Sooooo, f/11 you say? What’s Canon up to with these upcoming supertelephoto lenses?

Mt Spokane Photography

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I have Canon’s 70-300mm IS DO zoom lens. It stays in a drawer now and hasn’t been used in years. It is a short lens at the 70mm setting but heavy for its size and the image quality isn’t anything special. Plus at $1399 (Samy’s current price) it’s pretty expensive and has the weird, ringed out of focus bokeh which is a DO signature. I think a lot of people will buy the new lenses for the reasons given by others but then quite a few of them will be disappointed by the f11 max aperture once they try to use them in less than ideal lighting conditions.
DO technology has come a long way since that lens. Don't confuse the expensive to make and poor performing technology with whats available now. Of course, it is still a tradeoff between weight, price and performance, but performance is much better.
 
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They sound like they'd be very effective for shooting video. I often have to stop my 600 f4 down to f11 or even f16 to prevent overexposure when shooting video at 1/60th or 1/120th of a second when i don't have an ND filter available.. The stm focusing should also be quieter if capturing audio and will probably rack focus a little smother.. The smaller cross-section should also cut down on wind vibration which is a big problem with the f4's and video.

I'd take a wait and see on an F11 for stills. The big whites draw like portrait lenses which is one of the main reasons for owning them. That's probably not going to be true with slow DO lenses. The results for stills might be good for capturing detail and such but the rendering may not to be particularly pleasing.
 
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Dragon

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Before jumping to conclusions, remember the 7-8 stop IS claim. That makes 1/2000th turn into 1/10th of a second. High ISO is not the only tool to make f/11 quite useful. In fact, with that kind of IS, base ISO would be available at f/11 much of the time. Not exactly a BIF lens, but for many other uses, very satisfactory. I have a Nikon 1000mm f/11 Cat that is occasionally useful, but with even 3 or 4 stops of IBIS it will be very useful and it is very small and light for its FL. The 800 f/11 DO will likely be even smaller and lighter (and probably sharper), and it will almost certainly have internal IS to augment IBIS. Many parameters are changing at the same time and you have to look at all of them in combination to see the full value of what is being proposed. I also have an 800mm f/5.6 L and it is an awesome lens, but portability is not high on its list of attributes. As always, horses for courses.
 
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Kimejby

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I do astrophotography, and here F Numbers like f8 and up is very normal. Everything is mounted on a equatorial head that follows the earths rotation to get pinpoint stars. Maybe these Long reach 600/800mm F11 Canon lenses are to supplement the Canon Ra astro camera, giving Canon new market shares in a unadressed market (if Priced resonable, f11 could indicate that.

I Can take great astro Photos of targets like Orion, andromeda Galaxy with my 70/200 2.8 is Mk ii, alsonwith ext 1.4 and ext 2.0, I would be a customer for a Canon 600/800mm f11 if it fits a entusiastisk hobbyists budget
 

nighthawk82

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Airshows are a very good candidate for those f/11 lenses... when shooting planes against a plain blue sky, DOF doesn't really matter, and on good weather days which are generally required for airshows, light won't be an issue either. Pretty limited use for anything else for me though so not sure I'd like to spend on them.
 

mb66energy

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They are for the poor guys that cannot spend the money to have f/5.6 which makes twice the diameter, four times the area and eight times the volume (and weight) for the optical elements ... at least.

While I understand the idea behind it - give some reach at good light conditions - I prefer owning the trusty f/5.6 400
with a mark i 2x TC because of having the 5.6 400mm option. Just IS is missing often.

I would have wished another route: really compact mirror lenses with some cool manual mechanism to stop them down maybe just having
f/11, f/16 and f/22 - the rest of exposure variation could be done by variable gray filters or ISO or shutter speed. Just AF as manual prefocus and fine adjust via moving one small element. A 600mm lens with 150mm total length and 110mm diameter would be perfect for "sunset with something in front of it" to get larger sun circles.
But we live in mirrorless times so ... no chance to get mirrors again!
 

Joules

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I don't think most people think astrophotography when they hear f/11, but the moon is bright AF. So if you're a lunar photography specialist... Might actually work for planetary photography too, although I can't translate 600mm/800mm to the equivalent telescope configuration in my head.
The 800mm f/11 results in a 2.8" aperture. Could be decent, depending on the price.
 

