What is the maximum aperture at 400mm on the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM?

scyrene

EOS R6
Dec 4, 2013
2,778
894
UK
www.flickr.com
Tbh this is something I should have known, but I guess it's so long since I used a variable aperture zoom, and back then I didn't know much about photography. It makes sense it should work this way and is a neat insight to how zoom lenses work, but the whole discussion makes me feel the endless back and forth pre-release about whether this was f/5.6 or f/6.3 at 400mm is again a matter of meaningless nitpicking. If the differences can be accounted for by rounding errors, then they are surely of no practical relevance to real world use? I get that a lot of people feel less is worse, but I doubt anyone could tell even from their own shots whether two photographs of the same focal length were at f/5.6 versus f/6.3, let along what T stop that actually represents.
 

Codebunny

EOS RP
Sep 5, 2018
464
410
I've seen people on other sites make similar complaints about the upcoming 85mm f/2. Claiming that f/1.8 is a wonderful portrait option, but f/2 is "unusable" for portraits. I swear, some people get way too hung up on 1/3rd of a stop.

In practical use, I could barely see a DOF difference between my old EF 24-70 f/2.8L ii and the RF 28-70 f/2. And that's coming from someone who happily bought the RF lens after testing! Rendering will take precedence over max aperture any day of the week. Which is why the 100mm f/2.8L remains my favourite lens. (It just so happens that the RF 28-70 ticks both boxes)
I have a 85mm f/1.8 S on my Nikon.... I honest to goodness can't tell between f/1.8 and f/2.0 when I take a picture. I have to go to f/4 or f/5.6 before there is a real big change to the DOF. And all times my shutter speed is way up there. The Canon 85mm f/2.0 is probably not going to compete with the Nikon on IQ, its not a L series. But it will be a absolutely cracking lens that will take lovely images with 'dreamy' OOF areas. I think there is some old thinking here about having to stop down lenses, I definitely hear it on the Nikon side against the 1.8 S lenses where people still think you need to stop it down so they want a f/1.2 lens so it is sharp when stopped down... these new lenses from Nikon and Canon are sharp wide open and if anything you have to add in defects in post. I often at in a bit of vignetting as the images are a little too perfect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJudge

Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
93
125
f7.1 is not fast enough.
For wild life photograph you'll have to boost ISO to 6400, even in "good light condition". not a good idea to mess with ISO over 3200.
I use D5, yes I was a traitor :-/ (finger cross for R5)
I hope Canon can make a lenses faster while still within budget, like Sony 200-600 f5.6-6.3, which at 600mm you got f6.3. is that price unreachable? Not at all.
Mainly, its for marketing consideration, that's why I will keep my 100-400 mk II. Both are excellent lenses I believe.
Another question is, can R5 replace or challenge their flagship, like 1dx III? Not a chance.
Manual + auto ISO(my favorite shooting mode), they just won't let you have that.
Still, for marketing reason.
I, respectfully, disagree. Your statement about f/7.1 is widely exaggerated. I went back and took a look at some bird shots taken at f/7.1 ISO320. The shutter was 1/1600, but I could have easily raised it to 1/2000 or 1/2500 while keeping ISO at 1600 or lower. I also found some D5 BIF shots taken at f/8, ISO800 and 1/2500 These shots were taken in morning sun, so definitely good light and plenty bright. If taken at twilight or later, yes I would have had to raise the ISO, but for anything but early, early morning, twilight, or extreme overcast, f/7.1-f/10 are fine.
 
Sorry, my bad. To make it clear, what I mean is: "Manual mode (you decide f number as well as shutter speed) and set ISO to Auto", then let the camera to decide the proper exposure. Try that one, I don't think any non-flagship camera has that.
A lot of Canon cameras have had M + Auto ISO for a long while. At first the issue was they wouldn't let you set EC in M+AutoISO so that made the mode next to useless. However starting back at the 1DX, 7DII, 5DS/R and onwards there has been full functionality to M + AutoISO with proper EC control (which is needed in any mode other than full M). 80D had it also. I'm not sure if any Rebels have it or not. It certainly isn't just flagships and even with 1 series flagships the first to have it working properly was the 1DX.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sobrien
f7.1 is not fast enough.
For wild life photograph you'll have to boost ISO to 6400, even in "good light condition". not a good idea to mess with ISO over 3200.
I use D5, yes I was a traitor :-/ (finger cross for R5)
I hope Canon can make a lenses faster while still within budget, like Sony 200-600 f5.6-6.3, which at 600mm you got f6.3. is that price unreachable? Not at all.
Mainly, its for marketing consideration, that's why I will keep my 100-400 mk II. Both are excellent lenses I believe.
Another question is, can R5 replace or challenge their flagship, like 1dx III? Not a chance.
Manual + auto ISO(my favorite shooting mode), they just won't let you have that.
Still, for marketing reason.
ISO 3200 just because you are at f/7.1?...have you every heard of the sunny 16 rule? Even at f/16 in full sun you would need to be using 1/3200s to have to use ISO 3200. You have 2 1/3 stops to work with at f/7.1 compared to the Sunny 16 rule. In full sun at 1/3200s you would be at around ISO640. Sure f/7.1 will become limiting in some very dreary conditions and will eventually force you to ISO 3200. But anything in nice golden light (why shoot in anything else??) is not going to get you anywhere near ISO 3200 even with a very fast SS and f/7.1.
 

