with the 800 + TCs. Two nights ago, I played with the 2x on the 800 vs 2x on the 100-500mm taking photos of the moon. The 1000mm actually gave me sharper details. But, I took shots of Jupiter and could just make out at the colours at 1600mm in an 80px80px image.
View attachment 200283
Is that in any way stacked, or just a single image?

I was shooting my 100/400 with a 2.0 tc once and could not get anything like that (even scaled down). I should, as a bonus, also have got Saturn (because it was the great conjunction last December) and barely got something recognizable. I actually did almost as well (if that's the word--maybe I should have said "only slightly more poorly") as my camera did with my cell phone handheld in front of my telescope's eyepiece--once out of about 20 tries.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,607
11,390
Is that in any way stacked, or just a single image?

I was shooting my 100/400 with a 2.0 tc once and could not get anything like that (even scaled down). I should, as a bonus, also have got Saturn (because it was the great conjunction last December) and barely got something recognizable. I actually did almost as well (if that's the word--maybe I should have said "only slightly more poorly") as my camera did with my cell phone handheld in front of my telescope's eyepiece--once out of about 20 tries.
Single image. You would be pushed to get anything at 800mm on the 100-400 II, just not enough pixels - 40x40, and the lens isn't sharp enough. I got this at 900mm on the 100-500mm II + RF 2x f/13.
309A4336-DxO_Jupiter_900mm_LS-1+1ev.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: EricN and usern4cr

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,110
346
Before I had the 100-500, I tried an RF 800 and my experience matched the reviews. The reach for a relatively light lens with decent IQ was impressive but the f/11 and close focus distance made me think it was not for me.

So here I am with the 100-500 and a 1.4TC wondering if I should get a 2x TC. I might do better with the 800 with and without the 1.4x I already have thinking about versatility and the lens swapping I'd be doing. I see some differences in IQ based on these charts and understand the differences in relative aperture with TCs but, this has got me thinking. 2x with the 100-500 is basically 600-1000 and the 800 with the 1.4x yields 800 / 1200 with a stop of light.

Say what you will about Canon's RF lineup but they've given us lots of options.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,424
2,291
Single image. You would be pushed to get anything at 800mm on the 100-400 II, just not enough pixels - 40x40, and the lens isn't sharp enough. I got this at 900mm on the 100-500mm II + RF 1.4x, f/13.
View attachment 200288
I couldn't see where you mentioned the camera, which for me was an R5. I suppose I could have got more pixels on it with the M6-II but it was hopeless trying to focus it. With the R5 I could crank the ISO, manually focus, then drop back down and take the picture.