Joules

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They are for the poor guys that cannot spend the money to have f/5.6 which makes twice the diameter, four times the area and eight times the volume (and weight) for the optical elements ... at least.
While I understand the idea behind it - give some reach at good light conditions - I prefer owning the trusty f/5.6 400
[...]
I would have wished another route: really compact mirror lenses
A 400mm f/5.6 has the same diameter as an 800mm f/11 though. So that lens is also for the "poor guys". I still epect these new ones to come in at lower prices due to the STM. Maybe Canon has advanced their DO tech quite a bit to the point where it can actually shave off cost instead of adding it.

I think a lot of people are put off by the significant effect on bokeh a mirror lens has. I believe DO also impacts it in a similar may, but that may have been only the older lenses. With mirror lenses, the donut bokeh balls are a given.
 

Joules

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These would be for people who like diffraction-softened images with shake-induced blur and/or high-iso noise.
They are for people who like this level of image quality:

600mm_f7_1_ISO500.jpg 600mm_f7_1_ISO500_Crop.jpg

This shot is from an 80D & Sigma 150-600mm C, taken at 600mm f/7.1 1/1600s ISO 500. That's equivalent to 960mm f/11 on FF in terms of FoV and noise. If you aren't statisfied with that quality, that's fine. These lenses aren't for you. Just buy a more expensive big white and enjoy it. Telling people who can't justify spending that much on photography that they apparently like images with poor IQ does come off a tad snobby to me though.

I posted these in the other thread as well, so apologies for the duplicates. But arguing with numbers doesn't help much for visualizing image quality.
 

AlanF

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These would be for people who like diffraction-softened images with shake-induced blur and/or high-iso noise.
Take a look at the fantastic sharp shots the Sony crowd are getting with their 200-600mm f/6.3 with 1.4 and 2xTCs at f/13 and greater https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1608204/0
We'll do the same if not better with an f/11 800mm prime.
 

YuengLinger

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As a portrait and event photographer, these offer almost nothing to me. However, I've noticed that many very long telephoto wildlife shots are taken at f/11 to increase DoF, so I can see there is a niche for these.

It does suggest Canon is after a larger customer base for its Rf mount, which should be good for all of us.
 
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AlanF

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I have Canon’s 70-300mm IS DO zoom lens. It stays in a drawer now and hasn’t been used in years. It is a short lens at the 70mm setting but heavy for its size and the image quality isn’t anything special. Plus at $1399 (Samy’s current price) it’s pretty expensive and has the weird, ringed out of focus bokeh which is a DO signature. I think a lot of people will buy the new lenses for the reasons given by others but then quite a few of them will be disappointed by the f11 max aperture once they try to use them in less than ideal lighting conditions.
The 70-300mm DO was a poor lens - I tried one recently and it was awful. The first 400mm DO had poor contrast and not up to much. But, the 400mm DO II where Canon finally got the technology working properly was a revelation and is a superb lens. Subsequently, Nikon raised the stakes even higher by introducing their DO technology, called Phase Fresnel - PF for short. Their tiny 300mm f/4 PF is a tremendous lens and the 500mm f/5.6 PF is simply incredible being tack sharp and weighing in at under 1.5kg. Lots of birders bought into Nikon just to use this lens, which is still back-ordered. We need Canon to get back into the lightweight battle.
 

blackcoffee17

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The 70-300mm DO was a poor lens - I tried one recently and it was awful. The first 400mm DO had poor contrast and not up to much. But, the 400mm DO II where Canon finally got the technology working properly was a revelation and is a superb lens. Subsequently, Nikon raised the stakes even higher by introducing their DO technology, called Phase Fresnel - PF for short. Their tiny 300mm f/4 PF is a tremendous lens and the 500mm f/5.6 PF is simply incredible being tack sharp and weighing in at under 1.5kg. Lots of birders bought into Nikon just to use this lens, which is still back-ordered. We need Canon to get back into the lightweight battle.


For me it was a surprise that Canon only launched 3 DO lenses, considering they are working on the technology for 20 years.
 
