Thoughts on the folly of buying an exciting camera of the future but then being stuck in the past.

axtstern

EOS M(ediochre)
Jun 12, 2012
285
24
When the original R came out on the market I was tempted to buy one but since the extinct age of the Canon IX and the APS format and having bought and sold the M, M3 and M5 I learned the lesson never to pay Canon for the privilege of joining a product line they might abandon soon after.

Besides having entrenched myself in the Canon EF System for almost a quarter of a century I understand that the EF-R universe is where the future happens.

So I skipped the R and the RP, was tempted by the R6 but the R7 was the model I could not resist.

Now I have tried the camera and it is the best camera I ever had, but in my world, all its glory is earned with lenses from the past.



My initial lust for the R system came from the promise of being able to produce lenses better than ever before based on the new mount and the short flange distance and and and…

Now Canon seems to evolve the EF-R lens environment based on four principles:

  • Give the dreamers the dream lenses but charge them for it to obscene levels.
  • Give the enthusiasts a slightly better, lighter, more expensive version than EF could offer, bamboozle them with IS levels never heard before but make the lenses as slow and dark as Canon did not dare anymore since John McEnroe smiled from magazines with the first Rebel and the attached kit lens
  • Do not invent anything new for the RF-S system until every mediocre EF-M lens has been transformed, make sure that the only fast lens comes last.
  • Make sure that Sigma and Tamron do not bother us for whatever timeframe we get away with
So I marvel at 28-70mm F2.0, lust for 120-300 F2.8 and hope for 100-500 L (fast as a 70-300 kit lens but hey 500mm) but I will not be able to explain to my family why I buy a lens at such a price tag.

So I ask my dealer to let me try the 24-70 F2.8, the 15-35 F2.8, the 24-105 F4.0, the 135 F1.8 and they are all so lightweight, so tiny and shiny but I own them all in EF, some ranges I even cover multiple times, and the little advantages simply don’t stand the business case to replace lenses which I can’t sell because I need them also on my 1DX.

So I question myself was everything you learned and accepted about the advantage of inner focusing non extending lens design just marketing bullshit which Canon seems to have completely abandoned in the age of R?

So I look at my old 200 F1.8, 400 F2.8 and 300 F4.0 and wonder what made the company who once produced the 50mm F1.0 now slap the L logo on something that is F7.1



The consequence:

I rearranged the R7 in my mind. It is not a peek into the R environment, it is a 1000 Euro IBIS/EVF/DeepLearning upgrade into the EF environment.

Combination 1: R7 with Canon EF/R adapter, Sigma 17-35 F1.8 and the very old Sigma 50-150 F2.8

This combo fits into very small shoulder bags, is unobtrusive, lightweight, and adding two stop IBIS to a F1.8 lens is a marvelous experience.

Combination 2: R7 with Canon EF/R adapter and speed booster adapter, three 20 year old lenses: 17-35 F2.8L L + 24-70 F2.8 L and 300 F4 L

This combo more than fits in something small as a Tamrac Expedition 4 and allows you to start with a stabilized F2.0 ultra-wide and to choose to stop either at 300mm F2.8 or 420mm F4.0 with IBIS and IS working hand in hand


Last but not least:

The EF 24-105 F4 L combined with the EF 85 1.2L on a R7 with speed booster is the combo I wish I would have had when I still did weddings for cash. With the speed booster you have the full flexibility of the 24-105 plus one F stop more light and bokee plus 2 stabilizers working in tandem. The EF 85 is not the king of AF speed but with the EVF and the speed booster combined with the silent mode and electronic shutter of the R7 it is like using military grade night vision on an unsuspecting cinema audience. You can get the snapshots of the party crowd and can isolate them unobtrusive, silent and in situations where a single candle is sufficient for illumination.



I would love to hear from anyone else here who has experience with using yesterdays heroes on the modern equipment.
 
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Like I have stated before using my EF lens on my R5, It's like these lens are sharper then I saw with my 6D Mark II. I'm happy to have made the purchase of the R5, but too would like to up grade some of my lens to the R series for a simpler and lighter set up.
 
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I took the leap with the EOS R because of the mount specifically, I was growing weary of lugging large bodies and lenses around but have a strange ideological attachment to the 35mm sensor.

I bought the RF 35mm 2.0 with the body with an adapter for my EF lenses inc might beautiful 50mm Zeiss, I slowly ditched all of the EF lenses in favour of the budget range RF primes, I guess I was a bit disappointed coming from L EF lenses to those RF ones but I feel the weight and size esp. 50 mm 1.8 is something I am happy with compromising and feel that the RF mount spec delivered there.