koenkooi

EOS R
Feb 25, 2015
1,160
950
I have a 85mm f/1.8 S on my Nikon.... I honest to goodness can't tell between f/1.8 and f/2.0 when I take a picture. I have to go to f/4 or f/5.6 before there is a real big change to the DOF. And all times my shutter speed is way up there. The Canon 85mm f/2.0 is probably not going to compete with the Nikon on IQ, its not a L series. But it will be a absolutely cracking lens that will take lovely images with 'dreamy' OOF areas. I think there is some old thinking here about having to stop down lenses, I definitely hear it on the Nikon side against the 1.8 S lenses where people still think you need to stop it down so they want a f/1.2 lens so it is sharp when stopped down... these new lenses from Nikon and Canon are sharp wide open and if anything you have to add in defects in post. I often at in a bit of vignetting as the images are a little too perfect.
On the EF85/1.8 you can see a big difference between f/1.8 and f/2.2, a lot of the abberations become too small to notice while DoF stays acceptable. I mostly use it f/2.5, so the RF f/2.0 would be an improvement :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Joules

Codebunny

EOS RP
Sep 5, 2018
464
410
On the EF85/1.8 you can see a big difference between f/1.8 and f/2.2, a lot of the abberations become too small to notice while DoF stays acceptable. I mostly use it f/2.5, so the RF f/2.0 would be an improvement :)
Aye a lot of the older lenses like the 50mm f/1.8 where good at f/2.8 or even f/4. These new lenses at lease the Nikon ones are excellent at f/1.8 all the way to the edge. Now clearly those are more akin to L glass but I see no reason why RF with its new big mount won’t have f/2 being super sharp without needing stopped down. Especially if the f/1.2 lenses are any indication of what primes are like on RF.
 

1D4

EOS M50
Jun 5, 2020
45
103
OK maybe f/7.1 is something in between. Not "fast enough" but not "too slow" either.

Slightly off topic but the f/5.6 of Nikon 500mm 5.6E PF is better though :)

BUT truth be told: if I ever upgraded my R to R5 I would be curious about 100-500... (and it has that 100 to 499mm range too...)
The Nikkor 500PF is also a specialized prime lens that costs $800 USD more and has a waiting list of about 6 months. The 100-500 is a general purpose superzoom....not slightly off-topic, but completely off-topic, just like all the people I've seen saying the RF 100-500 is a ripoff because the Nikkor 200-500 is half the price.
 
Last edited:

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,827
5,846
ISO 3200 just because you are at f/7.1?...have you every heard of the sunny 16 rule? Even at f/16 in full sun you would need to be using 1/3200s to have to use ISO 3200. You have 2 1/3 stops to work with at f/7.1 compared to the Sunny 16 rule. In full sun at 1/3200s you would be at around ISO640. Sure f/7.1 will become limiting in some very dreary conditions and will eventually force you to ISO 3200. But anything in nice golden light (why shoot in anything else??) is not going to get you anywhere near ISO 3200 even with a very fast SS and f/7.1.
I've routinely used f/8 (100-400mm II + 1.4xTC on a 5DSR and 400 f/4 + 2xTC on a 5DIV) for BIF like many others (including Jack on his 1DXII). There are too many comments about using these lenses from those who clearly have never used telephotos or calculated the settings for full manual exposure.
 