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I don't particularly like this trend of slower lenses we are seeing from Canon. But I could make use of the 800 f/11. I shot my 400DOII/2x at f/8 more than at 560 or 400. I did all sorts of birding including BIF with that combo. I shoot at f/9 all the time with my Sony 200-600/1.4TC and that is for things like swallows in flight. For more static perched birds it is easy to shoot down at 1/200-1/400 with these newer IS/IBIS systems and most of the time (with a few insurance shots) you will get good results without motion blur.

I don't see much point in the 600/11....a 600/8 (which is also in the patent) would have made more sense so you could have versatility with the 1.4TC to go up to 840/11 if you wanted to but also have f/8 at 600 if 600 is enough. I've always felt the 600/4 lenses made more sense than 800/5.6 lenses for this same type of reasoning.

If the patent that was linked to yesterday https://asobinet.com/info-patent-canon-800mm-f11-do/ in the other thread is accurate then we know about how long the lenses are going to be.
600/11: 335mm
800/11: 389mm
But those measurements will be to the sensor and not the mount so the physical lenses will be a little shorter...if someone knows the mount to sensor distance for the EOS R you can figure out the exact length (assuming the design didn't change from these patents). Those aren't super short lenses but decent size I guess.

But one thing that will be super important with these lenses for bird photography is BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND....forget about what your subject is doing...you will have to be watching your backgrounds and getting LOW, LOW, LOW for waterfowl shots if you want pleasing images....no f/4 to blast away messy grass/twigs etc. But that isn't a bad thing as the number one thing I see ruining bird images is not watching ones background and not getting low enough....even people shooting f/4 lenses suffer from that issue leading to mediocre images.
 
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AlanF

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I don't particularly like this trend of slower lenses we are seeing from Canon. But I could make use of the 800 f/11. I shot my 400DOII/2x at f/8 more than at 560 or 400. I did all sorts of birding including BIF with that combo. I shoot at f/9 all the time with my Sony 200-600/1.4TC and that is for things like swallows in flight. For more static perched birds it is easy to shoot down at 1/200-1/400 with these newer IS/IBIS systems and most of the time (with a few insurance shots) you will get good results without motion blur.

I don't see much point in the 600/11....a 600/8 (which is also in the patent) would have made more sense so you could have versatility with the 1.4TC to go up to 840/11 if you wanted to but also have f/8 at 600 if 600 is enough. I've always felt the 600/4 lenses made more sense than 800/5.6 lenses for this same type of reasoning.

If the patent that was linked to yesterday https://asobinet.com/info-patent-canon-800mm-f11-do/ in the other thread is accurate then we know about how long the lenses are going to be.
600/11: 335mm
800/11: 389mm
But those measurements will be to the sensor and not the mount so the physical lenses will be a little shorter...if someone knows the mount to sensor distance for the EOS R you can figure out the exact length (assuming the design didn't change from these patents). Those aren't super short lenses but decent size I guess.

But one thing that will be super important with these lenses for bird photography is BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND....forget about what your subject is doing...you will have to be watching your backgrounds and getting LOW, LOW, LOW for waterfowl shots if you want pleasing images....no f/4 to blast away messy grass/twigs etc. But that isn't a bad thing as the number one thing I see ruining bird images is not watching ones background and not getting low enough....even people shooting f/4 lenses suffer from that issue leading to mediocre images.
You have indeed posted some great shots down at water level. I'd like most of all a 500/5.6 DO which I could use with a 1.4 and 2xTC to have a 700/f8 and 1000/f11. It would be shorter than the 600-800 in the patents and just so much more versatile.
 
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You have indeed posted some great shots down at water level. I'd like most of all a 500/5.6 DO which I could use with a 1.4 and 2xTC to have a 700/f8 and 1000/f11. It would be shorter than the 600-800 in the patents and just so much more versatile.

The most important feature for a new camera to me these days is the flip screen. Nothing has improved my photography more so than that. I'm not a fan of the flip to the side Canon version for the things I use it for. Would much prefer it to just tilt out to stay in line with the lens but regardless the R5 will be killer because it will be the first high quality Canon camera with a flip screen. If the 1DXIII had a flip screen I may have bought that camera to use its excellent LV system.