My next lens will probably be the 22mm pancake lens, this looks perfect for my needs of travelling light with smaller bags.

Body wise I would actually like to see something like the next iteration of the R8 in a couple of years time, maybe the R1 and R5 MKII can allow a bit more room for the lower end of the range to breathe with features so we can get a true successor to the R.
 
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Like I have stated before using my EF lens on my R5, It's like these lens are sharper then I saw with my 6D Mark II. I'm happy to have made the purchase of the R5, but too would like to up grade some of my lens to the R series for a simpler and lighter set up.
I agree that the EF lenses show some improvement on RF over EF; AF & sharpness too, although I suspect this might be to do with EFCS & / or better focus, but I’m beginning to have doubts about whether the rest of the ‘IQ’ is the same. Splitting hairs yes, but I’ve seen some signs of images not having quite the ‘clarity’ when EF has been used on RF, compared with the same lens on EF and compared to an RF on RF. Seems to be more to the edges maybe. I wonder if this is to do with the mirrorless micro lenses and the reduced angle that light will be striking them from an EF lens maybe ?
 
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I agree that the EF lenses show some improvement on RF over EF; AF & sharpness too, although I suspect this might be to do with EFCS & / or better focus, but I’m beginning to have doubts about whether the rest of the ‘IQ’ is the same. Splitting hairs yes, but I’ve seen some signs of images not having quite the ‘clarity’ when EF has been used on RF, compared with the same lens on EF and compared to an RF on RF. Seems to be more to the edges maybe. I wonder if this is to do with the mirrorless micro lenses and the reduced angle that light will be striking them from an EF lens maybe ?
The micro lenses and possibly the optical stack in front of the sensor might be of a different thickness.
 
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Like I have stated before using my EF lens on my R5, It's like these lens are sharper then I saw with my 6D Mark II. I'm happy to have made the purchase of the R5, but too would like to up grade some of my lens to the R series for a simpler and lighter set up.
The R5 has a high resolution 45 Mpx sensor (with a weak AA-filter) whereas the 6DII has a lower resolution 26 Mpx sensor with a stronger AA-filter, and so those features are bound to make your EF lenses look sharper on the R5. On the other hand, my EF lenses on my 50 Mpx 5DSR were very similar to their being on the R5. The 6DII also needs careful AFMA to maximise sharpness, unlike the mirrorless.
 
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The R5 has a high resolution 45 Mpx sensor (with a weak AA-filter) whereas the 6DII has a lower resolution 26 Mpx sensor with a stronger AA-filter, and so those features are bound to make your EF lenses look sharper on the R5. On the other hand, my EF lenses on my 50 Mpx 5DSR were very similar to their being on the R5. The 6DII also needs careful AFMA to maximise sharpness, unlike the mirrorless.
AFMA is indeed of utter importance, but is not a "once and forever" adjustment.
The constant mirror's up and down sooner or later has an incidence on the precision of AF. Therefore, it is highly recommended to repeat AFMA every now and then.
 
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AFMA is indeed of utter importance, but is not a "once and forever" adjustment.
The constant mirror's up and down sooner or later has an incidence on the precision of AF. Therefore, it is highly recommended to repeat AFMA every now and then.
Absolutely! I used to be very quick at it, using FoCal. It was also very instructive because you saw the spread of focus for each lens and how the reproducibility varies. TCs could have large effects, and the AFMA can vary with zooming. One of the biggest surprises for me was that my most expensive lens, a 300mm f/2.8 II, required +8 units, and FoCal's collected data showed that this was typical for the lens. Can't say I miss AFMA.
 
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Try not to overthink everything. It's a new mount simply because it does not need the space for the mirror, not because it would herald in a new age of great photographic improvement. Lenses have been made for decades. Excellent lenses have been made for decades. There can't be and won't be much improvement in lens technology, so if you thought there would be, well, that's on you to a large extent. That being said, Canon has made lenses for the RF mount that they either could not or did not make for the EF mount. So, not all marketing BS. But if you have EF lenses, there is no reason not to use them on the RF mount, andf if you are smart, continue to buy used EF lenses for the RF mount cameras for really good prices. And if you think Canon's highest priced lenses are obscene, then I guess you think the similar top level pro lenses from Sony and Nikon are also obscene.
I think Canon understands the market for APS-C. The R7 is a camera meant for those interested in reach. Those consumers do not need - and will rarely buy - an "-S" lens. Other buyers of APS-C cameras are those who are looking for the least expensive cameras and/or beginners. Certainly Canon has the data from both the M cameras and the crop DSLR buyers, as to which lenses sell. For all target consumers of crop cameras, I think it is fairly obvious that the lenses that sell are the basic kit lenses and other small, inexpensive lenses. Expecting fast lenses or lenses other than what was made for the M system is illogical.