tron

EOS R5
Nov 8, 2011
4,546
773
The Nikkor 500PF is also a specialized prime lens that costs $800 USD more and has a waiting list of about 6 months. The 100-500 is a general purpose superzoom....not slightly off-topic, but completely off-topic, just like all the people I've seen saying the RF 100-500 is a ripoff because the Nikkor 200-500 is half the price.
Well the underlined part of yours was off topic too since you mentioned that in a different thread and this thread is not about the price. Anyway it is nice that with 11 posts you were almost self-appointed as the thread moderator !
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlanF
Jul 15, 2020
6
1
I, respectfully, disagree. Your statement about f/7.1 is widely exaggerated. I went back and took a look at some bird shots taken at f/7.1 ISO320. The shutter was 1/1600, but I could have easily raised it to 1/2000 or 1/2500 while keeping ISO at 1600 or lower. I also found some D5 BIF shots taken at f/8, ISO800 and 1/2500 These shots were taken in morning sun, so definitely good light and plenty bright. If taken at twilight or later, yes I would have had to raise the ISO, but for anything but early, early morning, twilight, or extreme overcast, f/7.1-f/10 are fine.
D5, f/7.1 speed 1/1600s at morning, around 8 or 9, can't remember accurately.(for wild life that's a "good light condition", normally I do not walk around in the noon so does most of the animals)...chose f/7.1 to keep both birds in focus, Manual mode, ISO automatically boost to 6400.
For online post or web use that's fine, but I do wish I could stay NO higher than ISO 3200, mainly because of the COLOR not the noise.

For M+Auto ISO, I use from EOS 1V, 5d Mark II, Mark IV...those combinations are different from flagship such as D5. That's my personal experience, but possibly I didn't study the user manual carefully, therefore I maybe use them "differently"
 

Attachments

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,827
5,846
Tbh this is something I should have known, but I guess it's so long since I used a variable aperture zoom, and back then I didn't know much about photography. It makes sense it should work this way and is a neat insight to how zoom lenses work, but the whole discussion makes me feel the endless back and forth pre-release about whether this was f/5.6 or f/6.3 at 400mm is again a matter of meaningless nitpicking. If the differences can be accounted for by rounding errors, then they are surely of no practical relevance to real world use? I get that a lot of people feel less is worse, but I doubt anyone could tell even from their own shots whether two photographs of the same focal length were at f/5.6 versus f/6.3, let along what T stop that actually represents.
For those of us who are interested, it's not nitpicking but a desire to understand how our gear works and how to squeeze the best out of it. You don't have to understand much at all to get good images out of a camera or create works of art, but the technology is of great interest as well if you have a scientific bent.
 

1D4

EOS M50
Jun 5, 2020
45
103
Well the underlined part of yours was off topic too since you mentioned that in a different thread. Anyway it is nice that with 11 posts you were almost self-appointed as the thread moderator !
"Off-topic" as in the 500PF is a totally different, incomparable type of lens, so it's not "slightly off topic" [your words, not mine]...the two lenses have nothing to do with one another. Way to miss the point.
 

tron

EOS R5
Nov 8, 2011
4,546
773
"Off-topic" as in the 500PF is a totally different, incomparable type of lens, so it's not "slightly off topic" [your words, not mine]...the two lenses have nothing to do with one another. Way to miss the point.
If I recall correctly I myself mentioned the 100-499 range...
Congratulations on your friendly 12th post by the way...
 

1D4

EOS M50
Jun 5, 2020
45
103
If I recall correctly I myself mentioned the 100-499 range...
Congratulations on your friendly 12th post by the way...
1) Oh yes, because the number of posts one has on CanonRumors equates to their photography level or intelligence.
2) You said "Slightly off topic but the f/5.6 of Nikon 500mm 5.6E PF is better though". I was saying you can't compare totally different lenses that have completely different purposes. That's like me saying "but the f/4.0 of the Canon EF Telephoto 500mm F/4.0 IS II is better though". If Canon wanted to make a 100-500mm f4-5.6, they could have, but it would have been heavier, bigger, and more expensive than what they were going for. They may very well make a RF 500mm f5.6. But that is not the purpose of the RF 100-500.
 
Last edited:

tron

EOS R5
Nov 8, 2011
4,546
773
1) Oh yes, because the number of posts one has on CanonRumors equates to their photography level or intelligence.
2) You said "Slightly off topic but the f/5.6 of Nikon 500mm 5.6E PF is better though". I was saying you can't compare totally different lenses that have completely different purposes. That's like me saying "but the f/4.0 of the Canon EF Telephoto 500mm F/4.0 IS II is better though". If Canon wanted to make a 100-500mm f4-5.6, they could have, but it would have been heavier and more expensive than what they were going for. They may very well make a RF 500mm f5.6. But that is not the purpose of the RF 100-500.
I was putting emphasis on friendliness! It seems you were written in this forum mainly to argue with people (judging by the other thread you yourself mentioned). Every person has different criteria for their needs in wildlife and birding photography just like any other kind of photography. With this in mind I do not need to have your permission to comment on this thread. And don't put words in my mouth. Once more - since you do not seem to have read that - I myself mentioned the 100-499 range advantage of Canon's RF lens).

EDIT: And another member in this forum mentioned D5 and yet another SONY 200-600. Should they get your permission too?