Rather than complain, it seems that you should be thanking your lucky stars that you now have "the best camera" that you ever had, and can use all your existing lenses and not spend another dime (other than the adapter).
 
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So I question myself was everything you learned and accepted about the advantage of inner focusing non extending lens design just marketing bullshit which Canon seems to have completely abandoned in the age of R?
Not sure what you mean. There were plenty of extending and front focusing EF lenses. Even lenses that to some appear internally zooming aren’t, like the UWA zooms (16-35/2.8) that have a moving inner barrel and require a filter for weather sealing. Their movement is just more obvious on RF versions.

Other than the obvious shift with the 70-200 f/2.8 and f/4 zooms from internal to external zooms (a change that made them lighter and more convenient to pack), what are some examples of lenses that were internal zoom/focus on EF and external on RF?
 
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Not sure what you mean. There were plenty of extending and front focusing EF lenses. Even lenses that to some appear internally zooming aren’t, like the UWA zooms (16-35/2.8) that have a moving inner barrel and require a filter for weather sealing. Their movement is just more obvious on RF versions.

Other than the obvious shift with the 70-200 f/2.8 and f/4 zooms from internal to external zooms (a change that made them lighter and more convenient to pack), what are some examples of lenses that were internal zoom/focus on EF and external on RF?
The non-L 85mm. The EF version was internally focusing using USM, the RF has an extending barrel and STM.

Looking purely at focal length, the 28mm is the same, but the RF version is a pancake, so I’m not bothered about that.
 
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The non-L 85mm. The EF version was internally focusing using USM, the RF has an extending barrel and STM.

Looking purely at focal length, the 28mm is the same, but the RF version is a pancake, so I’m not bothered about that.
You could say the same thing about the EF 24/2.8, the 35/2 etc. Their RF counterparts extend for focusing. But spare a thought for Canon; they have to have something in reserve in order to sell us the mark two version in a few years time ! ;-)
 
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Absolutely! I used to be very quick at it, using FoCal. It was also very instructive because you saw the spread of focus for each lens and how the reproducibility varies. TCs could have large effects, and the AFMA can vary with zooming. One of the biggest surprises for me was that my most expensive lens, a 300mm f/2.8 II, required +8 units, and FoCal's collected data showed that this was typical for the lens. Can't say I miss AFMA.
My TSE 24mm II needs + 15 units ...
It needed them before I dropped it :cry: in Jersey, and, quite strangely, even after it got repaired by Canon.
Sensor focusing is such a huge advantage of the R system!
 
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Other than the obvious shift with the 70-200 f/2.8 and f/4 zooms from internal to external zooms (a change that made them lighter and more convenient to pack), what are some examples of lenses that were internal zoom/focus on EF and external on RF?
You have read my lamment harsher than I meant it. A fair share of my lenses are not Canon but Sigma from the ART or EX era or Tamron again from their more recent line. Both manufacturers chose (at least for their betterlenses) more often than not to do inner focusing and I just thought that is where lens design has arrived and for higher end glass that would be the state of the art, no going back. Don't missunderstand me, there are lenses where I believe an extending tube (while zooming or focussing) is an elegant solution. For example I love how the old 24-70 2.8 L is using it's deep lenshood by extending when zoomig out. I bought myself the RF 70-210 4.0 L and while I see optical advancement I honestly prefer the EF 70-210 4.0 L which does not extend like a Tamron travelzoom. The fixed length inner focusing lenses always seemed to me more silent, had no zoom creep, less attack surface for dust and moisture etc.. If the fashion of today is to save real estate in the bag by producing extending lenses...well who am I to stop the flow
 
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I suspect a lot of it was marketing/hearsay. But it is at least possible that some other technological improvements (eg better seals?) mean extending lenses are more robust than they would have been ten or twenty years ago. I have no evidence for this of course, it's just a suggestion.
 
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I suspect a lot of it was marketing/hearsay. But it is at least possible that some other technological improvements (eg better seals?) mean extending lenses are more robust than they would have been ten or twenty years ago. I have no evidence for this of course, it's just a suggestion.
You could be right about better seals. And the lens- tubes are more rigidly guided (constant gaps in mount).
Yet, I often wonder what would happen if I retracted an extending lens which has been used under rain. I usually wipe it dry before doing so.
 
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